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Professor Martin Davy


Martin Davy

Associate Professor of Engineering Science

Fellow of Exeter College

TEL: 01865 273182


Professor Martin Davy is a Mechanical Engineer with somewhat of an unusual background for an Oxford academic.

After leaving school in 1978, he worked variously as: a construction labourer, a storeman and service receptionist in a variety of motorcycle shops and car dealerships, a car valeter and a bodyshop estimator, before finding himself in the early 1990s helping to run a motor racing team in Brazil. He finally decided to consider his late father’s oft repeated advice to “get a proper job” shortly after his 32nd birthday. He subsequently completed his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at UCL in 1996 and gained his PhD from the same institution in 2000.

Martin joined Oxford and Exeter in 2013 having previously held faculty positions at UCL, the University of British Columbia and Loughborough University. He is still looking for a “proper job”.

Prizes and Awards

Research Interests

Martin's main research interest is in internal combustion engines, and particularly the combustion processes in compression ignition engines, where his research has a strong focus on pollutant reduction. He also has interests in in-cylinder heat transfer, atomization and sprays, and the use of alternative fuels—including gaseous fuels—for both transportation and stationary applications.

Martin currently leads Oxford’s activities in the EPSRC Prosperity Partnership, "Centre of Excellence for Hybrid Thermal Propulsion Systems",  having previously led the joint University of Oxford / Jaguar Land Rover “Centre of Excellence for Compression Ignition Engine Combustion Research”, and Oxford's involvement in the EPSRC sponsored project, “Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels”.

DPhil Opportunities

Enquiries from potential research students (graduate and undergraduate) are welcome.


In the first year at Exeter, Martin teaches the P4 “Energy” paper, which includes Electricity and Magnetism, Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics and Dimensional Analysis. He also teaches elements of the P3 “Structures and Mechanics” paper.

In the second year, he teaches the Applied Fluids, Heat & Mass Transfer, and Thermodynamics content of the A4 “Energy Systems” paper, along with Vibrations and Dynamics of Machines in the A3 paper, “Structures, Materials and Dynamics”.

Within the Department of Engineering Science, Martin lectures the Powertrain module of the Final Year C1 Automotive Engineering course and supervises 1st and 2nd year Thermofluids laboratory classes and a 3rd year project on Chemical Energy Storage.