Dr Robert Howell
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Senior Lecturer in Experimental Aerodynamics
Director of Aerospace Engineering
+44 114 222 7725
Full contact details
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Dr Howell studied for his PhD at the Whittle Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. His research, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, focused on the unsteady aerodynamics of low-pressure turbines. He joined Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery in 2002 and worked in many areas of gas turbine design including aerodynamics and heat transfer.
- Research interests
Dr Howell runs a research group with PhD students researching areas such as:
- Wind turbine performance and aerodynamics (effects of unsteady winds, gust response and turbine start-up performance)
- Tidal turbine performance and tidal farm layout
- Aircraft wing stall control using synthetic jets and other forms of control
Wind Tunnel and Experimental Facilities available:
Dr Howell designed and had built a new low speed wind tunnel for research and teaching purposes. His research group has state of the art experimental facilities available including PIV, LDV and a number of load cells for the measurement of aerodynamic forces.
Large scale wind tunnel specifications:
- Working Section: 1.2 x 1.2 x 3m
- Maximum Velocity: 22m/s or 50 mph.
- Contraction Ratio 6:1
- Turbulence intensity: 0.5% (can be increased if required)
- Reynolds Number / m = 1,200,000
- Unsteady gust generation: +/-15% at 10m/s at 2Hz
- The Scoraig wind trials – in situ power performance measurements of locally manufactured small wind turbines. Wind Engineering, 45(3), 727-749. View this article in WRRO
- The performance and hydrodynamics in unsteady flow of a horizontal axis tidal turbine. Renewable Energy, 133, 1338-1351. View this article in WRRO
- Experimental investigation of the influence of solidity on the performance and flow field aerodynamics of vertical axis wind turbines at low Reynolds numbers. Renewable Energy, 92, 474-483. View this article in WRRO
- Minimising microbubble size through oscillation frequency control. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 104, 357-366. View this article in WRRO
- A hybrid actuator disc - full rotor CFD methodology for modelling the effects of wind turbine wake interactions on performance. Renewable Energy, 80, 525-537. View this article in WRRO
- Visualising Dynamic Stall Around a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Blade Through Particle Image Velocimetry, 223-238.
- PIV measurements and CFD simulation of the performance and flow physics and of a small-scale vertical axis wind turbine. Wind Energy, 18(2), 201-217. View this article in WRRO
- WindNet: Improving the impact assessment of wind power projects. AIMS Energy, 2(4), 461-484. View this article in WRRO
- WindNet: Improving the impact assessment of wind power projects. AIMS Energy, 2(4), 461-484.
- Engineering and Energy Yield The Missing Dimension of Wind Turbine Assessment. Energy Policy. View this article in WRRO
- A Numerical Investigation into the Influence of Unsteady Wind in the Performance of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. Journal of Applied Energy, 116. View this article in WRRO
- Tidal Energy machines: A comparative Life Cycle Assessment. IMechE Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment. View this article in WRRO
- A numerical investigation into the effects of fluctuating wind on the performance of a small scale vertical axis wind turbine. Engineering Letters, 21(3), 149-157.
- An Experimental Investigation into the Influence of Unsteady Wind on the Performance of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. Journal of Applied Energy, 107, 403-411. View this article in WRRO
- A numerical study of blade thickness and camber effects on vertical axis wind turbines. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A, Journal of Power and Energy. View this article in WRRO
- Novel Experimental Power Curve Determination and Computational Methods for the Performance Analysis of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines. Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 134(3).
- Locally Manufactured Micro Wind Turbines for Rural Electrification: A Developing Countries Perspective.. Energy Policy, 43(0), 173-183.
- Life cycle comparison of a wave and tidal energy device. Part M: J. Engineering for the Maritime Environment, 225(4), 325-337.
- Unsteady Flow Simulation and Dynamic Stall Behaviour of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Blades. Wind Energy, 35(4), 511-527.
- Wind tunnel and numerical study of a small vertical axis wind turbine. RENEW ENERG, 35(2), 412-422. View this article in WRRO
- Loss reduction on ultra high lift low-pressure turbine blades using selective roughness and wake unsteadiness. AERONAUT J, 111(1118), 257-266.
- The role of transition in high-lift low-pressure turbines for aeroengines. PROG AEROSP SCI, 41(6), 419-454.
- Bladerow interactions, transition, and high-lift aerofoils in low-pressure turbines. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 37, 71-98.
- Blade row interaction, Transition and High Lift Aerofoils in Low-Pressure Turbines. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 37, 71-98.
- Boundary Layer Development in the BR710 and BR715 LP Turbines - The Implementation of High Lift and Ultra High Lift Concepts. ASME Jnl. of Turbomachinery, 124(3), 385-392.
- Boundary Layer Development in the BR710 and BR715 LP Turbines: The Implementation of High Lift and Ultra High Lift Concepts. Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Marine; Turbomachinery; Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery.
- High Lift and Aft Loaded Profiles for Low Pressure Turbines. ASME Jnl of Turbomachinery, 123(2), 181-188.
- The role of research in the aerodynamic design of an advanced low-pressure turbine. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy, 213 Part A, 235-242.
- Development of blade profiles for low pressure turbine applications. ASME Journal of Turbomachinery, 119(3), 531-538.
- Development of blade profiles for low pressure turbine applications. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Paper).
Conference proceedings papers
- Effect of Fluctuated Flow on Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines at Various Tip Speed Ratios. To be added. Indonesia, 13 October 2021 - 13 October 2021.
- The influence of unsteady flowto the performance of a horizontal axis tidal turbine. Lecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science, Vol. 2236 (pp 656-661)
- Design Analysis of a Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine. Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC 2016), 24 October 2016 - 28 October 2016.
