Dr Christopher Clark

Dr Christopher Clark, MA, MEng, PhD.

I will be supervising the first year Engineering students in the mechanical side of the course. This covers the topics of mechanics, structural mechanics, aerodynamics and thermodynamics as well as materials. I currently run Thermofluids examples classes for both 1st and 2nd year engineering undergraduates.
For applicants
I would advise applicants for engineering to research the Cambridge course and the interview process in advance. Having a single supervisor for such a large fraction of the course is unique to Queens' and a key advantage in the colleges teaching method, enabling similar concepts between the subjects to be explained and links to be made. Another difference to Queens' engineering teaching method is a larger use of group classes. The use of whole year examples classes to tackle frequently encounter problems frees up time in supervisions to cover individual difficulties.
My research focuses on turbomachinery - rotating machines used to compress or expand gas - in particular my research has been applied to aerospace gas turbines. Within this field my research has focused on turbine design - the hot end of a jet engine - trying to understand the various loss sources, such that an effective compromise can be made between them. Through this work I have undertaken many experimental campaigns which have introduced their own questions, widening my interests into experimental methods such as novel probe design and calibrations. How aerodynamic design is undertaken is also undergoing rapid change at present. The increase in computing power has made generating large datasets of aerodynamic simulations possible. I am currently working on how big data can be applied to both accelerate the design process and improve the outcome.
I supervise fourth year undergraduates for their Masters projects as well as running University Research Opportunity(UROP) summer placements for undergraduates on the Engineering Tripos. These projects have covered topics ranging from pneumatic probe design to helium turbines for future space launch vehicles. I organize and run short projects that form part of the masters year of the Center of Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics (2013-2019). These projects incorporate using modern simulation tools to tackle real world problems, this being tested experimentally. They also represent the introduction for the students to experimental methods in fluids.
My university role is as a Rolls-Royce Turbines Research Associate at the Whittle laboratory. I undertake research aimed at helping the aerospace and power industry reduce its carbon emissions. I am part of the team behind the successful bid (2018) for the future National Center for Propulsion and Power, based on the west Cambridge site. This facility aims to cover the UKs, and wider aerospace and power generation industries, experimental testing needs for the next 40 years. I am currently involved in the design, management and delivery of this project as it develops.
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