Mechanical Engineering

Prof Kai Luo

Prof Kai Luo

Chair of Energy Systems

Dept of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Jun 2013

Research summary

Professor Luo’s work covers energy, thermal, fluids and interdisciplinary sciences as well as their engineering applications. He has developed advanced modelling and simulation approaches across scales, in combination with cutting-edge computing technologies, for fundamental discoveries and engineering prediction and design. He has participated in the development of first-generation CFD based on the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS). This has subsequently been extended to high-fidelity direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large eddy simulation (LES). He has also advanced mesoscale modelling methods based on the kinetic theory, notably the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD). Finally, he has explored quantum mechanics (QM),quantum chemistry (QC), molecular dynamics (MD) and reactive molecular dynamics(RMD). The above methods have been used to study multiphysics problems such as combustion, catalytic reaction, material synthesis, turbulence, heat transfer,multiphase flow, bioflow, carbon capture and storage across nano-, micro-, meso- and macroscales. His work has been recognised by, among other distinctions, the2021 AIAA Energy Systems Award “For groundbreaking contributions to multiscale multiphysics modeling and simulation that have transformed energy system analysis, prediction, design and optimization through research, innovation,education and leadership”.

Teaching summary

    1. Module Coordinator of MECHGM02 – Power Transmission & Auxiliary Machinery Systems
    2. Module Coordinator of MECH0032 - New and Renewable Energies
    3. Lecturer of MECH0011 - Intermediate Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics
    4. Panel Member of MECH2003 – Third Year Projects
    5. External Examiner of MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department, Imperial College London
    6. External Examiner of MSc in Thermal Power and Fluids Engineering, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, the Victoria University of Manchester


Professor Kai Luo holds the Chair of Energy Systems and is the Head of Energy and the Environment Research Division in UCL. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is also a fellow of several leading learned societies in his fields.

   He studied in the Engineering Department of Cambridge University and obtained his PhD in 1992. He conducted postdoctoral research in the Mechanical Engineering Department of Imperial College London from 1991 to 1993. He subsequently worked for Queen Mary, University of London, and became a full professor of the University of London in 2002. Between 2004 and 2013, he was Chair of Energy Systems in the University of Southampton, where he created and led a large Energy Technology Research Group, and developed highly successful MSc programmes in the energy field.

   Professor Luo has collaborated with colleagues in the UK and across the world. He has supervised a large number of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, many of whom have become leaders in academia and industry. His research activities have been funded by major organisations such as the EPSRC, the EU, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering as well as industry.