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 

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.”

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

Select Journal Publications

Google Scholar:
ORCID: 6743-6269

1. M. Tao, Y. Tao, P. Zhao*, C. Tang*, “Fundamental combustion properties of five gasoline
surrogates with the same octane rating and sensitivity”, Proc. Combust. Inst. submitted.

2. T. Zhou, P. Zhao, T. Ye, M. Zhu, “Direct numerical simulation of cool-flame affected n-
dodecane spray autoignition”, Proc. Combust. Inst, submitted.

3. T. Zhou, P. Zhao, T. Ye, M. Zhu, “Direct numerical simulation of n-dodecane spray
autoignition in the NTC regime”, Combust. Flame, submitted.

4. M. Tao, P. Zhao*, P. Lynch, “Kinetic model validation using ignition delay data from HRRST”,
Proc. Combust. Inst., submitted.

5. M. Tao, H. Ge, Brad VanDerWege, P. Zhao*, “Fuel wall film effects on premixed flame
propagation, quenching and emission”, Proc. Combust. Inst., in preparation.

6. M. Tao, P. Zhao*, D. DelVescovo, H. Ge, “Manifestation of octane rating and fuel sensitivity
for gasoline surrogates under advanced compression ignition conditions”, Combust. Flame, under review.

7. M. Tao, A. Laich, P. Lynch*, P. Zhao*, “On the interpretation and correlation of high
temperature ignition delays in reactors with varying thermodynamic conditions”, Int. J. Chem.
Kinet., under review.

8. L. Lin, P. Zhao, G. Mason, X. Zeng*, “Initial conditions and kinetics of IL/electrode interfacial
relaxation processes: toward ionic liquid amperometric gas sensor calibration”, Analytical
Chemistry, under review.

9. C. Tang*, Y. Wu, Y. Liu, N. Xu, Z. Huang, P. Zhao, “Numerical evaluation of temperature and
ignition delay time uncertainty from an optimized rapid compression machine: effects of crevice and compression volume profile”, Combust. Flame, under review.

10. M. Tao, T. Wu, H. Ge, D. DelVescovo, P. Zhao*, “A kinetic modeling study on octane rating
and fuel sensitivity in advanced compression ignition engines”, Combust. Flame, 185, 234-244,


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