Mark Quinn

Mark Quinn, MEng, PhD, CEng, MRAeS, FHEA


Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


Mark graduated from the University of Manchester in 2009 with a MEng(Hons) in Aerospace Engineering. He then went on to complete a PhD in Experimental Aerodynamics, particularly focused on unsteady compressible aerodynamics and flow diagnostics at the University of Manchester. During this time Mark authored multiple journal papers and attended several international conferences, including hosting one in Manchester. During his PhD Mark worked as a member of the UoM Widening Participation team focusing on outreach activities focused around engineering and science.

Upon completing his PhD in 2013, Mark began work at the Aircraft Research Association on optical flow diagnostics. This time was spent between customer consultancy projects for aerospace primes and Aerospace Technology Institute funded research and development projects. The outputs of this reseach are currently being written for presentation at upcoming conferences.

In late 2014 Mark returned to the University of Manchester as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow for Aerospace developing links between industrial partners and academic researchers. Mark has been a lecturer in the school since September 2015 and delivers teaching material based around his research interests of experimentation while continuing to work closely with the Aircraft Research Association and other industrial partners.

Mark's main research interests are transonic and supersonic aerodynamics, experimental aerodynamics and experimental design and has received funding from the European Commission, European Space Agency, InnovateUK, and several industrial partners. He is always looking for new collaborations and opportunities to participate in cross-disciplinary research using his skills in experimentation and image processing.

Mark earned Chartered Engineer status in February 2019 and is currently Programme Co-Director of the Undergraduate Aerospace Engineering programme.

Research interests

  • Flow diagnostics techniques, particularly optical methods such as schlieren, PIV, PSP, IR thermography
  • Image processing algorithms
  • Compressible aerodynamics, particularly unsteady aerodynamics


PhD projects available to apply for currently include:

Shape and Pressure measurement using pressure-sensitive paint

This project aims to investigate optical metrology techniques as a method of measuring the shape of a wind tunnel model simultaneously whilst measuring the pressure on the surface using pressure-sensitive paint. During a wind tunnel experiment, models deform and bend leading to results that are not useful to validate CFD. If the extent of the model deformation is known, CFD meshes can be corrected to shape of the wind tunnel model.

Measurement of pressure over an entire surface is possible using the optical technique pressure-sensitive paint and imaging the quenching of oxygen sensitive luminophores. Surface shape can be measured using various techniques with one example being fringe profileometry. The combination of these techniques would allow for dynamic measurements of oscillating structures and give new insight for fluid-structure interactions.


Mini flow Diagnostics

This project aims to investigate the possibility of developing flow diagnostic technologies such as pressure sensitive paint, particle image velocimetry and background oriented schlieren into small contained units. Recent advanced in consumer electronics and LEDs have made this an excellent time to investigate the application of this hardware to challenging aerodynamic measurements.

A thorough comparison between established and newly-developed methods will be conducted across a range of speed regimes and in a range of environments. This project, has direct applicability to almost all aerospace engineering companies investigating aerodynamics and precursor projects have led to significant interest from industry. This project will build on the successes of previous research projects with the ultimate aim of developing a system which is modular and can be integrated into any test vehicle.


Experimental Investigation of Ramjet Unstart

This project will investigate experimental models of ramjet inlets and isolators using unsteady field measurements techniques to help develop a cause and effect relationship of the phenomena taking place. Field measurements will be validated by the use of traditional, fast-response point sensors. A key aim is to develop a model which is remotely actuated and can cause inlet unstart (and both mechanisms of buzz) on command.

Once established, passive methods of control and mitigation of this destructive flow phenomena will be developed and tested in the University of Manchester High SuperSonic Tunnel (HSST) at Mach 5 (possibility of other Mach numbers too).


Development and characterisation of fast-response PSP sensors

This project aims to develop and characterize the performance of fast-response pressure sensitive paint substrates. This technology is growing increasingly important in the field of aerodynamics as it allows for global measurement of an unsteady flow field. Different novel substrates will be tested (substrates may be developed in conjunction with the School of Material Science). These substrates will be statically characterized in a standard calibration chamber, step response time will be measured using a shock tube and dynamic response will be measured using a screeching jet or similar. The PSP results will be compared to other measurements (microphone or transducer based) and suitability for large-scale tests will be estimated. If time and funding permits, a test of the best candidate substrate may be tested in a large-scale industrial transonic facility, in addition to UoM facilities.


Planar Particle Shadow Velocimetry

This project will develop and implement a system of fluid measurement capable of measuring off-surface velocities in extremely tight spaces (and in two-phase flow situations). By using machine vision technology, custom designed and manufactured mounts and in-house constructed illuminators, almost any flow field will be able to be investigated. Development of the mounting system, optical arrangement and processing algorithm will be performed first before comparison with established methods such as Particle Image Velocimetry.

Once the technique has been proven, measurements of suitably challenging flows (such as water-based vibrating structure measurements or flow inside cavities) will be made as a technology demonstrator.

This project is very timely and contains links to industrial partners who are interested in the project outcomes. If time and funding permits, a test of the technique may be implemented in a large-scale industrial facility, in addition to UoM facilities.

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Aerospace Research Institute


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