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Dr Martin Davy

A headshot

Dr Martin Davy

  • Non‐Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering Science

I am a Mechanical Engineer with somewhat of an unusual background for an Oxford academic. After leaving school in 1978, I worked variously as: a construction labourer, a storeman and service receptionist in a variety of motorcycle shops and car dealerships, a car valeter and a bodyshop estimator, before finding myself in the early 1990s helping to run a motor racing team in Brazil.

I finally decided to consider my late father’s oft repeated advice to 'get a proper job' shortly after my 32nd birthday. I subsequently completed my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at UCL in 1996 and gained my PhD from the same institution in 2000.

I arrived in Oxford in 2013, having previously held faculty positions at UCL, the University of British Columbia and Loughborough University. I am still looking for a 'proper job'.


In the first year at St Peter's, I teach the P4 'Energy' paper, which includes Electricity and Magnetism, Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics and Dimensional Analysis. I also teach elements of the P3 'Structures and Mechanics' paper.

In the second year, I teach the Applied Fluids, Heat & Mass Transfer, and Thermodynamics content of the A4 'Energy Systems' paper, along with Vibrations and Dynamics of Machines in the A3 paper, 'Structures, Materials and Dynamics'.

Within the Department of Engineering Science, I lecture the Powertrain module of the Final Year C1 Automotive Engineering course and supervise 1st and 2nd year Thermofluids laboratory classes and a 3rd year project on Chemical Energy Storage.


My main research interest is in internal combustion engines, and particularly the combustion processes in compression ignition engines, where my research has a strong focus on pollutant reduction. I also have interests in in-cylinder heat transfer, atomization and sprays, and the use of alternative fuels—including gaseous fuels—for both transportation and stationary applications.

I currently lead Oxford’s activities in the joint University of Oxford / Jaguar Land Rover 'Centre of Excellence for Compression Ignition Engine Combustion Research', and I am the Oxford Principal Investigator on the EPSRC sponsored project, 'Ultra Efficient Engines and Fuels'.