Professor Brian AgnewBTech, MSc, PhD CEng, FIMechE
Professor of Energy and the Environment
I joined Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University after working for nearly 25 years at Newcastle University. I continue to work on modelling thermal systems and encompassing aspects of the built environment such as energy efficiency in buildings, distributed power systems, geothermal energy and storage systems and air flow and dispersion.
I began work in 1966 as a drawing office apprentice at Rolls-Royce Aero Engine Division, Derby and following ONC studies at Derby College I was sponsored to study a B.Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) at Brunel University in 1968. This was a 4 year thin sandwich course involving studying from October to March with the summer spent at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby. During this time I worked in several departments engaged with the RB211 development program, Technical Design, Flight Test, Engine Test, Compressor Design. I also worked in the Special Machine Tool Design Office on Electro-Chemical Machining.
I graduated in the summer of 1972, just after Rolls Royce went into receivership, stayed with them for a further 15 months before enrolling at Kings College London University to study a M.Sc. in Internal Combustion Engineering. This was followed by a Ph.D. at City University examining the formation of exhaust emissions in spark ignition engines. Upon completing the Ph.D. work I was employed for a short period by Delaney Gallay Dynamics in Edgware designing heat exchangers for aero-space applications and then by the British Internal Combustion Engine Research Institute where I was Head of the Instrumentation Section.
In 1979 I joined the School of Mechanical Engineering at Cranfield Institute of Technology working with Professor Elder on large compressor research (mainly for Rolls-Royce) and on the development of turbochargers for Holset Engineering and Cummins Engines.
I joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle in 1984 as Lecturer in Heat Transfer where I worked in the general areas of heat transfer, internal combustion engines and thermal systems. This work has developed over the years to focus on energy efficiency to conserve energy and reduce green house gas emissions. On joining Northumbria University I took the opportunity to include aspects of the built environment such as energy efficiency in buildings, distributed power systems, geothermal energy and storage systems into this work.
In 2005 I developed an interest in understanding the airflow in underground systems such as caves and subways (thermally driven air flows). The objective of this work is to understand the influence the over ground climate has on the airflow underground in order to develop effective evacuation scenarios in the event of a fire or terrorist attack. This work has been done in association with the Ruhr University Bochum and Nexus. This work has developed significantly at Northumbria University with colleagues in the Virtual Reality Suite as it is now possible using this resource to include pedestrian modelling and provide a virtual image of the underground system to show smoke and gas dispersion.
I welcome enquiries from prospective Ph.D. students who have an interest in working with me in these areas (0044(0)191 227 3779, email@example.com).
On a personal level my main hobby is motorcycling and rebuilding Velocette and BMW motorcycles. I also have an interest in Operation Blau, the main offensive on the Eastern Front in 1942. I have four children; the youngest is currently studying Criminology at Northumbria University. My youngest daughter studied Theoretical Physics at Oxford University and is currently in her final year of Medical studies at Kings College Medical School.
Research Themes and Scholarly InterestsThermal Systems, Subway and City Climatology, Thermodynamics, research methods
Sponsors and CollaboratorsThermacore Europe, Nexus, Rolls-Royce, Newcastle University, London South Bank University, Brunel University, UiTM Malaysia, Ruhr University Bochum, Oxford University.
• NanoHex Project, Applications Advisory Board Member, seconded to project in July 2011.
• EP/G059799/1 Optimising Thermal Energy Recovery, Utilisation and Management in the Process Industries OPTITHERM, with Brunel University and Newcastle University. •
• EP/E028705/1 Development of Miniature Refrigeration Systems for Electronics Cooling with Oxford University and London South Bank University.
• GR/D99539/01 Lean burn Combustion with the Ford Motor Co.
• GR/F10941/01 Turbosep with Domnik Hunter.
• GR/E22916/01 Turbosep with Domnik Hunter
1. “The influence of Coolant Temperature on Various Cycle Parameters of Single Effect LiBr-H2O Absorption Chillers when Energised from a Low Temperature Heat Source”. Masheiti S., Agnew B. I.Mech.E. Proceedings Part A, Journal of Power and Energy, 224, 7, 947-955, 2010.
2. “An Evaluation of the use of R134a and R245fa as the Working Fluid in an Organic Rankine Cycle Energized from a Low Temperature Geothermal Energy Source”. S. Masheiti S., Agnew B., Walker S., Journal of Energy and Power Engineering, V 5, 5, pp 392 – 402, 2011.
“Performance and Exhaust Emissions of a Diesel Engine Fuelled with Croton Megalocarpus (Musine) Methyl Ester”. Aliyu B., Shitanda D., Walker S., Agnew B., Masheiti S., Atan R., Applied Thermal Engineering, Vol. 31, pp 36-41, 2011.
“An Investigation of the Performance of Compact Heat Exchangers for Latent Heat Recovery from Exhaust Flue Gases”. Shi X., Che D., Agnew B. Int. J. Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 54, pp 606-615, 2011.
“Natural Ventilation as a Factor Controlling the Dispersal of Airborne Toxins in Subway Systems in a Disaster Situation”, Pflitsch A., Bruene M., Steiling B., Killing-Heinze M., Ringeis J., Agnew B, Journal of Transportation Safety and Security, V5, 1, 2013.
"Effectiveness of Guided Evacuations in a Complex Subway Station, Based on the Subway's Climatology Influence on Gas Dispersion" Charlton J., Bruene M., Pflitsch A., Agnew B., Submitted to Tunneling and Underground Space Technology, Sept. 2012.