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Dr Shane Windsor

Dr Shane Windsor

Dr Shane Windsor
BEng(Auck.), PhD

Senior Lecturer in Aerodynamics/Aeroelasticity

Area of research

Bio-inspired fluid dynamics, sensing and control

Office 2.31
Queen's Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TR
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 95 45606


My research looks at how biological systems interact with environmental fluid flows and how we can use bio-inspiration to improve engineered technologies, particularly in the area of small scale unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).  I believe that major advances can be made in current UAV technology based on insights gained by studying the dynamics, sensing and control of animal flight and swimming. 

My research interests can be divided into two streams; one applied, the other biologically based.

Applied stream:

  • Bio-inspired approaches to UAV systems
  • Force and flow sensing for flight control
  • Morphing wing aerodynamics and control

Biological stream:

  • Bird flight aerodynamics, stability and control
  • Active and passive mechanisms for dealing with turbulence
  • How animals sense and use environmental flows

My research is inherently multidisciplinary, using techniques from both aerospace engineering and biology to study how engineered systems might be improved, or novel new technologies developed, based on understanding the principles involved with biological systems.

I use a range of different experimental, analytical and numerical modelling approaches including:

  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Numerical control system modelling
  • Experimental flow measurement
  • Wind tunnel measurements
  • Video image analysis of animal behaviour


Dr Windsor obtained a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. After a period as a researcher at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, he studied for a PhD in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland looking at the fluid mechanics of how fish are able to use fluid flows to sense their surroundings.

After completing his PhD in 2008, Dr Windsor moved to the University of Oxford where he developed image analysis techniques for measuring the flow of cytoplasm within cells, with application for improving the success rate of in vitro fertilisation (IVF).  Following this, as a postdoctoral researcher with the Oxford Animal Flight Group, he studied the dynamics of flight control in birds and insects.  Dr Windsor then took up the position of lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol in June 2013.



Department of Aerospace Engineering

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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