Dr. Huang Xinyan is a Combustion Scientist and a Fire Protection Engineer. He received his PhD (2016) from Imperial College London, where he investigated the Smouldering Combustion of Peat, the largest fire phenomenon on Earth. Before that, he performed research on the Ignition and Flame Spread Theory during his MSc (2012) at University of California, San Diego, and on the Solar Energy during his BE (2010) at Southeast University, China. Prior to joining PolyU, Dr. Huang was a Postdoc and Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley where he conducted research with NASA and JAXA on the Microgravity Combustion and Fire Safety in the International Space Station.                     Google Scholar             ResearchGate


 Academic and Professional Qualifications

íP         Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London (2016)

íP         M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, University of California, San Diego (2012)

íP         B.Eng. in Thermal Energy and Power Engineering, Southeast University, China (2010)


Research Interests

íP        Thermal Safety of Energy Storage Materials

íP         Microgravity Combustion and Fire Safety in Spacecraft

íP         Wildland Fires and Fire Ecology

íP         Emission and Pollution Control from Combustion Processes

íP         Heat Transfer and Phase Change

íP         Computational Modelling of Fire Phenomena


Future Research Students:

I am looking for Master and PhD students who have passion to do cutting edge research with me in the areas of Heat Transfer, Energy, Combustion, Fire, Environmental Science and so on. For those who are interested in this position, please send your CV to me by email:

íP        Previous research experience is preferred, but not required

íP        IELTS or TOEFL score is required for non-native English speakers

íP        Scholarships are available for good candidates, and top candidates can also apply for the (1) PolyU PhD Research Studentship, and (2) Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

íP        Exchange students from other institutions who are interested in my research are very welcome.


Professional Services

íP         Editorial Board        Fire Technology (2016 - ); Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering (2016 - )

íP         Committee              China National Symposium on Combustion, Harbin, China (2018)

4th Chinese National Young Scholar Meeting on Combustion, Wuhan, China (2018)

7th Association for Fire Ecology (AFE) International Congress, Orlando, USA (2017)

íP         Member                  New Technologies Subcommittee, International Association of Fire Safety Science (2014 - )

íP         Section Chair          10th US National Combustion Meeting, Maryland, USA (2017)

8th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Hefei, China (2016)


Honours and Awards

2017           Sugden Award for the Most Significant UK Contribution to Combustion                Combustion Institute (British Section)

2017           Keynote in 3rd National Young Scholar Meeting on Combustion                            National Science Foundation of China

2016           Katopodis Prize for Best PhD Thesis in Thermofluids                                           Imperial College London

2015           Watts Award for Outstanding Reviewer                                                               Fire Technology - Springer

2014           Medal for PhD Research Excellence in Clean Fossil Fuels                                   Qatar Petroleum

2014           Award for Outstanding Student Abroad                                                               China Scholarship Council

2012           Exceptional Overseas Scholarship                                                                     Imperial College London

Best Poster Awards (x5): 10th, 11th, 12th IAFSS International Symposium; 2nd European Fire Symposium; 10th AOAFST Fire Symposium

Combustion/Fire Art Competition Winner: 10th, 11th IAFSS International Symposium, 33rd Annual Meeting American Society for Gravitational and Space Research


Journal Publications

v  X. Huang (2017) A Review of Combustion Fundamentals in Wire Fires, Invited Review Paper in Fire Technology (in prepare).

v  X. Huang*, G. Rein (2017) Upward-and-downward Spread of Smoldering Peat Fire, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (under review).

v  J. Fang, Y. Xue, X. Huang*, J. Wang, S. Zhao, X. He, L. Zhao (2017) Dripping and extinction limits of wire fire under varying pressure and oxygen concentration, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (under review).

v  Y. Kobayashi, Y. Konno, X. Huang, S. Nakaya, M. Tsue, N. Hashimoto, O. Fujita, C. Fernandez-Pello (2017) Laser piloted ignition of polyethylene-insulated wire in microgravity, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (under review).

v  Y. Lu, X. Huang*, L. Hu, C. Fernandez-Pello (2017) The interaction between fuel inclination and forward wind: Experimental study using thin wire, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (under review).

v  Y. Lu, X. Huang*, L. Hu, C. Fernandez-Pello (2017) Concurrent flame spread over the horizontal thin electrical wires, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (under review).

v  X. Huang*, S.Link, A. Rodriguez, S. Olson, P. Ferkul, C. Fernandez-Pello (2017) Transition from Opposed Flame Spread to Fuel Regression: Effect of Airflow, Pressure, and Microgravity, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (under review).

v  M. Thomsen, X. Huang, C. Fernandez-Pello, D. Urban, G. Ruff (2017) Concurrent Flame Spread over Nomex under External Heating, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (under review).

