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Thomas Povey Professor of Engineering Science


Thomas Povey BA DPhil MA

Professor of Engineering Science

Tacchi Fellow in Engineering Science

Tutorial Fellow of University College

TEL: 01865 288767
COLLEGE: University College


Professor Thomas Povey is a Professor of Engineering Science and a Tutorial Fellow of University College, where he is also the Tacchi Fellow in Engineering Science. He completed a degree in Physics at St Catherine’s College Oxford, followed by a DPhil in Engineering Science (Turbomachinery) in the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics at Oxford University.

Following his DPhil, Tom was appointed as the Rolls Royce Industrial Fellow at St Catherine’s College before taking up his current post as Tutorial Fellow at University College in 2004. In 2008 he took up the Tacchi Fellowship in Engineering Science, and in 2014 became a Professor of Engineering Science.

His research group pioneered accurate metal effectiveness measurement techniques, ultrahigh-accuracy engine capacity measurement techniques, and high frequency (10 KHz) cooling modulation methods by acoustic optimisation of cooling holes. Tom has published more than 70 papers in turbomachinery conferences and journals, with an emphasis on turbine performance, heat transfer, and combined aero/cooling problems. He has supervised about 50 final year projects and eight finished PhD theses.

Tom is a founder Technical Director of Oxford Flow, a manufacturer of high-performance pressure regulators for the water, oil and gas industries.

Research Interests

The High Speed Turbomachinery Group, led by Professor Thomas Povey, conducts combined theoretical, computational and experimental work in the following areas:

  • Turbine performance
  • Turbine capacity measurement
  • Nozzle guide vane rotor cooling optimisation
  • Combustor turbine interaction effects
  • Measurement techniques in turbines
  • High speed facility design
  • Aerodynamic probe design and calibration

We are also interested in advanced instrumentation for flow measurement. The following areas are of particular interest:

  • Measurements of angle in highly swirling flows (such as in modern combustors)
  • Measurement of flow (Mach, Temperature, Angle) in aggressive environments
  • High frequency temperature measurements in highly unsteady (turbine) environments
  • Minature probes for measurements in moderately (M < 2) supersonic flow
  • Advanced IR camera techniques for metal effectiveness measurements.


DPhil Opportunities

I am interested in discussing possible DPhil/PhD positions with genuinely exceptional students who have an interested in combined theoretical, computational and experimental work any of the areas listed in my research interests page.