Dr Carl Gilkeson

Dr Carl Gilkeson


Dr Carl Gilkeson is a Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering with specialist knowledge of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). He contributes to both the undergraduate and postgraduate aerospace engineering programmes as a lecturer and project supervisor. He also oversees a wide range of multidisciplinary research projects based in the Institute of Thermofluids. He is a Chartered engineer with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Research interests

Dr Gilkeson's research interests centre on applied computational aerodynamics using CFD. Of particular interest is the development of active flow control to improve the efficiency of wind turbines and civil aircraft. He also utilises aerodynamic shape optimisation technology to reduce the energy consumption of road vehicles including heavy goods vehicles. Between 2016 and 2018 he was part of a funded Innovate UK project, ASTEROID, investigating novel approaches for drag reduction on aircraft due to surface excrescences. This is fuelling an active research area examining the fundamentals of small-scale flow phenomena due to surface discontinuities. Dr Gilkeson also has an interest in ground effect aerodynamics applied to land and water speed record vehicles. As an example, he has led research into the aerohydrodyamics of the multiple record-breaking unlimited hydroplane, Bluebird K7, revealing insights into the performance of this historically significant vehicle.  

Beyond aerodynamic interests, Dr Gilkeson's growing research portfolio includes the characterisation of airborne brake wear debris using a cutting-edge brake dynamometer housed in the School of Mechanical Engineering. This builds on his extensive experience of modelling airborne microorganisms in hospital wards as part of his four-year research fellowship in infection control (2009-2013). Another active research area is the application of artificial intelligence to supplement knowledge-based design in high-end manufacturing.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MEng Aerospace Engineering
  • MSc Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • PhD Aerodynamic Shape Optimisation

Professional memberships

  • CEng, MIMechE
  • FHEA

Student education

Since 2013 Dr Gilkeson has lectured as the module leader in Aerospace Flight Mechanics to 3rd year Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering students. This module covers the mechanics of flight for civil and light aircraft as well as rocketry, space flight and orbital mechanics. As a specialist in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), he developed a Masters-level module in CFD Analysis which he has delivered as module leader since its inception in 2015. He was the undergraduate Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering programme leader from 2014-2019 and the programme is now firmly established in the top 10 in the aerospace category in the Complete University Guide. Dr Gilkeson supervises a range of individual and group projects for aerospace engineering students in years 3, 4 and at Masters-level. He offers projects in low and high-speed aerodynamics with a range of applications including aircraft design, analysis of road vehicles and hydroplanes. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Thermofluids

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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>