Welcome to St Catherine’s – Oxford’s youngest mixed (undergraduate and graduate) college and also one of its largest and most diverse communities. Whatever your reason for visiting us, you will be interested to know that the College has an atmosphere of openness and friendliness that greatly assists our primary mission: the pursuit of academic excellence and the enhancement of creative thinking. We treasure the traditional values of Oxford college life, but our modern architecture gives us a distinctive position to pursue a modern agenda. Our college motto, Nova et Vetera (the new and the old), reflects this. The college environment values greatly the study of the sciences and arts in equal part, and we are proud of the strong showing of St Catherine’s among the list of Nobel Prize Laureates. The work of ten individuals associated with the College, including three alumni and six Fellows, has been recognised with a Prize.
If you are thinking of studying here, please do cross our threshold to experience the atmosphere for yourself. You are very welcome to come and visit, either on one of our open days or at other times.
I became Master of St Catherine’s in October 2002, having been a Fellow in Engineering of the College since 1985. Originally I trained as an undergraduate apprentice with Rolls-Royce Aeroengines in Derby, before attending Jesus College Oxford as an undergraduate and postgraduate, and obtaining a DPhil in 1976.
After ten years in industry, working for Rolls-Royce and also the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell, I returned to Oxford to continue my research in the field of aeroengine thermofluid flows. My main interest has been in the development of experimental techniques for measuring flows in the transonic regime, particularly applied to gas turbines. Other areas of interest have included the development of laser velocimetry techniques, and the history of technology, particularly the role of mechanical engineers in developing and inventing new machines.