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Picture Francesco Contino

Francesco Contino

Professor, Academic staff


Francesco Contino received his degree in electro-mechanical engineering from the Universite catholique de Louvain in 2006. He has spent one year learning Chinese in Nankai University, Tianjin, China. He then performed his Ph.D. thesis between 2007 and 2011 as a Research Fellow of the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique - FNRS. In 2011-2012, he had a post-doc position at Université d'Orleans, where he worked on the impact of valerate esters on engine performances. Since October 2012, he is appointed at Vrije Universiteit Brussel where he is now Associate Professor. He is member of the board of the Belgian Automotive Engineers ( and Chairman of the Belgian Section of the Combustion Institute ( During his PhD, he has also developed a passion for efficient scientific communication and was among the finalists of Famelab 2015.


Research interests

Francesco Contino focuses his research effort on three main topics: CFD simulation of internal combustion engine, pollutant emissions of vehicles, and use of non-conventional fuels. For numerical simulations, he has developed a reduction method (TDAC) in collaboration with Politecnico di Milano.  This method enables the use of more detailed mechanisms in CFD simulation, hence a better description of the combustion. It has now been included in the official release of OpenFOAM. Francesco Contino also works on real driving emissions of gasoline direct injection cars, more specifically on dynamic PM measurements.  Finally, he considers the impact of non-conventional fuels as essential in the current energy context. He is working on new generation biofuels produced from waste or lignocellulose, and on solar fuels.


Teaching interests and media exposure

In the context of his teaching activities, Francesco Contino has given a short interview on heat pumps (French): Vivaqua want to use drain water with a heat pump. He has also been working with Stefanie Van Damme on a workshop for high-school students. This workshop has been covered by TV Brussel (Dutch): "Will it burn or will it blow?". He has also made several videos illustrating the experiments in this workshop: 20132014bullet-time effect.


Vrije Universiteit Brussel
USquare, Building G
1050 Brussels