29. S. Link, X. Huang*, C. Fernandez-Pello, S. Olson, P. Ferkul (2018) The Effect of Gravity on Flame Spread over PMMA Cylinders, Scientific Reports, 8: 120.

28. T. Gong, Q. Xie, X. Huang* (2018) Fire Behaviors of Flame-Retardant Cables Part I: Decomposition, Swelling and Spontaneous Ignition, Fire Safety Journal, 95: 113-121.

27. X. Huang, G. Rein (2017) Downward Spread of Smoldering Peat Fire: the Role of Moisture, Density and Oxygen Supply, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26, 907-918. EditoríŽs Choice for Free Open Access

26. Y. Kobayashi, Y. Konno, X. Huang*, S. Nakaya, M. Tsue, N. Hashimoto, O. Fujita, C. Fernandez-Pello (2018) Effect of Insulation Melting and Dripping on Opposed Flame Spread over Laboratory Simulated Electrical Wires, Fire Safety Journal, 95: 1-10.

25. Q. Liu, N. Liu, X. Huang (2017) Radiative Heat Transfer from Multiple Discrete Fires, Journal of Fire Science 35(6): 535-546.

24. Y. Kobayashi, X. Huang*, S. Nakaya, M. Tsue, C. Fernandez-Pello (2017) Opposed Flame Spread over Horizontal and Vertical Wires: the Role of Dripping and Core, Fire Safety Journal, 91: 112-122.

23. F. Restuccia, X. Huang, G. Rein (2017) Self-ignition of Natural Fuels: Can Wildfires of Carbon-Rich Soil Start by Self-heating? Fire Safety Journal, 91: 828-834.

22. Z. Song, X. Huang, J. Gong, M. Luo, X. Pan (2017) Experimental Study on the DiffusioníVKinetics Interaction in Heterogeneous Reaction of Coal, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 129(3): 1625-1637.

21. G. Rein, X. Huang, F. Restuccia, T. McArdle (2017) Detection of landmines in peat soils by controlled smouldering combustion: Experimental proof of concept of O-Revealer, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 88: 632-638.

20. S. Wang, X. Huang, H. Chen, N. Liu (2017) Interaction between Flaming and Smoldering in Hot-Particle Ignition of Forest Fuels and Effects of Moisture and Wind, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26: 71-81.

19. X. Huang, K. Li, H. Zhang (20167) Modelling Bench-scale Fire on Engineered Wood: Effects of Transient Flame and Physicochemical Properties, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36(2): 3167-3175.

18. D. Wu, M. Schmidt, X. Huang, F. Verplaetsen (2017) Self-ignition and Smouldering Characteristics of Coal Dust Accumulations in O2/N2 and O2/CO2 Atmospheres, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36(2): 3195-3202.

17. H. Wan, J. Ji, K. Li, X. Huang, J. Sun, Y. Zhang (2017) Effect of Air Entrainment on Flame Height of Multiple Fires in Open Space, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 36(2): 3003-3010.

16. J. Song, X. Huang, N. Liu, H. Li, L. Zhang (2017) The Wind Effect on the Transport and Burning Firebrands, Fire Technology, 53(4): 1555-1568.

15. K. Miyamoto, X. Huang*, N. Hashimoto, C. Fernandez-Pello, O. Fujita (2016) Limiting Oxygen Concentration (LOC) of Burning Polyethylene Insulated Wires under External Radiation, Fire Safety Journal, 86: 32-40.

14. X. Huang, G. Rein (2016) Interactions of Earth Atmospheric Oxygen and Fuel Moisture in Smouldering Wildfires, Science of the Total Environment, 572: 1440íV1446.

