After leaving Imperial College with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering, Joshua Maynard initially, had no plans to continue in academia. But when he saw an opportunity advertised to work towards a PhD by participating in a project on gas turbine aerodynamics, he leapt at it.
“I was tempted by the security of a four to five year project!” he says.
The research involved creating simulations of unsteady structures in tip leakage flows in gas turbine compressors.
“We don’t know what’s going on inside the tip while it’s in operation, and it’s very difficult to simulate,’ Josh explains. “We had to replicate the flow using a quasi-three-dimensional model.”
The project, sponsored by Siemens Energy PLC and undertaken at the Whittle Laboratory, brought Josh back to Cambridgeshire, where he had grown up.
“I loved Darwin, but my social life never really lay within the College because I knew people from other sources. But having said that, getting couples accommodation for me and my partner was great. It was a little micro-community – we became very close to the couple upstairs, who had a baby.”
The College’s commitment to sport always played a significant role in Josh’s Cambridge experience, with rugby looming large in his priorities and social life.
“I’d also like to say that the access to student counselling through both the College and the University was really important to me and I really appreciated it,” he adds.
After completing his PhD Josh worked for the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, before accepting a job in turbomachinery which will see him move to the Netherlands. Having spent an exchange year during his undergraduate degree at Delft University of Technology, he is confident he will soon feel at home.
“Sorry if I’m a bit direct,” he explains. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the Netherlands and it seems to be rubbing off on me!”