Prof Andrew Rae

Room 725
Goodlyburn Building
Perth College UHI
Crieff Road
tel: +44 (0)1738 877 856

Available to talk to the media about

  • Aircraft and vehicle aerodynamics
  • aircraft design
  • wind tunnel testing
  • flight test

In these languages



Professor Andrew Rae graduated from Imperial College in 1987 and joined the High-Lift Section of the Aerodynamics Department at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (later DRA, DERA and QinetiQ), Farnborough. His activities there concentrated on the physics of multi-element aerofoils, largely, but not exclusively for civil aircraft, including Reynolds-number effects and wake vorticity. Based at the 5m pressurised wind tunnel at Farnborough, he was involved in the development and application of wind tunnel corrections and test techniques for low-speed wing design. He has managed tests at over 30 other major facilities in seven countries and worked on projects for Airbus, Boeing and many Formula 1 teams. He was Deputy Chairman of the Technical and Scientific Board of the European Wind Tunnel Association (EWA) and within this framework was the focus for wind tunnel correction and advanced simulation methodologies.

He was a QinetiQ Approved Technical Authority and, as such, the signatory for the aerodynamics clearance of flight test aircraft modified to accommodate trials or upgrade equipment, and became a QinetiQ Technical Fellow in 2008 for his contribution to applied and experimental aerodynamics. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Smart Fixed-Wing Aircraft element of the European Clean Sky programme aimed at the flight testing of flow and loads control technologies. He has worked on many non-aeronautical applications including road and rail transport, wind engineering and sport.

His first role in academia was as a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Engineering Design at Surrey University. He is currently Professor of Engineering at UHI, responsible for engineering research and strategy across UHI’s partners, and holds a personal Chair as Professor of Experimental and Applied Aerodynamics. He was co-creator (with Lynda Johnston at Highlands and Islands Airports) of the Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) project based at Kirkwall Airport in the Orkney Islands, exploring the requirements for aircraft, airports and airspace to support low-carbon aviation as part of UKRI’s Future Flight Challenge programme. He recently spent 18 months seconded as Chief Engineer for Ampaire Ltd, being responsible for achieving a Permit to Fly for Ampaire’s hybrid/electric aircraft (a heavily modified Cessna 337) and performing successful flight trials on representative airline routes in Scotland and South-West England (including a 418nm ferry flight) also as part of the Future Flight Challenge programme.

He is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society's Aerodynamics Specialist Group (being it’s Chair 2018-2021), of two of the subgroups of the UK Government Jet Zero Council’s ‘Zero Emission Flight’ Delivery Group (‘Zero Emission Aircraft’ and ‘Regulatory Requirements for Zero Emission Flight’), of four NATO projects within the Advanced Vehicle Technology Panel’s ‘Performance, Stability and Control, and Fluid Physics’ Technical Committee, and of the GARTEUR (Group for Aeronautical Research and Technology in Europe) Group of Responsables for Flight Mechanics, Systems and Integration (GoR-FM). He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and is a Visiting Professor at Zhengzhou University of Aeronautics in China. 

Current research

Andrew continues his aircraft and racing-car design activities, including the ‘Phoenix’ ultra-long endurance, variable-buoyancy unmanned aerial vehicle and low-carbon aircraft and their operations. He is also currently supervising research in the renewables sector, applying aerospace design techniques to wave and tidal energy devices.

Selected publications

  • 'Particle Image Velocimetry Measurements in the DERA 5 Metre Pressurised Low Speed Wind Tunnel of the Flow Field behind a Half Model of the Airbus A310 in a High Lift Configuration’, A J Rae, DERA/MSS5/TR980100, June 1999.
  • ‘Investigation into Scale Effects on the Performance of Sub Boundary Layer Vortex Generators on Civil Aircraft High Lift Devices’, A Rae (QinetiQ) and S Galpin (Airbus UK). AIAA-2002-3274. July 2002.
  • ‘Aerodynamic Validation of Emission Reducing Technologies (AVERT)’, Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP) Proposal (Call: FP6-2005-AERO-1), 12th July 2005.
  • ‘Thrust Reverse Trials on Tornado GR4’, A Rae, S Fenwick, I Woodcock, A Crowle, QINETIQ/FST/CR036046, December 2003.
  • ‘Investigation of the aerodynamic interaction between a moving freight train and station platform’, A J Rae, P Tattersall, S R H Dean, QINETIQ/FST/CAT/CR012423, July 2002.
  • ‘An assessment of the aerodynamic impact of airport buildings on aircraft using a new runway (28R) at Dublin Airport’, A J Rae & R J Lynn, DERA/MSS/MSFC1/CR010389, February 2001.
  • + 38 others