Professor Michael Fairweather

Professor Michael Fairweather


Professor Michael Fairweather graduated from the University of Leeds, and subsequently joined British Gas where he worked on a range of projects of relevance to safety and environmental impact. He rejoined the University of Leeds in 1998, being promoted to a Chair in Thermofluids and Combustion in 2005. His research interests are in the areas of fluid dynamics and combustion, with particular emphasis on the development and use of computational fluid dynamic techniques, and experimental measurement. He has authored more than 300 peer reviewed publications, was the recipient in 2010 of the IChemE Frank Lees Medal awarded by their Safety and Loss Prevention Subject Group, and has been associated with research grants supported by the EPSRC, EC and industry worth more than £10M since joining the University.

Professor Fairweather has been involved in a number of EPSRC supported projects of relevance to the nuclear energy sector, including involvement in the Keeping the Nuclear Option Open project, as Co-I on the DIAMOND: Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Management of Nuclear Wastes for Disposal grant, and as PI of the DISTINCTIVE: Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Storage Solutions for Nuclear Waste Inventories consortium. He was/is Co-I on the Computational Modelling for Advanced Nuclear Power Plants project, the UK-India Phase II project Thermal Hydraulics for Boiling and Passive Systems, the UK-India Phase III project Grace Time and the Providing a Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the UK for Implementing Carbon Reductions (PACIFIC) project. He was/is UK PI for the EC FP7 project ASGARD: Advanced Fuels for Generation IV Reactors and for a Foreign and Commonwealth Office collaborative project, funded under the China Prosperity Strategic Programme Fund, on Technological Assessment of Building Nuclear Waste Disposal Reservoirs with Xiamen University.

He also recently held a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Exchanges with China and India Award with the same university on the Modelling and Simulation of Nuclear Waste Flows, and is Leeds PI on Innovate UK’s Measurement and Modelling of Sludge Transport and Separation Processes project, together with Sellfield Ltd and MMI Engineering. Additionally, he has undertaken a number of research projects funded entirely by the nuclear industry and frequently carries out consultancy work on their behalf. He is a member of the management committees of the National Nuclear Laboratory-University of Leeds Centre for Collaborative Research and the Sellafield Ltd-University of Leeds Sludge Centre of Expertise.

Outside of the nuclear sector his other interests include Carbon Capture and Storage, and specifically assessments of the hazards associated with transporting gaseous, dense phase and supercritical carbon dioxide in pipelines, with involvement in the COOLTRANS – Dense Phase CO2 Pipeline Transportation project (National Grid), and two EC-supported projects, Quantitative Failure Consequence Hazard Assessment for Next Generation CO2 Pipelines (CO2PipeHaz) and Techno-Economic Assessment of CO2 Quality Effect on its Storage and Transport (CO2QUEST). His expertise in multi-phase flow modelling is also currently being applied in the EC Horizon 2020 project Intensified by Design® for the Intensification of Processes Involving Solids Handling (IbD).

Research interests

  • Grant: DISTINCTIVE - Decommissioning, Immobilisation and STorage solutIons for NuClear wasTe InVEntories (EPSRC) -
  • Grant: PACIFIC - Providing a Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the UK for Implementing Carbon Reductions (EPSRC)
  • Grant: Grace Time - UK India Civil Nuclear Energy Collaboration Phase 3 (EPSRC)
  • Grant: Measurement and Modelling of Sludge Transport and Separation Processes (Innovate UK)
  • Grant: Advanced Fuels for Generation IV Reactors: Reprocessing and Dissolution (ASGARD)
  • Grant: COOLTRANS - CO2 Liquid pipeline TRANSportation (National Grid)
  • Grant: Quantitative Failure Consequence Hazard Assessment for Next Generation CO2 Pipelines (CO2PipeHaz) (EU) -
  • Grant: Techno-Economic Assessment of CO2 Quality Effects on its Storage and Transport (CO2QUEST) (EU) -
  • Grant: Intensified by Design® For the Intensification of Processes Involving Solids Handling - IbD (EU)
  • Carbon Capture and Storage
  • Chemical Kinetics and Combustion
  • Combustion, Safety, Environmental, Chemical and Process Engineering Flows
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Experimental Hydraulic Transport
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Heat Transfer
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Numerical Solution Methods
  • Safety-related Applications
  • Slurry Flows for Waste Disposal
  • Thermodynamics
  • Turbulent Reacting and Multi-phase Flows
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc
  • PhD
  • CEng
  • CPhys

Professional memberships

  • MEI
  • MInstP
  • MIChemE
  • Eur Ing

Student education

I currently teach on a number of modules within the School, including Multi-Scale Modelling and Simulation, and am involved in 3rd year Design Projects and final year MEng and MSc research projects. I am also Director for the Chemical Plant Commissioning CPD course.

Research groups and institutes

  • Complex Systems and Processes
  • Clean Combustion
  • Sustainable Low Carbon Futures

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>