John ‘Mike’ Owen, Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering, passed away on 25 December 2021, at the age of 83. Mike was appointed to a Chair of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath in 1989, where he researched three key areas for rotating flows in gas turbines: pre-swirl, ingress and buoyancy. He held several academic posts at the University, including Head of Department in Mechanical Engineering.

Professor Gary Lock, Director of the Turbomachinery Research Centre in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: “Mike was a giant in the field of turbomachinery research. He produced over a hundred journal and conference papers during his time at the Universities of Sussex and Bath. He was Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Mike also wrote several books, two of which, with the late Ruth Rogers entitled ‘Flow and Heat Transfer in Rotating Disc Systems’ established him as a world authority on rotating flows.

“Most recently he formed a creative theoretical partnership researching buoyancy-induced flow with Dr Hui Tang. Mike never retired from academic life. As Professor Emeritus he was working on two scientific papers right up to his last few days and currently has two papers under review. Mike had a brilliant sense of humour and often brightened engineering design meetings with a literary quotation.

“He was an excellent mentor, generously giving his time to PhD students and junior academics. He was happily married for 57 years and is survived by his wife Doreen, two daughters and seven grandchildren.”

Mike’s funeral will be held on Friday 11 February 2022 at Haycombe Crematorium, Bath, at 1.45pm. Donations are welcome for the Dorothy House Hospice, whose care enabled Mike to spend his final days at home in Bath with his family and friends, and the funeral will be live-streamed on webcast. Details can be found here. There will be a gathering with Mike’s family in the Department following the funeral at 3pm in 3.22, 4 East.

We know that Mike’s death will affect fellow staff, friends and students and a range of support is available for our students and staff: