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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.

Zhao and his LAMP team
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.


  • 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.
  • 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

Liwen Zhang is a PhD student in mechanical engineering at the University of Tennessee Space Institute and is a research assistant for the LAMP group. She obtained her master degree at Oakland University in August 2018. Her past experience includes being a research intern at Modeling and Simulation group, PSR, GM R&D from May 2021 to August 2021, a battery modeling and simulation intern at Camel Energy Inc. from September 2020 to May 2021, and a Stellantis-OU Electrification Certificate Module Assistant.

Liwen’s research area and interests include li-ion battery thermal runaway modeling & experimentation, internal short circuit modeling, air cooling strategy modeling, power delivery modeling, degradation modeling, equivalent circuit model, testing and analyzing, and 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.
Mohammad Ahmadian Elmi

Mohammad Ahmadian Elmi

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email Mogammad Ahmadian Elmi
Phone: (931) 393-7129
Google Scholar

About Mohammad

Mohammad Ahmadian Elmi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Amirkabir University of Technology. After spending a period at the University of California, Riverside, he joined the LAMP group in July 2023.

Mohammad’s research interests primarily focus on Thermal sciences including thermal management, electronic cooling, multiphase flow, and optimization. Currently, he works on thermal management and thermal runaway of Lithium-Ion Batteries in the LAMP group.

He has published several papers in his research field, some listed below. Please refer to his Google Scholar profile for his up-to-date publications.


  • M. Ahmadian-Elmi, M. R. Hajmohammadi, S. S. Nourazar, K. Vafai, M.B. Shafii ” Introducing a novel cooling system with combined utilization of microchannel heat sinks and pulsating heat pipes.” Applied Thermal Engineering 232 (2023) 121102.
  • M. Ahmadian-Elmi, A. Mashayekhi, S. S. Nourazar, and K. Vafai. “A comprehensive study on parametric optimization of the pin-fin heat sink to improve its thermal and hydraulic characteristics.” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 180 (2021): 121797.
  • M. R. Hajmohammadi, M. Bahrami, and M. Ahmadian-Elmi. “Thermal performance improvement of microchannel heat sinks by utilizing variable cross-section microchannels filled with porous media.” International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer 126 (2021): 105360.
  • M. R. Hajmohammadi, M. Ahmadian, and S. S. Nourazar. “Introducing highly conductive materials into a fin for heat transfer enhancement.” International Journal of Mechanical Sciences 150 (2019): 420-426.
Virendra Talele

Virendra Talele

Research Assistant

Google Scholar

About Virendra

Virendra is a graduate student working on Li-Ion battery technology. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in the year 2021 from India and worked for a Tier 1 Li-Ion Battery Manufacturing company named Octillion Power Systems as a battery thermal engineer for a year before joining the LAMP research lab as a graduate research assistant. During his work year in Octillion, he did computational research on lithium-ion battery modeling with some concise physics, like battery thermal runaway and battery thermal management, where he developed technical as well as leadership skills. Virendra has published 8 SCI-indexed journal articles and 10 Scopus-indexed articles in the concise field of Li-Ion battery technology.

At UTSI, with the LAMP laboratory under Zhao, Virendra is working on key research areas in Li-Ion battery technology such as physics-based modeling, Battery thermal runaway, Battery thermal management, and Battery thermal runaway gas venting phenomena using numerical and experimental investigation. His goal is to utilize all experimental and numerical approaches to enhance end-of-life product development in the automotive industry.

Publication & Conference

  • Talele, Virendra, and Peng Zhao. “Effect of nano-enhanced phase change material on the thermal management of a 18650 NMC battery pack.” Journal of Energy Storage 64 (2023): 107068.
  • Talele, Virendra, et al. “Novel metallic separator coupled composite phase change material passive thermal design for large format prismatic battery pack.” Journal of Energy Storage 58 (2023): 106336.
  • Talele, Virendra, et al. “Battery thermal runaway propagation time delay strategy using phase change material integrated with pyro block lining: Dual functionality battery thermal design.” Journal of Energy Storage 65 (2023): 107253.
  • Talele, Virendra, et al. “Optimal battery preheating in critical subzero ambient condition using different preheating arrangement and advance pyro linear thermal insulation.” Thermal Science and Engineering Progress 42 (2023): 101908.