Who’s who in MACE – Mark Quinn
Mark Quinn is a lecturer in aerospace engineering and co-director of the aerospace undergraduate programme in MACE. We caught up for some quick-fire questions about his research, teaching and life in Manchester…
Give us a very brief overview of what you did before working in MACE.
I was an Aerospace Engineering undergraduate and PhD student at MACE before working at the fastest large-scale wind tunnel in the UK (>35MW!!!) for two years on aerodynamic testing for almost all aircraft manufacturers (usually using lasers).
Can you summarise your research in one sentence?
I use light to investigate and measure aerodynamics because it doesn’t interfere with the fluid motion.
How can your research benefit society?
Increases in aerodynamic efficiency are important for all vehicles and this can only be achieved by understanding how fluids perform in reality through experimentation.
“As a kid I was fascinated by Transformers and wanted to build one – I still do!”
What do you love the most about your job?
Seeing the transformation in my students from keen but clueless (maybe naïve or inexperienced is a fairer description) to competent and exciting engineers who can solve any problem they put their mind to.
What’s the best thing about Manchester?
Everything in the city is more or less within walking distance and the music scene is amazing.
Who or what inspires you?
When I was a kid I was fascinated by Transformers (the cartoon) and I wanted to build one – I still do! It probably helps that where I grew up was under the test flight path for Eurofighter so it was often screaming over my back garden.
Why is engineering important?
Engineering is the combination of all of the sciences and studies of the natural world to bend it and change it to our will.
“Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been” – Theodore von Karmen
What is your top tip for living in Manchester?
Buy some waterproofs and also a bike. The beer scene in the Northern Quarter is excellent, too.
What do you enjoy doing outside work?
Cycling, walking, tinkering (Arduino etc.), video games, five-a-side football against/with students, playing various musical instruments, and photography.
What would be your top desert island disc, your top desert island book and your one luxury item?
Disc: One Day Remains – Alter Bridge
Book: Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Luxury: an acoustic guitar
Find out more about the research undertaken by Mark and the rest of the Aerodynamics group in MACE at its Areas of Expertise website.
Want to meet more MACE staff, students and alumni? Check out the ‘Meet MACE’ section of the blog.