Imperial College London launches World-Class National Wind Tunnel Facilities

Imperial College London launches World-Class National Wind Tunnel Facilities

Bristol, 9th March 2017 - Supporting the UK’s development in aerodynamic and fluid mechanics research, CFMS Member Imperial College London has announced the availability of two of its UK based world-class wind tunnels, with a third tunnel estimated for launch in September 2017. Operating under the National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF), Imperial College is one of seven universities, including Cranfield, Oxford, Cambridge, Southampton, City University London and Glasgow that offer a national network of 16 tunnels and a towing water tank, and supporting facilities to academia, industry and scientists.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), a five-year programme was announced in 2014 under the then UK Minister for Science and Universities, David Willetts, to upgrade, refurbish, expand and construct facilities. Jonathan F. Morrison, Professor of Experimental Fluid Mechanics, Head of Aerodynamics, Imperial College London and Project Director, NWTF commented, “In order to maximise their value, world-class facilities require world-class researchers who we have in abundance at Imperial. Such a facility also draws to it researchers from other institutions and disciplines to make this a truly international laboratory." 

Enabling multi-sectoral research in experimental fluid mechanics up to TRL 3, Imperial College London and NWTF facilities span low, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds and low to high densities. Research covers broad and specialist disciplines from boundary layers to icing and noise, and structural configurations that include closed and open return, managed blow-down, suck down, heated and rarefied flows.

Dr Kevin Gouder, Project Manager, NWTF commented, “Organisations looking to utilise Imperial College London or NWTF’s extensive facilities, technologies and tools will be supported throughout the project process. With facilities in use, we are already seeing a wide range of use from academia and industry organisations.” 

Individuals or organisations interested in accessing the Imperial College London or one of the National Wind Tunnel Facilities should contact Dr Kevin Gouder, Project Manager, NWTF, on 0207 594 5141 or

About Imperial College London

Imperial Wind V2

Imperial College London is one of the world's leading universities. The College's 16,000 students and 8,000 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for society.

Founded in 1907, Imperial builds on a distinguished past - having pioneered penicillin, holography and fibre optics - to shape the future. Imperial researchers work across disciplines to improve health and wellbeing, understand the natural world, engineer novel solutions and lead the data revolution. This blend of academic excellence and its real-world application feeds into Imperial's exceptional learning environment, where students participate in research to push the limits of their degrees.

Imperial collaborates widely to achieve greater impact. It works with the NHS to improve healthcare in west London, is a leading partner in research and education within the European Union, and is the UK's number one research collaborator with China.

Imperial has nine London campuses, including its White City Campus: a research and innovation centre that is in its initial stages of development in west London. At White City, researchers, businesses and higher education partners will co-locate to create value from ideas on a global scale. 

About the National Wind Tunnel Facility

Nwtf Wind V2

The National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF) (EPSRC grant EP/L024888/1) is an initiative in which 17 tunnels distributed across seven UK host universities are made open access (for up to 25% of time) to external users, both university and industry based. The NWTF aims at keeping the UK at the forefront of aerodynamic and fluid mechanics research. Recognising that the UK has a world-class talent base, the decision to fund the NWTF was taken to match this talent base to world-class facilities. The paradigm shift provided by NWTF is expected to provide for an overall transformative benefit, establish a world-leading capability while being cost-effective and appealing to multiple sectors. The enhanced UK capability in experimental aerodynamics is available to all UK-based researchers and aims to create nodes of excellence attracting young researchers. The NWTF also aims to establish a closer tie with industry creating a pull-through environment and an intended spill-over of the collaboration and benefits to other sectors.                        

NWTF: committed to making world-class facilities available to all scientists.

About The Engineering and Physical Research Sciences Council (EPSRC)

Epsrc Wind V2

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. 

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. 

About CFMS

Cfms Wind V2

The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS) is proud to be a growing, independent and not-for-profit organisation that specialises in high value design capability. We promote advanced modelling and simulation, underpinned by HPC, pushing the boundaries of technology. 

Through our exceptional, collaborative, virtual and physical facility, we enable the adoption and acceleration of new technologies for advanced modelling and simulation, while improving learning and developing awareness of state-of-the-art. Engaging with organisations large and small, we help to provide access to the right tools, resources, skills and technologies, resulting in increased productivity and faster, more informed decision-making.

As a trusted and neutral provider, our vision is to drive a practical revolution in engineering capability and design, working with organisations to reduce risk in the design phase, product development costs and time to market.

For further information about how CFMS can help your business call 0117 906 1100 or email 

Media Contact

Alison Little: e:, t: 0117 906 1100

Sign Up To Our Newsletter and Events