Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
EngineeringOur research

Research Group: Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics

Currently Active: 

Head of Group: Professor John Shrimpton The Group is engaged in leading-edge research in fundamental fluid dynamics, computational aeroacoustics, applied aerodynamics and flight dynamics. Our members include experts in theoretical, computational and experimental fluid mechanics and we aim to provide an environment in which these different approaches can be combined and focused on particular topics with practical relevance.

Wind turbines
Wind turbines

Our research often involves the coordinated use of experiments and simulation, together with associated modelling and theory. Experiments are used to provide fundamental insight into fluid flow and enable validation of computer codes. One of our important research areas is exploring the improvement of computer simulation tools. Practical applications of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are often limited by numerical methods, flow models and a lack of data for validation. The principal difficulties relate to problems involving transition to turbulence and turbulent flow itself.

Recent progress in simulation techniques offers new opportunities for exploitation within the Group, which is at the forefront of developments in direct and large-eddy simulation of turbulence. Currently, there is no universally applicable CFD code. Our strategy is to develop codes suitable for particular fluid flow phenomena. As a result, we have considerable expertise in code development, validation and optimisation for different scalar and parallel computer architectures and we collaborate closely with high-performance computer centres in the UK.

We are particularly strong in the research areas of:

  • high-speed flows
  • fluid mechanics
  • applied aerodynamics and aeroacoustics
  • rotorcraft design and aircraft operations
  • industrial aerodynamics.

We continue to enjoy close connections with the aerospace industry and have achieved Defence and Aerospace Research Partnership (DARP) status in Rotorcraft Aeromechanics and in Modelling and Simulation of Turbulence and Transition for Aerospace. We also host the UK Turbulence Consortium, exploiting national high-performance computing resources for simulation of turbulent flows.

Contact us

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Building 13 (Tizard)
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
Southampton SO17 1BJ

Faculty Administrative officers: Richard Allan/Lucy Graves

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 2936/7658



The group has excellent computational and experimental facilities. A range of high performance workstations are available, supplemented by local parallel computers based on commodity processors. Additionally the UK Turbulence Consortium, which is led from within the group, provides access to the largest supercomputers in the country.

A range of wind tunnels are used for research. The two largest facilities have test sections measuring 3.5m by 2.6m and 2.1m by 1.7m respectively and are equipped with rolling roads, three-axis laser doppler anemometry and motor drive systems for propeller testing. Further facilities allow research to cover the full spectrum of low-speed, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic flow. A flight simulation laboratory is being used to develop cost effective simulation tools for the aerospace industry.

Income from commercial use of the wind tunnels is re-invested to maintain the tunnels as state-of-the-art facilities. Our current improvements are working towards tunnel cooling and advanced instrumentation.

Postgraduate programmes:

The group offers two MSc programmes:




List of related projects to Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics
Related ProjectsStatus
All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit InfrastructureActive
JERONIMO: JEt noise of high bypass RatiO eNgine: Installation, advanced Modelling and mitigatiOnActive
Universality of fine-scale turbulenceActive
Ab initio hydrodynamic rough surface characterisation with applicationsActive
Aerofoil separation bubblesActive
Aspects of Reduced Order Modelling in Nonlinear SystemsActive
Energy Harvesting for Active Aeroelastic ControlActive
Engineering of surfaces for drag reduction in water with validation using computational and experimental methodsActive
Evaluation of CFD Methods on Slender Missile ConfigurationsActive
Experimental and Theoretical Investigations of Lymphatic Fluid Flows and ImmunologyActive
Impact of Aerodynamic and Structural Nonlinearities on Gust Loads PredictionActive
Influence of Aerodynamic Models on Flight SimulationActive
Jet noise mechanismsActive
Low-frequency unsteadiness of a shock-wave/boundary-layer interactionActive
Minimising the environmental impact of advanced aircraft designsActive
Modelling next generation CROR aircraftActive
Numerical study of turbulent manoeuvering-body wakesActive
Physics and control of turbulent wall-flowsActive
Spectral leading-edge serrations for the reduction of aerofoil-turbulence interaction noiseActive
Split-injection diesel engine modellingActive
Supersonic axisymmetric wakesActive
Technology for Improving Re-Entry Predictions of European Upper Stages through Dedicated Observations Active
Towards biologically-inspired active-compliant-wing micro-air-vehiclesActive
The effects of high speed flows on transonic turbine tip heat transfer and efficiencyActive
Turbulent spots in high-speed boundary layersActive
Remote sensing of turbulenceDormant
Dispersion of Small Inertial Particles in Characteristic Atmospheric Boundary Layer FlowsDormant
Exascale ComputingDormant
Turbulent Gravitational Separation of Mixed WasteDormant
Two Fluid Shower Technology for Reduced Energy and Water UseDormant
Share this research group Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings