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portrait of Professor Chris Atkin

Professor Chris Atkin

Head of Engineering, Professor of Aeronautical Engineering

School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics

Contact Information


Visit Chris Atkin

CG02, Tait Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Professor Chris Atkin is an international authority on the prediction and control of boundary layer flows, in particular for the purposes of skin friction drag reduction by means of laminar flow control. He has provided advice and modelling software to Airbus, Bombardier, QinetiQ, EADS and the UK Ministry of Defence. Prof. Atkin's current academic interests focus on innovative flow control techniques for persistent UAVs and low-emission transport aircraft. He also maintains a strategic interest in commercial and technical barriers to the application of flow control on future commercial aircraft projects.

After completing his research into transonic shock-boundary layer interactions at Cambridge (1990), during which he gained a grounding in both experimental and computational fluid dynamics, Prof. Atkin joined British Aerospace Commercial Aircraft at Hatfield where he began his involvement in Laminar Flow Control (LFC) research and his relationship with the UK and European drag reduction community.

Following a move to BAe Regional Aircraft at Woodford Prof Atkin joined the Defence Research Agency, later to become the Defence, Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), at Farnborough in 1994. From 1991 - 1998 Prof. Atkin was responsible for the development of accurate, fast and robust theoretical aerodynamic methods for the analysis of hybrid laminar flow control (HLFC) wings to the point where they were adopted by BAE SYSTEMS, Airbus UK, the Aircraft Research Association and almost all academic research centres for this technology in the UK. In 1998 Prof. Atkin began to combine his robust aerodynamic tools with realistic system performance models and undertook a number of research projects on novel HLFC design concepts which would maximise the performance benefit at overall aircraft level (rather than just from the viscous drag perspective).

Prof. Atkin stayed at DERA through its privatisation as QinetiQ in 2001 and stock market floatation in February 2006. He became Technical Manager of the Aerodynamics department within QinetiQ in 2006. In 2008 he moved to City University London to lead the Aeronautics Centre within the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and is now Assistant Dean with responsibility for undergraduate programmes in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics.

Prof. Atkin is a member of the Council of the Royal Aeronautical Society, an Associate Editor of the Aeronautical Journal and a trustee of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Charitable Education Trust.


  1. PhD Transonic Aerodynamics, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1991
  2. MA Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1990
  3. BA Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1986


  1. Interim Dean, City, University of London, Aug 2012 – Mar 2013
  2. Deputy Dean, City, University London, Apr – Jul 2012
  3. Assistant Dean, City, University London, Oct 2008 – Nov 2011
  4. Professor of Aeronautical Engineering, Research Foundation of The City University of New York, Jan 2008 – present
  5. Technical Manager for Aerodynamics & Aeromechanical Systems, Air Division, Qinetiq (United Kingdom), Jun 2006 – Dec 2007
  6. Fellow in Aerodynamics & Flow Control, Qinetiq (United Kingdom), Oct 2002 – Dec 2007
  7. Principal Scientific Officer, Defence Evaluation & Research Agency, Apr 1997 – Dec 2007
  8. Senior Scientific Officer, Defence Research Agency, Apr 1994 – Apr 1997
  9. Senior Research Engineer, British Aerospace Commercial Aircraft Ltd, Jan 1991 – Jul 1994

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. Executive Committee Member, International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, 2012 – present
  2. Chair, Professional Standards Board, Royal Aeronautical Society, 2012 – present
  3. Registration Standards Committee Member, Engineering Council, 2011 – present
  4. Council Member, Royal Aeronautical Society, 2010 – present
  5. CEng, Engineering Council, 1997 – present
  6. Fellow, Royal Aeronautical Society, 1991 – present

Research Students

Erwin Ricky Gowree

Attendance: Oct 2009 – Apr 2014

Thesis title: Influence of Attachment Line Flow on Form Drag

Further information: Includes 6-month secondment to EADS.


Chapters (2)

  1. Atkin, C. (1996). Correlation between linear stability analysis and crossflow transition near an attachment line. In Henkes, R. and van Ingen, J. (Eds.), Transitional Boundary Layers in Aeronautics (p. 145). North-Holland.
  2. Atkin, C. and Poll, D.I.A. (1996). Correlation between linear stability analysis and crossflow transition near an attachment line. In Henkes, R.A.W.M. and Ingen, J.L. (Eds.), Transitional boundary layers in aeronautics Royal Netherlands Academy of. ISBN 978-0-444-85812-2.

