Department of Engineering / Profiles / Prof. Nedunchezhian Swaminathan

Department of Engineering

Prof. Nedunchezhian Swaminathan


Nedunchezhian Swaminathan

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Academic Division: Energy, Fluids and Turbomachinery

Research group: Energy

Telephone: +44 1223 3 32586


Research interests

The topic of combustion will be active as long as we burn fuel for heat, electricity and transport needs in our society. The impacts of hydrocarbon combustion on environment and human health are well known. So, the equipment manufacturers in power and transport sectors constantly search for new technologies to curtail pollutants emission and to increase combustion equipment efficiency. Fuel-lean or MILD combustion is a promising technology to achieve these conflicting demands. Significant technological advances are yet to be made to have fuel-lean or MILD combustion over a wide range of operating conditions. Professor Swaminathan’s research aims to help in this endeavour of developing “green” and “silent” combustors by gaining clear scientific insights into turbulent fuel-lean and MILD combustion, and translating these insights into simple models for practical use. A cross-disciplinary approach is essential to achieve this.

The drive for low emissions is causing aero and industrial gas turbine combustors to operate with fuel lean mixtures, which are known to create issues for ignition, flame stabilization and its stability. These issues are aggravated by the presence of turbulence and the mutual interaction of turbulence and combustion is highly non-linear. Understanding these interactions is important not only for gas turbine combustion but also to develop technologies to realise the fruition of novel concepts such as PCCI, HCCI, DICI, etc., for modern internal combustion engines. Professor Swaminathan's research is predicting the characteristics, such as heat release rate distribution, pollutants formation, combustion instabilities, etc., of fuel-lean combustion in gas turbine and IC engine conditions. Successful modelling methodologies have been developed and demonstrated.

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Modelling of turbulent combustion, combustion noise, pollutant formation.

Manufacturing, design and materials

Turbulent combustion modelling tools developed in the group are being used to design next
generation gas turbine combustor by leading gas turbine manufacturers around the world.
These computational tools are being adopted by IC engine manufacturers to study in-cylinder combusting flows.

Research projects

Supported by EPSRC, UK and overseas gas turbine companies, overseas research institution – micro-mixing and combustion model development, combustion of multi-species fuel mixture with low calorific value, LES of premixed combustion, MILD combustion, modelling for turbulent fuel-lean premixed and partially premixed combustion, combustion instabilities.

Teaching activity

Combustion and Engines, Solar Energy and Biofuels, Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Air Pollution. 

Other positions

Swaminathan is a co-Investigator with Tanahashi and Miyauchi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology  on research grants funded by JSPS and MEXT (GBP2.7M 2010-2015) and a member of the Advisory Panel for Global Centre for Excellence for Multidisciplinary Education and Research on  Energy Science at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (2008-2013).  

Swaminathan also serves on the  Advisory Board and as an International Cooperative Member of Academy for Co-creative Education of Environment and Energy Science  at TokyoTech (2012-2017).

 He holds a visiting Professorship at TokyoTech, Tokyo,  2010 − 2017.

 In the past, he held Visiting Senior Researcher positions at Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, August 2010, NORDITA, Stockholm, Sweden, May 2010, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy - August 2005

Swaminathan is on the Editorial Board of The Open Fuels & Energy Science Journal,  ISSN: 1876-973X, Bentham Science Publisher (2009 -), Journal of Fluids (ISSN: 2314-6826 (Online), doi:10.1155/1515, Hindawi Publishing Corporation, USA, (2013 -), The Scientific World Journal (ISSN: 2356-6140(Print), 1537-744X(Online). Hindawi Publishing Corporation, USA, (2013 -),  The Open Conference Proceedings Journal (ISSN: 2210-2892, Bentham Open, Bentham Science Publisher(2014 -), International Journal of Energy for Clean Environment, Begell House Publisher, ISSN 2150-3621 (2020 - ).

He is a member of EPSRC College - 2006-09, 2010 - to date

He is elected as one of the inaugural class of Fellows of The Combustion Institute in 2018.  He received Sugden Award in 2011 along with his co-workers for combustion noise research.