MSE Research Project Database

Enabling efficient, affordable and robust use of renewable hydrogen in transport and power generation

Project Leader: Michael Brear
Staff: Michael Brear, Yi Yang, Robert Gordon, Mohsen Talei, Joshua Lacey, Zhewen Lu
Collaborators: Evatt Hawkes (UNSW), Shawn Kook (UNSW), Shaun Chan (UNSW)
Sponsors: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Energy Power Systems Australia (EPSA), Meridian, Continental
Primary Contact: Joshua Lacey (
Keywords: combustion and emissions; energy efficiency; hydrogen; renewable energy; sustainable systems
Disciplines: Mechanical Engineering

Internal combustion engines are an essential part of modern life. At the same time, they contribute significantly to the increased level of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. As a result, there is a substantial body of work by researchers to increase the efficiency of these engines and lower their emissions outputs. Recently, renewable energy generation has provided a tremendous opportunity for producing clean energy that can be stored in fuels such as hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced by the electrolysis of water using the electricity produced by renewable energy. Because it has zero carbon emissions, hydrogen is an attractive fuel for decarbonising the transport sector. However, hydrogen has very different properties to conventional fuels used in an internal combustion engine. A thorough understanding of hydrogen combustion in internal combustion engines is therefore required.

The Thermodynamics Laboratory at the University of Melbourne is a host for leading researchers with world-class facilities to study problems related to transport, power generation and energy systems, with a focus on low emission technologies and energy efficiency. The Thermodynamics laboratory is currently hiring motived PhD students to work on a number of projects related to the use of hydrogen in internal combustion engines.

For further information or apply for these positions, please contact Dr Joshua Lacey at: