Professor Hongming Xu CEng, FIMechE, FHEA, FSAE

Professor Hongming Xu

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Chair in Energy and Automotive Engineering
Head of Vehicle and Engine Technology Centre

Contact details

+44 (0) 121 414 4153
+44 (0) 121 414 3958
View my research portal
Mechanical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Hongming Xu is Professor of Energy and Automotive Engineering. He has 6 years of industrial experience with Jaguar Land Rover and Premier Automotive Group of Ford. Formerly member of Ford HCCI, Global Steering Committee, project manager and technical leader of the UK Foresight Vehicle LINK projects, CHARGE and CHASE between 2002 and 2007.

He has over 300 journal and conference publications in engine flow, combustion, emissions, transient operation control and hybrid electric powertrain development involving both experimental and modelling studies. 


  • PhD & DIC, in Mechanical Engineering (Internal Combustion Engines), Imperial College, University of London, 1995
  • MSc (Eng), in Mechanical Engineering (Internal Combustion Engines), Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, 1984
  • BSc (Eng), Mechanical Engineering (Internal Combustion Engines), Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, 1982


Professor Hongming Xu obtained BEng and MEng from Hefei University of Technology in 1982 and 1984 respectively where he worked subsequently as lecturer until 1990.

He obtained PhD from Imperial College London in 1995 and then worked there as Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow. He moved to Jaguar Cars Ford Premier Automotive Group in 2000, where he was a Project Engineer (2000-2001), Team Leader (2002-2004), and Principal Technical Specialist until he joined the University of Birmingham in 2005 as Reader in Automotive Engineering.

He was appointed to the Chair of Energy and Automotive Engineering in 2009. 


Teaching Programmes

  • Automotive Design Process 
  • Powertrain Engineering
  • Turbomachinery and Complex Flow
  • Sustainable Energy

Postgraduate supervision

Hongming Xu’s research interests include fossil fuels and biofuels, fuel systems and mixture preparation, combustion, formation and control of emissions, air flow and turbulence, future powertrains and control and turbo-machinery. he can supervise doctoral research in all these areas.

Previous PhD students
1. Sathaporn Chuepeng, “Quantitative Impact on Engine Performance and Emissions of High Proportion Biodiesel Blends and the Required Engine Control Strategies,” 2008 (joint supervision)
2. Jacek Misztal, “Study of Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Combustion and Emission Characteristics in a Multi-Cylinder Engine,” 2009
3. Rizalman Mamat, “Performance and Emission Characteristics of an Automotive Diesel Engine Using Biodiesel Fuel with the Influence of Air Intake Variables,” 2009
4. Pawel Luszcz, “Combustion Diagnostics in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Optical and Thermal Single Cylinder Engines,” 2009
5. Marcin Frackowiak, “Modelling and Diagnostic Study of Flow in an Optical Engine with Negative Valve Overlapping for Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition,” 2009
6. George Constandinides, “Thermal Management and Control of a Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Engine,” 2010
7. Dale Turner, “The Combustion and Emissions Performance Of Fuel Blends In Modern Combustion Systems,” 2010
8. Jun Zhang, “Particle Matter Emission Control and Related Issues for Diesel Engines,” 2011
9. Richie Daniel, “Combustion and Emissions Performance of Oxygenated Fuels in a Modern Spark ignition Engine,” 2012
10. Yanfei Li, “Experimental Study on Spray and Combustion Characteristics of Diesel-like Fuels,” 2012
11. He Ma, “Control Oriented Engine Modelling and Engine Multiple-objective Optimal Feedback Control,” 2013
12. Fan Zhang, “Spray, Combustion and Emission Characteristics of dieseline Fuel,” 2013
13. Haiying Li, “CFD Modelling Study of Spray and Combustion of Gasoline and DMF in Direct Gasoline Engines,” 2013
14. Chongming Wang, “Combustion and emissions of a direct injection gasoline engine using biofuels,” 2014
15. Changzhao Jiang, “Optical Investigation on the spray and combustion characteristics of the furan bio-fuels,” 2014
16. Dai Liu, “Combustion and emissions of an automotive diesel engine using biodiesel fuels under steady and start conditions,” 2014
17. Powen Tu, “Numerical and experimental study of spray characteristics in the gasoline direct injection engine,” 2015
18. Daling Jing, “Experimental and numerical studies of fuel spray,” 2015
19. Chen Tan, “Model based Control for a Modern Automotive Diesel Engine,” 2015
20. Jianyi Tian, “Particulate emission characteristics of a light duty diesel engine under transient operation conditions,” 2015
21. Thomas Lattimore, “Combustion and emissions of a direct injection gasoline engine using EGR,” 2015
22. Ziman Wang, “Experimental study on diesel spray with single and multiple injection under room temperature and low temperature”, 2015 (joint supervision)
23. Yasser Qahtani, “Particulate matter characterization and control in premixed compression ignition engines”, 2016
24. Soheil Zeraati Rezaei, “Experimental investigation of a premixed compression ignition engine”, 2016
25. Tawfik Badawy, ‘’Optical Diagnostics of Flow and Combustion’’, 2017
26. Yunfan Zhang, ’Optimization and control of a dual-loop EGR system on a modern Diesel engine’’, 2018.
27. Scott Cash, ‘Hybrid Electric Vehicle Modelling and Control’, 2018.
28. Olalere Rafiu Kayode, 'Advanced GDI engines', 2018.
29. Quan Zhou, 'Artificial Intelligence for Hybrid Electric Vehicles Development and Control', 2019.

