PhD Studentship Advanced vehicle driveline simulation technologies

Application deadline:  18th November 2013

Supervisor:  James Brighton –

Duration of award: 3 years

Award type: PhD

Funded by Jaguar Land Rover and supported by IPG automotive simulation, this studentship will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and provide a bursary of up to £19,000 p.a. for three years*

Cranfield’s Centre for Automotive Technology has established a world-leading capability in research and facilities relating to off road vehicles and tyre performance. Working with Jaguar Land Rover and IPG simulation a fully funded PhD opportunity exists to develop and use these facilities to prove a fully virtual hardware in the loop methodology for off-road terrains.

The project will involve development of current surface characterisation techniques to fully describe an off road test route well established in JLR vehicle development programmes. The PhD student will personally work on collecting this surface data together with baseline vehicle performance data from an extensive experimental programme. This will further extend previous conceptual work at Cranfield on vehicle driveline models. The models will be extended into a form suitable for real-time application in the Cranfield Off-Road Environment Simulator – a four wheel hardware in the loop facility with unique highly dynamic torque capabilities.

Following a period of model and rig development the project will identify key factors for effective simulation of this test route and methods to deliver real-time simulation of the highly complex off-road environment.

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This project represents a unique opportunity to combine practical engineering development with conceptual work on a new area of vehicle simulation only recently made possible by technological advance at Cranfield. Ideas will be validated at full scale to deliver genuinely useful outputs to a leading off road manufacturer. Research progress will be managed in close collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, IPG and other partners – the student expected to take the lead in presentations and progress reports.


  • Ability to work between many fields of engineering
  • Track record of quickly mastering new subjects from first principles. 
  • Strong engineering background, and a BEng or higher degree although other physical science degrees plus experience will be considered.  
  • Engineering experience (from any source) will be very valuable, and terramechanics knowledge an advantage.  
  • Must be mathematically competent
  • Skills in software development will be a core part of the work (especially MATLAB, Simulink and C) and experience in these desirable. 
  • Prior experience in other languages may be relevant, but a demonstrably fundamental approach to IT systems is essential.


Applicants must be able to live and study in the UK for 3-4 years with no visa restrictions. Cranfield would support a visa application for the duration of this study if required.

After an initial discussion, applicants must be prepared to travel to Cranfield for an interview.

* International applications from non UK/EU nationals are welcome but due to funding restrictions the international fees would apply and stipend would be agreed on an individual basis at less than £19,000 p.a.

Initial enquiries contact Kim Blackburn

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form which can be accessed by clicking the Apply link below.

Please specify project title on the application form.

Further information:

School of Applied Sciences

T: +44 (0)1234 754086


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