Professor of Computational Aerothermal Design
Academic Division: Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery
Research group: Turbomachinery
Telephone: +44 1223 3 39837
Dr. Pullan's research interests are the aerodynamic design of turbomachinery and the associated computational methods. Improvements to the aerodynamic performance of turbines and compressors reduce the environmental impact of jet engines and power stations.
A successful recent project has been the development of the Turbostream computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. Turbostream 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 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.
The speed of Turbostream was used to tackle the problem of compressor stall. In a collaborative project with colleagues at MIT's Gas Turbine Lab, computations and experiments were used to discover the origin and structure of "spike-type" rotating stall.
All aerodynamic design is constrained by mechanical or overall machine layout considerations. In some cases, such as low aspect ratio turbine blades, or compressor stages with large flow extraction ("bleed") requirements, the constraints are particularly challenging. Dr. Pullan's research uses CFD and rig testing to develop novel aerodynamic solutions to these problems.