Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Dr A Duncan Walker BEng, PhD, CEng, MRAeS, FHEA

Photo of Dr A Duncan Walker

Reader in Applied Aerodynamics


Duncan's academic strengths lie in a strong synergy between his research and teaching. He has more than 25 years of research experience in the experimental and computational study of the internal flows within modern gas turbines. His work within the Rolls-Royce/Loughborough University Technology Centre (UTC) has contributed to developing the next generation of gas turbines with increased efficiency, reduced fuel burn and reduced emissions.

Duncan's industry driven research provides both social and economic benefits to both the aerospace and the wider community. In his teaching, he strives to use this state-of-the-art research to inspire and train the next generation of world leading engineers. Engaging students with the real problems faced by the aerospace industry allows them to understand the future landscape and apply their knowledge in meaningful way. Duncan is a great believer in learning by experience and application. 

Past Positions:

  • Reader in Applied Aerodynamics, Loughborough University  2020-present
  • Senior Lecturer in Applied Aerodynamics, Loughborough University  2014-2020
  • Lecturer in Applied Aerodynamics, Loughborough University  2011-2014
  • Senior Research Associate, Loughborough University  2006-2011
  • Research Associate, Loughborough University  1996-2006
  • Research Student, Loughborough University  1994-1996


  • PhD, “Experimental and Computational Study of Hybrid Diffusers for Radially Staged Combustors”, Loughborough University, 2002.
  • BEng  1st Class in Aeronautical Engineering, Loughborough University, 1994.
  • Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.
  • Chartered Engineer (via the Royal Aeronautical Society).
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Key awards and accomplishments 

  • Best Paper Awards
    • “Enhanced External Aerodynamic Performance of a Generic Combustor Using and Integrated OGV/Pre-Diffuser Design Technique”, Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition, Barcelona, Spain, June 2006, https:///10.1115/GT-2006-90184.
    • “The Influence of Fan Root Flow on the Aerodynamic of a Low-Pressure Compressor Transition Duct”, Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2019: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, June 2019,

Experimental and computational study of the internal flows within modern gas turbines. Fundamentally this includes diffusing flows, boundary layer separation, wake mixing, secondary flows, and the effects of swirl, curvature and pressure gradients. Extends to more applied systems such as low emission combustor architectures, the compressor/combustor interface, integrated outlet guide vane design, advanced pre-diffuser development, fuel injector design, the combustor/turbine interface and transition duct aerodynamics. Ground vehicle aerodynamics, cycling aerodynamics, advanced experimental techniques and computational fluid dynamics.

Research Groups:

Research grants and contracts as PI and Co-I in excess of £5m.


  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Power and Propulsion, 2019 – 2027
  • IDA – Intermediate Compressor Case Duct Aerodynamics, EU Clean Sky 2, 2018 – 2020.
  • ELECT – Enhanced Low Emission Combustion Technology, Innovate UK, 2017 – 2020.
  • iCORE – Integrated Core Technologies – Innovate UK, 2016 – 2019.
  • UltraFan Matrix Air Cooled Oil Cooler Installation, Rolls-Royce, 2016 – 2017.
  • ESPRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics, 2014 – 2022.
  • Modelling Capability for Air Flow within Turbine Case Cooling Systems, Rolls-Royce, 2013 – 2016.
  • NADIT – Novel Aerodynamic Design and Integration Technologies, TSB, 2013 – 2016.
  • Cooled Cooling Air System Aerodynamics, Rolls-Royce, 2013 – 2018.
  • LEMCOTEC – Low Emissions Core Engine Technologies, EU FP7, 2011 – 2015.
  • IMPACT_AE – Intelligent Design Methodologies for Low Pollutant Combustors for Aero-Engines, EU FP7, 2011 – 2015.
  • KIAI – Knowledge for Ignition, Acoustics and Instabilities, EU FP7, 2009 – 2013.
  • NEWAC – New Aero Engine Concepts, EU FP6, 2006 – 2010.
  • INTELLECT D.M. - Integrated Lean Low Emission Combustor Technology - Design Methodology, EU FP6, 2004 – 2007.
  • AIDA – Aggressive Intermediate Duct Aerodynamics, EU FP6, 2004 – 2008.

