Ann Dowling is head of the department of engineering at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., where she is a professor of mechanical engineering and chair of the University Gas Turbine Partnership with Rolls-Royce. She is one of the founders of the Energy Efficient Cities initiative at Cambridge and was the U.K. lead of the Silent Aircraft Initiative, a collaboration between researchers at Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.
Dr. Dowling’s research is primarily in the fields of combustion, acoustics and vibration, and is focused on low-emission combustion and quiet vehicles. Her research on unsteady combustion provides insight and models that are enabling gas turbine manufacturers to avoid damaging instabilities in low-emission combustors. She demonstrated that active feedback control is a powerful way of eliminating the damaging interactions that lead to instability. This technology, which results in extra thrust from an afterburner and ultra-low emissions from ground-based gas turbines, complements passive control techniques Dr. Dowling has also developed.