Design of Gas Turbine Engines: From Concept to Details

Design of GTE

Instructed by Dr. Ian Halliwell, Northwind Propulsion Inc. and Mr. Clement Joly, SoftInWay

  • New online course covers the complete spectrum of the Gas Turbine Engine design process
  • All students will receive an AIAA Certificate of Completion at the end of the course


Design of Gas Turbine Engines” is a new 32-hour course that presents an overview of the complete spectrum of the design of aero-propulsion systems and puts each major segment in perspective. It demonstrates how thermodynamic, aerodynamic and structural concepts are turned into hardware and illustrates the extent of current practical design techniques. Initially, gas turbine engines are modeled simply but with sufficient accuracy to enable their geometry and weight to be defined and performance to be estimated not only at a selected design point but also over a broad range of off-design operations. While the general approach has not changed for many years, it is no surprise that our capabilities have improved significantly. With practice, what were once considered to be “preliminary design” activities may now be extended considerably, enabling project schedules to be significantly accelerated with increased confidence.

An introduction to leading turbomachinery component and system modelling software will be provided to the participants to illustrate the theoretical aspects presented through practical examples. Participants will have access to this comprehensive digital engineering software to remain engaged between sessions by working through examples provided, based on the design demonstrations presented.


  • We link the theory of gas turbine engines as it must be taught with its application to real engine design in industry.
  • We define the structure of design and development programs for new gas turbine engines and summarize the roles of various levels of design in a new engine program.
  • We illustrate and demonstrate the design of compressors and turbines at the intermediate levels of a program.
  • We show that optimum performance is obtained through relevant trade studies and appropriate compromise.

This course is aimed at:

  • Designers of compressors, turbines, and engine systems.
  • University faculty members who teach courses in propulsion, thermodynamics and aerodynamics and other associated engineering subjects - and their students.
  • Propulsion engineering specialists interested in learning about the design of turbomachinery so they may leverage their role in a gas turbine engine program.

Type of Course: Instructor-Led Short Course
Course Length: 4-5 days
AIAA CEU's available: Yes

This course is also available as an on-demand short course. (Sign-In to Register



1. The Engine Design Process (6 hours)

  • Introduction
    • Market Requirements
    • Objectives of Preliminary Design
    • Advances in Technology Extend the Capabilities of Preliminary Design
  • From Concept to Design
    • The Mission - Definition & Analysis
    • Cycle Analysis
    • Initial Demonstration of Cycle Design
  • Propulsion Systems & Components
    • Preliminary Design Scenario
    • Component Hierarchy
    • Component Modeling
    • Aerodynamic vs. Structural Integrity
    • Design Constraints
    • Materials Database
    • Model Fidelity
  • Levels of Design
    • Zero-Dimensional: Cycle
    • Demonstration of an Engine Cycle
    • One-Dimensional: Meanline
    • Simple Examples of Meanline Design
    • Two-Dimensional: Throughflow, Streamline Curvature, Quasi 3D
    • Simple Examples of Throughflow Design
    • Three-Dimensional: Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Simple Examples of Three-Dimensional Design

2. Engine Cycles and Configurations (6 hours)

  • Basic Operation
  • Simple Turbojet and Ideal Cycle
  • Example of a Turbojet and Ideal Cycle
  • Definitions of Efficiency
  • A Real Turbojet Cycle
  • Example of a Real Turbojet Cycle
  • Augmented Turbojets
  • Example of an Augmented Turbojet Cycle
  • Turbofans
  • Example of a Turbofan Cycle
  • Augmented Turbofans
  • Example of an Augmented Turbofan Cycle
  • Geared Turbofans
  • Example of a Geared Turbofan Cycle
3. Mechanical Systems (4 hours)
  • Introduction
  • Flow Path
  • Frames and Ducts
  • Shafts and Bearings
  • Examples of Rotor-Bearing Systems
    • Bearing design
    • Rotor dynamics analyses
  • Disks
  • Integration – the Overall Engine
4. Secondary Air Systems (4 hours)
  • More than Turbine Cooling …
  • Examples of Secondary Air Systems
  • … But Mostly Turbine Cooling
  • Examples of Turbine Cooling
5. Compressors (6 hours)
  • Function, Environment, Basic Efficiency
  • Velocity Diagrams
  • Stage Characteristics
  • Preliminary Design and Analysis
  • Three-Dimensional Flow & Radial Equilibrium
  • Diffusion
  • Mean Line Performance
    • Loss Models
  • Demonstration of Meanline Compressor Designs & Application of Loss Models
  • Some Practical Issues
  • Performance Maps
  • Maps and Map Generation
  • Throughflow Design
  • Demonstration of Throughflow Compressor Designs
  • Initial 3D Design
  • Demonstration of 3D Compressor Designs
6. Turbines (6 hours)
  • Function, Environment, Basic Efficiency
  • Velocity Diagrams
  • Stage Characteristics
  • Preliminary Design and Analysis
  • Mean Line Performance
    • Loss Models
  • Demonstration of Meanline Compressor Designs & Application of Loss Models
  • Throughflow Design
  • Demonstration of Improved Compressor Designs using Throughflow Methods
  • Initial 3D Design
  • Demonstration of 3D Compressor Designs
  • Design Envelopes
  • Vaneless Counter-Rotation
  • Demonstration of Improved Compressor Designs using Vaneless Counter-Rotation
7. Summary, Reprise, Questions & Discussion


Dr. Ian Halliwell obtained his B.Sc. in Aeronautical Engineering and M.Sc. in Aerodynamics from Imperial College, London, followed by a Ph.D. in Experimental Gas Dynamics from the University of Southampton. His professional career began in 1975 at Rolls-Royce, Derby in Turbine Aerodynamics Research. He then crossed the Atlantic to work for Pratt and Whitney Canada in Mississauga and subsequently GE in Cincinnati, where he moved into the preliminary design of complete engine systems and spent a few years on the High Speed Civil Transport program. During that period, he also began teaching in GE after-hours education.

While continuing to model complete engine systems, his teaching activities continued after moving to the small business world, as a contractor at the NASA Glenn Research Center and expanded through involvement with AIAA and ASME/IGTI. He chaired the AIAA Air Breathing Propulsion and Gas Turbine Engine Technical Committees and is still an active member of AIAA. He is also a member of the ASME/IGTI Aircraft Engine and Education Committees. His connection to students and university faculty was enhanced during the 14 years he organized the AIAA International Engine Design Competition for undergraduate teams.

Mr. Clement Joly is a Senior Manager at SoftInWay and has been with the company since January 2013. He received his Master’s Degree in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Polytech ’Orleans in France and attended engineering classes at Wichita State University in Kansas (USA). Mr. Joly specializes in traditional and emerging technologies linked to turbomachinery components and systems.


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