• Aston Triangle, Aston University, Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    • School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    Personal profile

    Biography

    Dr Imran is established researcher and working in energy efficiency and sustainability since 2012. His research activities aimed at developing innovative energy systems and improving the energy performance of existing energy systems. He has been working in waste heat to power conversion technologies (ORC, KC, sCO2), and was part of the team at Korea Institute of Energy Research that successfully developed and commercialized 5kW, 30kW, and 100kW ORC system. He is currently working in heat to power conversion technologies (ORC, sCO2), hybrid energy systems (geothermal, solar, wind, biomass), CHP system, thermal energy management, district heating and cooling, and heat pump.

    Research Interests

    • Organic Rankine Cycle 
    • Refrigeration systems
    • Supercritical CO2 cycle
    • Combined heat and Power
    • Renewable Energy
    • Hybrid Renewable System

    Qualifications

    • PhD Energy System Engineering - 2016
    • MSc Thermal Power Engineering - 2012
    • BEng Mechanical Engineering - 2009

    Employment

    • Lecturer in Mechanical & Design Engineering, Aston University, UK
    • Marie Curie Individual Fellow, Technical University of Denmark
    • Assistant Professor, University of Management & Technology, Pakistan
    • Research Assistant, Korea Institute of Energy Research, South Korea
    • Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Central Punjab, Pakistan
    • Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Lahore, Pakistan

    Teaching Activity

    BEng Mechanical and Design Engineeirng

    • Energy Efficiency (ME3023)
    • Prototyping and Development (ME1502)
    • Final Year Project (ME3046)

    MSc Future Vehicle Technologies

    • Multiphysics System (ME4515)
    • New Engines and Alternative Fuels (ME4514)

    Professional/editorial offices

    Awards

    • Marie Curie individual Fellowship - European Commission
    • Innovation Award 2016 - South Asia Triple Helix Association
    • Research Excellence Award 2016 - UST South Korea
    • Research Excellence Award 2015, KIER South Korea
    • Overseas Academic Exchange Award 2015, UST South Korea
    • Overseas Academic Exchange Award 2015, KIER South Korea
    • Shell Merit Scholarship Award - Shell Pakistan

    Funding Applications and Awards

    1. Hybrid Energy Powered Smart Irrigation System for Smallholder Farmers. Funded by IUK under Energy Catalyst Round 9. 
    2. Off-grid modular cold rooms and pre-coolers for remote and dry areas in Ethiopia. Funded by IUK under Energy Catalyst Round 9. 
    3. Rice-straw powered biowaste to energy. Funded by IUK under Energy Catalyst Round 9. 
    4. Improving the cold-supply chain for livestock products in Kenya. Funded by KTN UK under GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3.
    5. Design, development, and demonstration of an intelligent irrigation system for smallholder farmers in Sudan (3D Irrigation). Funded by KTN UK under GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3.
    6. Artificial-Intelligence driven Emission Tracking Platform for small and medium enterprises and businesses. Funded by IUK under the Fast track innovation program.
    7. Waste heat recovery through the rotary heat exchanger in the aggregate processing industry. Funded by BISE under IETF prorgam.
    8. Pathways and approaches for increasing operational efficiency, reducing energy usage, and capturing and re-using waste heat (KTP with Brockhouse). 
    9. Design and development of the state-of-the-art energy-efficient and industrial-scale aluminum recycling unit. (KTP with Mechatherm International Ltd). 
    10. Solar to Alternative Fuel Economy Research Consortia and Capacity Building Platform (UK-Saudi Challenge Fund). Funded by British Council. 
    11. Design and development of low-emission and low-carbon fuel industrial burners (KTP with Lanemark Combustion Ltd). 
    12. AAKTP - SolarGen Kenya, Aston University, and the University of Nairobi. Development of a smart irrigation system powered by the solar-wind hybrid energy system. 
    13. AAKTP - ColdHubs Nigeria, Aston University, and University of Port Harcourt Nigeria. Design, development, and demonstration of next-generation hybrid Pre_Cooler for local farm clusters in Nigeria. 

