Welcome! The purpose of this site is to act as a platform to let you all know what I’m doing both within my research and in my day-to-day life as a researcher. My hope is that this site will serve as a place for some reflection about my own research, and a place to document my own journey through the landscape of academia with the hope that others might find this interesting, helpful or even inspiring.

Watch this space for regular updates and please feel free to take a look around the site to get a bit more of an idea about my background, my research interests and my research publications to date. Also take a look at the ORC-101 section, which is focussed on covering some of the key scientific principles behind my research in an approachable way.

Latest news and updates

  • New(ish) PhD student

    Last Autumn it was great to welcome my first PhD student at the University of Sussex! A few month’s late, but let me introduce you to Charlie Westpfel who will be working with me to develop a new test rig to explore the wet-to-dry expansion of organic fluids. Fun times ahead! But for now, here’s an introduction from Charlie himself.

  • New paper alert: Integrated aerodynamic and mechanical design of the SCARABEUS turbine

    This latest paper was led by one of the PhD students that I co-supervise at City, University of London, and was a collaborative effort with the industrial partner working on the design of the turbine for the EU funded SCARABEUS project. This paper was first presented at ASME Turbo Expo 2023, before being recommended for journal publication. The paper provides an details on the aerodynamic and mechanical design of a large-scale multi-stage axial turbine operating with a novel working fluid - a blend of CO2 and sulphur dioxide.

  • ORC 2023 and release of pocketORC

    At the beginning of the month I attended ORC 2023, the leading conference on ORC power systems, and took the opportunity to launch pocketORC - a web-based calculator intended for teaching organic Rankine cycle power systems.

  • Wet-to-dry expansion: Part 3

    Great to have the next (and third) major instalment of research linked to my RAEng Research Fellowship out there. And enormous kudos to Pawel, for whom this paper is the first journal paper from his PhD research! Certainly one to be proud of.

  • Axial turbines for power cycles operating with supercritical carbon dioxide blends

    Back in 2021, I introduced supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles and CO2 blends on this blog. This was in the context of the SCARABEUS project, and the work that was getting started at City to design an axial turbine for a power cycle operating with CO2 blends. A couple years on, and the hard work of last few years is starting to pay off.

  • Congratulations to Salma Salah – my first co-supervised PhD to get over the finishing line

    This April saw another first milestone for me with my one of my first PhD students that I have had the privilege of co-supervising passing their viva examination. Of course, all the congratulations belong to Salma for all the hard work, but nonetheless as a supervisor it is really rewarding to look back and reflect on the journey of the past four years.

  • Beginning a PhD in parenthood

    It’s fair to say that 2022 has brought about some big changes, and not just because of my recent move to Sussex. Last year, a couple days before New Year’s Eve, my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world – and boy what an amazing, tiring, exciting, terrifying, joyful and rapid ten (and a half) months it’s been.

  • A new academic year and a new(ish) adventure

    Autumn is always my favourite time of the year. As a self-confessed family of ‘leaf-peepers’, with a couple autumnal trips to New England under our belt, it is lovely time to get outside and enjoy the nature is at its best. But also, having spent most of my life within education, either as a pupil, student or staff member, it has always a felt like a time for starting afresh with optimism abound – and a time when university campuses come alive after a dormant summer. And this year, change is certainly in the air.

  • Latest paper on shape optimisation of axial turbine blades for supercritical carbon dioxide blends

    Another paper from one of the PhD students that I co-supervise at City, University of London. Great to see this paper published after first being presented at the ASME Turbo Expo 2021, and subsequently being recommended for journal publication in the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power. The paper explores the shape optimisation of turbine blades for axial turbines operating supercritical carbon dioxide blends and integrates aerodynamic and mechanical design considerations to arrive at optimised geometries that provide maximum efficiency, whilst not exceeding the stress limitations of the material.

  • Latest paper from our group on axial turbine loss models

    Great to see the latest paper from one of our PhD students in our group that I co-supervise published after a long publishing journey! A nice paper exploring the resulting differences when different loss models are applied to the design of axial turbines operating with different working fluids.

  • Second paper from my RAEng Fellowship

    Super happy to have the second journal article from my RAEng Research Fellowship out there! Super proud of this one with some encouraging results. The paper explores the wet-to-dry expansion of organic fluids for power generation and it explores the role of non-equilibrium effects on the two-phase expansion process.

  • ORC2021 Part 2: The scientific bit

    In the first part of this two-part blog post I used the ORC2021 conference to reflect on my academic journey so far. In this second part, lets dig into what the presented research was all about - simulating an existing supersonic stator vane under two-phase inlet conditions. There is even the chance to watch the recorded presentation!

  • My academic journey from ORC2013 to ORC2021

    Last week was a welcome return to the 6th International Seminar on ORC Power Systems (albeit online) which has provided some opportunity for a little reflection – and provided the topic for a long overdue blog post.

