Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Daniel joined Falmouth University in 2023 as a Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Previously, he played a key role in the Computational Engineering & Design Group at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) within the University of Southampton, focusing on aircraft engine design, optimisation, and computational engineering with AI/ML techniques.

Throughout his career, Daniel has collaborated with industry leaders like Rolls-Royce and Airbus, and renowned universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Loughborough, Queen's University Belfast, and Cranfield. He has contributed significantly to over ten software and production tools for projects funded by organisations like the European Research Framework, Rolls-Royce, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), among others. His research interests encompass Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Software Engineering, Programming & Algorithms, Computational Engineering, Design Optimisations, and Image/Video Processing.

In 2020, Daniel received the Rolls-Royce Pioneering Digital Award for his work on a military aircraft engine exhaust optimisation project funded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Royal Air Force. He continues to be a prominent figure in academia, driving innovation in his field at Falmouth University.

Dr Daniel Zhang

Contact details



Year Qualification Awarding body
2012 PhD in Computer Science and IT University of Gloucestershire
2009 MSc with Distinction in Computer Science and Applications University of Warwick
2004 BEng in Electrical Engineering and Automation Science Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Honors and awards

Year Description

Rolls-Royce Pioneer Digital Awards, Rolls-Royce plc. (UK)


Unique PhD Scholarship, University of Gloucestershire (UK)


Distinction MSc Degree, University of Warwick (UK)


1st Class Outstanding Scholarship, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics (China)

Research Interests

Research interests and expertise

  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (AI / ML)
  • Neural Networks (ANN, CNN, GAN, etc.)
  • Programming & Algorithms / Software Engineering
  • Design Optimisations / Parametric Geometry Definition
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD) / Computer Aided Engineering (CAE)
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) / Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Research Topics

  • AL/ML applications in computational engineering
  • 2D/3D CAD model generation
  • Graph neural networks

Research Outputs

Publications and research outputs

Externally funded research grants information

Collaborators Currency Funder HESA Category Project title Value Year ending Year starting

Rolls-Royce, Queens Belfast University, Cambridge University Fluid Dynamics Group, Cranfield University

Rolls-Royce, UKRI COLIBRI - Collaboration Across Business Boundaries 2023 2020

Rolls-Royce, Loughborough University

UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Royal Air Force Exhaust Integration in CD99 2020 2019

Rolls-Royce Bangalore R&D Centre

Rolls-Royce Pedestal Tile Cooling Feed Hole Optimisation Package 2019 2018

Oxford University, Rolls-Royce Germany, other EU institutions

European Research Framework, Rolls-Royce Smart System for Thermal Analysis of Combustor, part of CleanSky2 2017 2015

Rolls-Royce Derby, Rolls-Royce Bristol, Rolls-Royce Northern American, Rolls-Royce Germany

Rolls-Royce Prometheus 2014 2012

Research Students

Current research students

Gerico Vidanes (University of Southampton).

  • Gerico is working on Point-based Graph Neural Networks for 3D Geometry Feature Recognition.

Thomas Weichlein (University of Gloucestershire)

  • Thomas is focusing on the load balancing network automation. He has finished the writing-up of his final thesis and preparing for submission since Oct 2023.


Areas of teaching

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Classical Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning

Courses taught

  • Artificial Intelligence for Games MSc