Dr Aldo Rona

Associate Professor, Fluid Dynamics and Turbomachinery

image as of 2010

Room 139, Michael Atiyah Building

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2510
Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2525
Email: ar45@le.ac.uk

Personal details

I received a B.Eng. (Hons) from the Department of Aeronautics, City University, London, in 1993 and a PhD from the University of Southampton in 1997.

As EPSRC Research Fellow at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Southampton (1996-1997), I studied vortex boundary layer interactions by laser velocimerty.

I then joined the Department of Aeronautics and Aerospace at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Belgium, as EU Marie Curie Fellow (1998).

After that, I moved to the Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, as Lecturer (1998-2010), Senior Lecturer (2010-2016), and then as Associate Professor.

Honours and awards


Academic teaching, including

  • heat transfer
  • aerodynamics
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • computer-aided design



Thermofluids Research Group

My main interest is in unsteady compressible flow. This led me to a three-year doctoral study on supersonic flows over rectangular cutouts and screeching jets, at the University of Southampton, from 1993 to 1997. Time accurate numerical models were obtained solving the short-time averaged Navier-Stokes equations with the k-ω SST turbulence model. Aerodynamic noise was also predicted by the Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings application of the Lighthill acoustic analogy. The focus has been to address the aerodynamic unsteadiness and noise as two aspects of the same physical phenomenon.

Further developments, including active mass injection/suction techniques, were pursued between 2000 and 2002 with the support of EPSRC. A parametrical study identified the most effective mass flow injection configuration to suppress the instability in a Mach 1.5 turbulent cavity flow. A reduced order model of the unsteady baseline flow was developed towards designing a model-based control system for closed-loop control. The model was obtained by performing Proper Orthogonal Decomposition of the time-dependent flow predictions.

Between 2002 and 2008, I collaborated with the University of Rome “La Sapienza” on a joint experimental and theoretical investigation of slotted tailboards for cascade wind tunnels. In 2003, the ALSTOM Power Technology Centre joined this team. The research improved the flow quality in the test section of the high-speed research tunnel at the University of Leicester. Experimental work at the University of Leicester has seen the implementation of a split beam double edge schlieren flow visualisation technique. While the schlieren technique is a well-established baseline method, the beam splitting is an innovative aspect that allows simultaneous records of orthogonal density gradients. The technique has the potential to allow the reconstruction of the density field, a result that is commonly obtained from more expensive laser based flow visualisations.

Mach 0.3 unsteady flow over a cylindrical cavity. CFD predictions. Iso-levels of pressure perturbations and streamlines.

Figure 1: Subsonic flow past a cylindrical cavity. Colour iso-levels of acoustic density perturbation and streaklines

Between 2006 and 2010, I was Coordinator of the 'unsteady Aerodynamics Trainning Network in airframe components for competitive and environmentally friendly civil aircraft' AeroTraNet. This €3.2M EU FP6-2004-Mobility-2 project was part of the Marie Curie Actions of the sixth Framework Programme. It provided multi-host Early Stage Training to 13 Marie Curie fellows in unsteady aerodynamics at Leicester, Roma Tre, Politecnico di Torino, and at the Institut de Mechanique des Fluides de Toulouse. At Leicester, Dr Rona developed CFD software for complex compressible 3D flows using body-fitted curvilinear multi-block meshes, adaptive mesh refinement, and a third-order accurate finite-volume upwind method. Figure 1 shows an instantaneous numerical snapshot of the flow over a cylindrical cavity, representing a wide-body civil aircraft fuel vent. The density perturbation iso-levels indicate the aerodynamically generated fuel vent noise. The tonal noise characteristics of this flow were studied in collaboration with the University of Rome 'Roma Tre', by wind tunnel tests at ENEA.

In 2010-2013, with Dr Adabayo, Honorary Visiting Fellow, University of Leicester, we explored by PIV the Taylor instability developing between concentric cylinders at a Taylor number representative of oil bearing chambers in turbomachines. The work detailed the changes in the flow regime that the presence of a probe inserted in the flow causes to the Taylor vortex pattern.

Between 2012 and 2016, I coordinated the 'Aeronautical Trainning Network in aerodynamic noise from widebody civil aircraft' AeroTraNet 2. Funded by a €2.8M FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN grant from the European Commission, this Marie Curie Integrated Training Network of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) trained 11 Early Stage Researchers and 1 Experienced Researcher in modelling shock-associated noise and in the knowledge capturing and knowledge management of the research output. In this 2012-2016 project, industrial partners Airbus and Alstom UK provided a transfer of knowledge platform for the exploitation of the research output in industry. At Leicester, I developed time-resolved CFD models of jets featuring shock-associated noise and studied the noise generation process by the Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings acoustic analogy.

