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RJ Mitchell Lecture 2018

Aerodynamics Design and Testing in Elite Sport and Product Development

Monday 5th March - 19:00 (drinks reception at 18:00)

Turner Sims Concert Hall - University of Southampton

Presented by Dr Rob Lewis OBE, Managing Director, TotalSim

Lecture Poster

The Royal Aeronautical Society Solent Branch committee is delighted to have Dr Rob Lewis OBE presenting our RJ Mitchell lecture for 2018.  Rob Lewis is the managing director of TotalSim, leaders in the fields of aerodynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

After starting his career with Fluent, a name well known to any students of CFD, Rob left to start AdvantageCFD with Adrian Reynard at Reynard Motorsports. AdvantageCFD supported all of Reynard's motorsport designs, including the BAR F1 cars.  Rob grew AdvantageCFD to 25 people by late 2006 when it was an essential part of Honda F1 aerodynamics department. AdvantageCFD succeeded in setting the standard in motorsport CFD from inception to its closure in 2007. The switch in focus away from any outside consulting by the Honda F1 Racing Team gave Rob and some of the team at AdvantageCFD the chance to continue working with their clients by creating TotalSim.

Nowadays TotalSim specialises in CFD consultancy, development and support, with a particular focus on motor racing and other high performance sport.  They have helped clients to achieve some extremely impressive goals, such as winning at Le Mans with Aston Martin and collecting several gold medals with the British Olympic cycling team.

In his presentation to us, Rob will be talking about the aerodynamic analysis of numerous racing cars Moto GP bikes and Olympic cycling equipment.  He will also reveal details of an exciting new development that TotalSim are heavily involved with: the conversion of a Victorian railway tunnel into a wind tunnel, transforming it into the world's premier full scale vehicle testing facility.

Although free to attend this is a ticketed event.  Please get you tickets at


History of the RJ Mitchell lecture

The R J Mitchell lecture is the prestige named lecture of the Solent branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Held annually, the lecture was established in 1954. Since that first lecture given by Mr. Joe Smith, a colleague of Mitchell's, many well known names from the aerospace world have accepted the invitation to present this lecture. The event has assumed international status with speakers from the USA and Europe. Reginald Mitchell was the designer of the Supermarine Spitfire and the Schneider Trophy winning seaplane, the Supermarine S6B. Mitchell was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1895, and moved to Southampton in 1916 where he lived and worked until his death in 1937 at the early age of 42.

At the age of 24 he became chief designer and the following year was made chief engineer as well, for the Supermarine Aviation works which had it's factory in the city. By the time he was 33 he was director and chief engineer of the company, which was then owned by the famous engineering firm of Vickers.

As well as the legendary Spitfire which first flew from what is now Southampton airport, he designed a total of 23 aircraft in just 16 years.


Past lectures

View details of the RJ Mitchell lectures since 1954 here.