Dr Graham Pullan

Reader in Aerothermal Engineering


Dr Graham Pullan is Reader in Aerothermal Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He completed his PhD in 2001 at the Whittle Laboratory and has continued his research there - first as the Rolls-Royce/Trinity Hall Research Fellow (until 2008) and then as a member of the academic team. His research is focussed on the three-dimensional aerodynamic design of turbomachinery, and on the development of the computional methods required to achieve this. He has received: the 2012 ASME Gas Turbine Award; ASME IGTI Best Paper Awards in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016; the 2013 Rolls-Royce Howes Ruffles prize.

Research topics

Improvements to the aerodynamic performance of turbines and compressors are directly linked to reductions in the enviornmental impact of jet engines and power stations.

Accelerated computational analysis

The Turbostream flow solver has been written to run efficiently on the modern many-core processors found in graphics cards. These chips have hundreds of cores and Turbostream can utilise them to run an order magnitude faster than a traditional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code. This has a major impact on design where either the number of candidate blades, or the fidelity with which they are analysed, can be greatly increased.

dbslice is an interactive web-based post-processing tool for the analysis of large numbers of computations (or experiments). 

Compressor operability

Rotating stall limits the operation of compressors at low flow rates. In a collaborative project with colleagues at MIT's Gas Turbine Lab, computations and experiments were used to discover the origin and structure of the "spike-type" stall inception process.

At part-speed, flow is removed from the compressor to maintain stability. Research using a compressor rig (corroborated by CFD) has revealed the impact on compressor performance of removing air non-uniformly from the compressor circumference.

Novel turbine aerodynamic concepts

Conventional wisdom dictates that low aspect ratio (span-to-chord ratio) blades have a poor aerodynamic performance. A recent project using a novel "splitter blade" concept has shown that significant improvements can be made. 

Publications & updates

A Web-Based Database Approach to CFD Post-Processing


Graham Pullan


AIAA 2017-0814



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Modeling Nonuniform Bleed in Axial Compressors


Grimshaw, S.D., Pullan, G. and Hynes, T.P.


Journal of Turbomachinery (2016) Vol. 138, Issue 9, Article 091010



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Bleed Induced Distortion in Axial Compressors


Grimshaw, S.D., Pullan, G. and Walker, T.


Journal of Turbomachinery (2015) Vol. 137, Issue 9, Article 101009



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