13. X. Huang, G. Rein (2016) Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass in Smouldering Combustion across Scales: the Roles of Heterogeneous Kinetics, Oxygen and Transport Phenomena, Bioresource Technology 207: 409-421. Appeared on the Journal Cover of Issue 207

12. X. Huang, F. Restuccia, M. Gramola, G. Rein (2016) Experimental Study of the Formation and Collapse of an Overhang in the Lateral Spread of Smouldering Peat Fires, Combustion and Flame 168 (6): 393íV402. Sugden Award

11. S. Wang, X. Huang, H. Chen, N. Liu, G. Rein (2015) Ignition of Low-density Expandable Polystyrene Foam by a Hot Particle, Combustion and Flame, 162 (11): 4112-4118.

10. D. Wu, X. Huang, F. Norman, F. Verplaetsen, J. Berghmansa, E. Van den Bulcka (2015) Experimental investigation on the self-ignition behavior of coal dust accumulations in oxy-fuel combustion system, Fuel, 160: 245-254.

9. X. Huang, G.Rein (2015) Computational Study of Critical Moisture and Depth of Burn in Peat Fires, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 24: 798-808.

8. X. Huang, G. Rein, H. Chen (2015) Computational Smouldering Combustion: Predicting the Roles of Moisture and Inert Contents in Peat Wildfires, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 35 (3): 2673-2681.

7. K. Li, X. Huang, C.M. Fleischmann, G. Rein, J. Ji (2014) Pyrolysis of Medium-Density Fiberboard: Optimized Search for Kinetic Scheme and Parameters via a Genetic Algorithm Driven by KissingeríŽs Method, Energy Fuels, 28: 6130-6139.

6. X. Huang, M. J. Gollner (2014) Correlations for Evaluation of Flame Spread over an Inclined Fuel Surface, Fire Safety Science, 11: 222-233.

5. X. Huang, G. Rein (2014) Smouldering Combustion of Peat: Inverse Modelling of the Thermal and Oxidative Degradation Kinetics, Combustion and Flame, 161 (6): 1633-1644. Most Downloaded Article for 90 days

4. X. Huang, Y. Nakamura, F. A. Williams (2013) Ignition-to-Spread Transition of Externally Heated Electrical Wire, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34 (2): 2505-2512.

3. M. J. Gollner, X. Huang, J. Cobian, A. S. Rangwala, F. A. Williams (2013) Experimental Study of Upward Flame Spread of an Inclined Fuel Surface, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34 (2): 2531-2538.

2. J. Wang, X. Huang*, G. Gong, M. Hao (2011) A Systematic Study of the Residual Gas Effect on Vacuum Solar Receiver, Energy Conversion and Management, 52: 2367-2372.

1. G. Gong, X. Huang*, J. Wang, M. Hao (2010) An Optimized Model and Test of the ChinaíŽs First High Temperature Parabolic Trough Solar Receiver, Solar Energy, 84: 2230-2245.


Peer Review (30 Journals)

íP         Fire Technology (x42) Watts Award for Outstanding Reviewer                 Combustion and Flame (x4)

íP         Proceedings of the Combustion Institute (x38) Outstanding reviewer         Applied Thermal Engineering (x9)

íP         Energy Conversion and Management (x16) Outstanding reviewer            Fire Safety Journal (x7)

íP         Fire Safety Science/IAFSS Symposium (x20)                                          Bioresource Technology (x9)

íP         International Journal of Wildland Fire (x4)                                               Fire and Material (x1)

íP         Combustion Science and Technology (x1)                                              Applied Energy (x1)

íP         International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer (x1)                               Building Simulation (x1)

íP         Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis (x1)                                       Energy Technology (x1)

íP         Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (x1)                                    Soil (x1)

íP         Journal of Hazardous Materials (x2)                                                       Fire Ecology (x1)

íP         Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science (x1)                                          Materials (x1)

íP         Science of the Total Environment (x2)                                                     Energy & Fuel (x5)

íP         Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering (x1)                                                 Journal of Hydrology (x1)

íP         Fuel Process Technology (x1)                                                                Applied Sciences (x1)

íP         International Journal of Thermal Sciences (x1)                                        Journal of Fire Science (x1)


Proposal Reviewer

2017           NASA (Combustion Science)


PhD Thesis Examiner / Reviewer

2016           Nieves Fernández Áñez             Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain