The Turbo Group
The Turbo Group's Christmas Party

Academic Staff

Professor Ricardo F. Martinez-Botas

Ricardo F. Martinez-BotasProfessor in Turbomachinery

Ricardo leads the Turbo Group. He has an MEng (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College London and obtained a DPhil from St John's College, Oxford University in 1993 with his thesis on “Annular Cascade Aerodynamics and Heat Transfer”.


Ricardo's main area of research is in aerodynamics and heat transfer of turbomachines. The applications relate to aircraft engines, power generation gas turbines, turbochargers and hybrid vehicles. In heat transfer engineering, a significant contribution has been made to the understanding of cooling components, primarily by means of experimental novel measuring techniques.

In turbocharger aerodynamics, an understanding of the unsteady effects in turbines under realistic engine conditions has been reported. To achieve this, a high speed dynamometer has been developed capable of extending current measuring range of turbochargers.

  • ME4-MAET Aircraft Engine Technology
  • ME1-HTHD Thermodynamics

Dr Aaron W. Costall

Lecturer in ThermofluidsDr Aaron Costall

Aaron holds both MEng and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London, and is a chartered mechanical engineer.  After completing his PhD, from 2007 Aaron spent five years as a Research Engineer and Senior Research Engineer with Caterpillar Inc., working in the Engine Research division based at Perkins Engines in Peterborough, UK. In 2012 Aaron moved to Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe B.V. in the Netherlands, where he was responsible for engine-turbocharger matching process improvement. He returned to Imperial College London as a Research Fellow in 2014, and became Lecturer in Thermofluids in 2017.


Aaron's main research interests lie in advanced turbocharger models to enable optimized IC engine performance and fuel consumption over real-life duty cycles, electrically-assisted turbocharging and thermal energy recovery in IC engines.

  • ME4-MFCTT Future Clean Transport Technology (Course Leader)
  • ME1-HTHD Thermodynamics (Tutor)
  • ME2-HDMF Design and Manufacture (Tutor)
  • ME3-HLTR Literature Research Project (Supervisor)
  • ME4-MPRJ Individual Project (Supervisor)

Research Staff

Mr Harminder Flora

Mr Harminder FloraResearch Officer

Harminder joined the Thermal Power research group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College in 1986 under the leadership of the late Professor Neil Watson, who at the time was performing world-leading research into turbochargers. Since then, as Research Officer he has supported numerous turbocharger and automotive powertrain related research projects, including the development of:

  • The Turbo Group's high-speed eddy-current dynamometer, used for turbocharger turbine aerodynamic research and testing
  • Active Control Turbocharger (ACT) technology
  • TASR, the Transient Air System Rig
  • Cavitation in diesel injector nozzles
  • Validation of simulation models for diesel fuel injection systems
  • Apparatus for the measurement of piston ring lubricant films

Harminder’s departmental duties include leading the teaching of CAD on our MEng Mechanical Engineering undergraduate course, co-supervising numeorus undergraduate Design-Make-Test and Final Year Projects, and providing close technical support to PhD research students and Psotdocs in the Thermofluids Division.

Mr Asanka Munasinghe

Controls & Instrumentation Engineer

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Dr Maria Esperanza Barrera-Medrano

Research Associate

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 1618
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Dr Eleni Ioannou

Research Associate

  • Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 9216
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Dr Miles Robertson

Research Associate

Dr Miles Robertson is a Research Associate in the Turbo Group at Imperial College London. 

Miles's current research is in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), focusing on reduced-order simulation and experimental validation of turbocharger heat transfer and novel cooling strategies. 

He completed his PhD in 2018 at Imperial College London, with a thesis titled Thermofluid Optimisation of Turboexpanders for Mobile Organic Rankine Cycle Systems, under the supervision of Professor Ricardo Martinez-Botas. His thesis focused on the real-world design and optimisation of radial-inflow turbomachinery for ORC applications, developing novel duty-cycle optimisation methods for heavy-duty, off-road vehicle waste heat recovery. In addition, his PhD project (Innovate UK project MORCEA) fostered the construction of the Imperial College Dense Gas Blowdown Facility, capable of detailed cascade flow measurement for non-ideal fluids close to the critical point. His doctoral work won the Katapodis Prize for best thesis within the Thermofluids Division (2017-18).

