Advanced Combustion Diagnostics Laboratory

Combustion, Energy, Renewables, Engines, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Laser Diagnostics


The Advanced Combustion Diagnostics group's research activities centre on detailed investigations in the fields of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, combustion, heat and mass transfer. The research activities include the development of research methodologies for experimentation and analysis of well-controlled conditions that are directly relevant to practical combustion systems, such as engines, gas turbines and furnaces, and realistic fire scenarios.  In the case of practical combustion system-based research, the key theme of the group's activities is aimed at providing a comprehensive understanding of problems relating to energy conversion and reacting flows through using advanced diagnostic tools, with the ultimate aim of maximising efficiency and minimising the trade-offs in stability, emission and cost. In the case of fire-based research, the group focuses on developing fire safety diagnostics innovations to safeguard communities from fire threats.

Apply for research position (Google Form)

Current HDR Projects (Click to read)

  • Fire safety


Current UG Projects (Click to read)

Past Projects


High pressure and temperature constant volume combustion chamber (CVCC)

The chamber is a preburn type that is similar to the facilities at Sandia National Laboratory and other global institutes. The CVCC has a cubical combustion chamber, measuring 100 mm on each side. The CVCC has six window ports and eight access ports for instrumentation and valves and is therefore highly configurable to suit diagnostic needs. Sapphire windows provide optical access to the combustion chamber from four sides, and the fuel injector can be mounted on any of the ports. The high pressure (up to 8MPa) and temperature (up to 1200K) condition within the chamber is generated by spark-igniting a premixed-charged combustible gas mixture that consists of acetylene, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. The fuel is injected into the chamber's centre when the targeted thermodynamic condition is reached after a cool-down period. In the CVCC, the optical windows are flat, the ambient temperature, pressure and composition (from 0 to 21% oxygen) conditions are highly-controlled, and minimal flow is induced. All these create an ideal environment for advanced optical and laser diagnostics.

High-power Nd:YAG pulsed laser

The high‐power Nd:YAG laser (Quantel Brilliant B, Q-smart 450) is capable of delivering a pulse energy of 450 mJ at 1064 nm and 10 Hz. The Nd:YAG laser is coupled with automatic second and third harmonic generator phase matching to produce beam output with wavelength of 355, 532 and 1064 nm, and is capable of operating up to a repetition rate of 20 Hz.

UV-enhanced, intensified CCD camera

The intensified CCD camera (Andor iStar ) is capable of capturing images in the ultraviolet-visible region (200-700 nm) at an image resolution of 1024 x 1024 pixels. The camera has a peak quantum efficiency of 25% in the UV region and is capable of operating at a minimum gate width of 100 ns.

High-speed CMOS color camera

The high-speed camera (Photron SA5) is capable of achieving a maximum frame rate of 1.5 mega frames per second with sub-microsecond exposure. The camera is equipped with a CMOS sensor with a 20 micro meter pixel, that can deliver an ISO light sensitivity of 1,000 and is used to observe combustion events through the optical access windows of the chamber.

Experimental diagnostic capabilities

There are many different diagnostics that can be and have been applied to the combustion vessel. A detailed description of these measurement techniques is provided below:

Dr Shaun Chan



HDR candidates      

Ms Rachel Li

Mr Patrick Rorimpandey

Mr Bob Wan

Mr Sensen Xing

Hydrogen combustion

Dual-fuel combustion

Hydrogen methane combustion

Fire Evacuation


Present: MPhil (Mechanical Engineering), UNSW Sydney, Australia 

2021 – 2022: Master of Engineering Science (Mechanical), UNSW Sydney, Australia 

2015 – 2020: Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honours Class 2 Division 1), UNSW Sydney, Australia 

Bachelor of Computer Science (Distinction), UNSW Sydney, Australia 


Present: PhD (Mechanical Engineering), UNSW Sydney, Australia

2014-2018: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney (1st class), Australia


Present: Advanced Masters (Mechanical Engineering), UNSW Sydney, Australia

2019-2021: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Deakin University, Australia

2016-2019: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, China


Present: PhD (Mechanical Engineering), UNSW Australia  

2013-2017: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Jiangsu University, China 

HDR graduates      

Dr Paul Yip

Dr Mark Zhai

Mr Sensen Xing

Hydrogen jet combustion in engine-relevant conditions

Characterisation of ignition, combustion and flame stabilisation for gasoline-like fuels under compression-ignition conditions

Study of ignition and combustion characteristics of consecutive injections with iso-Octane and n-Heptane as fuels

2022: PhD in Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia

2021: PhD in Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia

2020: Advanced Master in Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia

Dr Cheng Wang Dr Islam Md Rizwanul Fattah Mr Cheng Wang Mr Michael Ming
Development of compartment fire Flame-wall interaction in diesel engine environments External irradiation effect on the growth and evolution of in-flame soot species Combustion characterization of bio-fuels at high temperature and pressure environments
2020: Phd in Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia 2018: PhD in Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia 2016: Advanced Master in Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia 2018: Advanced Master in Mechanical Engineering, UNSW Sydney, Australia

Enquiries for Ph.D. or M.E. Positions

We are always in search of capable and self-motivated individuals for PhD/ME students. We have experience in assisting local and international students to apply for research scholarships (Australian Postgraduate Award APA, Chinese Scholarship Council CSC, Science without Borders) to undertake a higher degree by research at UNSW. The group also offers top-up scholarships to Ph.D. students of exceptional research potential. For enquiries on available positions, please send your resume to Dr Shaun Chan (




Project collaborators: External

Shaun Chan
The University of New South Wales

Key contact