Department of Engineering / News / Dr James Taylor’s advances in jet engine technology honoured with award

Department of Engineering

Dr James Taylor’s advances in jet engine technology honoured with award

Dr James Taylor’s advances in jet engine technology honoured with award

Dr James Taylor

Dr James Taylor, Rolls-Royce Compressor Research Fellow at the Department’s Whittle Laboratory, has been awarded a medal for two significant breakthroughs in jet engine compressor technology.

We have to understand more about the science of jet engines in order to create the sustainable designs of the future. Tackling these challenges in aviation is truly inspiring, with a focus on greater efficiency, lower emissions and less waste.

Dr James Taylor

The Royal Aeronautical Society’s 2019 Honours, Medals and Awards celebrate achievement, innovation and excellence in the global aerospace and aviation community.

Dr Taylor, whose advances in jet engine technology could eventually save up to 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, was one of three recipients of the Society’s Bronze Medal awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of aerospace art, science and engineering.

Dr Taylor has developed new understanding of the three-dimensional aerodynamic failure mechanism that limits the performance of compressors, leading to the development of a novel three-dimensional blade design philosophy. He has also developed a machine learning method that can more accurately determine the aerodynamic effects of in-service compressor blade damage from bird strikes, for example. This reduces disruption to service.

His discoveries have been described by Professor Robert Miller, Chair in Aerothermal Technology and Director of the Whittle Laboratory, as “major breakthroughs”.

Dr Taylor said: “We have to understand more about the science of jet engines in order to create the sustainable designs of the future. Tackling these challenges in aviation is truly inspiring, with a focus on greater efficiency, lower emissions and less waste. I’m honoured to receive this award from the Royal Aeronautical Society.”

Sir Brian Burridge, Chief Executive of the Royal Aeronautical Society, said: “Since 1909, when Wilbur and Orville Wright came to London to receive the Society’s first Gold Medal, we have honoured those who have made outstanding contributions to aerospace. The achievements of 2019’s winners are just as impressive – in technological innovation, in tackling aviation’s contribution to climate change, and in making aeronautics more inclusive and inspiring for the scientists of tomorrow.”

About Dr James Taylor

Dr Taylor completed his degree in mechanical, aerospace and aerothermal engineering in 2011, and began a PhD in three-dimensional compressor aerodynamics at the University of Cambridge in the same year. 

Currently, he is a Research Fellow at the Whittle Laboratory in collaboration with Rolls-Royce. He specialises in aerodynamic improvements to engine efficiency, three-dimensional flow topology, machine learning techniques and in-service performance of aero engine components. His other projects include collaborations with Siemens and Reaction Engines Ltd. 

He is also a Fellow of King’s College Cambridge where he teaches undergraduate engineers and proclaims the benefits of studying and researching thermofluid mechanics.

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