Professor Robert Miller

Professor at Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Professor Rob Miller, Chair in Aerothermal Technology and Director of Whittle Lab

Professor Miller’s research is aimed at reducing the emissions of both air travel and land-based power production. He has worked extensively with industry, presently undertaking research in collaboration with Rolls Royce, Mitsubishi, Siemens and Dyson.

Over the next 20 years improving core gas turbine efficiency will play a key in enabling the development of the next generation of aeroengine such as Rolls-Royce’s Advance and UltraFan engines. This will involve engine cores shrinking, rises in pressure ratio and rises in efficiency. It will also involve the development of novel turbine cooling schemes and improvements in the designs of combustor turbine module. The Whittle Laboratory, in collaboration with Rolls Royce and the UK Aerospace Technology Institute, is currently working on a range of technologies designed to underpin this future generation of small ultra-high efficiency cores.

To achieve a step improvement in jet engine efficiency requires a change from the conventional gas turbine cycle developed by Frank Whittle. One method of achieving a 20% reduction in fuel consumption is to replace the conventional steady combustor with one in which the fuel is periodically burnt, known as a pressure gain or constant volume combustor. The Cambridge Pressure Gain Combustion Group has developed a range of technologies designed to both maximise combustor pressure gain and efficiently couple the combustor with neighbouring turbomachinery.

Off-shore renewable power forms a critical pillar in the UK’s future energy policy. As a result, in 2010, Cambridge Tidal Turbine Group was formed. By understanding the unsteady hydrodynamics of the device the group aims to both extend the life of the device and improve in-service power output.

Prior to joining the University of Cambridge in 2001, Prof Miller was a Senior Lecturer at New College, Oxford.

  • In news articles

    Accelerating innovation - how to spark innovative progress

    Professor Rob Miller, Director of the Whittle Laboratory, speaks about his experience accelerating technology development through changes to workplace culture and shifts in approaches to production and manufacturing.