Researcher biography

Chris James' research is in the field of experimental hypersonics. His research interests include expansion tube and shock tunnel test facility design and condition development and the experimental study of planetary entry aerothermodynamics using both optical techniques and physical measurements. Chris has authored and co-authored 23 journal publications and 44 conference publications in his field.

Chris graduated from Mechanical Engineering at UQ in 2012. Following this, he completed his PhD in the Centre for Hypersonics at the University of Queensland (UQ).

During his PhD he developed very high speed Uranus and Saturn entry conditions which were used to perform the fastest experiments which have ever been performed in an expansion tube, as well as developing expansion tube simulation and analysis codes which are now widely used in the Centre for Hypersonics. He also enrolled in a cotutelle program with École Centrale Paris in Paris, France, and after being awarded an Eiffel Excellence Scholarship by the French government, he passed a year on exchange in Paris, France. In France, Chris was working on developing the capability to perform radiating simulations to support his experimental work at UQ.

Post PhD he was employed in the Centre for Hypersonics helping to develop the X3R reflected shock tunnel, while also supervising and conducting expansion tube research on the X2 expansion tube at UQ.

In 2020, Chris took on a lecturing position for the year and was awarded an Australian Research Council DECRA early career fellowship to study Mars return conditions with heated test models at UQ over the next several years. He was the 2020 recipient of the UQ EAIT Faculty Early Career Researcher Award.

Chris lectures in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at UQ. He lectures both hypersonics and space engineering, covering varied topics such as high temperature gas dynamics, rarefied gas dynamics, orbital mechanics, rocket trajectories, spacecraft design, spacecraft thermal and power management, and planetary entry.

Areas of research