Module code: ENG3172

Module Overview

Turbomachines are steady flow devices that transfer energy between a rotor (or multiple rotors) and a fluid. The module considers turbomachinery and aircraft jet propulsion with emphasis on gas turbine engines, wind turbines and radial pumps. Basic principles are introduced and illustrated through analysis of wind turbine performance. Aircraft engine types are then discussed and axial flow turbojet and turbofan engines are described in some detail. Ideal and actual performance behaviours of these engines are analysed using thermodynamic and fluid dynamic theory taught in FHEQ levels 4 and 5.  Extension of the concepts and methods used to radial flow turbomachinery is introduced through the example of radial flow (or centrifugal) pumps.

The module is particularly relevant for aerospace engineering students, and is also suitable for mechanical engineering students interested in Turbomachinery and/or propulsion. It builds on thermodynamics and fluid mechanics taught in years 1 and 2, particularly module ENG2089. Students awarded compensation credits in ENG2089 are likely to find the module challenging and are therefore advised to consider their position carefully before selecting this as an optional module.   

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

CHEW John (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 104

Lecture Hours: 11

Tutorial Hours: 11

Captured Content: 24

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


Introduction to turbo-machinery -  Definition, examples, relative motion, dimensional analysis, velocity triangles, Euler work equation


Wind turbines - Simple analysis for flow angle, torque and power output. Further design considerations.


Review of aero-engine types - Rockets, ramjets, turbojets, turbofans, turboprops, piston propeller engines. Performance parameters.


Gas turbines - Ideal cycle and performance analysis;combined cycles for land based turbines; real engine performance and off-design behaviour.


Aero-engine components -  Intake, burner, mechanical efficiency, propulsion nozzles; isentropic and polytropic efficiencies for compressors and turbines; axial flow compressors and turbines.


Industrial practice - proving integrity of civil aero-engines, and turbomachinery design.


Radial flow pumps - geometry, velocity triangles, diffusers, performance. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online 4hr EXAM (including upload time) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of scientific principles, methodologies and mathematics methods as well as the ability to describe particular systems and processes. The unseen examination includes a range of questions testing the learning outcomes described above.

 Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Examination                  


Formative assessment and feedback

  • Class test, on which written feedback is provided;

  • Formative verbal feedback is given in tutorials.

Module aims

  • The principles and theory of axial and radial flow turbo-machinery
  • Aircraft propulsion systems.
  • Aero-thermal principals of jet engine operation.
  • Engine performance analysis and design.
  • Industrial practice, driven by safety, costs, sustainability, regulation, etc. 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to: understand and analyse the performance of axial and radial flow turbomachinery, understand the operation of the various parts of aircraft propulsion systems, be able to apply appropriate analytical methods for aeroengine performance analysis. KC C1,2,3
002 Students will also be aware of industrial practice in turbomachinery design and proving engine integrity. KC C3

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Illustrate theory and technology through examples, introducing analytical methods with worked examples. This is delivered through lectures and tutorial classes.  Tutorial questions complement the lecture material with students expected to attempt the tutorial questions following the lecture and obtain help and feedback during the tutorial sessions.

Lectures include a guest lecture from industry, and tutorials include a practical demonstration of a small jet engine with comparison of performance analysis and measurement for this engine.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • ~2 hours recorded lectures per week x 11 weeks (total ~24hrs)

  • 1 hour tutorial  x 11 weeks

  • 1  hour discussion/Q&A session x 11 weeks

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG3172

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Aerospace Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Aerospace Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.