Fluids and Thermal Engineering Research Group

Our research

Leading the way with research on:

  • Engines and combustion
  • Multiphase flow
  • HVAC
  • Thermla management
  • Heat transfer enhancement
  • Refirgeration
  • Process optimisation
  • Gas and oil
  • Turbine and wing fluid mechanics
Science lab

Leading researches on Engines and Combustion are carried out to study gasoline direct injection combustion, alternative fuels combustion, and gas soot. 

Cutting edge Heat Transfer Enhancement focuses on phase change cooling, microchannel boiling and condensation, high efficient heat pipes, nanofluids heat transfer and also nature inspired technologies

FLUTE has expertise in building and mining HVAC, innovative and sustainable Refrigeration, as well as supplying Thermal Management solutions for energy systems such as electric car batteries, power electronics, data centres.

Our Multiphase Flow research has gained high reputation in both academic and industrial communities, particularly on gas-liquid or liquid-liquid two-phase flow, interfacial dynamics, and two and three phase flow measurement. The group also has a capability in Process Optimisation, which is very important and essential technology for food and drink, pharmaceutical, and Gas and Oil industry. Our current research of Turbine and Wing Fluid Mechanics supplies optimum solutions of Wind turbines and aerofoil aerodynamics, and Drag reduction and flow control.

Related Research 

Research areas

Engines and Combustion
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Combustion can be viewed as a process of “heat release”; the liberation of chemical energy in the fuel. Propulsion systems such as jet or car engines all rely on burning a fuel to produce power.  Despite its wide application the combustion process is far from being fully understood, and it continues to be a very major field of research. 
In automotive internal combustion engines for instance, it significantly influences the performance and fuel economy of the engine and the emission of pollutants.


Characteristics of the fuel, chemical kinetics, air/fuel mixture preparation and the phasing of combustion within the engine cycle, all affects the shape of heat release and the formation of pollutants, such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter also known as soot. There is much going on to develop more efficient and low polluting designs and, with state-of-the-art facilities and allied technical and academic expertise, the group offers a diverse range of research and commercial capabilities in the area of combustion engineering.

Research themes

  • Internal combustion engine
  • Gas soot
  • Alternative/Renewable fuels
  • Computational modelling

Heat Transfer Enhancement

Heat Transfer Enhancement
It is well believed that nowadays in our global society the energy used for cooling is much higher than for heating. Therefore, efficient cooling and heat transfer enhancement have become ever important.

Heat Transfer Enhancement focuses on frontier fundamental and applied researches in heat and mass transfer with combinations of experimental and numerical modelling. 


Also the state-of-the-art technologies such as nanofluids heat transfer, microchannel boiling & condensation, phase change cooling, and high efficient heat pipes, as well as innovative nature inspired solutions of heat transfer enhancement.

The fundamental studies are directly related to industrial applications such as in gas turbine blade and aerofoil cooling, oil/gear box cooling, power electronics cooling, and also in optimal designs of power machines and heat exchangers in the variety of energy systems such as power station, nuclear power reactors, and engines.

Research themes

  • Efficient cooling technology
  • Microchannel boiling and condensation
  • High efficient heat pipes
  • Nanofluid heat transfer
  • Heat transfer in energy systems
  • Nature inspired technology for heat transfer
  • multiscale modelling (CFD, LBM and MD)


HVAC, Refrigeration and Thermal Management
HVAC, Refrigeration and Thermal Management
FLUTE develops innovative technologies for HVAC systems and components with the aim of saving energy in HVAC and improving thermal comfort for the built environments. The research topics include utilisation of solar energy for building air-conditioning; long term and short term thermal energy storage for building heat and cooling. Joint researches include one with Shanghai Jiaotong University sponsored by China research council and Royal Society.

We carry out fundamental studies on improving the performance of refrigeration systems and the effectiveness of industrial applications.

One of current projects is to study the roles of nanoparticles in the working fluids of refrigeration systems.Other topics are concerned with how to improve evaporative and desiccant cooling. The investigations are based on both experimental and numerical (CFD) modelling. A collaborative research with 3 UK and 3 India universities on absorption refrigeration for waste heat utilisation from cooling concentrated photovoltaic systems in hot climates has been established.

We also develop effective solutions of thermal management for various energy systems such as automotive engines, electric vehicle batters, power electronics, and telecommunication data centres.  



Research themes

  • Nano fluids for HVAC and refrigeration
  • Sustainable refrigeration
  • Thermal management for energy systems and power electronics
  • Ventilation design
  • Energy saving for HVAC systems
  • Heat and mass transfer enhancment for refrigeration systems

Multiphase Flow

Multiphase Flow

FLUTE research in Multiphase Flow focusses on understanding the nature of the interactions between two or three immiscible phases flowing together in various flow systems across micro to macro length scales.

Our aim is to develop multidisciplinary solutions to two phase flow problems in strategically important technological areas such as Power and Energy, Industrial Biotechnology, Food processing and Healthcare technologies.


Our multifaceted research approach is underpinned by the extensive experimental and modelling skills embedded in the group together with the unique instrumentation and pilot scale facilities.

Our expertise range from two phase flow experimentation, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), microfluidics, data assimilation and developing empirical and semi empirical models. We collaborate with industry and other national and international research institutions closely.  Our research is funded by the Research Councils and the industry. 

Research themes

  • Gas-liquid two phase flow in pipes
  • Interfacial dynamics in two phase flows
  • Two and three phase flor measurement techniques
  • Liquid-liquid two pahse flow
Turbine and Wing Fluid Mechanics
Turbine and Wing Fluids Mechanic

Our research focuses on cutting edge fluid mechanics problems, such as drag reduction, flow oscillations, shape optimization, flow separation control, turbulent boundary layer structures, boundary layer control using electro-magnetic systems (EMS), micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) and surface plasma technology.


Current research strategy includes:

  • boundary layer control is studied by direct intervention of large-scale turbulent structures
  • flow separation control by surface plasma and fluid jets (pulsed and synthetic jet actuators) with a particular application to aircraft

In terms of the state of the art applications, our current research is concerned with wind turbine structure optimisation, computational fluid mechanics (CFD) software development and wind power system design.

The group also studies gas turbine turbulent flow heat transfer and blade cooling. 

Research themes

  • Aeroacoustics
  • Drag reduction and flow control
  • Fluid and structure interactions
  • Gas turbine turbulent flow heat transfer
  • Wind turbines and wing aerodynamics

Fluids and Thermal Engineering Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD