New insights into laminar-turbulent transition mechanisms on aircraft

25 October 2016

Vincent Auditorium, Vincent Building 52a


Chris will discuss recent experimental investigations into laminar-turbulent transition phenomena carried out at City University in the National Low-Turbulence Wind Tunnel. The work feeds in to a number of ATI/InnovateUK funded collaborative projects co-ordinated by Airbus and Bombardier Aerospace. Applications cover swept wing flows, surface imperfections and structural vibration, effectiveness of suction panels, and transition mechanisms in high-lift configurations. Chris will also reflect on the importance of such insight to the development of commercially-successful laminar flow aircraft.

Speaker Details

Prof Chris Atkin

Chris Atkin was educated at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, and St John’s College, Cambridge. He read Engineering as an undergraduate, winning the Royal Aeronautical Society prize in 1986, and then studied for a PhD in transonic aerodynamics. In 1991 Chris joined British Aerospace Commercial Aircraft Ltd at Hatfield, relocating to Woodford a year later before joining the Defence Research Agency at Farnborough in 1994. He was appointed PSO in 1997 and, following the formation of QinetiQ plc, became a QinetiQ Fellow in 2003, eventually being appointed Technical Manager for Aerodynamics and Aeromechanical Systems. After a spell at QinetiQ Bedford, in 2008 Chris took up the chair in Aeronautical Engineering at City University London and, over the next five years, served first as department head and then Head of School. Returning to a more traditional academic role in 2013, he resumed his research into aircraft fuel efficiency, with support from UK industry, the Aerospace Technology Institute, the UK Research Councils and the European Union. Chris has been a member of numerous national committees over the years and is presently a member of the Aerospace Growth Partnership Strategy Working Group.

Chris attended his first lecture at the RAeS in his early teens and has been a Fellow of the Society since 2002. He was first elected to Council in 2010, helped to re-shape the governance of the Society in 2011 and was chair of the Professional Standards Board from 2012-2015. He has also served on the Registration Standards Committee of the Engineering Council and will join the Board of Trustees of the Engineering Council in June 2015. Chris is a member of the Bedford branch of the Society, sits on the editorial committee of the Aeronautical Journal and represents the Society on the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, where he is a member of the executive committee.


Vincent Auditorium, Vincent Building 52a