PhD Studentship - Revolutionising the Design of Trains: Autonomous Control and Condition Monitoring of Mechatronic Rail Vehicles

Loughborough University

Start date: 1st October 2018

Closing date: 9th March 2018


Primary supervisor: Dr. Christopher Ward

Secondary supervisor: Professor Roger Dixon

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Project Detail:

Rail vehicles have used the same fundamental passive mechanical guidance mechanism for nearly 200 years. The Control Systems Group aim is to challenge this entrenched thinking and revolutionise how rail vehicles are designed and operated. The vision is for future vehicles to be autonomous, self-guiding and self-diagnosing mechatronic systems that will dramatically improve performance and reliability. This project will investigate cutting edge algorithms from the control, autonomy and artificial intelligence areas to produce proof of concept demonstrators to influence key thinkers in the rail sector who will implement these disruptive technologies in the future.

The Control Systems Group have been investigating concepts in this sector for more than 30 years and this is evidenced by the large industrially supported research programme that the group is growing. This project is a great opportunity to be part of this expanding and fascinating area, helping shape the future of rail travel.

Find out more:

Control systems group website

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in an electrical or mechanical engineering discipline or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: control engineering; dynamics; condition monitoring; hardware-in-the-loop simulation.

Funding information:

Please note that these studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or the following 30 projects that have been prioritised for funding; job advert ref: WS01 – WS30

If awarded, each 3 year studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £14,786 p.a ( provisional), plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,262 p.a). While we welcome applications from non EU nationals, please be advised that due to funding restrictions  it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 30th April 2018.

Contact details:

Name: Christopher Ward

Email address:

Telephone number: 01509 227026

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Please quote reference number: WS09

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Midlands of England