Department of Engineering / Profiles / Prof. Stewart Cant

Department of Engineering

Prof. Stewart Cant


Stewart Cant


Academic Division: Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery (Head of Division)

Research group: Energy

Telephone: +44 1223 7 48554



Research interests

The main interests of the research group are in simulation and modelling of turbulent combustion and two-phase flow. We have developed our own set of software tools for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) of combustion, which are being used to help improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of combustion processes. Some of our tools for Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) are used as performance benchmarks for the latest High Performance Computer systems and software, in the UK and elsewhere.  Currently the group consists of myself with six PhD students, with funding from EPSRC, Rolls-Royce, the Malaysian Government, and others. We work in close collaboration with the Acoustics Laboratory and the Cambridge Combustion Research Centre.

Among our recent achievements is the largest (and most detailed) combustion DNS ever to be carried out on the UK national supercomputers, with a focus on turbulent partially-premixed flames.  We have simulated auto-ignition in fuel sprays, with applications to combustion in Diesel engines and gas turbines. We are also simulating two-phase flows involving the break-up of liquid fuel into a spray of fine droplets. The results are being used to provide physical insight and detailed statistical data for the development of robust and reliable combustion models for industry.  We also undertake high-accuracy CFD of industrial combustion problems including thermoacoustic instability in gas turbines and large-scale accidental explosions in petrochemical plant.  In both areas our computational methods are now in regular industrial use.

Teaching activity

Fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, CFD