Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Dr Daniel Butcher MEng, PhD, AFHEA

Photo of Dr Daniel Butcher

Lecturer in Applied Fluid Mechanics


Dan received his MEng degree in Automotive Engineering from AAE, Loughborough University in 2012, followed by a PhD in 2016. Following his PhD, Dan was appointed as a Research Assistant and then Associate in the Department, contributing to a number of research contracts including those funded by ATI, Innovate UK, Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Caterpillar and Rolls-Royce. In 2020, he was appointed as Lecturer in Applied Fluid Mechanics. His major research interests include experimental, optical based measurements for fluid mechanics and the techniques of analysis of large datasets including Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) approaches.

Dan has an interest in applications across the department, particularly in vehicle aerodynamics and propulsion and power systems. He is a member of the Caterpillar Innovation and Research Centre. Within the department, Dan is a member of the Vehicle Aerodynamics Research Group, and is the responsible academic for the Wind Tunnel Facilities.


  • Research Assistant, Loughborough University, 2016 - 2017
  • Research Associate, Loughborough University, 2017 - 2020
  • Lecturer in Applied Fluid Mechanics, Loughborough University, 2020 - present


  • PhD, ‘Influence of Asymmetric valve timing on the in-cylinder flow of the internal combustion engine’, Loughborough University, 2016.
  • MEng(hons), 1st Class in Automotive Engineering, Loughborough University, 2012.
  • Diploma in Industrial Studies, Loughborough University.
  • ILM level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills, 2019.

Key Awards:

  • Santander Mobility Award, 2018. Awarded to initiate collaborative research with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), USA


Outline of current main research interests:

Experimental optical measurement of fluids ranging from internal flows, including those of internal combustion engines and gas turbines to vehicle aerodynamics. Key interests include optical diagnostic techniques for the measurements of fluid flows and their application in complex configurations, as well as the development of statistical and processing techniques for experimental data.

Dan has published journal and international conference papers in these areas, particularly:

  • Proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) for coherent structure identification
  • Linear stochastic estimation (LSE) as a tool for velocity data processing and flow volume estimations
  • Planar image velocimetry, including tomographic and stereo PIV
  • Internal flow distribution of fuel cell (PEMFC) materials
  • I.C. engine processes including alternative fuels & GDi sprays

Grants and contracts:

  • 2019-20 [Co-I]: Optical measurement of gas turbine internal passage flows
  • 2020-21 [Co-I]: System Optimisation Using Local Aerodynamic Inserts (feasibility). Funded by Advanced Propulsion Centre and Caterpillar


Current teaching responsibilities:

  • TTB039 – Ground Vehicle Aerodynamics (Module Leader)
  • TTB101 – Low Speed Aerodynamics
  • TTD014 – Experimental Fluid Mechanics
  • TTP452 – Vehicle Aerodynamics
  • Part C, D and MSc Individual Project supervision

Recent publications:

Publications in 2019:

  1. Parker, M, Jiang, C, Butcher, D, Spencer, A, Garner, C, Witt, D (2019) Impact and observations of cylinder deactivation and reactivation in a downsized gasoline turbocharged direct injection engine, International Journal of Engine Research, ISSN: 1468-0874. DOI: 10.1177/1468087419882817.
  2. Jiang, C, Parker, M, Butcher, D, Spencer, A, Garner, C, Helie, J (2019) Comparison of flash boiling resistance of two injector designs and the consequences on downsized gasoline engine emissions, Applied Energy, 254, 113735, ISSN: 0306-2619. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.113735.
  3. Butcher, D and Spencer, A (2019) Time-volume estimation of velocity fields from nonsynchronous planar measurements using linear stochastic estimation, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, 141(10), 101004, ISSN: 0742-4795. DOI: 10.1115/1.4044240
  4. Fly, A, Kim, K, Gordon, J, Butcher, D, Chen, R (2019) Liquid water transport in porous metal foam flow-field fuel cells: a two-phase numerical modelling and ex-situ experimental study, Energies, 12(7), ISSN: 1996-1073. DOI: 10.3390/en12071186.
  5. Butcher, D and Spencer, A (2019) Linear stochastic estimation of the coherent structures in internal combustion engine flow, International Journal of Engine Research, ISSN: 1468-0874. DOI: 10.1177/1468087418824896

See Here for a full list of publications 

External collaborators:

  • Rolls-Royce
  • Caterpillar
  • Ford
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

External roles and appointments:

  • Member of the Rolls-Royce UTC in Combustion System Aerothermal Processes
  • Member of the Caterpillar Innovation and Research Centre
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Invited seminar:
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), USA, 2018
    • Referee for international journals e.g.:
      • International Journal of Engine Research
      • Flow Turbulence and Combustion
      • Energies



  • Santander Mobility Award, 2018. Awarded to initiate collaborative research with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), USA