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Research Capabilities

Research and knowledge transfer projects at Bradford funded by automotive companies over the last 25 years include commercial vehicle brake design, engine management, mapping and calibration, accelerator pedal design, design and manufacturing process improvement, statistical engineering, and vehicle design for safety.

Current projects include PhD research into brake squeal noise with Jaguar Land Rover and Liverpool and Cranfirld Universities, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with Merlin Diesel Systems, Watson Smith / Norgren, and BAE Systems, and a CASE PhD studentship with Jaguar Land Rover on engine emissions optimisation.

jaguar landrover

Research is firmly linked to sector imperatives and most activity takes place in collaboration with partners from an extensive network of automotive manufacturers (e.g. Ford, Jaguar, LandRover, Honda) and their supply chains (e.g. Ricardo, Visteon, Altair, Cummins). 

Research themes

Engineering Quality Improvement, Failure Mode Avoidance, Brakes and Braking Systems form the research themes, built upon established strengths of research in Mechanical and Process engineering. Current activities are centred upon

Brakes and braking systems

Brake NVH, friction pair contact mechanics, thermal analysis combined with brake actuation system modelling using the latest hydraulic simulation tools, and regenerative braking system development.

Research team:

  • Prof. Andrew Day
  • Prof. John Fieldhouse
  • Dr David Bryant
  • Dr Hongsheng Qi
  • Prof. Alastair Wood

For more information: Braking Research Centre (BRC)


Advanced Engineering Systems Optimisation

MDO frameworks and techniques (ANN, GA, PSO, optimal DoE, simulated annealing) are developed and applied to all areas of engineering where complex modern systems, dependent upon large numbers of design variables within competing and interacting sub-systems (disciplines), are coupled with class-leading performance requirements are driving systems-based optimisation.

Research team:

  • Prof. Alastair Wood
  • Prof. Iqbal Mujtaba
  • Prof. Felician Campean
  • Dr Khurshid Khan
  • Dr Jian-Ping Li

More information: Advanced Engineering Systems Optimisation (AESOp)


Engineering Quality Improvement and Failure Mode Avoidance

The latest ideas of failure mode avoidance and robust design are researched, using reliability and techniques from statistical engineering, to design integrated systems. The group works closely with Ford and has delivered the Ford-sponsored MSc in Automotive Engineering Quality Improvement since 1994.

Research team:

  • Prof. Felician Campean
  • Prof. Andrew Day
  • Dr Steve Wright
  • Dr Jian-Ping Li

More information: Bradford Engineering Quality Improvement Centre (BEQIC)


Vehicle dynamics

Multi-body dynamics modelling and simulation are used to study and analyse road vehicle performance and behaviour, such as commercial vehicle roll-over stability.

Research team:

  • Prof. Andrew Day