  • First milestone of my RAEng Research Fellowship and my latest publication

    Last month, I hit one of the first major milestones of my Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship, which resulted in the first key publication of my fellowship research. Honestly, it has felt a relatively long time coming, but I can safely say that it is one of the pieces of research that I am most proud of. So, what is it all about?

  • An introduction to carbon dioxide blends as working fluids

    In my last post I introduced the topic of supercritical carbon power dioxide power cycles. Taking that a step further, this month, as part of the European research project SCARABEUS, our team at City have published a new paper that explores the consequences of CO2-blends on cycle and turbine design. So, what are CO2-blends? And why are they interesting?

  • What is a supercritical carbon dioxide power system?

    The end of 2020 brought with it a new publication - a review paper discussing the current state-of-the-art in supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) technologies for power generation. But to the uninitiated, what is a supercritical CO2 power system? Let’s see if we can cover some basics.

  • New group member!

    This October I was very pleased to welcome my first PhD student who will be working with me on a topic closely related to my Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship. To mark this occasion, here is a guest entry from Mr Pawel Ogrodniczak reflecting on his journey so far and giving an insight into what his research will seek to investigate!

  • New paper: Making the case for cascaded ORC systems

    It is a little over a year ago that I presented at ORC2019 and the Compressor Conference, and subsequently introduced you to the topic of a cascaded ORC system on this blog. Fast forward a year, and my latest paper published in the Energy journal has further confirmed that cascaded ORC systems can outperform single-stage ORC systems.

  • Postdoc roles in supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles

    As part of an exciting new EPSRC-funded research project, we are currently recruiting two postdocs for a fixed term of 36 months focussing on supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles. The project is focussed on investigating supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles for waste-heat recovery applications. Details of the roles and how to apply below!

  • Who said work can't be fun?

    A couple of weeks ago I led the charge in organising an online poster competition and a social event for the Thermo-Fluids Research Centre of which I’m a part of.

  • Latest paper published in Applied Sciences

    In the middle of a heat wave it’s too hot to be writing too much. So, just a short one to advertise the latest paper that I have been involved in which was recently published in Applied Sciences as part of the Special Issue on Recent Advancement of Thermal Fluid Engineering in the Supercritical CO2 Power Cycle.

  • The new era of scientific conferences?

    The last time I posted something it was mid-March and my wife had triumphantly returned from STEM for Britain. Fast forward a week or two, and well, we all know what happened. Evidently a few months have passed and the lack of a train ride on which to write has taken its toll on my blog activity. So, as we now settle into the so-called ‘new normal’, I thought it was about time I got back to it.

  • A love letter to my wife… but not what you might expect

    This week was a big one - but not in terms of my career. My wife clinched the silver medal within the chemistry track at the STEM for Britain poster competition! One extremely proud husband!

  • Research spotlight: Thermal-energy storage for waste-heat recovery applications

    This month I wanted to take another opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of my latest research – this time about thermal-energy storage and waste-heat recovery. So, what’s it all about? What does waste-heat recovery mean, what is thermal-energy storage, and why are these topics important?

  • The end of a year: What have I learnt?

    As we begin the new year (and decade), it is always good to reflect a little on the events of the year that has just passed. For me, 2019 has been a good one and there is a lot to be pleased about. But what have I learnt?

  • This Is Engineering Day (6th November 2019)

    So, you’re an engineer, right? Can you fix this? If you are an engineer, engineering student, or just somebody with an interest in engineering, I would hazard a guess that someone has asked you this at some point in the not so distant past.

  • So what's the deal with cascaded ORC systems?

    September marked the first month of my Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship and boy has it flown by! Interspersed with two conferences, meeting with my mentor for the first time and attending the Welcome Induction event at the Academy, I have moved into my new office, started to settle into the routine of life that comes with the start of the new academic year – and, somehow, found some time to start my fellowship research.

  • A successful trip to Athens for ORC 2019

    So the beginning of September brought the start of my RAEng Research Fellowship, and also my appointment as a Lecturer at City. It has also been a busy few weeks for conferences with papers being presented at both the 11th International Conference on Compressors and their Systems held in London, and the 5th International Seminar on ORC Power Systems held in Athens.

  • Award of Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship

    This month I have been extremely pleased to be able to officially announce that I have been awarded one of this year’s round of Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships.

  • Simultaneous cycle and fluid optimisation for ORC systems

    For those in academia the summer months generally provides the opportunity to focus on getting some research done, alongside maybe a holiday. Anyway, with this in mind I thought this month it would be great to shine a spotlight on some my recently published research looking at a new method to identify optimal ORC systems.

  • Website live!

    Well this is exciting - my personal research website is now live.