Expanding PCA's team and capability

08 January 2021


Expanding PCA's team and capability

2020 is certainly a year to put behind us all, but there have been some positive changes for PCA. Firstly, the excellent and stimulating ongoing collaboration with our clients, which we really appreciate; our seamless adaptation to ‘Working From Home': a tribute to robust and reliable IT; and, by no means least, the opportunity to strengthen our team and to expand our capability. Over the last year we feel privileged to have been able to recruit staff with strong backgrounds in industry and academia. This adds capability with current and industry-leading skills in axial and centrifugal compressor design, steam turbines, gas turbine performance and on turbomachinery methods development. 


Dr Luis Ferrer-Vidal 



Dr Ferrer-Vidal was awarded his PhD from Cranfield University in Aerospace Engineering for his work on gas turbine start-up and relight performance. He spent 5 years as part of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) at Cranfield, the last 3 as a Research Fellow, developing thermodynamic models to support transient engine performance models and rationalising the models against flight test data. Before that he gained industrial experience in the USA with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas and Lufthansa Technik after a period as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Gas Turbine Laboratory in Florida.


Mr Frank Heyes



Prior to joining PCA, Frank Heyes spent 24 years with Napier Turbochargers where, as Chief Aerodynamicist and Chief Analytical Engineer, he was responsible for the design and development of high-pressure centrifugal compressors and both radial inflow and axial turbines. He is the inventor or co-inventor of over 30 patents in this field and had a broad ranging responsibility for a large team of engineering staff, and participation in university research at Kingston University, where he was Visiting Professor, and the University of Lincoln. Educated at Cambridge University in the UK where he went on to carry out research in the Whittle Laboratory, Mr Heyes spent the first three years as a Senior Design Engineer at European Gas Turbines in the UK, responsible for performance prediction and development of axial compressors and turbines for industrial gas turbines.


Dr Gursharanjit Singh



Dr Singh obtained his PhD from the Queen Mary University of London, UK in Turbomachinery Aerodynamics and a B.Eng. (Hons.) in Mechanical Engineering from BITS-Pilani, India. Before joining PCA, he worked at the City University of London on positive displacement machines, turbofan engine development projects at IIT-Bombay and steam turbine research at GE Power and Alstom Power. At IIT he gained experience on inlet distortion effects on transonic fans and  on flow phenomena in inter-compressor Swan Necked Ducts. At Alstom he worked on CFD modelling of secondary flows and throughout his career has accumulated experience on numerical methods development for turbomachines.


Dr Nigel Smith CEng MIMechE



Dr Smith joins PCA after a distinguished career of over 30 years at Rolls-Royce PLC, concentrating on the design and development of high Mach number transonic fans for aero gas turbines, the last few years as Technical Lead for Low Pressure Compressor Aerodynamics. Further experience at Rolls-Royce encompasses noise, mechanical issues such as flutter and vibration, involvement as aerodynamic lead on fan and compressor test rig design and commissioning. To compliment his experience on fans and low-pressure compressors, Dr Smith was also actively involved in design and development of the multistage IP and HP compression systems commonly found in the 3-shaft RB211 and Trent gas turbines. He was awarded his PhD in 1991 for a thesis on suppression of acoustic resonances.

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