Conference papers and proceedings (33)

  1. Crowley, B. and Atkin, C. (2018). Laminar-turbulent transition mechanisms over widely-spaced suction holes.
  2. van Bokhorst, E. and Atkin, C. (2017). Wall forcing of the secondary crossflow instability. 47th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference 5-9 June, Denver, colorado.
  3. gowree, E.R. and atkin, C.J. (2017). On the excitation of Tollmien-Schlichting waves due to surface vibration. 52nd 3AF International Conference on Applied Aerodynamics 27-29 March, Lyon, France.
  4. Fumarola, I., gaster, M. and atkin, C. (2017). Experimental investigation of the vorticity amplification on a swept wing with a blunt leading edge. 52nd 3AF International Conference on Applied Aerodynamics 27-29 March, Lyon, France.
  5. Atkin, C.J. and Veerasamy, D. (2016). EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF AEROFOIL-WAKE INDUCED TRANSITION IN BOUNDARY LAYERS. 30th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences 25-29 September, Daejeon, Korea.
  6. Coelho, L., Placidi, M., Atkin, C. and Sun, Z. (2016). Experimental Investigation of a Handley Page Triple Slotted Aerofoil. 2016 Applied Aerodynamics Conference 19-21 July, Bristol, UK.
  7. Crowley, B.J. and Atkin, C.J. (2016). Investigation of the discrete effects of suction in large scale arrays for Laminar flow control.
  8. Placidi, M., van Bokhorst, E. and Atkin, C.J. (2016). On the effect of discrete roughness on the growth of crossflow instability in very low turbulence environment.
  9. van Bokhorst, E., Placidi, M. and Atkin, C. (2016). The influence of the spatial frequency content of discrete roughness distributions on the development of the crossflow instability.
  10. Miao, X., Zhang, Q., Atkin, C. and Sun, Z. (2016). End-wall secondary flow control using engineered residual surface structure.
  11. Alderman, J., Rolston, S., Gaster, M. and Atkin, C. (2016). A method of reducing the drag of transport wings.
  12. Gowree, E.R. and Atkin, C.J. (2016). Staggered three-dimensional cavities as a possible method for skin friction drag reduction.
  13. Fumarola, I. (2016). An experimental investigation on the freestream turbulence upstream of a swept wing.
  14. jagadeesh, C., gowree, and atkin, C. (2016). Development of a quantitative Schlieren imaging technicque for acoustic waves. 51st 3AF International Conference on Applied Aerodynamics Strasbourg, France.
  15. Crowley, B.J. and Atkin, C.J. (2016). Investigation of the discrete effects of suction in large scale arrays for Laminar flow control.
  16. Alderman, J., Rolston, S., Gaster, M. and Atkin, C. (2016). A method of reducing the drag of transport wings.
  18. Atkin, C. and Backer Dirks, T. (2015). SYSTEMS DRIVEN HLFC DESIGN. 50th 3AF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON APPLIED AERODYNAMICS 30 Mar 2015 – 1 Apr 2015, Toulouse.
  19. Gowree, E.R. and Atkin, C.J. (2014). Incompressible turbulent flow at the leading edge of swept wings.
  20. Atkin, C.J. (2014). Convergence of calculated transition loci during computational analysis of transonic aerofoils and infinite swept wings.
  21. Atkin, C. and Gowree, E.R. (2012). RECENT DEVELOPMENTS TO THE VISCOUS GARABEDIAN AND KORN METHOD. 28th International congress of the Aeronautical Sciences 24-27 September, Brisbane, Australia.
  22. Atkin, C. and Durka, T. (2012). Influence of N-factor selection of predicted performance of NLF aerofoils. RAeS Applied Aerodynamics Conference 17-19 July, Bristol, UK.
    47th International Symposium of Applied Aerodynamics 26-28 March, Paris, France.
  24. Atkin, C. (2008). Friction & Form Drag Reduction – Research Opportunities. KATNET 2 Drag Reduction Workshop October, Ascot, UK.
  25. Atkin, C. (2008). Laminar flow control: Leap or creep? 38th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference and Exhibit June, Seattle.
  26. Arthur, M.T. and Atkin, C.J. (2006). Transition modelling for viscous flow prediction. AIAA 36th Fluid Dynamics Conference June, San Francisco.
  27. Atkin, C.J., Sunderland, R. and Mughal, M.S. (2006). Parametric PSE Studies on Distributed Roughness Laminar Flow Control. AIAA 3rd Flow Control Conference June, San Francisco.
  28. Atkin, C. and Mughal, M.S. (2005). Parametric Studies on the Application of Distributed Roughness Elements for Laminar Flow Control. 35th AIAA Fluid Dynamics Conference June, Toronto.
  29. Atkin, C.J. (2004). Performance trade-off studies for a retrofit Hybrid Laminar Flow Control system. 2nd AIAA Flow Control Conference June, Portland OR.
  30. Atkin, C. (2002). Predicting the mission performance of a retrofit Hybrid Laminar Flow Control system. CEAS Aerospace Aerodynamics Research Conference June, Cambridge, UK.
  31. Atkin, C. (2001). Developments in laminar boundary layer theory for transition prediction using PSE. RAeS Aerodynamics Conference April, London.
  32. Atkin, C. and Schrauf, G. (2000). Progress in linear stability methods for design applications. ECCOMAS September, Barcelona.
  33. Atkin, C. (2000). New aerodynamic approaches to suction system design. DragNet Conference June, Potsdam.

