Description of field of research:

Impressive reductions in the cost of renewable electricity generation have led to a realisation that it might be possible to use the generated electricity to produce fuels, such as hydrogen, that can replace fossil fuels in applications such as in heavy duty transportation, in peaking, backup and remote power generation, and in aviation. 

Several of the above applications currently use diesel compression ignition (CI) engines to provide their power. In this project, you will contribute to work in our group, in partnership with MAN Energy Solutions, to develop a CI engine that is primarily fuelled by hydrogen instead of diesel. We envisage this approach will have comparable efficiency to a fuel cell while being much more robust, reliable, and having lower cost and spatial footprint.

Specifically, in the project you will use a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of hydrogen combustion to aid our development efforts. This work could include helping to validate the model against experiments, to help us understand the results from experiments, or to help devise novel combustion strategies.

Finally - this above project is not the only project we have available. If you are interested in CFD applied to tough combustion problems, we have possible projects in other areas including in CFD methods development, CFD data analysis, and in other applications, for example hydrogen in gas turbines, and in accidental fires. Please reach out to Professor Hawkes if interested in these other topics.

Research Area

Combustion |
Hydrogen, engines

You will join a small team of PhD students and other Taste of Research students working on the hydrogen engine project. There is a friendly and collaborative environment and a wealth of knowledge to draw on.

Outcomes depend on the exact topic chosen after consultation, but in overview:

  • if working on validation we would hope to achieve progress in understanding what works and does not work in terms of matching CFD to experimental results
  • if working on experimental interpretation we would hope to achieve better understanding of the physical and chemical mechanisms that underlie the observed trends
  • if working on novel concept we would hope for clues as to what approaches might be worth trying to achieve higher hydrogen substitution while avoiding abnormal combustion and pollutant emissions

ToR projects in our group often work well if combined later with a BE thesis project.

Please contact the supervisor.