Previous exchange PhD students
1. Xuesong Wu - Combustion and emissions analysis of ‘dual-injection strategy’, Joint Ph.D. with Xi’an Jiaotong University, 2010
2. Yan Gao – performance of catalyst for exhaust gas, Joint Ph.D. with Shandong University, 2013.
3. Haichun Ding – Spray Characterization of Alternative Fuel, Joint Ph.D. with Hefei University of Technology, 2015.
4. Jiyuan Xu - Investigation into the characteristics of DISI Injector deposits, Joint Ph.D. with Shangdong University, 2015.
5. Bo Wang – CFD Modelling of in-cylinder mixture, Joint Ph.D. with University of Nottingham, 2016
6. Yizhou Jiang – Optical Diagnostics of Engine Spray and Combustion, Joint Ph.D. with Tsinghua University, 2017
7. Hengjie Guo – Spray Characterization, Joint Ph.D. with Tsinghua University, 2017
8. Zhirong Liang - Particle emissions with 2DxGCMS, Joint Ph.D. with Beihang University, 2017

Current PhD students
1. Ziyang Li – GDI Engine Optimization
2. Aawishkar Dharmadhikari – Emission Modelling and Control
3. Lewis Parry – Diesel Engine Combustion with Dual Fuel and EGR
4. Ji Li – Development of Driver-oriented Energy Management Scheme for Hybrid Electric Vehicles
5. Yinglong He –Energy Management for Connected and Autonomous Vehicular Platoon
6. Bin Shuai – Deep Learning for Energy Management of Hybrid Electric Vehicles
7. Yang Li – Modelling of Combustion and Emissions in Advanced Engines

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows
Several positions open - applications welcome

Previous Research Fellows
1. Dr Guohong Tian - Alternative fuels for Internal Combustion engines
2. Dr He Ma – Real-time Model based Next Generation Engine Management System
3. Dr Arumugam Ramadhas - Cold Start of Diesel Engines (Marie Curie Fellow)
4. Dr Mohammadreza Anbari Attar– Combustion and Emissions High Efficient Engines with Boosting
5. Dr Asish Sarangi - Fuel injection
6. Dr Dhananjay Kumar Srivastava – GDI Engine Deposits
7. Dr Guoxiang Lu – Low Pressure EGR Control Strategy Development
8. Dr Xiuchao Bao – Laminar Flame of Alternative Fuel
9. Dr Chongming Wang – Combustion and emissions in DISI engine fuelled with biofuels (Marie Curie Fellow)
10. Dr Manju- Engine combustion and after treatment (Marie Curie Fellow)
11. Dr Wei Zhang – Hybrid electric vehicle energy management and control
12. Mr Lucas Miles Polglase – Development of advanced combustion systems

Current Research Fellows
1. Quan Zhou – Vehicle electrification and automation
2. Dr Haoye Liu - Gasoline engine PM emission, advanced combustion and fuels


Professor Xu has research experience in flow/turbulence, diesel/gasoline spray, mixture preparation, ignition, premixed/diffusion combustion, new combustion mode, emission formation/control, biodiesels, engine modelling, and operation control. He also has experience in turbomachinery/turbocharging, engine design and various advanced engine technologies.

Previous major projects as PI (2002-2011): £6 millions

 Controlled Homogeneous Autoignition Reformed Gas Engine (CHARGE), DTI, 2002 - 2004

Controlled Homogeneous Autoignition Supercharged Engine (CHASE), DTI, 2004 - 2007

Combustion, performance & emissions of biodiesels (COPE), JLR, 2007 - 2008

Flex-diesel Engines with Sustainable Bio-fuels for Clean and Efficient On- and Off-Road Vehicle Engines (SERVE), TSB, 2007- 2010

Impact of DMF on Engine Performance and Emissions as a New Generation of Sustainable Biofuel, EPSRC, 2008 - 2011

HCCI engine technology research, JLR,  2007 - 2012

Thermal Management, JLR, 2007- 2012

Continuous Oxidation using NO2 Combustion for Exhaust Particulate Treatment (CONCEPT), JLR, Nov 2007-2009

Combustion and emissions of ethanol in a direct injection engine, Shell, 2008 - 2009

Combustion mechanism of furan fuels, Royal Society, 2011 – 2013

Biodiesel engine cold start,  2012 - 2014

Effect of fuel properties on GDI engines, 2012 - 2015

Next generation of GDI engines with boosting, 2012-2015

New control methodology for the next generation of engine management systems, 2013 -2016

X-in-the-loop diesel engine control, 2013 – 2016


Ongoing major projects:   external funding over £1 million

Study of diesel particulate matter emissions, 2013 – 2018

Hybrid vehicle development, 2015-2017


Current main research areas include: 

