Personal profile

Research interests


Dr Cleaver is a lecturer in Aerospace Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. David started studying for a MEng in Aerospace Engineering in 2003, before going onto start a PhD in the field of experimental unsteady aerodynamics in 2007. On graduation he was employed on grants for the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research and US Office of Naval Research as a post-doctoral researcher before being awarded a Lectureship in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath in 2012.



David's primary research field is Unsteady Aerodynamics. This is an exciting and novel research area which attempts to move beyond classic 'steady-state' aerodynamics so as to improve the efficiency of all forms of fluid dynamic device, from aircraft to gas turbines. In essence, all aero/ fluid dynamic problems are actually unsteady (variation with time) aerodynamic problems, but are usually assumed to be steady (constant with time). This gap in understanding not only leads to inaccuracy but also lost opportunities. He currently works on EPSRC projects with Airbus, Siemens and computational researchers at the University of Southampton to exploit the opportunities of unsteady aerodynamics. 

In addition, he is part of a small but fast growing and dynamic group investigating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). In particular probabilistic autonomy for UAS.



Willing to supervise PhD

Unsteady Aerodynamics of Wings in Extreme Conditions
Probabilistic Autonomy for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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Projects 2014 2020

Research Output 2009 2018

Unsteady Aerodynamics of a Transient Plunging Airfoil

Bull, S., Chiereghin, N., Gursul, I. & Cleaver, D. 8 Jan 2018

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Aerodynamic Loads Control Using Mini-tabs

Heathcote, D. 2017 248 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Open Access
Angle of attack
Frequency response

Distributed Actuation and Control for Morphing Structures

Lai, G. Jun 2017 190 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Open Access
Mathematical models
Describing functions

Frequency Response of Aerodynamic Load Control through Mini-tabs

Heathcote, D., Gursul, I. & Cleaver, D. 11 Jan 2017 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 2017. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, AIAA 2017-0947

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Force measurement
Aerodynamic loads
Angle of attack