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Overview of the role

Design and develop, operate and maintain gas turbine systems

Power and propulsion gas turbine engineer

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the Energy and Power, Aerospace and Defence industries that are in the areas of Power and Propulsion (aviation) Engineering respectively.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to design and develop, operate and maintain gas turbine systems. Power and Propulsion Gas Turbine Engineers apply their specialist skills in mechanical or aircraft propulsion engineering and strive to improve the reliability, efficiency and emissions of the engine they are working on. These engineers are highly skilled specialists with fundamental and applied knowledge of engineering related to the design, performance, operability and maintenance, and the selection of gas turbine engines. These cover the mechanical and aerodynamic design of its components/parts, turbomachinery, combustion, overall engine system thermodynamic performance, operational and control strategy, diagnostics and component life estimation. These highly skilled engineers are challenged with bringing together the conflicting requirements of operational or technical constraints that include engine reliability, efficiency and emissions, alongside the economic viability of operations. For example, achieving overall good efficiency at the expense of favourable reliability. The challenge may also include technological improvements that increase efficiency but not necessarily emissions, and in some cases achieving peak component efficiency but only for a narrow range of operation. These engineers also may oversee activities related to the upgrading of existing or future development, and cost analysis may be necessary to determine the feasibility of certain projects. They may also create automated workflow systems to reduce the costs of engineering in the future, and documentation of these activities is often necessary to improve efficiency. They may develop conceptual designs or diagnose faults in engine systems by applying gas turbines specific knowledge and operational experiences.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with generalists and specialists (in the office and the field) of different aspects of engineering design and operations. He/she will typically refer to other specialists when additional separate expertise is required to generate a global outcome/solution. He/she will find themselves presenting their conclusions to technical, non-technical engineering experts or high-level management. Much of the work is office based, but Power and Propulsion Gas Turbine engineers are also present during the assembly of components to form the engine, the integration with the airframe, coupling with electric power generators and other mechanical driven equipment like gas compressors.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the provision of services and solutions relating to in-service fleet support, lifecycle cost reduction, engine modifications and life extensions.They prepare, implement and monitor project plans, project risk registers, project priorities and formal deliverables.

They are also responsible for monitoring and influencing the technical and schedule progress of project tasks, proactively identifying risks and issues, and recommending solutions. Research duties may be necessary to determine the best ways to construct or integrate systems and parts, and some work is done independently while collaboration is usually necessary. They will typically report to a Senior Principal Engineer, Senior Specialist or a Chief Engineer depending on the organizational structure while working with different levels of engineers across multiple engineering disciplines.

A Power and Propulsion Gas Turbine Engineer must have the core requirements below and demonstrate the specialist requirements in ONE of the following two job specific roles.

Aircraft Propulsion - Individuals in this role lead the design and testing of jet engine propulsion sub-systems (components or parts) and integration with other components of the engine system. The subsystems or parts include: intake, compressor, combustor and fuel system, turbine, nozzle etc. They are involved in the performance, control and maintenance of engines when in service to ensure reliability and emissions are in check. These engineers are also involved in evaluating the design implications of integrating engine systems with the airframe.

Rotating Machinery Applications – Individuals in this role lead in the technical and economic management of gas turbines in land and sea applications that are applicable to the energy industry (electric power and oil and gas mechanical drive applications). These engineers ensure that gas turbines operate reliably and economically through regular performance assessment, implementing well-timed maintenance measures, as well as predicting and identifying faults before they can lead to failures that cause loss of production. They will typically interact with the engine manufacturer to report problems and demand measures to optimise operations. When they work in an engine manufacturer company, they can be the interface with the gas turbine user and their design team. Their knowledge and experience are also required in the design and testing of existing and new gas turbine systems.

Typical job titles include:

Service development engineer Customer support engineer Gas turbine design Project engineer Maintenance manager Rotating equipment engineer Mechanical engineer Plant operations engineer Plant technician Aerothermal engineer Performance engineer

Entry requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their apprenticeships in conjunction with their chosen provider(s). Typically UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or Applied Science.


Core Occupation duties



Duty 1 Monitor and evaluate gas turbine engine performance to maximise operational efficiency, whilst maintaining emissions and noise.


S1 S2

B1 B2 B3

Duty 2 Model and simulate gas turbine performance using computer-based steady-state and transient performance models.

K1 K2

S1 S2 S3 S4

B1 B2 B3

Duty 3 Employ computer-based diagnostic analysis tools to understand and detect gas turbine faults.

