Rolls Royce UTCin Combustion System Aerothermal Processes

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training

In Gas Turbine Aerodynamics

PhD Studentships

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics is an exciting partnership that brings together three internationally recognised universities, Loughborough, Cambridge and Oxford and global industry partners to create a unique consortium for turbomachinery training and research.

The CDT in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics is a four year programme which comprises of year one study at the University of Cambridge for an MRes in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics. The MRes provides a platform to the PhD phase in years 2 to 4, where students undertake an industrially-focused PhD project.

The three-year industrially-focussed PhD project at Loughborough University will be based within the Rolls-Royce Technology Centre (UTC). PhD projects will be developed during the first year which will be relevant to current and future technologies being developed by Rolls-Royce. Loughborough has a specific track record of research excellence in gas turbine aerodynamics, one of the three major components of turbomachinery (compressor, combustor and turbine). CDT students will hugely benefit from the network of experts and the portfolio of skills that they have built up at the heart of the CDT.

Several four-year studentships are available with funding for UK and EU students only covering tuition fees and an annual tax-exempt stipend of £18,748, which includes an additional industry top-up of £4,223 (2017/18 rate). Please refer to EPSRC for further information on student eligibility.


The CDT in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics follows a "1+3" model. In year one, students study for a new University of Cambridge master’s degree in gas turbine aerodynamics. In years 2 to 4, students undertake an industrially-focussed PhD project at Loughborough University.

Year 1 MRes

The MRes in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics is a University of Cambridge degree.

Part 1 - Modules

During Part 1 of the MRes (October-December) students undertake a combination of core and elective modules.

  • Foundation concepts (Introductory course)
  • Advanced turbomachinery aerodynamics (Flagship MRes course in advanced aerodynamic concepts)
  • Turbomachinery aerodynamic design process (Fundamentals, and hands-on experience, of computational methods for blade design)
  • Experimental methods (Practical course in experimental fluid dynamics)
  • Researcher skills (Non-technical skills needed for successful research)
  • Elective modules
Part 2 - Mini-projects

In Part 2 (January-April), students experience working in the research laboratories of each of the three participating universities and also in industry. The mini-projects at Cambridge, Loughborough and Oxford will focus on compressor, combustor and turbine aerodynamics respectively; the industry courses will look at the challenges of integrating these, and other, components together into a successful machine.

Part 3 - Research proposal dissertation

For the final part of the MRes (May-September), students work with an individual supervisor, and a broader team of experts drawn from the CDT partners, to develop a detailed proposal for the PhD phase.

Year 2-4 PhD Phase

The MRes provides a springboard to the PhD phase of the CDT. Students register for a PhD at Loughborough University, one of the partner universities. Loughborough University provides an internationally recognised environment for gas turbine machinery research, but CDT students also benefit from the network of experts, and the portfolio of skills, that they have built up during the MRes phase. In addition, the full cohort is regularly reunited for CDT seminars and workshop events.


Entry into this exciting programme is competitive and will take account of qualifications, aspirations and experience. Successful applicants are likely to have an engineering background with some specialisation in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics; however students from related fields will also be considered.

To be eligible students must have, or be expected to gain, the minimum of 2:1 honours degree from a UK University or an equivalent standard from an overseas university. Non-UK applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. The majority of successful applicants must be eligible for EPSRC funding but a number of places are also available to those who fall outside this category.

How to apply

Applications for October 2018 entry are now open.  The deadline by which applications must be submitted is 29 June 2018.  However, places are very limited and will be allocated throughout the year, so early application is advised.

Applications for this programme should be made on the standard graduate admissions form, stating course code EGEGR5 (MRes in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics).

The MRes in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics is only available as part of the CDT in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics. On successful completion of the MRes, students will begin the PhD phase of the CDT.

In the Research Proposal section of the form, please enter Loughborough University as the university at which you would like to study for the PhD phase of the CDT.

General enquiries about the CDT programme at Loughborough University should be made to Sharon Hayward-Fryer.

Photo: PIV of the air flow inside a combustor