New funding for wind tunnel research
City University London is among seven universities benefiting from equipment funding for the new National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF) which seeks to place the UK at the forefront of aerodynamics and fluid mechanics research.
The total funding for the Facility is £13.3 million, with £10.7 million coming from The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and £2.6 million from the UK Aerodynamics Centre. The NWTF, which was recently unveiled by Minister for Science and Universities, David Willetts, will include seventeen wind tunnels located at universities across the UK. Any UK institution requiring access to high-quality research facilities will be directed towards these wind tunnels.
The equipment will also support in-house research conducted by Professors Chris Atkin and Mike Gaster and Dr Simon Prince (Senior Lecturer in Aeronautical Engineering), using the recently acquired Gaster low turbulence wind tunnel and the existing T5 high-speed wind tunnel. The Gaster wind tunnel is uniquely suited to the study of laminar-turbulent transition. The idea of a National Wind Tunnel Facility originated at City and Professor Atkin believes that it bodes well for City's continued presence in the aerospace sector:
"This award brings the total amount of UK government funding won by City in 2013
for aerodynamics facilities, instrumentation and research, to £1.4M, with another £600,000 of research proposals at the evaluation stage. We plan to become a significant academic partner in the new UK Aerospace Technology Institute over the next seven years, against the backdrop of a further £1.7 billion of industry and government funding being made available to this strategically important industrial sector."
Professor Atkin adds:
"We are obviously quite pleased with this development which has bolstered our decision to invest in unique wind tunnel facilities at City. The idea of a collective national facility came out of City. It emerged from the research done over the last five years by Dr Simon Prince".
Dr Prince's analysis of UK aerodynamic test facilities led in part to the establishment of the UK Aerodynamics Centre, which will be of significant benefit to the entire UK aerospace research community.
The National Wind Tunnel Facility elevates City's research profile in the aerospace sector. The University joins an elite grouping of higher education institutions in the field, such as University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University of Southampton, University of Glasgow and Cranfield University.