Team

Professor Rob Miller

Chair in Aerothermal Technology and Whittle Lab Director

Biography

Positions Held:
2015-present, co-Director of the Centre of Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics.
2013-present, Chair in Aerothermal Technology, Cambridge University.
2013-present, Director of Rolls-Royce Whittle Laboratory University Technical Centre.
2010-2014, co-Lead of Cambridge University Engineering Department Theme - Inspiring Research Through Industrial Collaboration.
2009-2013, Reader in Energy Technology, Cambridge University.
2002-present, Fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
2001-2009, University Lecturer in Turbomachinery, Cambridge University.
1999-2001, College Lecturer, New College, Oxford.
1996-1999, Spooner Junior Research Fellow, New College Oxford.

Education:
DPhil 1998, St Catherine's College, Oxford University.
MA 1993, St Catherine's College, Oxford University.

Honours and Awards:
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Gas Turbine Award 2010, 2014 and 2015.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) IGTI Turbomachinery and Heat Transfer Committee Best Paper Award, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016.
Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal 2010.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Air Breathing Propulsion Best Paper Award 2008.

Research topics

Professor Miller’s research is aimed at reducing the emissions of both air travel and land-based power production.  He has worked extensively with industry, presently undertaking research in collaboration with Rolls Royce, Mitsubishi, Siemens and Dyson.

Over the next 20 years improving core gas turbine efficiency will play a key in enabling the development of the next generation of aeroengine such as Rolls-Royce’s Advance and UltraFan engines. This will involve engine cores shrinking, rises in pressure ratio and rises in efficiency.  It will also involve the development of novel turbine cooling schemes and improvements in the designs of combustor turbine module.  The Whittle Laboratory, in collaboration with Rolls Royce and the UK Aerospace Technology Institute, is currently working on a range of technologies designed to underpin this future generation of small ultra-high efficiency cores.  

To achieve a step improvement in jet engine efficiency requires a change from the conventional gas turbine cycle developed by Frank Whittle.  One method of achieving a 20% reduction in fuel consumption is to replace the conventional steady combustor with one in which the fuel is periodically burnt, known as a pressure gain or constant volume combustor.  The Cambridge Pressure Gain Combustion Group has developed a range of technologies designed to both maximise combustor pressure gain and efficiently couple the combustor with neighbouring turbomachinery. 

Off-shore renewable power forms a critical pillar in the UK’s future energy policy.  As a result, in 2010, Cambridge Tidal Turbine Group was formed.  By understanding the unsteady hydrodynamics of the device the group aims to both extend the life of the device and improve in-service power output.

Publications & updates

Predicting the Operability of Damaged Compressors Using Machine Learning

Authors:

Taylor, J., Conduit, B., Dickens, A., Hall, C., Hillel, M., & Miller, R.

Publication:

ASME Turbo Expo 2019

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.38691

Download paper

The Effect of Non-Equilibrium Boundary Layers on Compressor Performance

The paper investigates the effect of non-equilibrium behaviour of boundary layers on the profile loss of a compressor. The investigation is undertaken using both direct numerical simulation (DNS) of a mid-height section of a compressor blade and a reduced order model, MISES. The solutions are validated using experimental measurements made in the embedded stage of a multistage low speed compressor. The paper shows that up to 35% of the suction surface boundary layer of the compressor blade exhibits non-equilibrium behaviour. The size of this region reduces as the Reynolds number is increased. The non-equilibrium behaviour was found to reduce profile loss in most cases, however, in a range of cases where transition occurs through a small separation the presence of non-equilibrium behaviour was found to increase profile loss.

Authors:

Andrew P. S. Wheeler, Anthony M. J. Dickens, Robert J. Miller

Publication:

Journal of Turbomachinery

DOI:

10.1115/1.4040094

Download paper

Design of Compressor Endwall Velocity Triangles

Authors:

Kiran Auchoybur, Rob Miller

Publication:

Journal of Turbomachinery

DOI:

10.1115/1.4035233

Download paper

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