Dr. Christopher J Powles


School of Physical Sciences and Computing

Leighton Building, Le116

+44 (0) 1772 89 3572

Subject Areas: Mathematics

Chris Powles has been a lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Central Lancashire since January 2011. Between 2004-2011 he worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, where he was involved with a number of EC research projects concerning aircraft noise. Dr Powles has also worked as an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Sound and Vibration, and has general research interests in analytical acoustics.

Full Profile

Chris Powles graduated with a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Keele in 2004. From 2004 until 2011, Dr Powles held a Research Fellowship at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton. In this post, he conducted research on the mathematical modelling of sound. The principal application of this work was the study of technologies for designing quieter aircraft engines. This included work on designing devices to absorb sound (spliced liners), designing nozzles to reduce jet noise (mixer-ejectors), modelling the scattering of sound by solid engine parts such as fan blades and centrebodies, and modelling the propagation of sound through turbulent sheared flows (jet blockage and spectral broadening). In addition, Dr Powles was involved in a project to monitor Sperm Whale populations using SONAR.

While at ISVR, Dr Powles set up a course in Engineering Mathematics for postgraduate students, taught on summer schools for researchers, and helped to establish a course in the use of mathematical software, which led to publication in the pedagogic literature.

From 2009-2011, Dr Powles was an Assistant Editor at the Journal of Sound and Vibration, one of the top-rated journals for research in acoustics.

In 2011, Dr Powles joined the University of Central Lancashire as a lecturer in Mathematics, where he now contributes to the teaching in all 3 years of the BSc Mathematics degree. He has developed a wide range of modules, and has a general responsibility for the analysis strand of the degree.


PhD Mathematics, Keele University, 2004
BSc(Hons) Mathematics, Keele University, 2001


Refereed Journal Papers:

McAlpine, A., Powles, C.J., and Tester, B.J., (2013) “A Weak-Scattering Model for Turbine-Tone Haystacking.” Journal of Sound and Vibration (to appear).

Van Besouw, R.M., Rogers, K.S., Powles, C.J., Papadopoulos, T., and Ku, E.M., (2013) “Organising, providing and evaluating technical training for early career researchers: a case study.” Innovations in Education and Teaching International (to appear).

Blandeau, V.P., Joseph, F.J., Jenkins, G., and Powles, C.J., (2011) “Comparison of Sound Power Radiation from Isolated Airfoils and Cascades in a Turbulent Flow.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 129, pp1-10.
Morfey, C.L., Powles, C.J., and Wright, M.C.M, (2011) “Green’s Functions in Computational Aeroacoustics.” International Journal of Aeroacoustics 10, pp117-160.

More publications


Dr Powles's research interests lie mainly in the field of mathematical acoustics. To date, his work has involved the application of analytical techniques to problems related to aeroacoustics (specifically to the noise problems of modern aeroengines), and to problems in underwater acoustics and in loudspeaker design. Specific projects on which he has worked include:


  • Propagation of fan tones from the bypass duct using the extended Munt method (Wiener-Hopf solution).


  • Propagation of sound through sheared steady mean flows, for applications to jet blockage.
  • Propagation of sound through unsteady (turbulent) sheared flows, for application to the prediction of spectral broadening of turbine tones.


  • Prediction of jet noise generated in mixer-ejector nozzles, for supersonic business jets.

Propagation of sound through sheared steady mean flows, for applications to engine installation effects.


  • Scattering of noise by rotating blade rows.
    Additional work carried out, not linked to any large-scale projects and with funding from a variety of sources including EPSRC, the Nuffield foundation, Rolls-Royce, and UCLan include:
  • The behaviour of energy paths in sound fields.
  • Generation of noise by blade-vortex interaction.
  • Scattering of sound in non-uniform ducts.
  • Noise generation and propagation from open-rotor engines.
  • The use of Green’s function techniques in Computational Aeroacoustics.
  • Remote monitoring of sperm-whale populations.
  • The design of transmission-line loudspeaker cabinets.

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Year 3 tutor for mathematics

MA1821: Introduction to Real Analysis
MA1831: Functions, Vectors and Calculus
MA2821: Further Real Analysis
MA3821: Complex Analysis 
MA3999: Mathematics Project