School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Ian Paterson

Senior Lab Technician


Roles and Responsibilities

Cavitation Tunnel Senior Technician


BTec .


Born in Hebburn, Co. Durham, and I now live in Jarrow, Tyne & Wear. I served my time as an apprentice fitter with A. Reyrolle & Co. Ltd. until I was 21. Being young and daft I made an agreement with Reyrolle's that, if I didn't turn up then they wouldn't pay me!

I then became a gas converter, converting domestic gas appliances from coal gas to natural gas. This lasted about 6 months and was quite enjoyable until the union's got greedy, the firm got bolshy and I got the sack along with everyone else.

Fed up with the whole situation I took the Queen's shilling (Well bout £3.50 actually) and enlisted in 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards, a decision I have never regretted. It was just after I had finished my training when I was on my embarkation leave that the 'exocet' turned up, blond, slim and when you see her coming its to late!!! (Now my wife of 45 years). Me in 73!!

I served 9 years, seeing the sights of Germany & Canada, and two emergency tours of N. Ireland in 73 and 76. I was on ERE (Extra regimental employment) with MVEE (Military Vehicles Engineering Establishment) between 1978 and 1984 both as a soldier and civilian.  This is where I learned my background in R&D).  Since I left the army I have managed to keep myself employed, one way or another, at one stage getting a job as a instructor in computer literacy, (not bad for someone who's sole experience was using an Amstrad PCW and reading numerous computer mag's). I am currently employed as a technician in the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, running the Emerson Cavitation Tunnel (ECT).  I have been with the university for close on 30 years to date.

Updated April 2020


Research Interests

Flow measurements around new blade sections.

Flow visualisation by using hydrogen bubble technique

Cavitation tests for improving hub vortex performance of marine propellers.

Looking into the concept of turning the cavitation tunnel into a recirculating water channel.


Teaching the Engine practical side of MAR1010 module.