Internet publication

  1. Atkin, C. (2009). eN: why it works; when it doesn’t; what’s next. ERCOFTAC.

Journal articles (14)

  1. Veerasamy, D. and Atkin, C. (2020). A rational method for determining intermittency in the transitional boundary layer. Experiments in Fluids, 61(1). doi:10.1007/s00348-019-2856-5.
  2. Dirks, T.B. and Atkin, C. (2019). A consolidated method for predicting laminar boundary layers on rotating axi-symmetric bodies. European Journal of Mechanics, B/Fluids, 75, pp. 271–278. doi:10.1016/j.euromechflu.2018.10.013.
  3. Gowree, E.R., Jagadeesh, C. and Atkin, C.J. (2019). Skin friction drag reduction over staggered three dimensional cavities. Aerospace Science and Technology, 84, pp. 520–529. doi:10.1016/j.ast.2018.11.001.
  4. Miao, X., Zhang, Q., Atkin, C., Sun, Z. and Li, Y. (2018). Improving Purge Air Cooling Effectiveness by Engineered End-Wall Surface Structures—Part II: Turbine Cascade. Journal of Turbomachinery, 140(9). doi:10.1115/1.4040854.
  5. Miao, X., Zhang, Q., Atkin, C., Sun, Z. and Li, Y. (2018). Improving Purge Air Cooling Effectiveness by Engineered End-Wall Surface Structures—Part I: Duct Flow. Journal of Turbomachinery, 140(9). doi:10.1115/1.4040853.
  6. Jagadeesh, C., Gowree, E.R., Jadidbonab, H. and Atkin, C.J. (2018). On the temporal analysis of acoustic waves using schlieren imaging. Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation, 116, pp. 507–513. doi:10.1016/j.measurement.2017.11.018.
  7. Bottemanne, M. and Atkin, C. (2018). Tool for sizing suction pumps for hybrid laminar flow control concepts. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research, 7(1), pp. 1–8. doi:10.18178/ijmerr.7.1.1-8.
  8. Gowree, E.R. and Atkin, C.J. (2017). Measurement and modelling of the turbulent boundary layer near the attachment line of a swept wing. Aeronautical Journal, 121(1240), pp. 746–769. doi:10.1017/aer.2017.30.
  9. Xu, H., Mughal, S.M., Gowree, E.R., Atkin, C.J. and Sherwin, S.J. (2017). Destabilisation and modification of Tollmien-Schlichting disturbances by a three-dimensional surface indentation. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 819, pp. 592–620. doi:10.1017/jfm.2017.193.
  10. Panagopoulos, I., Atkin, C. and Sikora, I. (2017). Developing a performance indicators lean-sigma framework for measuring aviation system's safety performance. Transportation Research Procedia, 22, pp. 35–44. doi:10.1016/j.trpro.2017.03.005.
  11. Gowree, E.R., Atkin, C.J. and Gruppetta, S. (2015). A simple digital-optical system to improve accuracy of hot-wire measurements. Measurement Science and Technology, 26(9). doi:10.1088/0957-0233/26/9/095303.
  12. Theodorakakos, A., Strotos, G., Mitroglou, N., Atkin, C. and Gavaises, M. (2014). Friction-induced heating in nozzle hole micro-channels under extreme fuel pressurisation. Fuel, 123, pp. 143–150. doi:10.1016/j.fuel.2014.01.050.
  13. Papadopoulos, K.P., Gavaises, M. and Atkin, C. (2014). A simplified mathematical model for thrombin generation. Medical Engineering and Physics, 36(2), pp. 196–204. doi:10.1016/j.medengphy.2013.10.012.
  14. Atkin, C. and Squire, L.C. (1992). A study of the interaction of a normal shock wave with a turbulent boundary layer at Mach numbers between 1.3 and 1.55. Eur. J. Mech. B/Fluids, 11(1).

