We study fundamental fluid flow, turbulence, combustion, thermodynamics and heat transfer to tackle a wide variety of engineering problems in thermal systems, ranging from green hydrogen engines to fire safety and bush-fire behaviour. We have world-class research facilities and expertise in combustion, engines and flame behaviour at both system and scientific levels.

Our expertise span across three areas:

Combustion modelling

We conduct computational multi-scale modelling of multi-physics turbulent flows in relation to clean combustion, alternative fuels, and solar energy technologies. We work with several advanced models, including direct numerical simulations (DNS). This is performed on massively parallel supercomputers, large eddy simulations (LES), and transported probability density function methods performed on large cluster computers.

The modelling work is closely coupled with the experimental efforts on fundamental flames, combustion in engines and flows in solar-thermochemical reactors.

Combustion inside the engine room

We perform optical and laser-based imaging in optically-accessible engines to understand complex and transient motion of in-cylinder flows, development of flames, and formation pollutants. The measurements enable scientific findings for both higher efficiency and lower emission engines and support advanced computational modelling to clarify underlying physics. We also actively investigate the use of alternative fuels to diversify fuel supply chains and enhance energy security.

Fundamental flame and fire research

Advanced optical and laser-based combustion diagnostics are performed in fundamental flames to help develop clean burning, high efficiency combustors while supporting the high fidelity modelling effort.

We also promote the development of next generation fire resistance materials. This is demonstrated through the identification of potential hazards in charring and non-charring solid pyrolysis models coupled with multi-physics turbulent flows. Fundamental study of pre- and post-flashover fires brings forth a more effective response towards risk mitigation in infrastructure construction.

Highly successful, well-funded research activities and their real-world impact through global industry partnerships are found in the websites listed below.