  1. modelling engine air flow and combustion
  2. fuel sprays and injection process
  3. optical studies of mixture preparation and combustion
  4. fuel properties and GDI technology
  5. biodiesels and flex fuels
  6. new combustion mode (HCCI/PCCI)
  7. model based intelligent engine control
  8. transient engine performance of diesel and biodiesel blends at cold start
  9. Particulate matter reduction

Advanced vehicle calibration and control:

  1. Recent research on Intelligent System and Control
  2. UnICEG 2018
  3. Model-based Swarm Intelligent Optimisation

One of the special areas of research is advanced optical/laser diagnostics of flow and combustion, using laser Doppler anemometry (LDA), phase Doppler particle analyzer (PDPA), planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF), laser-induced incandescence (LII), particle image velocimetry (PIV) and ultra-high speed imaging techniques. 

Other activities

  • Privilege Professor of Tsinghua University
  • Visiting professor of Beijing Institute of Technology, Hefei University of Technology, Xihua University, Zhejiang Automotive Institute (Geely Motor Company)
  • Member of SAE International Hybrid and Electric Powertrains Committee, and Combustion and Fuels Committee.
  • Alternate member of executive Committee of IEA (International Energy Agency) Combustion Task Leaders  


Recent publications


Zeraati-Rezaei, S, Al-Qahtani, Y, Herreros, JM, Ma, X & Xu, H 2019, 'Experimental investigation of particle emissions from a Dieseline fuelled compression ignition engine', Fuel, vol. 251, pp. 175-186.

Li, J, Zhou, Q, He, Y, Shuai, B, Li, Z, Williams, H & Xu, H 2019, 'Dual-loop online intelligent programming for driver-oriented predict energy management of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles', Applied Energy, vol. 253, 113617.

Li, Z, Zhou, Q, Zhang, Y, Li, J & Xu, H 2019, 'Enhanced intelligent proportional-integral-like fuzzy knowledge–based controller using chaos-enhanced accelerated particle swarm optimization algorithm for transient calibration of air–fuel ratio control system', Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering.

Chen, H, Wang, X, Pan, Z & Xu, H 2019, 'Numerical simulation and experimental investigation of diesel fuel reforming over a Pt/CeO2-Al2O3 catalyst', Energies, vol. 12, no. 6, 1056.

Guo, H, Li, Y, Wang, B, Zhang, H & Xu, H 2019, 'Numerical investigation on flashing jet behaviors of single-hole GDI injector', International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 130, pp. 50-59.

Wang, C, Sahu, A, Coratella, C, Xu, C, Saul, J & Xu, H 2019, 'Spray characteristics of a gasoline-diesel blend (ULG75) using high-speed imaging techniques', Fuel, vol. 239, pp. 677-692.

Cash, S, Zhou, Q, Olatunbosun, O, Xu, H, Davis, S & Shaw, R 2019, 'Development of a series hybrid electric aircraft pushback vehicle: a case study', Engineering, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 33-47.

Guo, H, Li, Y, Lu, X, Zhou, Z, Xu, H & Wang, Z 2019, 'Radial expansion of flash boiling jet and its relationship with spray collapse in gasoline direct injection engine', Applied Thermal Engineering, vol. 146, pp. 515-525.

Bao, X, Sahu, A, Jiang, Y, Badawy, T & Xu, H 2019, 'Flame kernel evolution and shock wave propagation with laser ignition in ethanol-air mixtures', Applied Energy, vol. 233-234, pp. 86-98.

Li, J, Li, Z, Zhou, Q, Zhang, Y & Xu, H 2019, 'Improved scheme of membership function optimisation for fuzzy air-fuel ratio control of GDI engines', IET Intelligent Transport Systems, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 209-217.

Cash, S, Xu, H, Zhou, Q, Olatunbosun, O, Shaw, R & Davis, S 2019, 'New traction motor sizing strategy for an HEV/EV based on an overcurrent-tolerant prediction model', IET Intelligent Transport Systems, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 168-174.

Harrison, RM, Mackenzie, A, Xu, H, Alam, MS, Nikolova, I, Zhong, J, Singh, A, Zeraati-Rezaei, S, Stark, C, Beddows, DCS, Liang, Z, Xu, R & Cai, X 2018, 'Diesel exhaust nanoparticles and their behaviour in the atmosphere', Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, vol. 474, no. 2220, 20180492.

Wang, B, Li, Y, Jiang, Y, Xu, H & Zhang, X 2018, 'Dynamic spray development of 2-methylfuran compared to ethanol and isooctane under ultra-high injection pressure', Fuel, vol. 234, pp. 581-591.

Zhou, Q, Zhang, Y, Li, Z, Li, J, Xu, H & Olatunbosun, O 2018, 'Cyber-physical energy-saving control for hybrid aircraft-towing tractor based on online swarm intelligent programming', IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 4149-4158.

Review article

Liu, F, Hu, R, Li, Y, Yang, Z & Xu, H 2019, 'Effects of fuel temperature on injection performance of an EUP system', Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering, vol. 233, no. 3, pp. 671-686.

View all publications in research portal