Centre for Energy

Invited Speakers

Special Plenary Speaker Professor Terry Wall AM FTSE

School of Engineering, University of Newcastle

Terry Wall is Professor of Engineering at the University of Newcastle and Science Leader of ANLECR&D. He has been involved in coal R&D throughout his career.

Terry has been awarded the ESSO Award for excellence in Chemical Engineering in 1997, the Bryers Award of the US Engineering Foundation in 2004, the John Chipman Award of the Iron and Steel Society (US) and the Pitt Award for Innovation in Coal Conversion of the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. In 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Percy Nicholls Award for Notable Scientific or Practical Contributions in the Field of Solid Fuels jointly sponsored by the Power Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Coal Division of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineering (AIME).He was awarded Membership (AM) of the Order of Australia in 2001 for ‘service to the coal industry as a researcher in the coal sciences, particularly in the technical areas related to combustion, and to education’ and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He has recently been guest editor of special editions in international journals - in FUEL on hot gas cleaning as well as fuel quality and in Fuel Processing Technology on clean coal technology in 2010. The June 2005 edition of the Elsevier journal FUEL was dedicated to Professor Terry Wall.

Topic: Coal combustion research – past, present and future

Abstract: Australia’s dependence on coal for electricity and as an export has driven continuous R&D, supported by ACARP, and recently by two CRC’s and now ANLECR&D. Research has been driven by issues related to coal properties, and now by the development of carbon capture technologies.

The presentation will outline research in three areas – furnace heat transfer and ash impacts, pulverised coal particle reactivity and flame ignition and oxy-fuel combustion for CCS. The future challenges will be outlined, with the need to expand collaboration with international R&D.

Bob Bilger Lecturer Professor John Abraham

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide
School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

Professor Abraham received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University in 1986, held positions as a Research Staff Member at Princeton University, Senior Engineer at John Deere, and the Richard and Barbara Nelson Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, before joining the faculty in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University in January, 1996.He joined the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide in July 2012. His research interests include combustion, multiphase flows, sprays, fuel chemistry, computational fluid dynamics, and high-performance computing. His work has led to 3 patents, over 100 archival journal publications, over 150 additional publications in conference proceedings, and 3 invited book chapter contributions. His work has been funded by industry and government agencies. Professor Abraham has collaborated extensively with personnel in industry and national laboratories. He has been a consultant to several engine companies. Professor Abraham is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), has won the Lloyd L. Withrow Distinguished Speaker award from the SAE, and the Harry Solberg Best Teacher award from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Physical Society, the Combustion Institute, the Institute for Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is Associate Editor of the journals Combustion Science and Technology and ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Spray and Combustion Dynamics.

Topic: Recent Progress in Modeling Reacting Diesel Sprays

Abstract: Accurate modeling of the transient structure of reacting diesel sprays is important as transient features like autoignition, flame propagation, and flame stabilization have been shown to correlate with combustion efficiency and pollutant formation in diesel engines. This presentation will begin by discussing the structure of reacting diesel sprays and by reviewing several modeling approaches. Results from RANS and LES modeling of reacting diesel jets using an unsteady flamelet progress variable (UFPV) model for turbulence/chemistry interactions will be discussed in detail. Nitric oxide in the jets is modeled within the framework of the UFPV model. Soot is modeled using a kinetic mechanism coupled with a tracer particle approach to estimate residence times within the jet. After appropriate normalization of the results, the normalized soot mass in the jet is found to correlate with the normalized lift-off height, i.e. higher lift-off height results in lower soot mass. No such correlation is evident for nitric oxide. Analysis of the entrained mass upstream of the lift-off height confirms that the soot/lift-off height correlation arises from variation in normalized entrained mass upstream of the lift-off height. The lecture will also discuss the gaps that have to be addressed before models for combustion in diesel engines become predictive.

Plenary Speaker Professor Fei Qi

National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China


Professor Fei Qi received his PhD degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 1997, and conducted postdoctoral work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories from 1998 to 2003. He joined NSRL, USTC as a professor in 2003 and became the Deputy Director of Experimental Division, NSRL in 2008. His research interests include development of SVUV-PIMS, applications of this technique in researches of combustion and energy, and development of kinetic models of transportation fuels, surrogate fuels, biofuels and nitrogenous fuels. He has co-authored more than 160 peer-reviewed journal papers, including 36 papers published on Combustion and Flame and Proceedings of the Combustion Institute since 2007.

His scientific achievements have been widely recognized by the research community. He was elected as a fellow of American Society of Physics in 2012, and a plenary speaker of the 34th International Symposium of Combustion in 2012. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Combustion Institute since 2012, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Combustion and Flame since 2009. He also served as a Co-Chair and Coordinator of the 33rd and 34th International Symposium of Combustion, respectively. He was a member of the Editorial Board of Review of Scientific Instruments.

