Why is transport important?

  • With the current global climate, conventional road transport systems powered by Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs) suffer ever-tightening restrictions on emissions
  • Vehicles on UK roads produce an estimated 20% of our greenhouse gases
  • Combine this with the scarcity and fluctuating price of oil and the fuel economy and engine efficiency of a vehicle becomes of paramount importance
  • More efficient engines will reduce these emissions, however considering the maximum theoretical Otto-cycle efficiency of between 35-37%, alternative propulsion systems must also be considered
  • Bigger reductions in vehicle emissions and significant efficiency improvements can only be achieved through electric- and hydrogen-based propulsion systems, which are sometimes referred to as “Ultra Low Emission Vehicles” (ULEVs)
  • Low emission vehicles are currently still more expensive than the average ICE vehicle. However, new battery and fuel-cell technology can reduce these costs
  • As these electrical Energy Storage Systems improve, the transportation sector can move to broader implementation of electrical propulsion by motors
  • Fault-tolerance can be included into these electrical machines for safety-critical systems such as seen in Aerospace applications
  • Often such electrical machines can also be incorporated into safety-critical applications such as ABS, power assisted-steering, traction control and steer/fly-by-wire systems

Our expertise & activities

Detailed research areas


  • Carbon-fibre composites for vehicle bodies
  • Active Vehicle Suspension
  • Anti-Lock Braking/Traction Control
  • Exhaust Gas Energy Recovery
  • Electrical Torque Boosters for Down-Sized ICEs
  • Free-Piston Energy Converters
  • Mild Hybrid/Integrated Starter-Alternator Systems
  • Integrated Modular Drives for Parallel Hybrid Vehicles
  • Hybrid and Fully Electric Vehicles
  • Embedded-Systems for Electric Vehicles
  • Intelligent State-of-Charge and State-of-Health battery monitoring
  • Vehicle to Grid (V2G) operation for distributed Energy Storage
  • Second life operation of EV batteries
  • PM traction machines for low-speed passenger vehicles


  • intelligent systems engineering involving detection, sensing, communication, materials, structures and software technologies that can be applied to rail infrastructure, operations and traffic

Aerospace & Aviation


  • Sensorless control of matrix converters for thrusters on deep-sea ‘remotely operated underwater vehicles’ (ROV’s)
  • High speed permanent magnet generators for Marine applications
  • Integrated Starter-Alternator Systems

Key people (A-Z)

Dr Simon Blakey
Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Peter Fleming 
Professor of Industrial Systems and Control, Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

Dr Dan Gladwin
Lecturer, Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Dr Bhupendra Khandelwal
Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Professor Dave Stone
Professor, Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Professor Jiabin Wang
Professor, Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu
Head of Electrical Machines and Drives Group
Electronic and Electrical Engineering