K1 K2 K3

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5

B1 B2 B3

Duty 4 Design, modify and evaluate turbomachinery components, including conceptual and detail design, analysis, qualification and production support.

K1 K4


B1 B2 B3

Duty 5 Design, modify and evaluate the combustor, including conceptual and detail design, analysis, qualification and production support.

K1 K5

S7 S8

B1 B2 B3

Duty 6 Assess hot section component and results of lifing calculations to make recommendations on the in-service viability and safety of particular components.

K1 K4 K5 K6

S9 S10

B1 B2 B3

Duty 7 Develop and evaluate loads/forces/stresses and failures in gas turbines using mechanical design principles.

K6 K7 K8

S11 S12 S13

B1 B2 B3

Option Duties

Aircraft Propulsion duties



Duty 8 Develop and ensure a safe and efficient interface between the aircraft systems and the propulsion systems, according to the needs of each of them.

K1 K2 K9

S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 Assess nacelle design, aircraft performance and use component performance to evaluate the installation performance with respect to the integration of engine and airframe using industry standards and best practices based on trade studies, research and analysis.

K1 K10

S16 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 10 Use numerical tools to investigate the performance of gas turbine components/parts.

K4 K11

S18 S19

B1 B2 B3

Rotating Machinery Applications duties



Duty 11 Evaluate engine performance and health using machine sensor data from gas path measurements.

K1 K12

S1 S20 S21

B1 B2 B3

Duty 12 Identify performance improvement opportunities through new or retrofit recommendation.

K1 K12

S1 S21 S22

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 13 Evaluate the performance of combined cycle power plants in operation.

K1 K12 K13

S1 S23 S24

B1 B2 B3

Duty 14 Advise and manage the procurement of an organisation's products


S25 S26

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 15 Feedback experiences for new innovation, programmes and operations.


S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6



K1: Gas Turbine Theory and Performance – Introduction to gas dynamics; gas turbine cycles (ideal and actual cycles), engine configurations, design point performance and off-design behaviour by hand calculations, interpreting performance maps, approaches to transient calculations. Back to Duty

K2: Gas Turbine Performance Simulation - computer-based modelling, design point and off-design performance steady-state simulation, transient performance simulation (constant mass flow and inter-component method). Back to Duty

K3: Gas Turbine Diagnostics – condition monitoring techniques, fault diagnosis using linear and non-linear Gas Path Analysis, performance analysis based diagnostic techniques using computer-based data-driven algorithms or models. Back to Duty

K4: Turbomachinery – Introduction to aerodynamics, thermofluids, and compressible flows, compressor design, turbine design and aerodynamic performance. Back to Duty

K5: Combustors – Gas turbine combustor design consideration and sizing methodologies, combustor efficiency, pollutants/emissions, heat transfer and cooling, and fuels. Back to Duty

K6: Blade Cooling - Heat transfer principles, cooling technologies (convection, impingement, film, transpiration and liquid cooling), their efficiency, advantages and limitations; materials and manufacturing processes. Back to Duty

K7: Fatigue and Fracture - theories of fatigue failure, stress based methods, complex cyclic behaviour, strain methods, methodologies for life and fatigue assessment, and criteria for material selection, corrosion and thermal degradation. Back to Duty

K8: Mechanical Design of Turbomachinery – Loads/forces/stresses in a gas turbine, failure criteria, blade vibration, blade off containment and turbomachine rotordynamics. Back to Duty

K9: Jet Engine Control – Requirements and implementation of control constraints (variable stators, bleed valves and variable area nozzles), safe and responsive engine handling, fuel systems and fuel pumps, hydro-mechanical fuel metering - Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), electronic engine controller, staged combustion, and airworthiness considerations. Back to Duty

K10: Propulsion Systems Performance and Integration - Aircraft performance and noise, jet engine performance, intakes and exhaust systems, system performance and integration. Back to Duty

K11: Computational Fluid Dynamics for Gas Turbines - Flow modelling strategies, physical Modelling, finite difference equations, and practical demonstration. Back to Duty

K12: Gas Turbine Operations – Power and energy, configurations and applications, measured and calculated parameters, performance using operational data, part-load operations, control constraints, availability and reliability, maintenance, degradation: recoverable and non-recoverable, performance enhancement/retention: air filtration systems, compressor washing, inlet cooling technologies. Flexibility: response rate and minimum environmental load. Back to Duty

K13: Combined Cycle Gas Turbine - Design point performance - Gas and Steam Turbine, Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) technology, off-design performance, transient performance, frequency control, performance economics, advanced cycles, and greenhouse issues. Back to Duty