Reports (26)

  1. Atkin, C. (2010). Callisto Developer's Guide (v3.5). London: City University.
  2. Atkin, C. (2010). Smart Fixed-Wing Aircraft: HLFDes refurbishment and validation of CVGK with suction modelling. London: City University.
  3. Atkin, C. (2010). Smart Fixed-Wing Aircraft: Validation of latest HLFDes developments against HYLTEC results. London: City University.
  4. Atkin, C. (2008). User Guide for Callisto v3.4. Bedford, UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  5. Atkin, C. (2008). Summary of the swept-tapered lag-entrainment boundary layer method in Callisto v3.4. Bedford, UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  6. Arthur, M.T. and Atkin, C. (2005). Progress with CFD transition modelling for military configurations. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  7. Gaster, M. and Atkin, C. (2005). Development of a rapid algebraic technique for transition modelling. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  8. Atkin, C. (2004). Improvements to Callisto during the CAST and NEXUS programmes. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  9. Atkin, C., Sunderland, R., Asselin-Miller, C.S. and Mughal, M.S. (2004). A Preliminary evaluation of Saric’s Distributed Roughness laminar flow control technique for swept wings. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  10. Asselin-Miller, C.S., Hackett, K.C. and Atkin, C. (2004). 2D Low Reynolds Number Aerofoil Test in the Queen Mary College Low Turbulence Wind Tunnel. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  11. Atkin, C. (2002). Calibration of non-local stability methods for use in HLFC design. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  12. Atkin, C. (2002). Summary of aerodynamic database compiled during HYLTEC sub-task 2.2. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  13. Atkin, C. (2002). Linear, non-local stability equations for swept-tapered wing boundary layers. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  14. Atkin, C. (2002). Approximate similarity solutions for compressible boundary layers with non-zero pressure gradient. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  15. Atkin, C. (2002). Callisto Developer's Guide (v2.10). Farnborough, UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  16. Atkin, C. (2002). 3D analysis of A310 wing HLFC retrofit & design-for-retrofit performance. Farnborough UK: QinetiQ Ltd.
  17. Atkin, C. (2001). Rapid analysis of 3D wing sections for transition prediction. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  18. Atkin, C. (2001). Review of porous panel over-suction criteria. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  19. Atkin, C. (2001). A new approach to designing the layout of HLFC chambers. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  20. Atkin, C. (2001). Suction chamber layouts for the A310 wing: retrofit and design-for-retrofit. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  21. Atkin, C. (1999). Application, validation and evaluation of non-linear PSE for real wing flows. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  22. Atkin, C. (1999). Transition modelling for airframe design and analysis: recent developments and future strategy. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  23. Atkin, C. (1998). Evaluation of non-local stability methods for industrial flows. Farnborough, UK: DERA.
  24. Atkin, C. (1997). Application of linear, non-local stability analysis to boundary layer flows. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  25. Atkin, C. (1997). A parabolic method for calculating laminar boundary layers. Part I: Theory. Farnborough UK: DERA.
  26. Atkin, C. (1996). Obtaining mean flow derivatives from a laminar boundary layer method. Farnborough, UK: DERA.

Software (6)

  1. Atkin, C. (2011). CoDS linear stability analysis for swept-tapered laminar boundary layers. London.
  2. Atkin, C. (2011). Callisto integral turbulent boundary layer analysis for swept-tapered wings. London.
  3. Atkin, C. (2011). VGK viscous Garabedian and Korn method for aerofoils and swept-tapered wings. London.
  4. Atkin, C. (2010). QinetiQ utility libraries (1). London.
  5. Atkin, C. (2010). QinetiQ utility libraries (2). London.
  6. Atkin, C. (2010). BL2D Swept-tapered laminar boundary layer method. London.

Other Activities

Editorial activity

  1. Deputy Chair of the Board of Associate Editors, Aeronautical Journal (RAeS).


  1. RAeS/City University International Training Conference. London (2009).
    Description: Conference to celebrate 100 years of education in Aeronautics at City University London.