Research director

Professor Ricardo F. Martinez-Botas

Ricardo F. Martinez-BotasProfessor in Turbomachinery

Ricardo leads the turbochargers research group. He has an MEng (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London and obtained a DPhil from St John's College, Oxford University in 1993 with his thesis on “Annular Cascade Aerodynamics and Heat Transfer”.

His main area of research is in aerodynamics and heat transfer of turbomachines. The applications relate to aircraft engines, power generation gas turbines, turbochargers and hybrid vehicles. In heat transfer engineering, a significant contribution has been made to the understanding of cooling components, primarily by means of experimental novel measuring techniques.

In turbocharger aerodynamics, an understanding of the unsteady effects in turbines under realistic engine conditions has been reported. To achieve this, a high speed dynamometer has been developed capable of extending current measuring range of turbochargers.

Research staff

Dr Aaron W. Costall

Research Fellow

Aaron holds both MEng and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London, and is a chartered mechanical engineer. His main interests lie in advanced turbocharger models to enable optimized IC engine performance and fuel consumption over real-life duty cycles, electrically-assisted turbocharging and thermal energy recovery in IC engines.

After completing his PhD, from 2007 Aaron spent five years as a Research Engineer and Senior Research Engineer with Caterpillar Inc., working in the Engine Research division based at Perkins Engines in Peterborough, UK. In 2012 Aaron moved to Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe B.V. in the Netherlands, where he was responsible for engine-turbocharger matching process improvement. He returned to Imperial College London as a Research Fellow in 2014.

Dr Peter J. Newton

Research Associate

Peter graduated from Imperial College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2007. He spent two years working as a structural analyst in the power sector before returning to Imperial College London to undertake a PhD in the Turbocharger Group in 2009. His PhD research was sponsored by ABB Turbosystems and focussed on the effect of unsteady flows on the aerodynamics of a double entry turbine.

Having completed his PhD in 2013 he is now the UTM Research Fellow in the Centre for Low Carbon Transport, based at Imperial College London. His research interests lie in turbine fluid dynamics, waste heat recovery from automotive engines and high speed and hot gas flow measurement.

Mr Harminder Flora

Mr Harminder FloraResearch officer

Harminder joined the IC MechEng Thermal Power research group in 1986 under the leadership of the late Professor Neil Watson who at the time was leading research in turbochargers. Since then, as Research Officer he has supported numerous automotive powertrain related research proje cts including development of the Active Control Turbocharger (ACT), development of high speed dynamometer used for turbocharger testing, cavitation in diesel injector nozzles, validation of simulation model for dies el fuel injection systems and development of a pparatus for the measurement of piston ring lubricant film.

Harminder’s departmental duties include CAD teaching, supporting Mechanical Engineering and RCA’s IDE student projects and IDEAs Lab coordinator.

Academic visitors

Dr Srithar Rajoo

Srithar Rajoo is Director of the UTM Centre for Low Carbon Transport in cooperation with Imperial College London, a joint research initiative. He is also Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). He obtained his PhD from Imperial College London in 2007 on the subject of unsteady performance of variable geometry mixed flow turbines.