 Topic: Recent Applications of Synchrotron VUV Photoionization Mass Spectrometry in Combustion and Energy Researches

Abstract: This presentation reports the development of synchrotron vacuum ultraviolet photoionization mass spectrometry (SVUV-PIMS) and the dedicated applications of this technique in various research topics of combustion and energy. The wide tunability of synchrotron photon energy can facilitate the selective identification of isomeric intermediates and near-threshold detection of radicals to avoid fragmentation interference; and the convenient combination of SVUV-PIMS with various laboratory-based approaches demonstrates its universality in combustion and energy researches.

Recent experimental achievements have demonstrated the successful applications of SVUV-PIMS in studies of gas phase pyrolysis in plug-flow reactors and low temperature oxidation in jet-stirred reactors, studies of spatial evolution of species concentrations in premixed and non-premixed flames, product distributions in pyrolysis of biomass and coal, and analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), with objectives to validate current kinetic models and develop new kinetic models. Furthermore, some additional potential applications in combustion and energy researches are proposed.


Plenary Speaker Professor José L Torero

School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland

Professor José L. Torero is the Head of the School of Civil Engineering at The University of Queensland. He is a leader in the field of Fire Safety Engineering where he specializes in the behavior of fire in complex environments such as forests, tall buildings, novel architectures, tunnels, aircraft and spacecraft. He holds a BSc for the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (1989), and an MSc (1991) and PhD (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley. José is a Chartered Engineer (UK), a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

José joined The University of Queensland in 2012 following appointments as the Landolt & Cia Chair in Innovation for a Sustainable Future at Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, BRE Trust/RAEng Professor of Fire Safety Engineering at The University of Edinburgh, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland and Charge de Recherche at the French National Centre for Scientific Research.


Topic: Using Large Scale Testing for the Safe Design of Tall Buildings

Abstract: Tall buildings are currently designed on the basis of a “worst case scenario” formulation for fires. This worst case scenario is based on extensive testing done in the 1960’s and 1970’s. These tests had to critical characteristics, they were mostly conducted in small compartments with almost cubic geometry and they were very poorly instrumented. Modern buildings have compartments that are in many cases very large with aspect ratios far from cubic. This is important in that the aspect ratio defines the nature of turbulent mixing and oxygen supply to the combustion zone. Furthermore, for small cubic compartments mixing is intense resulting in an almost homogeneous distribution of temperature and species, in a large compartment the gradients of temperature and species are very significant. Low instrumentation density can be justified for the former but not for the latter. This presentation discusses a series of large scale experiments conducted with a compartment 18 m x 5 m x 2 m where the fire was allowed to propagate. Temperatures, heat fluxes, velocities and species were measured with a resolution consistent with typical CFD fire models.


Plenary Speaker Professor Minghou Xu

State Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Professor Minghou Xu is a “Cheung Kong” Chair Professor of the Ministry of Education of China, and Director of State Key Laboratory of Coal Combustion at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. He received his PhD, ME, and BE in Thermal Power Engineering in 1992, 1989 and 1986 respectively at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Prof. Xu worked as a visiting scientist from 1997 to 2000 at Instituto Superior Técnico in Technical University of Lisbon. He was also a visiting scholar from July 1999 to September 1999 at the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, the University of Sydney, Australia, and a visiting professor in August 2010 at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Curtin University of Technology, Australia. Prof Xu visited Curtin University from August to mid-September 2011 as an AusAID Australian Leadership Award Fellow and was also a visiting professor, sponsored by AusAID from August 2011 to August 2016 at Curtin University. Professor Xu is the Colloquium Co-Chair for Heterogeneous Combustion of the 34th and 35th International Symposium on Combustion.

Prof. Xu’s main research interests are efficient and clean coal combustion theory and technology, efficient biomass conversion and utilisation, solid waste utilisation. He has coordinated a broad range of projects related to energy and environment. The author of over 100 papers in international journals and conference proceedings, his research has led to the formation of fine particles, and the control of toxic metal emissions by sorbents.

Topic: Coal Combustion Pollutants: Research Driven by Increasingly More Stringent Chinese Environmental Regulations

Abstract: China is currently facing an environmental crisis. Coal fired power generation is a major source of air pollution. New stringent environmental regulations for coal-fired power plants are entering into force. Accordingly, power plants are under increasing pressure to implement new and advanced pollutant control technologies to comply with the new regulations. These also highlight the challenges that must be well addressed by coal combustion scientists and technologists. In this presentation, a detailed scenario analysis of coal combustion generated pollutant emissions in China is firstly presented, followed by a comprehensive comparison of new Chinese environmental regulations with those of other jurisdictions to demonstrate the unique needs for innovative research in the field of coal combustion. Emphases are given to research activities that aim to improve the understanding of the formation mechanisms, emission and control of targeted pollutants including particulate matter, heavy metals and CO2 from coal combustion. The presentation concludes with a view to the prospects of the innovations in developing abatement technologies in the coal fired power generation sector in China.