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
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Mechanical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Hongming Xu is Professor of Energy and Automotive Engineering and Head of Vehicle and Engine Technology Centre. 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 researches synergies between fuel, propulsion and after-treatment technologies for cleaner road vehicles.

He has over 400 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 powertrain system control, fossil fuels and biofuels, fuel systems and mixture preparation, combustion, formation and mitigation of emissions. 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.
30. Ziyang Li, 'Online dynamic optimization for the engine management system using artificial intelligence methods', 2019.
31. Aawishkar Dharmadhikari, 'Particular Matter Emissions Characteristics, Dynamics and Control in Compression Ignition Engines', 2020.
32. Lewis Parry – Diesel Engine Combustion with Dual Fuel and EGR, 2020.
33. Ji Li – Driver-oriented Intelligent Control Methodology for Hybrid Electric Vehicles, 2020.

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. Carlo Coratella - Experimental investigation of the non-uniformity
of jets velocities exiting a multi-holes injector
2. Yinglong He –Energy Management for Connected and Autonomous Vehicular Platoon
3. Bin Shuai – Deep Learning for Energy Management of Hybrid Electric Vehicles
4. Zeyu Sun - Battery Thermal Management of Electrified Vehicles
5. Cetengfei Zhang- Online optimal Energy Management Control for Hybrid vehicles
6. Hao Sun - Artificial Intelligence for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Optimization

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
13. Dr Amrit Sahu - Optical diagnostics of combustion

Current Research Fellows
1. Dr Quan Zhou – Vehicle electrification and automation
2. Dr Haoye Liu - Gasoline engine PM emission, advanced combustion and fuels
3. Dr Ji Li - AI based powertrain optimisation


Professor Xu is working on control of future powertrains using AI technology and he 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 (2002-2019): £10 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

Study of Novel Biofuels from Biomass  2016 - 2019 


Ongoing major projects:   external funding over £1 million

Study of diesel particulate matter emissions, 2013 – 2018

Hybrid vehicle development, 2015-2017

AI-based Hybrid vehicle energy management, 2019 -2021


Current main research areas include:

1.Research and Development of Thermal Propulsion Systems

2.Connected and Autonomous Systems for Electrified Vehicles (CASE-V):

  • Lv.1 Engine/motor level transient control
  • Lv.2 Powertrain-level component sizing and energy management 
  • Lv.3 Vehicle-level driver-machine interaction
  • Lv.4 Fleet-level collaborative energy management with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) network. 


Recent publications


Li, J, Wu, D, Mohammadsami Attar, H & Xu, H 2022, 'Geometric neuro-fuzzy transfer learning for in-cylinder pressure modelling of a diesel engine fuelled with raw microalgae oil', Applied Energy, vol. 306, no. Part A, 118014.

Zhou, Q, Li, Y, Zhao, D, Li, J, Williams, H, Xu, H & Yan, F 2022, 'Transferable representation modelling for real-time energy management of the plug-in hybrid vehicle based on k-fold fuzzy learning and Gaussian process regression', Applied Energy, vol. 305, 117853.

Li, J, Zhou, Q, Williams, H, Xu, H & Du, C 2021, 'Cyber-physical data fusion in surrogate-assisted strength pareto evolutionary algorithm for PHEV energy management optimization', IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics.

Coratella, C, Parry, L, Li, Y & Xu, H 2021, 'Experimental Investigation of the Rail Pressure Fluctuations Correlated with Fuel Properties and Injection Settings', Automotive Innovation, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 215-226.

Zhou, Q, Guo, S, Xu, L, Guo, X, Williams, H, Xu, H & Yan, F 2021, 'Global optimization of the Hydraulic-electromagnetic Energy-harvesting Shock Absorber for road vehicles with Human-knowledge-integrated Particle Swarm Optimization scheme', IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics.

Zhou, Q, Wang, C, Sun, Z, Li, J, Williams, H & Xu, H 2021, 'Human-knowledge-augmented Gaussian process regression for state-of-health prediction of lithium-ion batteries with charging curves', Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage, vol. 18, no. 3, 030907 .

Zhou, Q, Zhao, D, Shuai, B, Li, Y, Williams, H & Xu, H 2021, 'Knowledge implementation and transfer with an adaptive learning network for real-time power management of the plug-in hybrid vehicle', IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems.

Xu, H & Zhou, Q 2021, '人工智能在发动机控制开发中的应用及前景', Journal of Automotive Safety and Energy, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 150-162.

Liu, H, Wang, C, Yu, Y, Xu, H & Ma, X 2020, 'An experimental study on particle evolution in the exhaust gas of a direct injection SI engine', Applied Energy, vol. 260, 114220.

Li, Z, Zhou, Q, Zhang, Y, Li, J & Xu, H 2020, '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, vol. 234, no. 1, pp. 39-55.

Zhang, W, Zhang, Z, Ma, X, Awad, OI, Li, Y, Shuai, S & Xu, H 2020, 'Impact of injector tip deposits on gasoline direct injection engine combustion, fuel economy and emissions', Applied Energy, vol. 262, 114538.

Zhang, Z, Zhang, W, Awad, OI, Ma, X, Pan, S, Xu, H & Shuai, S 2020, 'Improved HRTEM image processing methods and the application on soot nanostructure analysis for GDI engine', Fuel, vol. 267, 116974.

Zeraati-Rezaei, S, Al-Qahtani, Y, Herreros, JM & Xu, H 2020, 'Investigation of the effects of split-injection on particle emissions from a Dieseline CI engine', Applied Energy, vol. 262, 114470.

Liu, H, Li, Z, Xu, H, Ma, X & Shuai, S 2020, 'Nucleation mode particle evolution in a gasoline direct injection engine with/without a three-way catalyst converter', Applied Energy, vol. 259, 114211.

Conference article

Cui, L, Ma, Y, Liu, D, Ma, X, Xu, H & Shuai, S 2020, 'Instantaneous PLII and OH∗ chemiluminescence study on wide distillation fuels, PODEn and ethanol blends in a constant volume vessel', SAE Technical Papers, vol. 2020, no. April.

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