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LAMP People

Peng Zhao

Peng Zhao

Associate Professor

Peng Zhao is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering and University of Tennessee Space Institute. He obtained his PhD from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University in 2015. From 2015-2020, he was an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Oakland University.

Zhao’s research interests primarily focus on fundamental-based and application-oriented problems in the frontier areas of combustion, propulsion, energy conversion and fire safety. His current research activities include reacting flow CFD, open-source multi-physics modeling, Li-ion battery safety and thermal management, low carbon fuels, advanced engine combustion strategy, etc. He has published around 50 peer-reviewed articles in leading combustion and energy journals and 1 book chapter.

Zhao is a Bernard Lewis Fellow of the International Combustion Institute, session chair of the International Combustion Symposium, session organizer of SAE World Congress on advanced propulsion and powertrain, member of the Early Career and Diversity Development Committee of the US Combustion Institute.

Ahmad Bakir

Ahmad Hadi Bakir

PhD Student

About Bakir

Ahmad Hadi Bakir graduated from Texas Tech University in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. During his undergraduate, Bakir did research in combustion and heat transfer where he was able to be included in a published research project and received funding for the National Science Foundation to conduct research in Heat Transfer in Nano fluids. This encouraged him to join the University of Tennessee Space Institute in August 2021 as a PhD student.

Bakir am a first-place winner of the 6th Wu student presentation competition at UTSI. His interests are in combustion in power and propulsion systems. Specifically, using scientific computations to develop CFD and combustion simulating code. His goal is to develop tools others can use to further explore and understand combustion.


  1. Ge, H.W., Bakir, A.H., Yadav, S., Kang, Y.S., Parameswara, S., Zhao, P., “CFD optimization of the pre-chamber geometry for a gasoline spark ignition engine”, Frontier in Mechanical Engineering, submitted, 2020.
  2. Moran, D., Gulbulak, U., Ertas, A., Yancey, S., Cody, C., Puente, K., Zinsmeyer, J., Agbontaen , I., Alejandra, C., Bakir, A. H., Baucum , H., Daniel, M. E., Gabriel, R., Heriberto, M., Kodwo, T., Lopez, E. G., Melendez, O., Nicholas, E., Rippert, J., Suren, Y., Watts, R., Yunseon, K., Zatloka, M., “Complexity of Global Refugee Crisis: Needs for Global Transdisciplinary Collaboration”, Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science, submitted, 2020.
Liwen Zhang

Liwen Zhang

Research Assistant

About Zhang

  • PhD student in mechanical engineering at University of Tennessee Space Institute  (August 2021-Current)
  • MS at Oakland University (January 2017-August 2018)
  • Research Assistant at UTSI, Lab of Advanced Mobility and Power (August 2021-Current)
  • Research Intern at Modeling and Simulation group, PSR, GM R&D (May 2021-August 2021)
  • Battery Modeling & Simulation Intern at Camel Energy Inc. (September 2020-May 2021)
  • Stellantis-OU Electrification Certificate Module Assistant

Research Area & Interest

  • Li-ion battery thermal runaway modeling & experimentation
  • Li-ion battery internal short circuit modeling
  • Li-ion battery air cooling strategy modeling
  • Li-ion battery power delivery modeling
  • Li-ion battery degradation modeling
  • Li-ion battery equivalent circuit model
  • Li-ion battery testing and analyzing
  • Li-ion battery fast charging

Publication & Conference

  • L. Zhang, P. Zhao, M. Xu, X. Wang, Computational identification of the safety regime of Li-ion battery thermal runaway, Applied Energy 261 (2020): 114440.
  • L. Zhang, M. Xu, P. Zhao, X. Wang, A computational study on the critical ignition energy and chemical kinetic feature for Li-ion battery thermal runaway, No. 2018-01-0437. SAE Technical Paper, 2018.
  • Oral presentation at the 2019 SAE WCX Conference, Detroit, MI
  • Poster presentation at the 2018 Detroit Section of ECS Meeting, Southfield, MI
  • Oral presentation at the 2018 Oakland University’s Graduate Student Research Conference, Rochester, MI.