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  Prof C Brace  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

State of the art automotive propulsion system development uses a blend of physical experiments and high-fidelity simulation to provide a highly realistic environment to study system behavior.

This means that the simulated parts of the system need to behave as if they were physically present and to interact with real components just as they would in a vehicle. This leads to significant complexity when compared with traditional scenarios. Take the example of a hybrid vehicle transmission undergoing physical test. The simulation of the remaining parts of the system – engine, vehicle, battery etc. need to cater for conditions such as start, warm up, shut down and error states in a way that is rarely called for in a pure simulation environment.

This is a significant task and this PhD aims to develop techniques to speed up and simplify this process for the test engineer. Such a system will need to identify:

  • The best simulation parameters(in terms of Robustness and fewest simulation errors)
  • Identifying the minimum set of simulation parameters that meet this requirement to reduce complexity
  • Generate user friendly information to allow users to understand the system
  • Automatic and guided parameterization with minimum number of experimental runs (Preferably 0, all parameterisation is performed and verified ahead of the physical test programme)
  • Strategies to allow self healing in the case that an error state is encountered.

The successful project will develop techniques that offer new scientific approaches in areas such as:

  • Recommender System
  • Co-Simulation
  • Optimization Techniques
  • Usability in Simulation (e.g.Robust System Stability)

This project is offered as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS CDT).  The Centre is inspiring and working with the next generation of leaders to pioneer and shape the transition to clean, sustainable, affordable mobility for all. The successful candidate for this project will be working with Engineers from the project partner, AVL, a world class test and simulation techniques developer at their global headquarters in Graz and with teams at the new state of the art IAAPS laboratory complex on the Bristol bath Science Park. 

Prospective students for this project will be applying for the CDT programme which integrates a one-year MRes with a three to four-year PhD   

AAPS is a remarkable hybrid think-and-do tank where disciplines connect and collide to explore new ways of moving people. The MRes year is conducted as an interdisciplinary cohort with a focus on systems thinking, team-working and research skills. On successful completion of the MRes, you will progress to the PhD phase where you will establish detailed knowledge in your chosen area of research alongside colleagues working across a broad spectrum of challenges facing the Industry.   

The AAPS community is both stretching and supportive, encouraging our students to explore their research in a challenging but highly collaborative way. You will be able to work with peers from a diverse background, academics with real world experience and a broad spectrum of industry partners.  

Throughout your time with AAPS you will benefit from our training activities such mentoring future cohorts and participation in centre activities such as masterclasses, research seminars, think tanks and guest lectures.  

All new students joining the CDT will be assigned student mentor and a minimum of 2 academic supervisors at the point of starting their PhD.  

Funding is available for four-years (full time equivalent) for Home students.  

See our website to apply and find more details about our unique training programme (aaps-cdt.ac.uk)   

AVL List GmbH is the world's largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing of all types of powertrain systems (hybrid, combustion engine, transmission, electric drive, batteries, fuel cell and control technology), their integration into the vehicle and is increasingly taking on new tasks in the field of assisted and autonomous driving as well as data intelligence. 

As a AAPS student sponsored by AVL, you will also benefit from the peer support and professional development offered by AVL’s Systems Engineering Lab, founded in 2014 as an interdisciplinary communication & collaboration platform for systems engineering. It comprises around 60 students from various studies, ranging from computer sciences and engineering to psychology, economics and law. 

A specially developed program provides training to improve systems engineering competencies and prepare young talents for upcoming challenges in a connected world. Additional mentoring from qualified AVL experts and constant knowledge exchange is guaranteed throughout your time within AVL SE-Lab. 


Funding Notes

AAPS CDT studentships are available on a competition basis for UK students for up to 4 years. Funding will cover UK tuition fees as well as providing maintenance at the UKRI doctoral stipend rate (£16,062 per annum for 2022/23 rate) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum.
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