Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Professor Jeff Howell PhD

Photo of Professor Jeff Howell

Visiting Research Fellow


Jeff graduated in 1969 with a B.Sc in Aeronautical Engineering from Queen Mary College, University of London. He started his career in the aircraft industry, working in the 13x9 wind tunnel at the British Aircraft Corporation in Weybridge. He returned to university in the early 70’s to carry out research for a PhD in car aerodynamics under Adam Scibor-Rylski at the City University London. He then spent 10 years of research on the aerodynamics of very high speed magnetically levitated trains at Warwick University before joining the car industry with Rover.

For nearly 20 years Jeff was head of Aerodynamics at Rover, then Land Rover and finally Jaguar Land Rover and was responsible for the development of all cars from the Rover 800 to the Discovery 3.

He took early retirement in 2005 and subsequently joined Loughborough University as a Visiting Research Fellow while also becoming Head of Aerodynamics at the Tata Motors European Technical Centre. Jeff was with Tata Motors for almost 10 years but is now retired. Over the years he has worked on the aerodynamics of most forms of ground transportation, from bicycles to Bonneville cars, and from trucks to trains.


  • PhD Vehicle Aerodynamics The City University, London 1977
  • Visiting Research Fellow at Loughborough University since 2005

Research Interests

  • Vehicle aerodynamics and, in particular, road vehicle aerodynamics.
  • Base pressure

Recent publications:

  • J.P. HOWELL, ‘Aerodynamic Drag in a Windy Environment’, IMechE – International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference 2014, Loughborough University, October 2014. 
  • J. HOWELL, ‘Aerodynamic Drag of Passenger Cars at Yaw’, SAE 2015-01-1559, 2015.
  • J. HOWELL, S. PANAGRAHI, ‘Aerodynamic Side Forces on Passenger Cars at Yaw’. SAE 2016-01-1620, 2016.
  • J. HOWELL, D. FORBES, M. PASSMORE, G. PAGE, ‘The Effect of a Sheared Crosswind Flow on Car Aerodynamics’. SAE 2017-01-1536, 2017.
  • J. HOWELL, D. FORBES, M. PASSMORE, ‘A Drag Coefficient for Application to the WLTP Driving Cycle’. Proc. IMechE Part D: J. Automobile Engineering, Special Edition: Road Vehicle Aerodynamics, Vol 231(9), 2017.
  • J. HOWELL, E. RAJARATNAM, M. PASSMORE, ‘Streamlined Tails – the Effect of Truncation on Aerodynamic Drag’. SAE 2020-01-0673, 2020.

Selected papers:

  • J.P. HOWELL, P. S. NEWNHAM, M.A. PASSMORE, ‘Effect of Free Stream Turbulence on Road Vehicle Aerodynamics’. Progress in Vehicle Aerodynamics and Thermal Management V, Editor J. Wiedemann, FKFS, Stuttgart, October 2007.
  • J.P. HOWELL, G.M. LE GOOD, ‘Effect of Backlight Aspect Ratio on Vortex and Base Drag for a Simple Car-Like Shape’. SAE 2008-01-0737, 2008.
  • J.P. HOWELL, T.L. HAYNES, ‘The Influence of Lift on the Underbody Drag for Cars’. 7th MIRA International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference, Coventry, October 2008.
  • J.P. HOWELL, J. BADEN FULLER, M.A. PASSMORE, ‘The Effect of Free Stream Turbulence on A-Pillar Airflow’. SAE 2009-01-0003, 2009.
  • J.P. HOWELL, J. BADEN FULLER, ‘A Relationship between Lift and Lateral Aerodynamic Characteristics for Passenger Cars’. SAE 2010-01-1025, 2010.
  • J.P. HOWELL, ‘The Aerodynamic Development of the Tata Vista EVX X-Prize Competition Car’. 8th MIRA International Vehicle Aerodynamics Conference, October 2010.

View publications in our central  publications database