Rolls Royce UTCin Combustion System Aerothermal Processes


Professor Adrian Spencer BEng, PhD, MIMechE, CEng

Photo of Professor Adrian Spencer

Reader in Thermo-fluid Dynamics

Deputy Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Combustion System Aero-thermal Processes

Research Group: 
Applied Aerodynamics


Research interests:
Experimental Thermofluid Dynamics.


Senior Lecturer in Thermo-fluid Dynamics.

Member of the Rolls-Royce UTC in Combustion System Aerothermal Processes since its formation in 1991.


  • Advanced measurement techniques applied to gas turbine flows for diagnostic purposes.


  • BEng, Mechanical Engineering, Nottingham University, 1990
  • PhD, ‘Gas Turbine Combustor Port Flows’, Loughborough University, 1998

Past Positions:

  • Engineer, Rolls-Royce, Derby, 1989-1991
  • Research Associate, Loughborough University, 1991-1997
  • Lecturer in Thermo-fluid Dynamics, Loughborough University, 1997-2005
  • Secondment to CFDRC inc, Alabama, USA, 2002
  • Senior Lecturer in Thermo-fluid Dynamics, Loughborough University, 2005-date
  • Deputy Director of the UTC, 2012-date
  • Head of the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, 2013-date


Experimental Thermofluid Dynamics. Key interests lie in optical measurement techniques applied to gas turbine flows for diagnostic purposes, including PIV, PLIF and LDA. Utilising these methods in novel configurations to increase measurement accuracy and/or flow physics understanding underlies this activity. Additional interest lies in instrumentation development for accurate measurements more generally including probe based devices, two-phase flows, accurate validation and boundary condition data for LES predictions and advanced analysis techniques such as coherent structure identification.

Selected research projects:

  • KIAI – Knowledge for Ignition, Acoustics and Instabilities, EU FP7, 2009 – 2013.
  • SILOET - Development of advanced gas-path stagnation temperature probes, TSB, 2010-2012.
  • STARGATE - Impact of unsteadiness on gas-path pressure and temperature measurments, EU FP7, 2012-2015.


Aeronautical Engineering, Loughborough University:

  • High Speed Aerodynamics (TTB201)
  • Turbomachinery and Propulsion (TTB203)
  • Gas Turbine Design (TTC050)
  • Experimental Fluid Mechanics (TTD014)
  • Propulsion Design for the Environment (TTD105)
  • Part C and D Individual Projects

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics:

  • Fuel Injector Aerodynamics
  • Advanced Experimental (Optical) Methods

External Activities

  • Member of the East Midlands Universities Military Education Committee, 2007-date
  • Member of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics
  • Member if the Rolls-Royce UTC in Combustion System Aerothermal Processes
  • PhD Examiner
  • External Examiner, MSc Aerospace Dynamics, 2012-date
  • Reviewer for the 2014 research grants committee, NSERC, Canada
  • Referee of Papers for International Journals:
    • Transactions of the Americal Society of Mechanical Engineers
    • Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers
    • Flow Turbulence and Combustion
    • Experiments in Fluids
  • Invited Lectures
    • US DOE/Air Force funded consortium to develop LES for combustors
    • Institute for Technical Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry, University of Karlsruhe
    • Fachgebiet Energie-und Kraftwerkstechnik, Technische Universität Darmstadt


Publications and Awards

View Publications for Adrian Spencer


  • Research-informed Teaching Award, Loughborough University, 2013
  • PhD Student, David Hollis, Awarded Osborne Reynolds Prize 2005, for best Postgraduate research project in turbulence and combustion.