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Industrial and Commercial Combustion Engineering


School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Engineering

Start Dates(s): September


MSc (three years distance e-learning)
PgDip (two years distance e-learning)
PgCert (one year distance e-learning)


Distance Learning - £1,230 per 30 credits

In Brief:

  • A specialist qualification that is recognised by industry experts
  • Taught by distance e-learning so you can fit in study around your work
  • The first course in the UK to specialise in combustion engineering at a commercial level
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Industrial Combustion Engineering is a significant market sector which functions between the electrical and mechanical disciplines. A competent engineer needs to have a knowledge and understanding of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and the chemistry of combustion and process engineering.

A formal training and qualification route for industrial combustion engineers does not currently exist. The result of this is a world-wide shortage of skilled competent combustion engineers.

This course has been designed to meet this shortage, and is suitable for graduates and professional engineers who wish to gain specialist knowledge and skills in the field of commercial and industrial combustion engineering, or who wish to formalise and progress in their current profession.

Course Details

This course aims:

  • To provide engineers and industrial practitioners with specialist skills and advanced knowledge to work within industrial and commercial combustion engineering processes.
  • To develop engineers and scientists with a systematic and a critical awareness of burner technology and its utilisation within industrial and commercial processes (oil and gas).
  • To provide comprehensive knowledge and a critical understanding of gas safety standards and its application to industrial/commercial combustion processes.
  • To develop the student professionally to make informed decisions on the design, development, installation and commissioning of industrial and commercial combustion systems.

There are three qualifications available, each taking a total of one year. To attain the competent engineer certification you will need to complete a PgDip.

The aims of this module is to provide the student with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of combustion theory and the application to the design and operation of industrial and commercial combustion engineering processes, utilising gas and oil burners.

Within this module the following topics are covered:

  • Fluid dynamics: Fluid properties, Ideal gases, Hydrostatics, Real gases, Fluid flow and Turbulence.
  • Organic chemistry: Chemical terms, Chemical bonding and Organic chemistry.
  • Thermodynamics: Thermodynamic properties and laws, Thermodynamic processes
  • Manufactures gases: Gas families, Gas characteristics, Gas transmission, Fuel-interchangeability
  • Combustion: Types of flame (pre-mixed, partially mixed, diffusion flame), Flame velocity, Flammability limits, Stoichiometry, Atomisation, Spray evaporation, Products of combustion, Ignition, Flame stabilisation
  • Burner types: Non aerated, Partially aerated, Fully aerated and Other burner systems characteristics and design.
  • Burner design: Air entrainment, Port/orifice sizing, Factors effecting burner design and Burner stability.
  • Burner performance: Factors affecting burner performance and burner emissions.
  • Fuel types: Burner design considerations when using various fuels: gas, oil, wood and coal.
  • Burner ignition: Flame supervision devices and Ignition systems.

The aim of this module is to provide the student with a critical knowledge and understanding of the mechanisms of heat transfer in relation to industrial and commercial combustion processes, and to critically design, analyse and control burners for industrial and commercial applications.

Within this module the following topics are covered:

  • Heat transfer: Conduction, Convection, Radiation, Applications related to Furnaces, Pipework, Buildings and Boilers.
  • Heat exchangers: Double pipe heat exchanger, Shell and tube heat exchanger Cross flow heat exchanger and Heat exchanger design.
  • Steam: Phase diagrams, Saturated steam, Superheated steam, Thermodynamic analysis of a boiler
  • Electricity: Electrical fundamentals, Electricity, batteries, DC circuits, Electrical components,
  • AC Theory: Magnetism, transformers, motors, earthing, AC circuits, AC connections
  • Burner control: Types of control valves, ancillary components that make up a burner control system
  • Control theory: Control terms, Closed loop control, Proportional, Integral, Derivative, Automatic control, Control inputs, control equipment , choice of control modes.

The aim of this module is to provide the student with a critical knowledge and understanding of the safety and environmental legislation for the safe installation of pipework and the utilisation of industrial/commercial burners.

Within this module the following topics are covered:

  • Industrial Gas Safety and Regulations: Gas Regulations\Acts, British Standards.
  • Hazard identification: Understand and identify Immediately dangerous, At risk and Not to current standard scenarios, COMAH, ALARP, FMEA, Cause and Effect, Fault Tree Analysis, HAZOP.
  • Explosions: Causes of explosions, Types of explosions, Ventilation and Prevention of explosions.
  • Gas pipe flow: Laminar and Turbulent flow, Dynamics of pipelines, Pipe work planning and design.
  • Installation of pipework: Pipework layout and legislation, Material and jointing methods, Pipework components, Electrical bonding, Fabricating pipework, Gas pipework sizing, Commissioning.
  • Gas pipework components: Gas metering devices, Pipework symbols, Pressure regulation, Manually operated valves, Safety valves, Air/gas control, Multi-function control valves, Measurement, Ancillary equipment, Meter installation.

