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MAS538 Theoretical and Numerical Combustion

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

The course aims to promote sustainability in the energy and transport sectors by reducing the adverse health and environmental footprint of combustion with a particular focus on the combustion of zero-emissions fuels such as green hydrogen and ammonia, ethanol, and low-emissions natural gas. The subject focuses on providing participants with a comprehensive understanding of theoretical and practical combustion sciences through active learning methods to enable participants with the necessary knowledge to reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of practical combustion systems. It covers various topics such as chemical kinetics, turbulent and laminar combustion, pollutant emissions, deflagration and detonation waves, combustion instability, ignition and extinction and numerical tools.

Learning Outcome

The course will provide candidates with extensive insight into theoretical and practical combustion science. On completion, the candidates will have the following learning outcomes described in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The students will have

  • An advanced understanding of combustion physics and chemistry.
  • Knowledge of the construction of different chemical kinetics.
  • Thorough understanding of the interaction between turbulence and chemical reactions.
  • Can represent combustion problems mathematically.
  • Capable of understanding how pollutants are formed in combustion.


The students

  • Can represent combustion-related issues using theoretical and numerical tools.
  • Can understand the effect of combustion instability on combustion systems.
  • Can predict pollutants from combustion systems.

General competence:

The students

  • Can address the value of combustion science in lessening environmental impacts.
  • Can analyse and solve a variety of problems related to the subject, independently and in groups

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

Thermodynamics MAS117

Teaching methods

The selected teaching method combines an active learning environment and traditional teaching. Active learning activities will be implemented, including involving students in problem-solving tutorials, small-group work or one to one discussion.

Compulsory learning activities



  1. Group project report, accounts for 60 % of the final grade.
  2. Oral Examination, accounts for 40 % of the final grade.

The grades for the two assessed elements are converted to integer values which are weighted and combined: this is used to produce the course grade.

Grade scale A-F, where F is a fail. Both elements must be passed in order to pass the course and obtain a final grade.

The students submit a project report individually or in groups (the course coordinator can choose at the beginning of the course whether students can work in groups or individually).

The students will submit a report and this report will be given a grade letter. The oral examination will consist of presentation plus an oral exam which covers the learning outcomes of the course as well as the course work.

Examination support material

Project: All aids allowed.

Oral exam: Presentation

More about examination support material