PhD Studentship in Vehicle Dynamics, Estimation and Control for High-performance Automobiles

University of Cambridge - Department of Engineering

Supervisor: Prof M.C. Smith ( Industrial supervisor: Dr Will Hoult (McLaren Automotive)

The aim of the research is to examine the performance limits and trade-offs in autonomous vehicle estimation and control from a fundamental and applied perspective including the development of new algorithms to address key challenges. One area of investigation is the estimation of key quantities that are important in vehicle control, e.g. the tyre forces that are being generated or are available. Such estimates need to be reliable in highly dynamic situations for them to be exploited in real-time control. The project offers scope for an exciting sensor fusion/estimation and control project, exploring the use of vision (and/or LiDAR) in addition to on-board sensors (accelerometers, gyros, intermittent GPS, wheel velocities and torques) to improve slip angle, longitudinal slip, mu and position estimation in highly dynamic situations. Track testing of promising approaches and algorithms on a high performance sports car is envisaged.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in an Engineering or a related subject. Candidates should preferably have a background in dynamics, control and/or mechanical systems.

The studentship is for 3.5 years and includes full University and College fees, a maintenance allowance of £14,296 per year and a McLaren top-up of £3000 per annum. Home students are eligible for a full award. EU students do not qualify for the maintenance unless they have been permanent residents in the UK for the 3 years preceding October 2017. Overseas students are not eligible.

To apply, please complete form CHRIS /6 (cover sheet for C.V.s) available at and send it with your C.V. and a covering letter to to arrive no later than 28 February 2017. The successful applicant will be required to submit a formal application via the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions web pages:

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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