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Oxford Thermofluids Institute | Research - Research Groups: Hypersonics Group


Focusing on the research theme of Hypersonics, the group has a proud history dating back to the 1960s, when Professor Donald Schultz founded the Osney Laboratory at Oxford University. Our team is internationally renowned for its pioneering research into short duration wind tunnels and associated instrumentation. Our work is primarily concerned with experimental research relevant to planetary entry, atmospheric cruise and access to space.

Current areas of research within the group are:

  • Cooling technology for hypersonic vehicles
  • Hypersonic boundary layer transition
  • Aerodynamics and Aerothermodynamics for hypersonic vehicles
  • Hypersonic intake performance
  • Development of novel heat transfer gauges
  • Shock layer radiation
  • Satellite end-of-life & demise
  • Ground testing infrastructure


  • Dr Laurent Le Page – Senior post-doctoral research assistant working with Prof Matthew McGilvray
  • Dr Eric Chang – Post-doctoral research assistant working with Dr Tobias Hermann
  • Dr Andrew Ceruzzi – Post-doctoral research assistant working with Prof Matthew McGilvray
  • Orin Varley – Graduate engineer working with Prof Matthew McGilvray
  • Chris Wheeler – Graduate engineer working with Dr Luke Doherty and Mr Chris Hambidge

DPhil Students

Name Thesis Title Cohort Supervisor Supervisor2 Supervisor3 Funding Source
Alex Glenn Fundamental Non-equilibrium Experiments for Low Earth Orbit Return Missions 2019 Matthew McGilvray Peter Collen   EPSRC DTP / EOARD
Raghul Ravichandran Transpiration Cooling of Hypersonic Leading Edges 2019 Matthew McGilvray Luke Doherty   DSTL
William Ivison Quantifying the Effect of Protuberances and Interfaces from an Aero-Thermal-Structural Design Perspective 2019 Matthew McGilvray Chris Hambidge   EPSRC DTP 
William van Noordt   2019 Luca di Mare Matthew McGilvray   HVSI
Jack Hillyer Hypersonic Control Effectors 2020 Luke Doherty Matthew McGilvray Marko Bacic DSTL
Joseph Steer Aerothermal Testing for Earth and Giant Planet Entry 2020 Matthew McGilvray Peter Collen Luca di Mare ESA
Joshua Ashby   2020 Matthew McGilvray Andrew Ceruzzi   DSTL
Mailys Buquet Emissison and absorption spectroscopy for shock tube and plasma flows 2021 Tobias Hermann Benjamin Williams   EPSRC DTP
Aaron Kennedy   2021 Matthew McGilvray     DSTL
Justin Clarke   2021 Luca di Mare Matthew McGilvray   Rhodes
Wesley Condren The Combined Effects of Roughness and Blowing in Ablatives  2021 Matthew McGilvray Chris Hambidge   EPSRC DTP
Anthony Finnerty Hypersonic Three-dimensional Shock-wave Boundary-layer Interactions and Interference with Transpiration-cooled Surfaces 2022 Matthew McGilvray David Mee   Oxford
Nnaemeka Anyamele Rarefied Aerodynamic Force Measurements 2022 Luke Doherty Peter Ireland   Magdalen College
Samuel Brody Numerical simulation of transpiration cooling for hypersonic leading edges in thermochemical nonequilibrium 2022 Luca di Mare Matthew McGilvray   Marshall
Omar Valeinis Replication of thermochemistry-surface interactions for re-entry vehicles in ground testing 2023 Tobias Hermann Matthew McGilvray   EPSRC DTP / ESA
Claudio Rapisarda Numerical modelling of non-equilibrium expanding flows         2023 Luca di Mare Matthew McGilvray   EPSRC DTP
Tom Tyler Aero-Thermal-Structural performance of a supersonic intake  2023 Luke Doherty Matthew McGilvray   EPSRC DTP
Kyrolos Georgey Investigation of supersonic boundary layer combustion from porous injection 2023 Matthew McGilvray Luke Doherty   Marshall
Nathalie Nick Non-intrusive measurements of non-equilibrium flows       2023 Matthew McGilvray Laurent Le Page   Lincoln College
Kanishk Ganga Experiments of Non-Equilibrium Hypersonic Expanding Flows                2023 Matthew McGilvray     MDC
Liam McQuellin Multi-component of freedom aerodynamic measurements of hypersonic vehicles   2023 Luke Doherty Matthew McGilvray    



Alumni - Research Staff

Dr Andrew Pilkington (Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford)

Dr Peter Forsyth (National Research Council Canada)

Dr Joseph Camm (Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Liverpool)

Dr Dante McGrath (Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Cambridge)

Dr Tamara Sopek (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Southern Queensland)

Dr Alexander Bucknell (Team Lead, Aerothermal Analysis, Defense Contractor)

Dr Sebastien Wylie (Fluid Gravity Engineering)

Dr Hassan Saad Ifti (Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Maryland)

Dr Peter Collen

Dr Marc Ewenz-Rocher (Consultant, Bain & Company)

Dr Kharthik Chakravarthy (Digital Consultant, Newton Europe)

Dr Luke Doherty (Departmental Lecturer, University of Oxford)

Dr Tobias Hermann (Departmental Lecturer, University of Oxford)

Chris Hambidge (Hypersonics Operations Manager, University of Oxford)

Alumni DPhil Students

Name Thesis title Year Thesis link Supervisor Supervisor 2  Next destination
Peter Collen Development of a high-enthalpy ground test facility for shock-layer radiation 2021 Matthew McGilvray   Senior Design Engineer, Remix Robotics
Hassan Saad Ifti Transpiration cooling of a hypersonic vehicle 2021 Matthew McGilvray Tobias Hermann University of Maryland, Post-Doc
Marc Ewenz-Rocher Application of transpiration cooling on hypersonic vehicles to mitigate material oxidation 2021 Matthew McGilvray Tobias Hermann Consultant, Bain & Company
Imran Naved The application of transpiration cooling as a thermal protection system for hypersonic vehicles 2022 Matthew McGilvray Tobias Hermann Aerothermal Engineer, Reaction Engines Ltd.
Suria Subiah Boundary layer instabilities in high and low enthalpy hypersonic facilities using high speed schlieren 2022 Matthew McGilvray   Technical Adviser, Department for Business and Trade
Sebastien Wylie Hypersonic boundary layer instability measurements at low and high angles of attack 2020 Matthew McGilvray   Fluid Gravity Engineering
Rowland Penty-Geraets Development and testing of a diamond calorimeter heat transfer gauge 2019 Matthew McGilvray   Fluid Gravity Engineering
Andrew Hyslop Force measurement techniques in short duration hypersonic facilities 2023 Matthew McGilvray Luke Doherty Fluid Gravity Engineering
Eric Hembling Not yet published 2023   Matthew McGilvray Sebastien Wylie USAF Pilot Training
Matthew Satchell Numerical simulation and modeling of shock tube experiments 2021 Luca Di Mare Matthew McGilvray Assistant Professor of Aeronautics, United States Air Force Academy
Philipp Kerth Effect of transpiration cooling on boundary layer transition for hypersonic flight 2022 Matthew McGilvray Sebastien Wylie Stealth Startup, Co-Founder
Kharthik Chakravarthy Multiparameter optical diagnostics for high-speed flow applications 2021 Benjamin Williams   Newton Europe, Digital Consultant