Skip to main content
Unit of study_

MECH5265: Combustion

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study 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. Students will also be briefly introduced to various applications such as internal combustion engines, gas turbines, and fires. This unit 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 and spray combustion, the concept of mixture fraction for non-premixed flames, combustion in engines and gas turbines as well as the formation of pollutants. New concepts for clean modern engines, with increasing reliance on renewable energy, are highlighted. Issues relating to buoyant fires and plumes, including fire suppression may also be covered.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MECH5265
Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
MECH4265 OR MECH8265
(MECH3260 AND MECH3261) OR MECH9260 or MECH8260
Assumed knowledge

Students are expected to be familiar with the basic laws of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Assaad Masri,
Lecturer(s) Assaad Masri,
Tutor(s) Mohamed Marei,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz Quiz-1
In-class Quiz
10% Week 04
Due date: 16 Sep 2020 at 16:00
30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz-2
In-class Quiz
10% Week 06
Due date: 30 Sep 2020 at 16:00
30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment-1
Take home assignment
5% Week 06
Due date: 02 Oct 2020 at 17:00
10 hours to complete over 6 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Tutorial quiz Quiz-3
In-class Quiz
10% Week 08
Due date: 21 Oct 2020 at 16:00
30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz-4
In-class Quiz
10% Week 11
Due date: 11 Nov 2020 at 16:00
30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Assignment-2
Take home assignment
5% Week 11
Due date: 13 Nov 2020 at 17:00
10 hours to complete over 6 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Presentation Seminar
Presentation of work performed in major project.
10% Week 12
Due date: 18 Nov 2020 at 17:00
About 5 to 6 minutes per student
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Project
Major project work in groups. Submit one report per group.
40% Week 12
Due date: 20 Nov 2020 at 17:00
30 hours to complete over 10 weeks
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • 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 unit and the student`s ability to analyze and solve related problems.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and terminology Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Chemical equilibrium Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1
Week 03 Flammability, ignition and extinction Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1
Week 04 Chemical kinetics Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 1. Simple reacting systems; 2. Mixture fraction concept Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 06 Laminar diffusion flames Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 07 Laminar premixed flames Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Droplet evaporation and combustion. Spray flames Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 Turbulence and modelling of turbulent combustion. Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Turbulent premixed and diffusion flames. Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 11 Engines and pollutants Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Student presentations Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Stephen R. Turns – An Introduction to Combustion. McGraw Hill, 2000. 0-07-230096-5

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand combustion modes including laminar, turbulent, diffusion and premixed flames.
  • LO2. Analyse a simple chemically reaction system and calculate the equilibrium composition.
  • LO3. Compute the compositional structure of laminar flames including the formation of pollutants.
  • LO4. Handle relevant aspects and issues relating to combustion in engines and gas turbines.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Additional training sessions for Chemkin and Fluent software are organized as requested by students.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.