The aim of my research is to improve the fuel efficiency of turbomachinery used for power generation, reducing both economic and environmental costs. Investigation of the physics involved in such turbomachinery brings new understanding, which is then used to guide the design of future, more efficient machines. What makes this field appealing to me is the rigorous thermodynamic and fluid-mechanic analyisis of realistic, industrial problems.
Modelling methods for turbomachinery design: What is the most efficient way to predict the performance of a new design of a particular component of the machine? The answer will depend on the physical mechanisms which determine the component performance, and the modelling fidelity required to capture those mechanisms.
Unsteady flows in turbomachines: A common turbomachinery modelling assumption is the assumption of steady flow relative to each blade row. This is facilitated by a circumferential mixing procedure between rows, which is unrealistic. Apart from this, does the neglect of unsteady flow in itself change the answer? Why should it, if the unsteady fluctuations are linear?
- Gas turbine secondary air system: The main-stream flow path has already been extensively studied, and improvements in efficiency are hard to come by. The same investigative effort has not been applied to the secondary air system, used for cooling and sealing against the hot main-stream gas, so there are still gains to be had in this area.