Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Dr Zhiqiang Niu BEng, PhD, AFHEA

Photo of Dr Zhiqiang Niu

Lecturer in Sustainable Transport Technologies

Dr Zhiqiang Niu acquired his Bachelor's and PhD degrees in Power Machinery Engineering from Tianjin University in 2014 and 2020, respectively. He worked as a research associate at the University of Hong Kong in 2020 then moved to the department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University where he was a Royal Society research fellow funded by a two-year Royal Society – K.C. Wong international fellowship. In September 2022, he joined the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering at Loughborough as a Lecturer in Sustainable Transport Technologies.

His research has been mainly focused on multi-physics, and multi-phase modelling of various traditional and renewable energy devices by leveraging advanced computational physical models and deep learning. He has published 28 internationally peer-reviewed papers with more than 1,200 citations

Key awards

  1. Special Award of BaoSteel Excellent Student, Baosteel Education Foundation (9 PhD students awarded from 80 universities across China in 2019).
  2. Rianlon Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholarship, Tianjin University (the highest prize award, only ten students in TJU each year).
  3. Undergraduate/Postgraduate National Scholarship, the Ministry of Education of China.

Main research interests:

  • Multi-physics, multi-scale and multi-component modelling of advanced electrochemical power systems, e.g., PEMFC, SOFC, Li-ion batteries.
  • Deep learning for electrochemical devices (GANs, CNNs).
  • Development of customised numerical solvers for electrochemical devices based on open source platform OpenFOAM.
  • Direct numerical simulation of two-phase turbulent flow
  • Design of heat exchangers for various thermal energy devices, such as thermoelectric generators, pre-coolers for engines.

Grants and contracts:

  • 2020-2022, PI, the Royal Society-K.C. Wong International Fellowship, the Royal Society, NIF\R1\191864 (£70,000).
  • 2019-2020, PI, Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Fund, Tianjin University (£8,000).

Current teaching responsibilities:

  • 22TTA003 – Thermal Fluids—Thermodynamics
  • 21CGB022– Fluid Mechanics II
  • 22CGB017– Reaction Engineering

Recent publications:

  1. Z. Niu, V. Pinfield, B. Wu, H. Wang, K. Jiao*, D. Leung*, J. Xuan*. Towards the digitalisation of porous energy materials: evolution of digital approaches for microstructural design. Energy & Environmental Science, 2021, DOI: 10.1039/d1ee00398d.
  2. Y. Jiang, Z. Niu, G. Offer, J. Xuan, H. Wang*. Insights into the role of silicon and graphite in the electrochemical performance of silicon/graphite blended electrodes with a multi material porous electrode model. J. Electrochem. Soc. 169, 020568, 2022.
  3. Z. Niu, Z. Bao, J. Wu, Y. Wang* and K. Jiao*. Two-phase flow in the mixed-wettability gas diffusion layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Applied Energy, 232, 443-450, 2018.
  4. Z. Niu, S. Yu, H. Diao, Q. Li, K. Jiao*, Q. Du, H. Tian and G. Shu. Elucidating modelling aspects of thermoelectric generator. Int J Heat and Mass Transfer, 85, 12-32, 2015.
  5. Z. Niu, R. Wang, K. Jiao*, Q. Du and Y. Yin. Direct numerical simulation of low Reynolds number turbulent air-water transport in fuel cell flow channel. Science Bulletin, 62, 31-39, 2017.

External collaborators:

  • Tianjin University, China
  • The Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • The University of California, Irvine, USA
  • The University of Hong Kong, China
  • Civil Aviation University of China
  • University of Surrey, UK
  • Imperial College London, UK
  • Zhejiang University, China