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Prof Kai Luo
Roberts Building
Torrington Place
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 3916
Fax: +44 (0)20 7388 0180
  • Chair of Energy Systems
  • Dept of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Professor Luo studied in the Department of Engineering of Cambridge University and obtained his PhD in 1992. He conducted postdoctoral research in the Mechanical Engineering Department of Imperial College London from 1991 to 1993. He subsequently worked for Queen Mary, University of London, becoming a full chair in 2002. Between 2004 and 2013, he was Chair in Energy Systems in the University of Southampton, where he built and led a large Energy Technology Research Group. In 2013, Professor Luo joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering of University College London. He currently holds Chair in Energy Systems and is a member of the Energy and Environment Group. He has had several international appointments in China, France and the Netherlands.

Research Themes
Research Summary

For over 26 years so far, Professor Luo has been working at the cutting edge of thermofluids engineering, energy science and propulsion technologies. He is specialized in advanced modelling and simulation approaches, with an emphasis on first-principle-based numerical simulations and mechanism-based modelling. He also has a good understanding of experimental research and works closely with experimentalists. His work covers multi-physics phenomena and processes across the scales (e.g. nanoscale, microscale, mesoscale and macroscale). He has done pioneering work in both numerical/physical model development and scientific discovery in multiscale, multiphysics problems. Examples include developing (1) continuum-based macroscopic methods such as Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) for compressible turbulence, aeroacoustics and turbulent combustion; (2) mesoscopic methods such as Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) and Discrete Element Method (DEM) for multiphase, thermal and reactive flows; and atomistic simulation methods such as Molecular Dynamics (MD) for nanotechnology, material synthesis and biomedical systems. His research has advanced fundamental knowledge in the relevant disciplines and developed predictive tools for industry.

Professor Luo leads a research group consisting of a number of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. He collaborates extensively with colleagues in the UK, China, France, Germany, Norway and USA. Between 2002 and 2010, Professor Luo led the UK’s Consortium on Computational Combustion for Engineering Applications (EPSRC Grant Nos. GR/R66197 and EP/D080223). The consortium gathered together academics and researchers from 14 institutions across the UK to tackle fundamental and applied problems in combustion and energy using national high-end computing (HEC) facilities. Currently, he is leading the UK Consortium On Mesoscale Engineering Sciences (UKCOMES) funded by the EPSRC (Grant No. EP/L00030X/1, 2013 – 2018). UKCOMES consists of academics and researchers from 10+ institutions in the UK, with a Scientific Advisory Board of international experts from 4 continents. Moreover, Professor Luo is a founding member of UK Turbulence Consortium which has been operating since 1998.  World-class HEC facilities such as ARCHER have been utilised to perform cutting-edge simulations of complex phenomena and processes.

Professor Luo works actively with industry. His research has had generous support from BAE Systems, BRE, E.On, DERA/DSTL, Ford, Siemens, Rolls-Royce and Shell, to just name a few. In addition, major organisations such as the EPSRC, EU, Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering and Natural Science Foundation of China have sponsored his research activities.
Teaching Summary

  1. Module Coordinator of MECHGM02 – Power Transmission & Auxiliary Machinery Systems;
  2. Panel Member of MECH2003 – Third Year Projects;
  3. External Examiner of MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department, Imperial College London;
  4. External Examiner of MSc in Thermal Power and Fluids Engineering, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, the Victoria University of Manchester.

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