Dr Stephen Cowley


Oct. 90 - Present: Assistant Lecturer, then Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, University of Cambridge
Oct. 11 - Present: Bye-Fellow and Director of Studies, Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Oct. 90 - Sept. 98: Fellow and Director of Studies, Selwyn College, Cambridge
Oct. 85 - Sept. 90: Lecturer, Imperial College London
Oct. 83 - Sept. 85: Lecturer, University College London
Oct. 82 - Sept. 83: Research Fellow, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Oct. 81 - Sept. 82: Research Fellow & Fulbright Scholar, Northwestern University
Jan. 81 - Sept. 81: Research Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge

Short and medium term visitor to the University of Brasilia, Caltech, Cornell University, Imperial College, NASA Langley, NASA Lewis, Ohio State University, Oxford University, the University of Michigan, Monash University, Moscow State University and PUC-Rio.


  • BA Mathematics (1977), University of Cambridge
  • Part III Mathematics (1978), MMath (2011), University of Cambridge
  • MA (1980), University of Cambridge
  • PhD (1981), University of Cambridge


My research  centres around asymptotic descriptions of high-Reynolds-number (i.e. fast) fluid flows, such as occur in flows past aircraft wings/fuselages, space shuttles, turbine blades, ships, cars and other transport, and as also occur in the larger blood vessels.  Specifically I have been interested in separation/stall, the growth of instabilities leading to turbulence (i.e. transition to turbulence), the validity of the high-Reynolds-number approximation, and vortex-sheet roll-up.


I have taught a range of courses in the Mathematical and Natural Science Triposes, including Vectors & Matrices (Part IA, previously Algebra & Geometry), Methods & Calculus (Part IA, now Vector Calculus), Numerical Analysis (both Part IB and Part II), Waves (Part II), High-Reynolds-Number Flows (Part III), Computational Methods in Fluid Dynamics (Part III), Perturbation Methods (Part III, and in a number guises) and Mathematical Methods (NST Part IB). I was the Director of CATAM from 2008-2014 (for my sins).

Other Internal Activities

I am an elected member of the University's Council (2017-20), and, inter alia, serve on the University's Finance and HR Committees. I am also an appointed member of the Council of the School of Physical Sciences.

Previously I served on the University's Council (2007-2014), and a number of University Committees including the Resource Management Committee, the Planning and Resources Committee, and the Business Committee. I was an elected member of the University's Board of Scruitiny (2001-2005).

I was Chair of the Faculty of Mathematics (2011-2014).

External Activities

I have served on EPSRC grant and evaluation committees.