Department of Engineering / Profiles / Prof. Holger Babinsky

Department of Engineering

Prof. Holger Babinsky FREng


Holger Babinsky

Professor of Aerodynamics

Academic Division: Energy, Fluids and Turbomachinery (Head of Division)

Research group: Fluids

Telephone: +44 1223 3 39721



Research interests

Professor Babinsky researches fundamental and applied aerodynamics with application to aerospace, transport and energy production. Particular focus areas are transonic/supersonic flows, unsteady aerodynamics and road vehicles. His research is predominantly experimental but includes theoretical and numerical studies in collaboration with other groups across the globe.

A key element of his research, spanning more than 30 years, is the study of shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions (SBLIs) and their control with application to wings and engine inlets. This includes shock control (e.g. shock control bumps) and boundary-layer control (e.g. micro-vortex generators for separation mitigation). He has co-edited, together with Prof. J. Harvey, the only textbook dedicated to SBLIs. A further focus of recent research has been the aerodynamics of flapping wings and wing/gust encounters where fundamental experiments have helped identify the key mechanisms responsible for unsteady force production. He has also helped to improve the efficiency of long-haul road haulage vehicles by making use of experience gathered over many years in the field of Formula 1 aerodynamics.

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Flow control for transonic aircraft wings; aerodynamic improvements of long-haul road freight vehicles; investigation of transonic aircraft engine inlets at high angles of attack.

Other positions

  • Fellow of Magdalene College
  • Editor-in-Chief of Aeronautical Journal (world's oldest journal dedicated to Aeronautics)
  • Associate Editor of Experiments in Fluids
  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society


Holger Babinsky graduated with a distinction in Aerospace Engineering from Stuttgart University in Germany. He obtained a PhD in hypersonic aerodynamics from Cranfield University (UK) in 1994. After 18 months as Research Associate at the Shock Wave Research Centre of Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan he returned to the UK to take up a position at the University of Cambridge.

Department role and responsibilities

Head of Division A (Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery)