Awarded to a paper that focuses on new or continuing gas turbine applications, identifies planning, installation, operating and/or maintenance problems and their solutions, and exemplifies candid exposure of real-world problems and solutions.
History of winners can be found here.
David John Rajendran, Research Fellow, Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre
Vassilios Pachidis, MEng, MSc, PhD, CEng, FIMechE
Dr David John Rajendran is a Research Fellow within the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Aero Systems Design, Integration and Performance at Cranfield University, United Kingdom. He specialises in aero systems design and analysis for future propulsion architectures. David graduated with distinction in his bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology, India. During his bachelor’s degree, he was awarded a stipendiary fellowship from the Aeronautics Research and Development Board, Government of India. After his graduation, he worked at the Gas Turbine Research Establishment in the design and development of turbines for various applications. During this time, he received the Government of India Young Scientist Award in recognition for his work on turbine system development.
Thereafter, he enrolled in the Gas Turbine Technology Master's degree at Cranfield University. In his Master's programme, his research looked into the turbine aerodynamic behaviour in overspeed conditions for which he was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society NE Rowe Award. He also received the Roy Fedden Memorial Prize for excellence in his graduate studies. Subsequently, he did his doctoral research within the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre at Cranfield University where he explored the design space of using Variable Pitch Fans for reverse thrust in future efficient, environment friendly, civil gas turbines. The research resulted in several observations and insights that can be used in the engineering design process of future variable pitch fan reverse thrust systems. Design schematics to improve various aspects of the reverse thrust system from the work are in the process of being filed as 6 patents. He has co-authored 4 journal articles and 16 conference publications on variable pitch fans, turbine overspeed aerodynamics and turbine aerodynamic design.
David's research interests include development of robust high fidelity methods for numerical flow solutions in complete integrated systems and system level interdependency explorations to develop optimum aerodynamic designs for future propulsion architectures. He is also involved in integrated modelling of experimental facilities, exploration of unconventional flows, design code development for quick concept studies and multi-disciplinary optimization.
Vassilios Pachidis is a Professor of Propulsion Integration Engineering and Head of 'Centre for Propulsion' at Cranfield University in the UK. He is also the Director of the 'Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Aero Systems Design, Integration & Performance' at Cranfield (Deputy Director 2008-2014) and the Head of the new 'Cranfield Institute of Technology for Air & Space Propulsion' (since Jan 2021). Prior to this, Vassilios acted as the Head of the Cas Turbine Engineering Group within the Centre for Propulsion from 2010 to August 2021.
Vassilios was educated at The University of Liverpool where he obtained a 1st Class Hons MEng degree Aerospace Engineering (graduated in 2000). Subsequently he joined Cranfield University and enrolled in the Aerospace Propulsion option of the Thermal Power MSc (graduated in 2001). He then became a member of staff at Cranfield whilst pursuing a part-time PhD in Gas Turbine Advanced Performance Simulation which he completed in 4 years.
Vassilios has taught more than 700 postgraduates since 2002 and more than 150 Short Course delegates since 2006. He has supervised more than 165 MSc and 32 Doctoral Candidates to completion. He has published widely (more than 69 peer-reviewed papers in 4* and 3* journals, more than 98 fully peer-reviewed conference papers) and holds 17 joint patents filed with Rolls-Royce plc. He won the Rolls-Royce Howse-Raffles Award in 2015 and the prestigious ASME/IGTI John P. Davis Award two years in a row in 2019 and 2020. He also holds 7 ASME Turbo Expo Committee 'Best Paper' Awards among other distinctions.