Alongside Prof. S.V. Hainsworth (PI), we set up and opened in 2014 the Advanced Structural Dynamics Evaluation Centre (ASDEC) at the MIRA Technology Park, Nuneaton. Funded by £1.07M Regional Growth Fund and £0.25M European Regional Development Fund grants, ASDEC is the first UK centre providing access to robot 3D Laser Doppler Velocimetry to industry, SME, and research institutes.

More about my research


PhD supervision

PhD topics currently avaliable to perspective PhD students:

Computational Aeroacoustics of jet-airframe interaction

I am available to supervise PhD research on the interaction between the jet noise at cruise with widebody civil aircraft airframes.

Order adaptivity in WENO schemes for turbomachinery aerodynamics

I am available to supervise a PhD in order adaptivity in Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO) schemes for turbomachinery aerodynamics.

Large Eddy Simulations (LES) of streamwise and cross-stream vorticity over swept wings

I am available to supervise a PhD on Large Eddy Simulations (LES) of streamwise and cross-stream vorticity over swept wings.

Shock-wake interaction in highly loaded turbine blade passages

I am available to supervise a PhD in the Dynamics of the periodic shock-wake interaction in the passage of highly loaded low-pressure turbines for power generation.

Principal supervisor:

  1. William Paul Bennett
    A time-accurate analysis of two-dimensional wakes,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, May 2005.
  2. Mohammed F.F. El-Dosoky
    Analytical and CFD methods investigating shroud blade tip leakage,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, April 2009.
  3. Marco Grottadaurea
    Aerodynamics and near-field acoustics of a subsonic cylindrical cavity flow by parallel CFD,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, March 2010.
  4. Neetin Lad
    Benchmarking a single-stem PIV endoscope in a spray,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, January 2012.
  5. David Adebayo
    Annular flows and their interaction with a cylindrical probe,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, May 2012.
  6. Pietro Ghillani
    Aeroacoustic simulation of a linear cascade by a prefactored compact scheme,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, January 2013.
  7. Manuele Monti
    Large Eddy Simulation of a cavity with a synthetic stochastic thick turbulent inflow,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, June 2013.
  8. Davide Di Pasquale
    CFD models of transitional flows,
    MPhil thesis, University of Leicester, July 2013.
  9. Fatimah Al Zahrar Mohd Saat
    Numerical investigations of fluid flow and heat transfer processes in the internal structures of thermoacoustic devices,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, December 2013.
  10. Ivan Spisso
    Development of a prefactored high-order compact scheme for low-speed aeroacoustics,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, December 2013.
  11. Patcharin Saechan
    Application of thermoacoustic technologies for meeting the refrigeration needs of remote and rural communities in developing countries,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, May 2014.
  12. Wasan Kamsanam
    Development of experimental techniques to investigate the heat transfer processes in oscillatory flows,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, July 2014.
  13. Alessandro Mancini
    Modelling in-flight jets,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, in progress.
  14. Danilo Di Stefano
    Noise source analysis by Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings acoustic analogy,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, in progress.
  15. Hayder Mahdi Baqer Obaida
    Parametrized design of a non-axisymmetric hub in turbomachine compressors,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, in progress.
  16. Hakim Kadhim
    Influence of non-axisymmetric casing endwall on the performance of an axial flow turbine,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, in progress.
  17. Motoyuki Kawase
    A numerical investigation in the performance of highly loaded axial compressors with contoured end walls,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, in progress.


  1. Xiao-Xian Chen
    A numerical investigation of self-sustained cavity flow oscillations,
    PhD thesis, University of Southampton, 2000.
  2. Edward J. Brooksbank
    A numerical investigation of time resolved flows around turbine blades,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, September 2001.
  3. Jonathan R. Ackerman
    Unsteady energy separation and base pressure distributions in subsonic crossflow around a circular cylinder,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, 2004.
  4. Gihad Abdelaziz Abdelghani Ibrahim
    CFD models of the bronchial airways with dynamic boundaries,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, 2014.
  5. Luke Jolley
    A discontinuous Galerkin finite element method with turbulence modelling for incompressible flows,
    PhD thesis, University of Leicester, in progress.

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