Department of Engineering / Profiles / Prof. Simone Hochgreb

Department of Engineering

Prof. Simone Hochgreb


Simone Hochgreb


Academic Division: Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery

Research group: Energy

Telephone: +44 1223 7 64098


Personal website


Research interests

Group Webpage

Professor Hochgreb's research investigates problems in energy conversion and reacting flows, with the aim of maximising efficiency and minimising harmful pollutant emissions. The main theme is to understand the physics of reacting flows in energy conversion devices, and the tradeoffs in stability, efficiency and emissions.

Many of the projects involve experimentation and analysis at realistic conditions, from which simpler experiments are defined: measurements in gas turbine injectors at high pressures and temperatures provided the questions for current experiments investigating how reactant stratification behaviour affects flame structure, emissions formation, ignition, behaviour and instability. Results of the work on flame instability and soot emissions have been used by partners in industry in developing new injectors, whilst the work on flame structure and instabilities continues to serve as a database for model verification. The work is inherently collaborative, developing and sharing tools, data and models across the world.

Past research includes work on chemical kinetics, autoignition and internal combustion engine performance and emissions. Current developments are focused on understanding the emergence and fate of hot (entropy) spots in combustion, leading to emissions and instabilities in model combustors, and developing accurate and non-intrusive methods for measurements of soot, coal, spray and fine particles in reacting flows.

Additional details available on our group pages.

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Detailed and system level analysis of chemical energy conversion devices (internal combustion and gas turbine engines), including environmental and economic tradeoffs.


Optical diagnostics with applications to chemical systems. Particle detection and sizing.

Inspiring research through industrial collaboration

Many of our activities are inspired by real problems in industry, and are carefully translated into laboratory experiments which replicate essential elements of the real systems, whilst allowing control of the phenomena being studied.

Research projects

  • Temperature measurements in reacting flows using Laser Induced Grating Spectroscopy (LIGS) (with Paul Ewart, Oxford) (EPSRC 2013-2016)
  • CO and NO imaging measurements in stratified flames (E3C3, with INSA-CORIA/Rouen) (2013-2014)
  • Multi-pass high spatial resolution absorption measurements of soot in flames (CSC, 2013-2016)
  • Measurements of flame response characteristics to flame excitation under high pressure and temperature (2010 - 2013) (TECC/FP7, SAMULET/EPSRC)
  • Measurements of soot and particulate matter at high pressures and temperatures in flames at high pressure and temperature (SAMULET/EPSRC, ENTAPS/RR) (2010 - 2013)
  • International Leverhulme Network on Stratified Combustion. Long term collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories, Technische Universitaet Darmstadt and INSA-CORIA Rouen, among others (2010 - 2013)
  • Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways on Stratified Combustion for Quiet Low Emissions Aero-Engines (FP7/IAPP-STRATEGI) (2009 - 2013)

Teaching activity

Combustion, IC engines, heat and mass transfer

Research opportunities

  • Reacting flows
  • Optical diagnostics and measurement techniques
  • Gas turbine combustion
  • Engine combustion
  • Particle formation
  • Chemical kinetics

Other positions

  • Managing Engineer, Exponent Inc, 2000-2002
  • Principal Investigator, Sandia National Laboratories, 1999-2000
  • Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996-1999


Simone Hochgreb is a professor in Engineering at the University of Cambridge, specialising in combustion and turbulent flows. Her early work was on chemical kinetics and air pollution, as relevant to internal combustion engines, including rapid compression machines, autoignition and particulate matter from gasoline engines. Her current work is in the application of laser diagnostics to gas turbine combustion using real and model flames, both under steady and unsteady conditions, particularly regarding stratified flames. She has previously held positions at MIT, Sandia National Labs. She is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautics Society (2011), and has received the Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2003) and the Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Award (1996). She holds a BSc from the University of São Paulo, and a PhD from Princeton University.