Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr James Massey

Department of Engineering

Dr James Massey


James Massey

Robinson College Research Fellow

Academic Division: Energy, Fluids and Turbomachinery

Research group: Energy


Personal website


Research interests

Emissions from aircraft engines are a major source of greenhouse gases and release high levels of NOx gases into the atmosphere from the current rich burn systems. Since there is a heavy push from emission regulations to reduce NOx, there is a huge need to move towards lean burn combustion. It is well known that lean premixed combustion can deliver very low levels of NOx. However, this combustion is known to be highly unstable and can result in the occurrence of flame extinction, which may lead to flame blow-off. This is detrimental to combustion systems and must be avoided.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is widely used for turbulent combustion modelling and is relied on for the design of industrial combustors today. Large Eddy Simulation (LES) is a powerful emerging methodology for CFD due to its capability of handling full-scale complex geometries and the ability to capture the unsteady phenomena in turbulent combustion, including flame extinction and blow-off. The use of flamelet based models for capturing the interaction of turbulence and combustion are used to reduce the computational cost for LES and are widely used in CFD codes today.

Research projects

  • Computational fluid dynamics frameworks for hydrogen–air combustion.
  • Simulation of turbulent reacting flows under engine relevant conditions.
  • Thermo-acoustics in gas turbine model combustors with hydrogen addition.
  • Emissions prediction of CO and NOx using large eddy simulation.
  • Analyses of bluff body and swirl-Stabilised Flames Using Large Eddy Simulation (PhD thesis).

Teaching activity

  • ETB-1 Clean fossil fuels, lecturer, 2022 -
  • 1CW Turbocharger, lab leader: 2021 - 2022
  • 1P1 Thermofluid Mechanics, supervisor for Newnham College: 2020 - 2021
  • 2P4 Thermofluid Mechanics, supervisor for Robinson College: 2018 -
  • 3A5 Thermodynamics and Power Generation, supervisor for various colleges: 2016 - 2018


James is a postdoctoral research associate working under the supervision of Prof Swaminathan in the energy group of Division A and funded by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The research is focused on developing models to improve predictions of CO and NOx using large eddy simulations and implementing those into OpenFOAM.

MHI-Robinson senior research fellow
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK.
Research Associate
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK.
PhD Engineering
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK.
MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering. Classification: 1.
The University of Manchester, UK.

Journal papers

Book chapters

Other websites

0000-0003-4585-9866; Google Scholar; ResearchGate