Peng Zhao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering Department
330 EC; (248) 370-2214; Fax (248) 370-4416


  • Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2015
  • B. S. Thermal Science and Energy Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, 2009 


  • EGR 2500: Introduction to Thermal Engineering
  • ME 4500: Energy System Analysis and Design
  • ME 5560: Combustion Processes

Research Interests

  • Laminar and turbulent reacting flow
  • Abnormal combustion in spark-ignition engines
  • Fuel properties
  • Low temperature combustion and advanced compression ignition
  • Reaction network analysis and reduction
  • Thermal management of batteries

“My work aims to bridge fundamental combustion science with advanced engine and powertrain
technology, and design low emission and high efficiency energy and propulsion systems.” -Peng Zhao

Current Research

My research goal is to bridge fundamental combustion research and advanced engine technology, to ultimately realize the design of high-efficiency, low emission energy systems with hybrid technologies.

  • Simple combustion models for engine knock and mechanistic study of low speed pre-ignition (LSPI)
  • Low temperature combustion and advanced combustion strategy in IC engines
  • Reaction network development, reduction and analysis
  • Chemical looping combustion and catalytic oxidation in automotive aftertreatment systems

Selected Publications

Google Scholar:
ORCID: 6743-6269

1. On the interpretation and correlation of high temperature ignition delays in reactors
with varying thermodynamic conditions, Int. J. Chem. Kinet., accepted, 2018.

2. A kinetic modeling study on octane rating and fuel sensitivity in advanced
compression ignition engines, Combust. Flame 185(2017) 234.

3. An alternative approach to accommodate detailed ignition chemistry in combustion
simulation, Combust. Flame, 176(2017) 400.

4. The role of low temperature chemistry in combustion mode development under
elevated pressures, Combust. Flame, 174(2016) 179.

5. Initiation and propagation of laminar premixed cool flames, Fuel, 166(2016) 477.

6. A predictive Livengood-Wu integral for two-stage ignition, Int. J. Engine. Res,
17(2016) 825.

7. Interactions of flame propagation, auto-ignition and pressure wave during knocking
combustion, Combust. Flame, 164(2016) 319.

8. On the controlling mechanism of the upper turnover states in the NTC regime,
Combust. Flame, 164(2016) 294.

9. Autoignition-affected stabilization of laminar non-premixed DME/air jet flames,
Combust. Flame, 162(2015) 3437.

10. Laminar flame speeds, counterflow ignition, and kinetic modeling of the butene
isomers, Proc. Comb. Inst., 309-316, 2015.