MEC463: Advanced Aerospace Propulsion Technology

Autumn Semester
Optional on Programmes: MECT50


Aerospace propulsion is an important and wide subject from the very powerful rocket to the very small unmanned electrical driven propeller. Even for a single subject such as rocket propulsion, there are many different designs, using very different propellants. This module will help you learn about the principles of each propulsion device, their characteristics and applications.

Prof Yang Zhang, Module Lead

Module Description

This module enhances students’ foundational knowledge by introducing a more specialist Level 7 understanding of major aero propulsion devices. For example, the rocket design will be mastered from the design lessons and innovations of the rockets of historical importance. The more in depth analysis of the alternative air breathing engines such as ramjet, scramjet, and synergistic air-breathing rocket engine will be investigated. Then the advanced gas turbine off-design performance will be analysed. The advanced gas turbine combustion will also be investigated. Finally, the recent explosive development of electric/hybrid propulsion and aircraft will be examined.

Key Concepts & Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of the process of design, the different stages in developing concepts.

Teaching Methods

• Lectures

• Tutorials

• Independent studies including revision for examination

Assessment Methods

• 100% Exam: 80% of the contents will be taught material in class; 20% of the content will be from a self-investigation and analysis project.

Module Aims

• Teach students to assess rocket design performance from the success and error of rockets of historical importance, the current important rockets and the future rockets under development;

• Support students in drawing on existing engineering knowledge to analyse alternative and emerging air breathing engines such as ramjet, scramjet, synergetic-air breathing and rocket engine, pulse jet, pulse detonation engine and rotational detonation engine;

• Empowering students to carry out advanced gas turbine off-design performance and to investigate advanced gas turbine combustion in order to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution;

• To introduce students in investigating electric/hybrid propulsion and aircraft, which have undergone significant development recently.

• Facilitate students in drawing on their existing foundational understanding of (mechanical) engineering to understand emerging technologies and applications.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students, including undergraduate and postgraduate taught scholarships towards the annual tuition fee. Applications are open for existing offer holders.