Professor Konstantinos Kontis
- Mechan Chair of Engineering / Professor of Aerospace Engineering (Aerospace Sciences)
Professor Kontis is a world-leading authority in aerodynamics, wind tunnel testing, flow control, shock physics and diagnostics. He has published 96 journal articles, 1 book on Shock Waves (2 volumes) published by Springer, 6 book chapters, and 159 conference papers, with focus on both scientific fundamental research and practical engineering applications. His conference papers are regularly invited to appear in the special issues of prestigious journals. He has had continuous EPSRC funding since 2001; other sources of funding: Royal Society, EU, Nuffield Foundation, USAF, USNavy, JSPS, and industry. He has raised over £13.5M in external funding in the last 10 years, including over 60 separate collaborative projects with industrial partners, testament to the industrial applicability of his work. The new methodologies developed are now being adopted by industry and universities based worldwide. He has given 53 invited presentations and keynote lectures to peer-reviewed conferences and international Advanced Schools in the USA, Europe, India, China, and Japan.
As Head of the Aerospace Sciences Division at the University of Glasgow, Professor Kontis is providing leadership and is in charge of strategy, decision-making, development of initiatives and collaborations, and line-management of academics, research fellows, PDRAs etc. His headship enables him to link research, and to transfer research knowledge generated to both beneficiaries and the public. He is leading and coordinating the University of Glasgow contribution in a number flagship projects and other initiatives. He is representing the University of Glasgow in a number of committees and working groups, where he is contributing to the European and UK Aeronautics and Space Strategy.
He leads and coordinates the 'National Wind Tunnel and Testing Facilities / ESA-ESTEC Facility' with an infrastructure investment alone already >£6m. The Regolith-Testing Facility is the only one in Europe that enables the simulation of planetary conditions, and the testing of relevant problems and interactions. The MoD/AWE Multi-Phase Turbulence Shock Tube Facility is driving innovation in advanced propulsion systems, and in the development of the future high-speed engines;
He is a member of 6 Editorial Boards, and Editor-in-Chief of international journals.
He was the Chair of Aerodynamics and Shock Physics, and the Deputy Director of the Aerospace Research Institute at the University of Manchester in 2009-2013. He owes his formal education to two universities: University of Bristol (BEng), and Cranfield University (MSc and PhD).
He has been a visiting professor in a number of organizations including Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan; NASA, USA; China Aerospace Research & Development Centre, PR China; Nagoya University, Japan; and Tohoku University, Japan.
He has on-going overseas scientific exchange activities with JAXA, NASA, IISc-Bangalore, IHI, CARDC, Tohoku University, Nagoya University, Kumamoto University, Aoyama Gakuin University, University of Texas, University of Florida, Rudgers University, UPC. He has received two EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Acceleration Fellowships of 4 years total duration, and he has two joined patents.
He was the Chair of 28th International Symposium on Shock Waves, Manchester, UK, 2011; International Chair of AIAA AVIATION, Dallas, USA, 2015; Chair of 22nd International Symposium on Shock Interactions, Glasgow, UK, 2016. He is a member of the organizing committees of a number of conferences worldwide.
His current research covers the following four broad themes:
i) Integrated wing technologies that involve: high Aspect Ratio wings; joined or non-planar wing concepts; load control via e.g. spanwise flow control adjustments; flow and flight control using active multi-functional materials; and integrated system sensors and actuators with distributed control and health monitoring.
ii) Air-transport systems and space access: transition and SBLI; spacecraft plume characterization, contamination and fragmentation studies; plasma-based flow and flight control systems; and integrated propulsion systems including intakes and ducts.
iii) Multi-disciplinary applications: combined PIV and PTSP imaging, using encapsulated sensitive particles; laser-based discharges and their interactions with surfaces; shock wave research; and wind turbine/rotating wing technologies.
iv) Aerospace vehicle design: design optimisation, uncertainty quantification, engineering analysis.