    Research Projects/Collaborations

    1. Waste heat recovery and reuse in foundation industries (Lab to Lab collaborative projects with India funded under TFI Program). 
    2. Mapping and developing a geographic information system of biomass potential in Sub-Saharan Africa, Funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences under GCRF Networking Grants.
    3. Hybrid-energy-based irrigation system for Africa, Funded by Innovate UK under Africa Agrifood Innovation Award Round 1
    4. Dynamic modeling and control of organic Rankine cycle for waste heat recovery from heavy-duty vehicles, funded by the European Union under the MSCA Program
    5. Evaluation of the prospects for waste heat recovery on liquefied natural gas-fuelled ships funded by the Danish Maritime Fund. 
    6. Development of 100kWe ORC Power Generation System Utilizing Low-Temperature Geothermal Energy Funded by Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning.
    7. Development of Plate-Fin type Heat Exchanger with high heat transfer surface area Funded by Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning
    8. Field Demonstration of Heat Loss Reduction Technology from the Secondary District Heat Pipelines Funded by Korea District Heating Company.
    9. Development of Control Technology for ORC Power Generation System utilizing Low-temperature Waste Heat Funded by Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning
    10. Development of a low-temperature micro district heating network utilizing a low-temperature heat source Funded by Korea District Heating Company

    Available PhD Studentships

    There are number of self-funded PhD studentships are available in the area of renewable energy and low temperature thermodynamic power cycles. I am happy to support the applications for external funded scholarships as well

    1. Renewable Energy: Application of hybrid energy systems (solar + wind + biomass) for agriculture sectors with a particular focus on the applications of hybrid energy for irrigation, cold storage for food preservation, and Agri processing. The system-level approach will be adopted to develop the optimum design of the specific system from a practical implementation perspective.
    2. Organic Rankine Cycle: Design and development of cost-effective volumetric expanders for small-scale organic Rankine cycles. This project aims to develop a mathematical model and CFD analysis of a novel vane expander for the organic Rankine cycle.
    3. Organic Rankine Cycle: Development of dynamic model and advanced control of organic Rankine cycle for transient heat sources. This project aims to develop the component-level dynamic model of the ORC component, analyse the dynamic response, and develop an appropriate control approach for the time-varying heat sources. The heat sources might include industrial waste heat, direct solar energy, and/or waste heat from internal combustion engines.
    4. Combined heat and Power System: This project aims to develop a novel configuration and optimum design of the solar-powered combined heat and power systems based on either the Stirling engine, organic Rankine cycle, or steam Rankine cycle. The project will involve developing the 1-dimensional component level design models of the system as well as the performance assessment and part-load model of the combined heat and power system.
    5. Ground source solid-state compression heat pump: The increasing concerns about the global warming effect of refrigerants, natural refrigerants (water, CO2) heat pumps are gaining attention to be the replacements for current vapor compression heat pumps. This project aims to design and analyze the performance of a solid-state compression heat pump based on the shape memory alloy (compound of nickel and titanium) which employs water as a refrigerant. In solid-state compression, the shape memory alloy is compressed to release heat and then the cycle is reversed for cooling. The key objectives of the Ph.D. project are:

      • Development of the system and component-level numerical model of the solid-state compression heat pump.
      • Experimentation and numerical modelling of the compression/bending and uniaxial tension of the shape memory alloy (compound of nickel and titanium).
      • Development of the physics-based performance assessment models and maps of the solid-state compression heat pump.

      This exciting Ph.D. project will involve both experimental works and numerical modeling, and an opportunity to work closely with relevant industrial partners. This project requires a fundamental understanding of the heat pump, heat transfer, thermodynamics, and expertise and experience in numerical modeling of thermal energy systems. Expertise in the mathematical modeling of the energy system is added advantage.

    If you are interested in any of the above projects, or any particular area listed under research interest, please contact me.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
    • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

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