- Effect of Idealised Unsteady Flow to the Performance of Horizontal Axis Tidal Turbine. Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC 2016), 24 October 2016 - 28 October 2016.
- Investigating the Role of Wind Turbine Pitch using CFD. MATEC Web of Conferences, Vol. 59 (pp 06004-06004)
- View this article in WRRO EFFECT OF THE VELOCIT PROFILE OF INCOMING FLOW ON THE PERFORMANCE OF A HORIZONTAL AXIS TIDAL STREAM TURBINE. 2nd Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC). Tokyo, Japan, 28 July 2014 - 31 July 2014.
- Development of Velocity Flow Field Measurement Method Around a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Blade Using Particle Image Velocimetry. Proceedings of the World Congress on Engineering. London, UK, 2 July 2014 - 4 July 2014.
- Development of velocity flow field measurement method around a vertical axis wind turbine blade using particle image velocimetry. Lecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science, Vol. 2 (pp 1184-1189)
- The Performance of a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine in Fluctuating Wind – A Numerical Study. IAENG (ISBN: 978-988-19251-0-7). London, 3 July 2013 - 5 July 2013.
- An experimental investigation into the influence of unsteady wind on the performance of a vertical axis wind turbine. 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013
- Post-installation Analysis of Locally Manufactured Small Wind Turbines: Case Studies in Peru. 3rd IEEE International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies, ICSET 2012 (pp 396-401). Kathmandu, 24 September 2012 - 27 September 2012.
- Numerical Study of the Influence of Solidity by Altering Blade Chord on the Performance of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines. 4th Wind Power Africa Conference and Renewable Energy Exhibition. Cape Town South Africa, 28 May 2012 - 30 May 2012.
- Locally Manufactured Wind Power Technology for Sustainable Rural Electrification. The Global Dimension in Engineering Education Conference. University College London, March 2012 - March 2012.
- Effects on the Performance of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines with Unsteady Wind Inflow: A Numerical Study. 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition. Nashville, Tennessee, USA, 9 January 2012 - 12 January 2012.
- Wind Power for the Poorest 2 Billion. http://www.ewb-uk.org/system/files/Our%20Global%20Future%20-%20Research%20%2526%20Education%20Conference%202011_Proceedings.pdf. Royal Academy of Engineering, London, 4 March 2011.
- Initial Characterisation of Convoluted Vortex Flow Structures for Hybrid Rocket Applications. CEAS 2009 European Air & Space Conference. Manchester, 26 October 2009 - 29 October 2009.
- Unsteady Flow Simulation and Dynamic Stall around Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Blades. AIAA-2008-1319. Reno, Navada, USA, 7 January 2008 - 10 January 2008.
- Wind Tunnel and Numerical Study of a Small Vertical Axis Wind Turbine. 27th ASME Wind Energy Symposium(AIAA-2008-1316). Reno, Nevada, 7 January 2008 - 10 January 2008.
- Wind tunnel and numerical study of a small vertical axis wind turbine. 46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
- Unsteady flow simulation and dynamic stall around vertical axis wind turbine blades. 46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit
- High Lift Low Pressure Turbines. Minnowbrook III: Boundary Layer Transition and Unsteady Aspects of Turbomachinery Flows. Minnowbrook, Syracuse Univ., 20 August 2000 - 23 August 2000.
- High Lift and Aft Loaded Profiles for Low Pressure Turbines. Volume 3: Heat Transfer; Electric Power; Industrial and Cogeneration, 8 May 2000 - 11 May 2000.
- Development of blade profiles for low pressure turbine applications. ASME 1996 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition, GT 1996, Vol. 1
- Computational Model for Microbubble Enhanced Performance of Airlift Bioreactor (ALB). USES Conference Proceedings
- POWER CURVE MEASUREMENTS OF LOCALLY MANUFACTURED SMALL WIND TURBINES. Proceedings of 8th PhD Seminar on Wind Energy in Europe. ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 12 September 2012 - 14 September 2012.
- POWER CURVE MEASUREMENTS OF LOCALLY MANUFACTURED SMALL WIND TURBINES - PART II. 9th PhD Seminar on Wind Energy in Europe. Uppsala University Campus Gotland, Sweden, 18 September 2013 - 20 September 2013.
- A Numerical Study of Influence of Blade Profile and Solidity on the Performance of Vertical Axis Wind Turbines. 51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition. Dallas/Ft. Worth Region, Texas, 7 January 2013 - 10 January 2013.
- The Role of Research in the Aerodynamic Design of an Advanced LP Turbine. 3rd European Conference on Turbomachinery: Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics (pp 123-132). London, March 1999.
- Separation Bubble Interactions with Turbulent Spots and Wakes in the Turbomachinery Environment at a Reynolds of around 130,000. Minnowbrook III: Boundary Layer Transition and Unsteady Aspects of Turbomachinery Flows. Minnowbrook, Syracuse Univ., 20 August 2000 - 23 August 2000.
- The Calmed Region And Its Significance In Low Pressure Turbines. Boundary layer transition in turbomachines. Minnowbrook, Syracuse Univ., 7 September 1997 - 10 September 1997.
- Unsteady flow: its role in the low pressure turbine. 9th International Symposium on Unsteady Aerodynamics,Aeroacoustics and Aeroelasticity of Turbomachin. Lyon, France., 4 September 2000 - 8 September 2000.
Theses / Dissertations
- Teaching activities
- AER/MEC345 - Aerospace Propulsion
- AER298/MEC208- Fluid Mechanics
- MEC385 - Aerospace Group Design Project (experimental aerodynamic testing)