• 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

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    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. Design of modular cold storage unit powered by solar-wind energy for livestock products in Kenya. Funded by KTN UK under GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3. Role: Principal Investigator. Oct 2022 – Mar 2023. 
    2. Design, development, and demonstration of a smart irrigation system for smallholder farmers in Sudan (3D Irrigation). Funded by KTN UK under GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3. Role: Principal Investigator. Oct 2022 – Mar 2023. 
    3. Artificial-Intelligence driven Emission Tracking Platform for small and medium enterprises and businesses. Funded by IUK under the Fast track innovation program with Effitech Ltd. Role: Co_ Investigator. Oct 2022 – Mar 2023. 
    4. Waste heat recovery through the rotary heat exchanger in the aggregate processing industry. Funded by BISE with Aggregate Industries. Role: Principal Investigator. Jan 2023 – Jan 2024. 
    5. Pathways and approaches for increasing operational efficiency, reducing energy usage, and capturing and re-using waste heat (KTP with Brockhouse). Role: Principal Investigator. Oct 2022 – Mar 2025. 
    6. Design and development of the state-of-the-art energy-efficient and industrial-scale aluminum recycling unit. (KTP with Mechatherm International Ltd). Role: Principal Investigator. Oct 2022 – Mar 2025.
    7. Solar to Alternative Fuel Economy Research Consortia and Capacity Building Platform (UK-Saudi Challenge Fund). Funded by British Council. Role: Co_Investigator. May 2022 – May 2023. 
    8. Design and development of low-emission and low-carbon fuel industrial burners (KTP with Lanemark Combustion Ltd). Mar 2022 - Sep 2024. Role: Principal Investigator. 
    9. AAKTP - SolarGen Kenya, Aston University, and the University of Nairobi. Development of a smart irrigation system powered by the solar-wind hybrid energy system. Role: Principal Investigator. April 2020 – Dec 2022. 
    10. 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. Role: Principal Investigator. Dec 2020 – Dec 2022. 

    Research Projects/Collaborations

    1. Waste heat recovery and reuse in foundation industries (Lab to Lab collaborative projects with India funded under TFI Program). Role: Principal Investigator. Nov 2021 – Mar 2022.
    2. Mapping and development of geographic information system of biomass potential in Sub-Saharan Africa, Funded by GCRF March 2020 – March 2021. Role: Principal Investigator
    3. Hybrid-energy-based irrigation system for Africa, Funded by Innovate UK June 2020 – June 2021. Role: Principal Investigator
    4. Start-up Fund, Aston University, funding by Aston University. June 2019 – June 2021. Role: Principal Investigator
    5. Dynamic modeling and control of organic Rankine cycle for waste heat recovery from heavy-duty vehicles, funded by the European Union. Period: May 2017- May 2019. Role: Principal Investigator
    6. Evaluation of the prospects for waste heat recovery on liquefied natural gas-fuelled ships funded by the Danish Maritime Fund. Apr 2017 – Aug 2019. Role: Co_Investigator
    7. Development of 100kWe ORC Power Generation System Utilizing Low-Temperature Geothermal Energy Funded by Korea Institute of Energy Research; Period: December 2011~ December 2016. Role: Co_Investigator
    8. Development of Plate-Fin type Heat Exchanger with high heat transfer surface area Funded by Korea Institute of Energy Research; Period: January 2014 ~ January 2015. Role: Co_Investigator
    9. Field Demonstration of Heat Loss Reduction Technology from the Secondary District Heat Pipelines Funded by Korea District Heating Company; Period: March 2011.3 ~ March 2014. Role: Co_Investigator
    10. Development of Control Technology for ORC Power Generation System utilizing Low-temperature Waste Heat Funded by Korea Institute of Energy Research; Period: January 2013 ~ January 2016. Role: Co_Investigator
    11. Development of low-temperature micro district heating network utilizing low-temperature heat source Funded by Korea District Heating Company; Period: June 2014 ~ June 2015. Role: Co_Investigator

    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.

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