The aim of this module is to provide the student with a critical knowledge and understanding of the burner commissioning process, and how to critically analyse and optimise an Industrial and Commercial process.

Within this module the following topics are covered:

  • Flue systems: Flue systems (flue-less, open flued, room sealed), Sizing a flue, Flue construction, Flue design for industrial boilers, Testing flues.
  • Burner commissioning process: Burner commissioning and safety legislation, Commissioning procedure, Strength Testing, Tightness testings, Purging procedure, Component testing, Burner commissioning, Ignition system and Flame supervision commissioning.
  • Steam Boilers and Commissioning: Properties of steam, Barriers to heat transfer, Superheated steam, Mollier chart, Steam quality, Calculating steam requirements, Components of a steam boiler, Commissioning a steam system.
  • Fault Finding Procedure: Mechanisms of failure, Servicing and maintenance, Assessing and installation, Diagnostic tools, Common faults (Burners, flame protection, ignition systems, valves, electrical systems), Flue gas analysis equipment, Assessing burner firing rate
  • Emission Reduction: Emissions, Emission reduction methods, Fuel changeover (oil to gas).
  • Energy Efficiency: Matching boilers to processes, Condensing boilers, Modulating burners, Forms of heat waste, Heat recovery, Regenerators, Recuperators, Combined heat and power, Opportunity costing.
To complete this module, which will give you the full MSc qualification you will need to write a 15,000 word dissertation in Industrial and commercial Combustion Engineering which can be a project related to your current role in industry.  This can be in the form of either experimental or theoretically based research.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a 2:2 degree in an Engineering or Scientific discipline.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International students must provide evidence of proficiency in English - IELTS 6.0  band score (with no element below 5.5) or above are proof of this.

International Students and Students who are Non EU/EEA/UK Nationals - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

International Students and student who are not EU, EEA or UK nationals are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studying their course. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK in order for you to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions.
You can find out if your programme requires an ATAS by checking the FCO website at with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter should you choose to make an application. If you cannot find it please contact International Conversion team at If you have any queries relating directly to ATAS please contact the ATAS team on
You can apply for your ATAS Certificate via this link:

Suitable For

This programme is for experienced practitioners in the field of commercial combustion engineering who wish to formalise their training or for engineers from other similar backgrounds who wish to enter the commercial combustion engineering field.

If you do not hold a first degree but have appropriate experience, you will be required to produce a portfolio of relevant work experience within the field of engineering as part of the application process.

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee
Distance Learning£1,230 per 30 credits
International Distance Learning£2,250 per 30 credits

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section


Teaching is delivered online by e-learning.

You will required to attend the University of Salford for a two week period for laboratory teaching and assessment.


You will be assessed through:

  • Coursework 40%
  • Examinations 60%

Plus dissertation

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Professor G G Nasr (MILASS, CEng, Eur Ing, FIGEM, FIMechE)

Ghasem Ghavami-Nasr is a full-time Professor with the Chair in Mechanical Engineering and Innovation in the School of Computing, Science & Engineering. He is Head of the Engineering Research Centre and Director of the Spray Research Group.

Ghasem has over 22 years academic and industrial experience which encompasses research, innovation, development, commercial and enterprise, curriculum development, management and resources. Expert in 'industrial' atomiser design, atomisation processes, spray characterisation and their formation, utilising advanced laser instrumentations, imaging techniques, process development, CFD modelling and NPD (New Product Development) with ergonomics and cognitive issues. Supporting businesses and commerce worldwide utilising these skills protracted over two decades. His work has application in nanotechnology, steel manufacturing, pharmaceutical, food, agriculture, aerospace, propulsion, humidification, automotive, decontamination, aerosol, medical etc.


Career Prospects

You will be able to enter or progress in careers in the designing, commissioning, servicing and maintaining of industrial or commercial combustion equipment.

Examples of jobs you could apply for with this qualification might be Service Engineer, Commissioning Engineer, Design Engineer.

Links with Industry

This course was designed in conjunction with Advanced Combustion Engineering Ltd (ACE) a regional burner manufacturing company.

It was their concerns of the lack of formalised training in the commercial combustion engineering sector that they approached the university to devise a programme that would meets these concerns.

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