Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Dr Lu Tian PhD, MEng, BEng

Photo of Dr Lu Tian

Lecturer in Sustainable Transport Technologies


Lu received her PhD degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London in 2018 sponsored by a prestigious Imperial College President’s Scholarship. Prior to her appointment as a Lecturer in Sustainable Transport Technologies at Loughborough University, she had been a Research Associate at Imperial College working on a number of Projects sponsored by Research Councils and Industrial Partners, such as, Rolls-Royce UK and Toyota Europe Ltd. Her research interests include flame synthesis of nanomaterials, characterisation of alternative fuels, soot formation, combustion effects on turbulence closure, interactions between turbulence and chemistry and hybrid RANS-LES. Lu is also an honorary Lecturer at Imperial College London.


  • PhD 2018, Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, London, UK.
    • Thesis title: “The impact of pressure fluctuation and scalar dissipation rate closures in turbulent flames”
  • MEng (Hons) 2013, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
  • BEng 2010, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Key awards and Accomplishments

  • Osborne Reynolds Award Finalist (the best PhD research in fluid mechanics in UK), 2019
  • Outstanding Chinese Non-Government-Funded PhD award (one of the only two awardees from Imperial College in that year), 2018-2019
  • Imperial College President’s PhD Scholarship, 2014-2018
  • National Scholarship for Postgraduates, 2012
  • Best Undergraduate Thesis awarded by Tongji University, 2010

Outline of main research interests

  • Combustion performance of alternative fuels
    • Reduction of NOx for ammonia combustion
    • Stability of hydrogen combustion
    • Impact of low Damköhler number effects on DME combustion
  • Flame synthesis of nanomaterials
    • Prediction of multiple nanoparticle characteristics
    • Optimisation (ML) of operating conditions for tailor-made nanoparticles
    • Applications in renewable fuel production and anodes for Lithium-ion batteries.
  • Soot formation in turbulent/laminar flames
    • Accurate prediction of PSDs in turbulent/laminar flames
    • Reduction of soot formation via ammonia addition
    • Soot formation at elevated pressures
  • Interactions between turbulence and chemistry
  • Numerical simulation; Transported PDF method

Grants and contracts

  • Dean’s Fund, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London, 2017.

Research Groups:

Applied Aerodynamics

Propulsion and Energy Systems

Current teaching responsibilities

  • TTB209 Aircraft Performance
  • Supervision of BEng, MEng and MSc Final Year Projects

Current administrative responsibilities

  • Personal Tutor
  • Tian L, Lindstedt RP (2023). On the impact of differential diffusion between soot and gas phase species in turbulent flames, Combustion and Flame (accepted).
  • Tian L, Boyette WR, Lindstedt RP, et al. (2022). Transported JPDF modelling and measurements of soot at elevated pressures, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 39 DOI:
  • Simatos P, Tian L, Lindstedt RP (2021). The impact of molecular diffusion on auto-ignition in a turbulent flow, Combustion and Flame, 239: 111665 DOI:
  • Tian L, Schiener MA, Lindstedt RP (2021). Fully coupled sectional modelling of soot particle dynamics in a turbulent diffusion flame, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 38(1): 1365-1373. DOI:
  • Tian L, Lindstedt RP (2019). Impact of molecular mixing and scalar dissipation rate closures on turbulent bluff-body flames with increasing local extinction, Combustion and Flame, 206: 51-67. DOI:
  • Tian L, Lindstedt RP (2019). Evaluation of reaction progress variable - Mixture fraction statistics in partially premixed flames, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 37: 2241-2248 DOI:
  • Tian L, Lindstedt RP (2017). The impact of dilatation, scrambling and pressure transport in turbulent premixed flames, Combustion Theory and Modelling, 21: 1114-1147. DOI:

View central admin publications database

External Collaborators

Academic institutions

  • Imperial College London
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
  • University of Stuttgart
  • Princeton University
  • University College London
  • Cambridge University
  • Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences


  • Rolls-Royce, UK
  • Caterpillar

External roles and appointments

  • Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London.
  • Early Career Physicist and Outreach Champion in the Combustion Physics Group, Institute of Physics.
  • Member of the Combustion Institute, British Section.