Current teaching responsibilities:

Loughborough University, Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

BEng and MEng Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

  • Low Speed Aerodynamics (TTB101)
  • Gas Turbine Design (TTC050 and TTC011)
  • Introduction to CFD (TTC102)
  • Experimental Fluid Mechanics (TTD014)
  • Propulsion Design for the Environment (TTD105)
  • Part C and D Individual Projects
  • Part C and D Year Tutor

MSc in Automotive Systems Engineering, Loughborough University

  • Vehicle Aerodynamics (TTP245) - Advanced Experimental Methods.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics and in Propulsion and Power

  • MRes at University of Cambridge - Combustion System Aerodynamics and Advanced Experimental Methods.
  • Lead Loughborough University Mini-Project / Short Course in Combustion System Aerothermal Processes.

Walker, A. D., Mariah, I., Tsakmakidou, D., Vadhvana, H., Hall, C. (2020) The Influence of Fan Root Flow on the Aerodynamic of a Low-Pressure Compressor Transition Duct. Journal of Turbomachinery, 142(1).

Li, Y., Walker, A.D., Irving, J. (2019) Improved modeling capabilities of the airflow within turbine case cooling systems using smart porous media. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 141(5).

Walker, A.D., Koli, B., Beecroft, P.A. (2019) Influence of Purge Flow Swirl at Exit to the High-Pressure Compressor on OGV/Pre-Diffuser and Combustion System Aerodynamics. Journal of Turbomachinery, 141(9).

Rajaratnam, E., Walker, D. (2019) Investigation of wheelhouse flow interaction and the influence of lateral wheel displacement. Energies, 12(17).

Rajaratnam, E., Walker, D. (2019) Experimental and computational study of the flow around a stationary and rotating isolated wheel and the influence of a moving ground plane. SAE Technical Papers, 2019-(April).

Duncan Walker, A., Koli, B., Guo, L., Beecroft, P., Zedda, M. (2017) Impact of a Cooled Cooling Air System on the External Aerodynamics of a Gas Turbine Combustion System. Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 139(5).

Almond, M.T., Render, P.M., Walker, A.D., Howlett, A. (2017) Investigation of the flowfield induced by simulated battle damage. Aeronautical Journal, 121(1243).

 View central admin publications database


  • Collaborative research under the European Commission Framework Programmes, CleanSky2, Horizon 2020 and the Innovate UK/Aerospace Technology Institute’s Strategic R&D Projects.
  • EPSRC Centre of Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics and in Propulsion and Power with Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
  • Industry Collaborations with Rolls-Royce (UK, Deutschland, USA and Canada), GKN Aerospace (Sweden), MTU Aero Engines (Germany), SNECMA, ONERA, (France), AVIO (Italy), ITP (Spain), Jaguar Land Rover, Team Sky Pro Cycling (now Team Ineos), Ski Jumping Great Britain/Ski Jumping Canada.
  • Academic Collaborations with Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Sussex, Surrey, Cranfield, Southampton, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Technische Universität München, Pusan National University, Chalmers University of Technology, Graz University of Technology, Von-Karman Institute, University of Florence, DLR (German Aerospace Institute), University of Stuttgart, University of Madrid.

External roles and appointments:

  • Senior Member of the Rolls-Royce UTC in Combustion System Aerothermal Processes.
  • Senior Member of the National Centre for Combustion Aerothermal Technology.
  • Senior Member of the Member of the EPSRC CDTs in “Gas Turbine Aerodynamics” and “Future Propulsion and Power”.
  • Project Co-ordinator for Clean Sky 2 Project (IDA - Intermediate Compressor Case Duct Aerodynamics).
  • Invited Lecturer on the internal Rolls-Royce Combustion Course, 2018-present.
  • Guest Editor, International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Special Edition, “Advances in Aero-Engines Technology”, 2017.
  • Session Chair at ASME IGTI Turbo Expo:
    • 2014 - Advanced Ducts and Transition Sections in Gas Turbine Engines
    • 2015 - Gas Turbine Engine Component Interactions and Performance Sensitivities
    • Peer-Reviewed Articles for ASME IGTI Turbo Expo., Journal of Turbomachinery, Journal of Gas Turbines and Power, Journal of Propulsion and Power, Experiments in Fluids, The Aeronautical Journal, Computers and Fluids, Journal of Aerospace Engineering.
    • PhD Examiner
    • EPRSC Peer Reviewer.