ACSE Professor is awarded medal for long-term contribution to flight simulation field

Emeritus Professor and Chair of Computer Systems Engineering at ACSE, Dave Allerton, has been awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society's (RAeS) 2017 Flight Simulation Medal for his outstanding long-term contribution in the field of flight simulation.

Professor Allerton was awarded the medal by the President of the RAeS, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, at the 2017 Medals and Awards Ceremony in late November for his influential contribution to flight simulation research.

Professor Allerton said: “I am delighted to be recognised for my work on flight simulation research, which helps make a difference to new technologies developed by civil and military aerospace companies and benefits pilots and airline passengers across the world.

Dave Award

“The flight simulation group of the RAeS has made a major contribution to advances in aviation safety over the last 30 years. It is very rewarding to receive an award from this group for my research in this field.”

Throughout his career, Professor Allerton’s work has underpinned the modern approach to flight simulation as a basis for flight crew training. He is the author of the internationally recognised standard reference work on the subject, Principle of Flight Simulation (2009).

Professor Allerton’s research and expertise in this area has led him to contribute to work on improving aircraft models and systems, which enables companies such as Boeing and Airbus to develop and test new technologies and models in a safe but realistic environment.

He joined the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield in 2002 as the Chair of Computer Systems Engineering after previously working at the University of Southampton and the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield University.

He is currently working on the TRANSIT research project, funded by the UK's EPSRC (Engineering at Physical Sciences Research Council), which aims to develop a new system for major international airports which should help to reduce the time an aeroplane spends taxying, potentially saving millions of pounds in fuel and significantly reducing air pollution and the environmental impact of wasted fuel.

Flight simulators artificially recreate an aircraft in flight, including the environment in which it flies. Pilots and flight crews use them in training to experience the effects of flying an aeroplane without ever leaving the ground.

The research Professor Allerton has carried out includes looking into the effect of wake vortices on aircraft which can be serious and have caused fatal accidents in the past. By simulating the aerodynamics of an aircraft encountering wake vortices, we can gain greater insight into the effects of this dangerous phenomenon and increased knowledge in order to mitigate the risks.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, said: “His work at Southampton, Cranfield and Sheffield Universities has brought him into direct contact with several generations of graduates and engineers who have all been witness to his enthusiasm and willingness to share knowledge.”