Advanced Combustion Diagnostics Laboratory

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


The group's research activities involve 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 realistic conditions that are directly relevant to practical combustion systems such as engines, gas turbines and furnaces. The key theme of the group's research is to provide comprehensive understandings of problems relating to energy conversion and reacting flows through the use advanced diagnostic tools, with the ultimate aim of maximising efficiency and minimising the trade-offs in stability, efficiency and emissions.

Apply for research position

Current 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 6 window ports and 8 access ports for instrumentation and valves, and is therefore highly configurable to suit diagnostic needs. Sapphire windows are used to 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 centre of the chamber 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



Apply for research position

Current members

HDR candidates


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

Faculty of Engineering