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Professor Christian Allen

Professor Christian Allen

Professor Christian Allen
M.Sc.(Bristol), Ph.D.(Bristol)

Professor of Computational Aerodynamics/Head of Department of Aerospace

Office 1.52
Queen's Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TR
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 33 15539


Prof. Allen is Head of the Fluid Dynamics and Aerodynamics Research Group. His research field is the development of computational methods for the solution of the governing fluid flow equations, and the generation of computational meshes, for unsteady aerodynamics. Specific research areas include steady and unsteady flow about wings and rotor blades, mesh generation and deformation techniques, aerodynamic optimisation, aerodynamic-structural coupling, data manipulation and interpolation, high-speed combustion modelling, and unsteady vortex methods.

Recent efforts have concentrated on `empowering' technology; generic universal pre-, co-, and post-processing methods that make CFD methods easier to use, and methods to extract maximum information from CFD output. Example include approaches to simplify and automate mesh generation, allow CFD-structural coupling for aeroelastics, surface shape parameterisation and optimisation, system identification, multi-dimensional data interpolation, and adaptive sampling and parameter space metamodelling. All the methods are developed to exploit parallel processing environments, and Prof. Allen is Chair of the University's High Performance Computing (HPC) Executive Committee, and a member of the University HPC Board


Professor Allen obtained a BSc from the Department before moving to Rolls-Royce military engines in Filton, Bristol. After a brief period there, he left to obtain an MSc in fluid dynamics from the Department of Mathematics at Bristol, before returning to the Department to undertake a PhD in computational fluid dynamics. He was awarded a PhD in 1993, and subsequently worked in the Department as a Research Fellow until August 1999, when he was appointed Lecturer in Aerodynamics. In 2003 he was promoted to Reader in Computational Aerodynamics. Later in 2003 he was awarded a five-year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship, in the field of rotary-wing aerodynamic simulation, and a Royal Academy of Engineering Global Research Scholarship to fund a long-term collaboration with FOI Stockholm. In 2007 he was awarded a Personal Chair in Computational Aerodynamics. His EPSRC Fellowship ended in March 2009.

Prof. Allen is a member of two DARP (Defense and Aerospace Research Partnerships) programmes, the PUMA (Partnership in Unsteady Methods for Aerodynamics) group and the Rotorcraft Aeromechanics group, and a member of the UK Applied Aerodynamics Consortium for supercomputing in aerodynamics. He collaborates with many international research institutes including DLR, FOI Stockholm, UTIAS (Toronto), Caltech, Toledo, and US Air Force Research Labs.


  • computational meshes
  • mesh generation
  • deformation techniques
  • aerodynamic optimisation
  • aerodynamic-structural coupling
  • high-speed combustion modelling
  • unsteady vortex methods


Numerical simulation of fluid/aerodynamics (CFD). Particular expertise in development of flow-solver and grid generation techniques for unsteady fixed- and rotary-wing flows, aeroelastics, aeroservoelastics.

  • aerodynamics
  • fluid dynamics
  • CFD
  • numerical simulation
  • aeroelastics
  • rotor blade flows
  • Memberships


    Department of Aerospace Engineering

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    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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