Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Dr Daniel Butcher MEng, DIS, PhD

Photo of Dr Daniel Butcher

Research Associate


Dan received a MEng degree in Automotive Engineering from Dept. AAE, Loughborough University in 2012, followed by a PhD from the same department in 2016. The topic of research was the influence of asymmetric valve strategies on the in-cylinder flow of the I.C. engine which was nominated for the Richard Way memorial prize for Most outstanding PhD thesis in the area of internal combustion engine research by UnICEG (Universities Internal Combustion Engine Group).

He then worked as a Research Associate in the department from 2016, firstly in multiplane PIV measurements in I.C. engines before joining the Rolls-Royce UTC in 2017 working in gas turbine combustor aerodynamics.


  • MEng (hons) in Automotive Engineering, Loughborough University, 2012
  • PhD, Loughborough University, 2016
  • ILM Level 2 in Leadership and Team Skills, Loughborough University, 2019

Key Awards: 

  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) since 2018
  • Awarded the Santander Mobility Award, 2018

Outline of main research interests: 

Experimental study of internal flows, including those of internal combustion engines and gas turbines. 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:

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


Current teaching responsibilities:

  • TTB101 – Low Speed Aerodynamics
  • TTD014 – Experimental Fluid Mechanics
  • Part C and D Individual Final Year Projects

Recent publications:

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 StudyEnergies, 12, 1186, ISSN: 1996-1073.

Butcher, D and Spencer, A (2019) Linear stochastic estimation of the coherent structures in internal combustion engine flowInternational Journal of Engine Research, ISSN: 1468-0874. DOI: 10.1177/1468087418824896.

Petrakides, S, Butcher, D, Pezouvanis, A, Chen, R (2018) On the Combustion of Premixed Gasoline—Natural Gas Dual Fuel Blends in an Optical SI engine, Journal of Power Technologies, 98(5), pp.387-395, ISSN: 2083-4187.

Fly, A, Butcher, D, Meyer, Q, Whiteley, M, Spencer, A, Kim, C, Shearing, PR, Brett, DJL, Chen, R (2018) Characterisation of the Diffusion Properties of Metal Foam Hybrid Flow-fields for Fuel Cells using Optical Flow Visualisation and X-ray Computed TomographyJournal of Power Sources, 395(2018), pp.171-178, ISSN: 0378-7753. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2018.05.070.

Butcher, D, Spencer, A, Chen, R (2018) Influence of asymmetric valve strategy on large-scale and turbulent in-cylinder flowsInternational Journal of Engine Research, 19(6), pp.631-642, ISSN: 1468-0874. DOI: 10.1177/1468087417725232.

Petrakides, S, Gao, D, Chen, R, Butcher, D, Wei, H (2016) Experimental Study on the Burning Rate of Methane and PRF95 Dual FuelsSAE International Journal of Engines, 9(2), pp.1117-1129, ISSN: 0096-736X. DOI: 10.4271/2016-01-0804.

External roles and appointments:

  • Invited seminar:
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), 2018 
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Referee of papers for international journals:
    • International Journal of Engine Research