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MECH4265: Combustion (2013 - Semester 2)

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Unit: MECH4265: Combustion (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior Advanced
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Associate Professor Cleary, Matthew
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: MECH3260 AND MECH3261.
Brief Handbook Description: This UoS aims to teach the basic principles of combustion highlighting the role of chemical kinetics, fluid mechanics, and molecular transport in determining the structure of flames. Students will become familiar with laminar and turbulent combustion of gaseous and liquid fuels including the formation of pollutants. They will also be briefly introduced to various applications such as internal combustion engines, gas turbines, furnaces and fires.

This UoS will cover equilibrium compositions, flammability limits, simple chemically reacting systems, detailed chemical kinetics, and the basic theory underlying laminar and turbulent combustion for both premixed and non-premixed cases. There will be an introduction to droplet combustion, the concept of mixture fraction for non-premixed flames, combustion in engines and gas turbines as well as the formation of pollutants. Fire ignition, growth and spread will also be covered with respect to safety in buildings including the hazards related to the formation of smoke and toxic products.
Assumed Knowledge: Students are expected to be familiar with the basic laws of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer.
Timetable: MECH4265 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 1.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 4.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Lectures: Weekly 2 hours lectures will cover fundamentals of combustion science, applications and worked examples. A comprehensive set of lecture notes are available by download from Blackboard

Tutorials: Weekly 1 hour tutorials will include a peer assessed assignment question (approx. 20 minutes) followed by free time to work on practice problems and/or course assignments (approx. 40 minutes). Students should attend all lectures and tutorials. 10% of the course grade is allocated to the peer assessed assignment questions. Students must satisfactorily complete 8 out of 12 tutorials to receive full marks for that component.

Independent Study: Apart form the allocated contact hours, an average student is expected to spend approximately 3 to 4 hours per week on this UoS.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Develop student inquisitive capabilities through problem solving which requires relating the basic concepts in chemical kinetics, species transport and turbulence to laminar and turbulent flames as well as to practical combustors. Design (Level 3)
An appreciation of the role and complexity of combustion in applications such internal combustion engines, gas turbines, boilers and furnaces. Capability to formulate the transport equations for laminar flames, droplet combustion and simple jet flames including detailed chemical kinetics. A good understanding of the role of chemical kinetics, fluid mechanics, and molecular transport in combustion. Proficiency in analysing a simple chemically reaction system and to calculate the equilibrium compositions. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 5)
Develop the ability to distil relevant information from the variety of sources that are available to them and apply knowledge to a realistic problem. Familiarity with at least one code that computes the compositional structure of flames including the formation of pollutants. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Enhance capabilities to communicate ideas and concepts during lectures, tutorials, group projects as well as seminars delivered by students at the completion of their project. Communication (Level 4)
Enhance student’s capability to work individually through personal assignments and in group projects. Students are expected to perform extensive research to complete these projects. Professional Conduct (Level 4)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 3)
1. The ability to analyse combustion stability and the formation of pollutants in practical combustion devices.
2. An understanding of building design based on fire safety requirements.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 5)
3. An understanding of the fundamental theory of the combustion of non-premixed and premixed flames, laminar and turbulent flames, droplets and the theory of ignition.
4. An understanding of the role of detailed chemical kinetics in combustion and the ability to calculate the equilibrium compositions of reacting systems.
5. An understanding of pollutant formation in practical devices such as internal combustion engines and gas turbines.
Information Seeking (Level 3)
6. Project work requires students to analyse combustors and fire safety. Involves the use of computational tools.
Communication (Level 4)
7. Demonstration of fundamental knowledge through quizzes and exams. Presentation of analysis and design through engineering reports.
Project and Team Skills (Level 4)
8. Work in groups on projects assembled to represent common practice in industry.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment No 20.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
2 Project Yes 40.00 Week 12 (Friday, 2 pm) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8,
3 Final Exam No 40.00 Exam Period 2, 3, 4, 5,
Assessment Description: Assignment: The assignments and/or quizzes will help students absorb the concepts and stay up to date with the pace of lectures.

Project: The project report and the seminar will test the ability of students to interact in a group environment, apply the concepts to a realistic problem, and relay them effectively in the form of a seminar and report. Group projects and seminars are aspects of training that are beneficial for engineers since this is common practice in fire and combustion engineering.

Final Exam: The final examination will help evaluate the overall understanding of the concepts covered in this UoS and the student’s ability to analyze and solve related problems.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • An Introduction to Combustion

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction
Week 2 Thermochemistry
Week 3 Chemical Kinetics
Week 4 Thermo-kinetic coupling (reactor models) & Major project consultation session
Week 5 Laminar non-premixed combustion
Week 6 Turbulent non-premixed combustion
Week 7 Laminar premixed combustion
Week 8 Fires
Week 9 Major project consultation session
Week 10 Droplet combustion
Week 11 Ignition
Week 12 Major project consultation session
Assessment Due: Project
Week 13 Course review lecture
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Mechanical / Medical Science 2015
Mechanical Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering / Commerce 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering / Medical Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechanical Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering / Law 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Science 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical (Space) / Medical Science 2015
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Medical Science 2012, 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 3) Yes 29.43%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 5) Yes 59.15%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 0%
Communication (Level 4) Yes 5.72%
Professional Conduct (Level 4) Yes 0%
Project and Team Skills (Level 4) No 5.72%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.