Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr James Dawson

Department of Engineering

Dr James Dawson


Senior Research Associate (EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow)

Academic Division: Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery

Research group: Fluid Mechanics



Research interests

My group is experimentally focused and carried out research in a variety topics from turbulent flows to gas turbine combustion. Our overall aim is to develop the physical understanding which ultimately improve applications.

The development of new low-emission concepts in gas turbines for both aero and power applications are often hindered by thermo-acoustic instability. We have been the first group to develop a laboratory scale annular combustor which can generate self-excited azimuthal instabilities similar to those that occur in real engines. Advanced experimental methods, including high-speed laser diagnostics to image the flame are used to understand the behaviour of instabilities in annular geometries. The aim is to identify the physics that need to be incorporated into combustion and acoustic models to make them truly predictive.

Achieving low-emissions requires a much better understanding of turbulence and turbulent mixing, especially at the small-scales if suitable models are to be developed. We have developed various experimental methods including, high-speed scanning PIV, tomographic PIV, for measuring the full velocity gradient tensor, and simultaneous velocity and scalar measurements to cast new light on turbulence and turbulent mixing in jets in cross-flow, round jets and isotropic turbulence.