Dr Fabrizio Bonatesta

Senior Lecturer in Thermofluids


Dr Bonatesta graduated with a PhD in engine research from Nottingham University, UK, and between 2006 and 2008 worked as a Research Fellow for the Engine Research Group there. Between 2008 and 2010 he worked as a Senior R&D Engineer at Eminox Ltd, in charge of the CFD function which provided support in the design and optimisation of after-treatment technologies for OEM HD diesel engines. Since 2010, Dr Bonatesta is a permanent member of academic staff at Oxford Brookes University.

Dr Bonatesta’s research work has steadily focussed on experimental and numerical modelling activities for combustion optimisation and emissions reduction in both gasoline and diesel engines. His agenda at OBU concentrates mostly on Particulate Matter mechanisms and engine-out emissions in modern GDI engines. He has acquired extensive expertise in reactive flow modelling of engine cycles using both commercial and open-source CFD software.

At OBU, Dr Bonatesta has established a prospering research group, which works in collaboration with Ford Motor Company and CD-Adapco/Siemens for the optimisation of combustion and soot modelling capabilities. Other active research collaborations include the Soot Diagnostics Suite at the University of Nottingham, UK and the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University. Since December 2015, he is a Visiting Research Fellow at NUMC (Nottingham University Malaysia Campus).

Dr Bonatesta is also supporting the successful development of pan-disciplinary research activities in the area of sustainable, energy-efficient heating systems for buildings, in collaboration with OISD, the Architectural Engineering Research Group, School of Architecture, OBU. Main focus of interest has been 3D CFD modelling and optimisation of Transpired Solar Collector systems.

Dr Bonatesta has been the recipient of two Central Research Funds Awards (2013-14 and
2014-15) and two Research Excellence Awards (2015-16 and 2016-17).

Teaching Duties

Module leader for:

  • Thermo-fluids (MEng/BEng)
  • Motorsport Engine Technology (BEng/BSc))

Also teaches on:

  • Automotive Engines (MEng/BEng)



  • Tajdaran, S., Bonatesta, F., Ogden, R., Kendrick, C., CFD modelling of transpired solar collectors and characterisation of multi-scale airflow and heat transfer mechanisms, Solar Energy, Elsevier, 131: 149-164, 2016.
  • Bonatesta, F., Altamore, G., Cary, M., Kalsi, J., Part-Load Fuel-Economy Optimisation of Variable Cam-shaft Timing in Down-Sized Spark Ignition Engines, Applied Energy, Elsevier, 164: 475-491, 2016.
  • Tajdaran, S., Bonatesta, F., Ogden, R., Kendrick, C., Use of CFD modelling for transpired solar collectors and associated characterization of multi-scale airflow and heat transfer mechanisms, Energy Procedia, Elsevier, 78: 2238-2243, 2015.
  • Tan, J. Y., Bonatesta, F., Ng, H. K., Gan, S., Developments in computational fluid dynamics modelling of gasoline direct injection engine combustion and soot emission with chemical kinetic modelling, Applied Thermal Engineering, Elsevier, 107: 936–959, 2016.
  • La Rocca, A., Bonatesta, F., Fay, M., Campanella, F., Characterisation of soot in oil from a gasoline direct injection engine using Transmission Electron Microscopy, Tribology International, Elsevier, 86: 77-84, 2015.
  • Bonatesta F., Chiappetta E., La Rocca A., Part-Load Particulate Matter from a GDI Engine and the Connection with Combustion Characteristics, Applied Energy, Elsevier, 124: 366–376, 2014.
  • Bonatesta F., Waters, B., Shayler, P. J., Burn Angles and Form Factors for Wiebe Function Fits to Mass-Fraction-Burned Curves of a Spark Ignition Engine with Variable Valve Timing, Int. J. Engine Res., IMECHE, 11(2): 177-186, 2010.
  • Bonatesta, F., Shayler, P. J., Factors influencing the burn rate characteristics of a spark ignition engine with variable valve timing, Proc. IMECHE Part D: JAuto, 222(11), 2147-2158, 2008.


  • Bonatesta, F., Hopkins, E., Bell, D., La Rocca, A., Combustion and Particulate Matter Formation in Modern GDI Engines: a Modelling Study Using CFD, F2016-ESYG-018, FISITA World Automotive Conference 2016, Busan – Korea, September 2016.
  • Bonatesta, F., Hopkins, E., Francavilla, C., Bell, D., Soot Modelling in a Modern Gasoline Direct Injection Engine, Star Global Conference 2016, Prague - Czech Republic, March 2016.
  • Zuber, M. A., Mahmood, W. M. F. W., Harun, Z., Abidin, Z. Z., La Rocca, A., Shayler, P., Bonatesta, F. Modeling of In-Cylinder Soot Particle Size Evolution and Distribution in a Direct Injection Diesel Engine, SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1075, 2015.
  • Bonatesta, F., La Rocca, S., Hopkins, E., Bell, D., Application of Computational Fluid Dynamics to Explore the Sources of Soot Formation in a Gasoline Direct Injection Engine, SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-2569, 2014.
  • Bonatesta, F., La Rocca, A., Chiappetta, E., Exploring the correlation between soot number density and combustion duration in a GDI engine at part-load conditions, 18th ETH-Conference on Combustion Generated Nanoparticles, June 2014. ETH Zentrum, Zürich, Switzerland.
  • La Rocca, A., Bonatesta, F., Campanella, F., Fay, M., Nanoparticle characteristics of exhaust and soot-in-oil from gasoline direct injection automotive engines, 18th ETH-Conference on Combustion Generated Nanoparticles, June 2014. ETH Zentrum, Zürich, Switzerland.
  • Wan Mahmood, W., La Rocca, A., Shayler, P., Bonatesta, F., Pegg, I., Predicted Paths of Soot Particles in the Cylinders of a Direct Injection Diesel Engine, SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-0148, 2012.
  • Wan Mahmood, W., Bonatesta, F., La Rocca, A., Shayler, P.J., CFD Studies of In-Cylinder Soot Particle Trajectories of a DI Diesel Engine, International Conference on Environment 2008 (ICENV 2008), Penang, Malaysia, December 2008.
  • Bonatesta, F., La Rocca, A., Shayler, P.J., Wahab, E., Investigations of Soot Distribution in a DI Diesel Engine and the Effect of Swirl Ratio using KIVA, UnICEG Meeting on 'Engine Modelling', Jaguar Cars, Castle Bromwich, April 2007.
  • Bonatesta, F., La Rocca, A., Shayler, P.J., Wahab, E., The Influence of Swirl Ratio on Soot Quantity and Distribution in the Cylinder of a Diesel Engine, Proceedings of the European Combustion Meeting ECM2007, Crete, April 2007.


Fabrizio Bonatesta


Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Oxford Brookes University
Wheatley Campus
United Kingdom

01865 485715