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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Vehicle Dynamics Controllers and Observers for All-terrain Driving Applications

University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,000
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 16th July 2019
Closes: 16th October 2019

Studentship description

The project aims at exploring novel strategies to control the longitudinal and lateral dynamics of a vehicle by means of last generation actuators (e.g., electric in-wheel motors, active suspensions, brake-by-wire, etc.). Typical example of control strategies are traction control, anti-lock braking system, torque vectoring control, etc. When the sensors to collect information from the vehicle are too expensive for mass production, the quantities need to be estimated based on the knowledge of the relevant vehicle dynamics. In particular control/estimation techniques based on linear and nonlinear vehicle models will be explored.

The deliverable of the project will consist on novel state-of-the-art algorithms ready to be implemented on next generation electric vehicles prototypes. The algorithms will be initially developed in Matlab/Simulink and Maple, and assessed using the software IPG CarMaker. The latter is the standard high fidelity vehicle dynamics simulation tool of the major European car manufacturers. Finally, the algorithms are all tested on real-time automotive electronic computing units (i.e., dSPACE MicroAutobox) and, when possible, on vehicle demonstrators that are often available within our research group. The challenge is to design strategies that will be reliable and robust not only on dry and wet asphalt (as they are commonly assessed) but for different conditions, including soft snow and various off-road terrains.

The project will be coordinated by Dr. Davide Tavernini and co-supervised by Prof Aldo Sorniotti. A second co-supervisor will be selected in due course. It is a 3 year project, commencing in October 2019.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have or achieve a 2:1 at degree level or higher in a relevant subject area.
If English is not your first language you will need 6.5 or above (or equivalent) IELTS with 6.0 in each individual category.


The student will receive a yearly stipend of approximately £15,000 per annum. Additional funding is available for equipment and participation in International conferences.

How to apply

Applications should be made through the Automotive Engineering PhD course page: Please clearly state the studentship title on your application.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Davide Tavernini via email sending their CV and cover letters prior to applying.

Closing date for applications Applications accepted all year round.

Application enquiries Dr. Davide Tavernini, +44 (0) 1483683729

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