Graham founded FLIP as a focal point for his diverse fluid dynamics research group.

Graham is an Assistant Professor in the Aerospace Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University, where he teaches experimental aerodynamics and other subjects in fluid dynamics, and oversees the Low Speed Wind Tunnel Lab. In 2015 Graham instigated PROVE Lab - the Cal Poly Prototype Vehicles Laboratory, which he will oversee as academic adviser.

Prior to this he was a Lecturer and Early Career Researcher at UNSW Australia, where he was also Academic Supervisor to the successful Sunswift Solar Car Racing Team. Graham was integral to the aerodynamic design and development of two (so far...) world record-breaking alternative energy vehicles.

He completed a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Glasgow in 2004 and his PhD from UNSW Australia in Sydney in 2009. In 2011/2012 he was named a QANTAS Research Fellow of the American Australian Association, leading to an appointment as a visiting Assistant Visiting Research Professor at the United States Naval Academy.


Graham is well-known in the field for his work on high speed ground effect aerodynamics, having published some of the major works in the field during and after his PhD. He is regarded internationally as an expert in this area and has given several talks and seminars on the many phenomena uncovered and the applications of his research - from maglev-assisted launch of space vehicles to future high speed transport systems to wing-in-ground effect vehicles, racing cars, and land speed record vehicles.

Directing FLIP means Graham is now leading or supporting a variety of projects, primarily in transient high speed flow phenomena (shock wave interactions with boundary layers and flames, supersonic wakes) and maneuvering bodies at lower speeds (road vehicles and autonomous aircraft and underwater vehicles). Primary interests in 2016, apart from getting Cal Poly's wind tunnel back into shape, include biomimicry of bird wing tips and seal flippers, as well as continuing work on shock wave interactions with flames, and aerodynamic considerations in design and modelling of performance vehicles and electric cars (or both!).

For a full listing of Graham's academic research outputs and recent awards,
head to the FLIP publications page.


Racing and Records

Graham has been involved in solar and electric car racing for a decade, first leading the aerodynamic design and development team for Sunswift IVy as a PhD student in 2008 - IVy was highly successful, taking class wins at the 2009 and 2011 World Solar Challenges and setting a Guinness World Record in 2011 for the fastest solar-powered vehicle (beating a long-standing record by a GM car).

As a professor, Graham guided the Sunswift team into a new era of solar car design, resulting in the unique 2-seater solar supercar concept, eVe - this car took line honors in the 2013 World Solar Challenge and set an FIA International Land Speed Record in 2014 for the Fastest Electric Car over 500km (sustaining highway speeds for over 4 hours continuous driving on a battery pack less than 20% of the capacity of a Tesla Model S).

In 2015 Graham developed this background and success into a larger idea - establishing the Prototype Vehicles Laboratory (PROVE Lab) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with the express aim of developing innovative, ultra-aerodynamic vehicles to break records in the alternative energy arena while engaging school students and the broader public with the organization's groundbreaking work. Visit for more.


Art and Science

Graham is also working on several other endeavors including the upcoming citizen science initiative, the (Big) Guinea Pig (Big) Data Project, and a collaboration with Kaveh Kabir to develop kinetic fluid sculpture for the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in Sydney, Australia. 

Cal Poly Aerospace Engineering, San Luis Obispo

You can find out more about Cal Poly's AE department and get official info on Graham's courses and lab facilities here.

Using Format