This tribute to Thurai Rahulan, a much-loved and admired member of the EPC Board for many years, has been kindly written by Dr. Andreea Koreanschi, his long-standing colleague in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Salford.


Dr Thurai Rahulan, esteemed scholar and engineer, passed away suddenly on the 22nd of February 2024, at his home in Summerseat. Thurai was born in Sri Lanka and moved to United Kingdom to pursue his academic studies, then proceeded to work across a host of institutions and created a legacy for linking people across countries and disciplines. He is survived by his wife, Eileen.

Thurai’s journey in UK started with a BSc(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering, in July 1979, from Salford University. He continued with his postgraduate studies, which earned him his PhD, and a place on a project to implement his research on the extension of feedback control technologies in multi-mode systems, funded by the British Ministry of Defence. Subsequently, he worked with Jaguar Cars Limited in Coventry and finally, he returned to Salford University, in 1990, as lecturer, where he contributed to the development of young engineers in aeronautics for the next 31 years, until his retirement as senior lecturer in November 2021.

Thurai had an active mind and his retirement did not mean, as he often desired, ‘just completely relax and do absolutely nothing after retirement except go on holidays and watch TV all the time’. He threw himself in organizing Multiphysics Conferences across the world, traveling to the USA to offer consultancy and joined the University of Staffordshire as a visiting fellow and external examiner.

Throughout his life, Thurai was involved and contributed to numerous institutions and committees: Honorary Chair for the Association of Aerospace Universities, Executive Board member for the Engineering Professors’ Council, Chair of the EPC’s Aerospace Sectoral Group for more than 8 years, Council member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Chair of the RAeS Manchester Branch, TAS auditor for 20 years, member of IMechE ANW committee representing the views of the aerospace academics in the North West for 18 years, external examiner at Al Ghurair University in Dubai, and more.

He involved himself in many competitions for students and has left many memories in the minds of young people with his unique way of teaching and presenting difficult topics in an accessible manner. He loved talking about a wide range of aerospace related topics, and his talks were enjoyed everywhere where he was invited to give them.

By turns blunt, funny or serious about mathematics and engineering, Thurai touched many lives as a mentor, as a teacher and as a friend, and his passing leaves an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him. His legacy of service, scholarship, and compassion will continue to inspire and uplift all of us who have known him, and, though he may no longer walk among us, his spirit lives on in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.

A memorial service to celebrate Dr. Rahulan’s life and legacy will be held on 15th of March at 10:00 am, Rowlands Methodist Church, Rowlands Road, Summerseat BL9 5NF, followed by Radcliffe Crematorium, 11.30 (AKA East Lancashire Crematorium), Cemetery Road, Radcliffe M26 4EU. After that, a buffet at Park Farm Tea Room, Ramsbottom, Bury BL9 5NP. (Please contact Eileen if you wish to attend.)

The family kindly requests that donations be made in his honour to Northwest Air Ambulance and a school in Jaffna that Thurai has been supporting.

May his soul rest in peace, and may his memory be a blessing to us all.

We invite colleagues and friends to share their memories and tributes to Thurai in the comments below. Tributes can also be left here

6 December 2023 – Confirm your place

Thank you for expressing your interest in the RAeS/EPC Academic Forum to be held at

The TechnoCentreCoventry University Technology ParkPuma WayCoventryCV1 2TT

On Wednesday 6th December.  Please complete your details below to confirm your attendance.

Responses must be received by 1700 next Friday 17th November.

We are excited to welcome you to the forum and look forward to a productive and informative day!




Welcome to the Aerospace Academics Network!

We are replacing the former Association of Aerospace Universities (AAU) with a new, more community oriented group.

Join us on this new journey!


About AANUpcoming EventsProfilesJoin Us

We are in the midst of change at both global and local level, and the Aerospace Engineering Community wishes to promote flexibility in how the aerospace academic (and non-academic as well) community meets, discusses and orients itself!

The Aerospace Academics Network’s goal is to bring together as many aerospace academics from all over England to discuss, debate and create ideas and good practices for the British aerospace courses, students and industry.

We welcome all EPC members with an interest in aerospace to join us in this transformation and make this space a community for all!

6 December 2023 – Confirm your place!

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Engineering Professors’ Council (Aerospace Academics Network) will be holding an Academic Forum on Wednesday 6 December at Coventry University.

We would be delighted for you to attend the forum which will provide opportunities for discussion on matters relating to accreditation, assessment and AHEP-4 mapping.  The RAeS will provide relevant updates and guidance on accreditation. You will also have an opportunity to share best practice with your academic peers on these matters.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

 Register Your Interest Here

Please complete your details by 17th November 2023.

We are excited to welcome you to the forum and look forward to a productive and informative day!

To be held online at 1100 British Summer Time on Friday 22nd October.
This will be followed by student presentations starting at 12 o’clock noon.
Zoom is probably the most likely video telepresence software platform we will be using, and the uniform resource locator will be made available asap. Please click to view the agenda.

The fifteenth International Conference of Multiphysics will be held virtually for the first time on 10-11 December 2020. The objective of the conference is to share and explore findings on mathematical advances, numerical modelling and experimental validation of theoretical and practical systems in a wide range of applications. Our Association has always sponsored the aerospace session in the past at zero cost.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts by 31 October 2020. For abstract submission, please visit

There is no registration fee.

The AAU/Aerospace Sectoral Group AGM will take place starting at 1200 on Friday 23rd October and will be a virtual event instead of a physical one that was going to be held at UWE. This year’s Annual Student Conference has been cancelled.
Please see the agenda here.

To be held at Al Ghurair University in Dubai from Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th December.

The aerospace sessions will be sponsored by the AAU as in the past.

The aviation industry is under transformation. New technologies are making flying faster, safer, less noisy and more sustainable. These innovations, however, require new skills. How can we equip the workers of tomorrow with the newest competences required by the market? And how do we generate pathways for the next generation to join this dynamic and essential sector for the UK?

We will address this and other questions during this landmark event, which will bring together major players across aerospace, education and government to collectively agree on a way forward for the creation of world-class UK Centres of Excellence for Aviation.

Join us on Wednesday, 9th October 2019 at 09:30 – 16:30 at the Novotel London Stansted Airport in Stansted.

To be held at the University of Hertfordshire. Follow links for more details and map.

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