Digital Design and Net Zero in Aviation

Join Professor Francesco Montomoli, online or in person, for his Imperial Inaugural.

We have limited in-person spaces available so please ensure you register in advance.


In the last few years technologies such as additive manufacturing are becoming more common for gas turbine applications, allowing greater flexibility in the design space. There is now a drive from Net Zero challenging targets to fully exploit this flexibility and to design and validate new parts in a digital environment.

Full digitalisation of the process has the potential to generate completely new designs, not based on past solutions. However, this requires more accurate estimators for critical applications, such as the high temperature components of high-pressure stages, in order to be sure that the solution is feasible and reliable. Recent development of machine learning methodologies is enabling estimators with greater accuracy to be produced.

Francesco Montomoli is Professor of Computational Aerodynamics at Imperial College London whose research is moving the field towards the full digital design of a gas turbine for net zero. In his inaugural lecture he will be show how optimization methods, mainly based on topology optimization strategies, can be used to fulfil these needs, and how recent studies have shown how such optimization based on deep neural networks is opening new possibilities for the design of next generation gas turbines.


Professor Montomoli read mechanical engineering at University of Florence where he obtained a MSc and a PhD (and he was visiting scholar at Texas AM University, Turbine Heat Transfer Laboratory, US). After the PhD he joined the R&D group of General Electric Oil&Gas.

In 2006, Professor Montomoli joined the University of Cambridge, Whittle Laboratory and his research was sponsored by Rolls-Royce and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in the field of aerospace propulsion and power generation. In 2009, he becomes Mitsubishi Senior Fellow and College Lecturer at Girton College, Univ. of Cambridge

In 2011, Professor Montomoli was also Research Professor and leader of CFD group at the Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics. He is an external scientific member of BCAM. In 2012, he joined the University of Surrey as Senior Lecturer in Thermofluids. In 2014, Professor Montomoli joined Imperial College of London as Senior Lecturer. He is a Chartered Engineer of Ordine degli Ingegneri della Provincia di Firenze, Italy. In 2017, he obtained the Italian qualification as Full Professor in Mechanical Engineering. In 2018, he was promoted to Reader and than, in 2021, to Professor at Imperial College London. As technology transfer he is co-founder of two spinouts of Imperial College London

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