Miles graduated with a 1st class MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2014. As part of a Year in Industry, he worked as an engineer at McLaren Automotive, focusing on hybrid systems development for the P1 hypercar.

Research Students

Alexander Mason

Research Postgraduate

Alex holds an MEng degree (2015) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. His research lies in transient response prediction of turbocharger turbines for off-road heavy-duty diesel engines, and is sponsored by Caterpillar Inc.

Bijie Yang

Research Postgraduate

Eva Alvarez-Regueiro

Research Postgraduate

Hao Liu

Research Postgraduate

Karim Gharaibeh

Research Postgraduate

Karim holds an MEng degree (2015) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. His research lies in surge prediction in turbocharger compressors for off-road heavy-duty diesel engines, and is sponsored by Caterpillar Inc.

Karl Hohenberg

Research Postgraduate

Matthias Abel

Research Postgraduate

Pablo Ale Martos

Research Postgraduate

Prakhar Kapoor

Research Postgraduate

Prakhar holds an MSc degree from TU Delft. His research lies in the optimization of turbocharger turbine design for real-world drive cycles, and is sponsored by Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe BV.

Tao Cheng

Research Postgraduate

Vincent Wei Sheng Cheong

Research Postgraduate

Vincent holds an MEng degree (2015) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. His research lies in the experimental measurement of the transient response of air systems for off-road heavy-duty diesel engines, and is sponsored by Caterpillar Inc.

Xiaofeng Lu

Research Postgraduate

Academic Visitors

Dr Srithar Rajoo

Srithar Rajoo is Director of the UTM Centre for Low Carbon Transport in cooperation with Imperial College London (LoCARtic), a joint research initiative. He is also Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). He obtained his PhD from Imperial College London in 2007 on the subject of unsteady performance of variable geometry mixed flow turbines.

Dr Nitin Garg

Dr Nitin Garg holds a PhD in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Scienti c Computing from the University of Michigan. His PhD thesis is entitled High- delity Hydrostructural Optimization of a 3-D Hydrofoil.

Nitin was Research Associate at Imperial College London from 2017-18, working on the Advanced Propulsion Centre project ASCENT. Nitin is currently part of INEOS Team UK, the UK's America's Cup team.

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Group Alumni

Dr Peter J. Newton

Research Associate

Peter graduated from Imperial College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2007. He spent two years working as a structural analyst in the power sector before returning to Imperial College London to undertake a PhD in the Turbocharger Group in 2009. His PhD research was sponsored by ABB Turbosystems and focussed on the effect of unsteady flows on the aerodynamics of a double entry turbine.

Having completed his PhD in 2013 he is now the UTM Research Fellow in the Centre for Low Carbon Transport, based at Imperial College London. His research interests lie in turbine fluid dynamics, waste heat recovery from automotive engines and high speed and hot gas flow measurement.

Dr Muhammad Izzal Ismail

Research AssociateDr Muhammad Izzal Ismail

After graduating in 2007 from Tokai University, Kanagawa-shi, Japan with a Bachelor of Engineering, Izzal was employed by PROTON, the national car company of Malaysia. With 6 years’ experience in the automotive industry, he joined Imperial College London as a PhD student in November 2013, funded by the Malaysian government and sponsorship agency, MARA.

His primary research focused on developing a turbocharger matching method for one-dimensional engine simulation software that enables better engine efficiency and transient response, by incorporating more representative models for waste-gated turbines and electric turbocharger systems. During his PhD, he also worked on industrial research projects with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), including a collaboration with Groupe Renault, the major passenger car manufacturer, and the turbocharger supplier Mitsubishi Turbocharger & Engine Europe B.V.

After completing his PhD in 2017, Izzal worked as a Research Associate on collaborative industrial research projects with MHI (2018-19). He is currently working at UMW Manufacturing and Engineering Sdn Bhd, as Head of Innovation and Engineering.

Radoslav Ivanov

Radi worked on the ETI EAS Engine Air Systems project and is responsible for the underlying design of the TASR. Radi now consults on powertrain simulation, through his company R-Flow Ltd.

Dr Torsten Palenschat

Research Postgraduate (completed)