His wide understanding of Aerospace Sciences and Engineering enables him to cross-connect research and to communicate the results generated to both beneficiaries and the public. Principal leadership and advisory interactions:
Member: Ground Testing Tech. Committee, AIAA, Washington, USA; Expert Advisor: EU-FP6 and FP7, Belgium; French National Research Agency, Paris; Steering Committee Executive Member: Int. Shock Waves Institute (ISWI), Bangalore, India; International Expert Advisor: Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs (Monbusho), Japan; Member: Fluid Dynamics National Technical Committee, ADS, London, UK; Advisory Committee Member of ACARE (Advisory Committee for Aerospace Research in Europe) Working-Group 3: Protecting the Environment and the Energy Supply, Brussels and Paris; Advisory Committee Member: Novel Control Effectors for Military Vehicles, NATO/AVT-115; Aero-thermodynamic Heating of Hypersonic Systems, NATO/AVT-205, Paris, France; Expert Advisor: Ministry of Education, Athens, Greece; Member: International Advisory and Ethics Committees of AIAA, Reston, Virginia, USA; Member of the Aerospace Council: UK Aerodynamics Centre, London, UK (this is a high-level group that takes a strategic overview of aerospace research in the UK); Member: Applied Aerodynamics Technical Committee; Member: ADS Council Scotland; Member: Aerospace, Defence, Marine and Security - Industry Leadership Group (ADMS-ILG), formulating the ADMS strategy for Scotland.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), London, UK. Principal professional qualifications: EurIng, CEng. He can speak Greek and Japanese.
In 2016, he was elected Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). AIAA Fellows are “persons of distinction in aeronautics or astronautics, who have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology thereof.”
In May 2016, he was elected Director-at-Large of the AIAA Board of Directors, USA.
1998-present, Supervisor of 21 Visiting Fellows, 37 PhD students (29 completed, 8 current) and 14 postdoctoral researchers (11 completed, 3 current). The majority are pursuing careers academia and industry.
1998-present, 12 PhD students have been awarded the Centennial Scholarship by the Royal Aeronautical Soc. for their ability and determination to make a significant contribution to the 2nd century of powered flight.
He is currently supervising 8 PhD students and 3 PDRAs.
He is interested in supervising new PhD projects in the following areas:
- Integrated wing technologies that involve high Aspect Ratio wings and joined or non-planar wing concepts;
- Load control via e.g. spanwise flow control adjustments;
- Flow and flight control using active multi-functional materials;
- Integrated system sensors and actuators with distributed control and health monitoring;
- Air-transports systems and space access;
- Transition and SBLI;
- Spacecraft plume characterization and contamination studies;
- Plasma-based flow and flight control systems;
- Design Optimisation, Uncertainty Quantification;
- Integrated propulsion systems including intakes and ducts;
- Combined PIV and PTSP imaging, using encapsulated sensitive particles;
- Laser-based discharges and their interactions with surfaces;
- Shock wave research;
- Wind turbine technologies and helicopters.
- The 'National Wind Tunnel and Testing Facilities / ESA-ESTEC Facility' at Acre Road led by Prof. Kontis, provides state-of-the-art testing capabilities for renewable technologies, space, autonomous vehicles, greener transports and infrastructure to address cross-sector opportunities, and to rival our principal competitors in the US and EU;
- Mr Fergus Ewing (the Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism) opened the Centre on the 24th February 2016. The event has attracted strong interest and attention by the national press, government organisations, industries, Schools, and the public;
- Glasgow's 'Greener Aeronautics Initiative' led by Prof. Kontis, is bringing together stakeholders from UK and EU governments, academia and industry to strengthen cooperation and exchanges;
- The 3rd Workshop (25th October 2016) will focus on the Future of Aerospace Innovation taking into consideration the challenges associated with new products development.
- He gave the Inaugural Mechan Chair public lecture (02/11/2015): “Going Interstellar: Blue Sky, Green Skies, and Reclaiming our Space” attended by more than 250 people including high-school students, and senior industrialists;
- He leads the University of Glasgow's participation in the Farnborough International Airshow - Innovation Zone, exposing Glasgow's Aerospace Research, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange opportunities, and teaching programmes in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.