Professor Jennifer Wen
Professor of Engineering
Head of Warwick FIRE
Jennifer dot Wen at warwick dot ac dot uk
+44 (0) 24 7657 3365
Professor Jennifer Wen joined the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick in May 2013. She established and currently leads Warwick FIRE, a multidisciplinary research laboratory for both fundamental and applied research in fire, explosions and other safety related reactive and non-reactive flows. Professor Wen holds a BSc from Shanghai Jiaotong University and a PhD from University of London. She has previously held positions at Computational Dynamics Limited (founding vendor of STAR-CCM), British Gas plc, South Bank University and Kingston University London, where she was full professor since 2000 and Head of Research for Engineering.
Jennifer is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. She is Vice-Chairman of the International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) and Chair of IAFSS Working Group “Research and Education”
Professor Wen’s research focuses on numerical studies of safety related reactive and non- reactive flows. Her team specializes in the development of physics-based sub-models and modelling approaches to capture the underlying physics of complex safety problems. Most of the development has been conducted within the frame of open source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code OpenFOAM® to facilitate model validation and application.
Professor Wen has applied fundamental combustion science to study a wide range of fire scenarios including liquid pool and gas burner fires, single and multi-phase jet fires, flame spread, façade fires and fires in enclosures. In such studies, her team developed physics based sub-models for combustion, radiative heat transfer and soot. More recently, her team is developing predictive tools for lithium ion battery fires.
An important theme of Professor Wen’s research is modelling safety related reactive flows relevant to the petrochemical industry for which she has received support from several international energy companies. Her research has encompassed fundamental characteristics of flame acceleration (FA) and deflagration to detonation transition (DDT), flame/detonation arresters, Micromist for explosion mitigation and confined/semi-confined gas explosions.
Professor Wen collaborate extensively with experimentalists and modelers across the world in both academia and industry. The fire models her team developed have been used by the industrial sponsor to help reduce the number of large-scale fire tests in developing fire protection measures and other academics in their research. The predictive tool her team developed for turbulent deflagrations incorporating the effect of obstacles has been used by collaborators in industry to conduct safety assessment of their facilities. An engineering model for predicting the peak overpressure in vented explosions has been accepted for inclusion in the relevant European Standard and has already been used by several companies in Europe and UK.
Additional details about Professor Wen’s research and snapshots of the results are available at Warwick FIRE.
Hydrogen energy applications
Detailed analysis about safety issues related to hydrogen energy applications in transport systems and the built environment, working closely with international energy companies. This aspect of work covers fire and explosions as well as indoor dispersion from small hydrogen leaks and the atmospheric dispersion from large scale spill of cryogenic liquid hydrogen. Within the frame of OpenFOAM, Jennifer’s team has developed and validated an in-house HyFOAM solver for predicting:
- hydrogen jet fires
- spontaneous ignition in pressurised hydrogen release
- cryogenic hydrogen jets
- atmospheric dispersion following large scale spill of cryogenic liquid hydrogen
- FA and DDT in premixed hydrogen flames incorporating the effect of turbulence and mixture inhomogeneity
- the response of compressed hydrogen cylinders under fire attack incorporating the pressurized hydrogen, liner, composite laminate, and fire
- hydrogen explosions (including vented explosions) incorporating the effects of obstacles
Lithium ion batteries for transport and energy storage
Analytical, experimental, and numerical studies of thermal runaway (TR) in lithium ion batteries (LIB) with particular focus on the mechanisms of TR and its propagation in LIB clusters and modules. An electrothermal model has been developed to capture the evolution from normal operation to abuse condition and TR as an in-house solver within the frame of OpenFOAM. An efficient thermal abuse model has also been developed to analyse the effect of single cell TR on the neighbouring cells. The work is inherently collaborative involving extensive collaboration with industry and academics internationally.
Liquified natural gas
The main hazard of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is the flammable vapour which can extend to kilometres as a greenhouse gas; or be ignited resulting in fire and explosions. Within the frame of OpenFOAM, Jennifer’s team has developed LNGFOAM for predicting:
- pool spread, evaporation and dispersion following LNG spill on land and water
- LNG rollover
- flashing of cryogenic LNG jets
- vapour cloud formation from LNG/other liquid fuel cascade
- LNG pool fires incorporating the dynamic prediction of mass burning rates.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
CCS technology involves the transport of compressed gas/liquid/dense phase carbon dioxide (CO2) via pipelines and process systems. Research has been conducted with industrial support on the decompression characteristics of rich gas and liquid/dense phase CO2 following pipeline rupture to help determining the toughness required to arrest a running ductile fracture in a pipeline. Professor Wen’s team developed and validated CFD based predictive tools to predict the transient decompression process following pipeline rupture as well as the atmospheric dispersion of the released CO2 incorporating terrain and weather effects.
ES4E4 Fuel and Combustion (Module Leader)
ES9ZN Research Methods and Professional Skills (Module Leader)
Projects and Grants
Selected Membership of Editorial Boards and Committees
|YEAR||EDITORIAL BOARD / COMMITTEE|
|2019 -||Committee Member, British Section of the Combustion Institute.|
|2019 - 2020||Guest Editor, Special Issue on Lithium-ion Battery Fire Safety, Fire Technology.|
|2018 -||Member and Sub-Task Leader, European Hydrogen Safety Panel, established by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FC 2 JU), European Commission.|
|2018 -||Academic Expert, Annual QS Global Academic Survey by QS Intelligence Unit (QSIU), Shanghai Jiao Tong University China.|
|2015 -||Member of the Science Board, EPSRC SUPERGEN Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Research Hub|
|2015 -||Deputy Leader, Safety Task Group for the International Energy Agency.|
|2007 -||Steering Committee Member, UK Explosion Liaison Group(UKELG)|
|2011 - 2015||Lead guest editor to publish 3 special issues on hydrogen safety for the Int. J of Hydrogen Energy.|
|2016 -||Guest editor, special issues on hydrogen safety for the Int. J of Hydrogen Energy.|