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Prof Robert Dominy

Professor of Automotive Engineering

Department: Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Rob Dominy specialises in experimental aerodynamics with a particular focus on automotive engineering.

Rob -DominyRob Dominy joined Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University after 26 years at Durham University. 

He graduated in 1977 with a First Class Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering for which he was sponsored by the Helicopter Engines Group of Rolls Royce. After completing his apprenticeship with Rolls Royce he was appointed as a Research Assistant in the Aeronautics Department of Imperial College, London to study rarefied hypersonic shock wave and blunt body flows where he developed innovative experimental and numerical techniques. This was followed by a period of post-doctoral research at Cambridge University's Whittle Laboratory focused on gas turbine aerodynamics and funded by Rolls Royce. In 1989 he was appointed as a lecturer in Thermodynamics and Fluid mechanics at Durham University where he continued to work until joining the staff at Northumbria University in February 2015.

Whilst at Imperial College he developed his expertise in vehicle aerodynamics, working with Formula One teams and as the lead aerodynamicist for the successful Jaguar, Toyota and Nissan Le Mans programmes. He continues to work at the cutting edge of vehicle aerodynamic research for both road and racing cars and in the development of advanced wind tunnel design and instrumentation.

His wider interests in aerodynamics have expanded from turbomachinery and vehicles to embrace renewable energy and other aspects of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics. His paper on vertical axis wind turbines was awarded the IMechE's Donald Julius Groen Prize for the best publication in the field of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics and more recently he has been awarded the SAE’s Arch T Colwell Award for his work on Formula One aerodynamics.

He has supervised over 20 PhD students to completion and published over 90 peer-reviewed research papers.

0191 227 3779


  • PhD
  • DIC
  • BSc(Hons)
  • FIMechE
  • CEng
  • MSAE

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Professor Dominy’s research is mostly focused  on experimental aerodynamics with particular interest in:

  • Vehicle aerodynamics
  • Wind tunnel design and instrumentation
  • Vertical axis wind turbines
  • High speed rail
  • Turbomachinery
  • Industrial aerodynamics

Professional Activity

Associate Editor, Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science

Sponsors and Collaborators

Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Innovate UK, EPSRC.

Current/Recent Projects

Research Grants (as Principal Investigator, Durham University)

Dual axis blade testing, TSB/ORE Catapult (KTP), 2013, £149,650

Energy China Programme, EPSRC EP/F061811/1, 2010, £380,000

Accelerated fatigue testing of wind turbine blades, National renewable Energy Centre, 2010, £81,000

Key Publications

Oettle, N., Sims-Williams, D., and Dominy, R., 2014, "Assessing the Aeroacoustic Response of a Vehicle to Transient Flow Conditions from the Perspective of a Vehicle Occupant," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 7(2):2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0591.

Mankowski, O., Sims-Williams, D., and Dominy, R., 2014, "A Wind Tunnel Simulation Facility for On-Road Transients," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 7(3):2014, doi:10.4271/2014-01-0587.

Du, L., Berson, A. and Dominy, R.G., 2014, “Aerofoil behaviour at high angles of attack and at Reynolds numbers appropriate for small wind turbines.”, Proc IMechE Part C: J Mechanical Engineering Science DOI: 10.1177/0954406214550016

Sprot, A.J., Sims-Williams, D.B., Dominy, R.G. (2012) The Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Fully Deformable Formula One Wind Tunnel Tyre, SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Mech. Syst. 5(2). doi:10.4271/2012-01-1166.

Awarded the SAE Arch T Colwell Merit Award at the 2014 SAE International Congress.

Dominy, R.G., Lunt, P, Bickerdyke, A, Dominy, J (2007) The Self-Starting Capability of a Darrieus Turbine, Proc. IMechE, Part A, vol 221, 111-120, ISSN 0967-6509

Awarded the IMechE Donald Julius Groen Award for best contribution to Thermodynamics & Fluid Mechanics 

My Northumbria Research Link page can be found here

My Google Scholar page can be found here


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