K14: Engineering Management - Engineers and technologists in organisations, people management, the business environment, strategy and marketing, supply chain, tendering, contract and procurement, new product development, team working and negotiation skills. Back to Duty


S1: Evaluate the performance of an engine system, using well-informed assumptions to determine its condition. Back to Duty

S2: Assess the outcomes from quantitative evaluations of gas turbine designs, to determine appropriate engine systems for particular applications. Back to Duty

S3: Employ computer-based gas turbine models to estimate engine performance at design and off-design conditions. Back to Duty

S4: Investigate the impact of different degradation and faults on gas turbine performance using computer-based models. Back to Duty

S5: Employ computer-based diagnostic analysis tools to detect gas turbine faults. Back to Duty

S6: Critically analyse the design and performance of turbomachinery components for modifications or new developments. Back to Duty

S7: Assess the influence of design choices on combustor efficiency, emissions, durability and stability to meet expected standards and compliance. Back to Duty

S8: Estimate the impact of operating conditions of a gas turbine combustor for maintenance replacements (life of combustor liner). Back to Duty

S9: Account for heat transfer effects and the cooling technology to produce a realistic assessment of turbine blade conditions. Back to Duty

S10: Assess life, fatigue and failure of cracked components. Back to Duty

S11: Evaluate the loads, stresses from rotation and vibration, as well as failure criteria of turbomachinery components. Back to Duty

S12: Assess the creep life of a gas turbine component subject to a complex operating profile. Back to Duty

S13: Employ desk-top methods to evaluate the stress distributions and vibration frequencies, to suggest ways of ameliorating any problems. Back to Duty

S14: Assess jet engine control systems design, the different mechanisms and components to allow for safe and efficient operation. Back to Duty

S15: Apply the awareness of the regulatory requirements relevant to engine controls and fuel systems in the analysis of control and operational needs Back to Duty

S16: Assess the overall aircraft performance. Back to Duty

S17: Use component performance accounting relationships to assess the installation performance in respect of the integration of the engine and airframe. Back to Duty

S18: Design effective turbomachinery grid generation strategies to ensure numerical models are successfully employed. Back to Duty

S19: Use Computational Fluid Dynamics tools to generate effective flow analyses, evaluations and reporting of flow simulations. Back to Duty

S20: Evaluate gas turbine performance using machine sensor data from actual operations. Back to Duty

S21: Identify and assess engine performance deterioration, as well as propose retrofit technologies to mitigate the impact. Back to Duty

S22: Quantify the benefits of retrofit technologies related to performance enhancement and engine flexibility options. Back to Duty

S23: Appraise the design and off-design performance of Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power plant. Back to Duty

S24: Apply the appropriate methods and data available to assess the economic viability of operations and power generation technologies. Back to Duty

S25: Evaluate the impact of the key functional areas (procurement, strategy, marketing and supply chain ) on the commercial performance, relevant to the manufacture of a product or provision of technical service. Back to Duty

S26: Strategic in the exploitation of teams efforts/strengths with reference to operations and commercialising technological innovation. Back to Duty

S27: Demonstrate negotiating skills, deal with uncertainty to allow technological innovation and change to flourish. Back to Duty


B1: System Thinking - recognise the contribution of individuals at different levels and experiences (specialist and generalist), and appreciating interrelations and integration. Back to Duty

B2: Team working - comfortable working collaboratively in teams. Back to Duty

B3: Curiosity and Innovation – Open to new ideas and the development of such ideas of individuals or others, and adopt practices that are informed by wider considerations (environment, ethical and legal compliance). Back to Duty

B4: Professional Commitment - Continue to embrace the development of domain knowledge and awareness of technological advances. Back to Duty

B5: Leadership - taking responsibility for their actions, show perseverance and be prepared to lead, mentor and supervise others. Back to Duty

B6: Responsiveness to change: flexible to changing working environment and demands; resilient under pressure Back to Duty


English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Professional Recognition

This standard has professional recognition.

Body Level
Royal Aeronautical Society CEng
Institution of Power Engineers Member and towards CEng

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 7
Degree: non-degree qualification
Reference: ST0790
Version: 1.0
Approved for delivery: 7 August 2020
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £16000
Options: Aircraft Propulsion, Rotating Machinery Applications
Trailblazer contact(s): julia.brown@score-group.com
Employers involved in creating the standard: Score Energy, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd, Uniper, WSP, R-MC Power Recovery Ltd, Flakt Group, Bladon Jet, Royal Air Force, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Easy Jet, Total UK Limited
LARS Code: 587

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