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Automated generation and parameterisation of physics-based propulsion system models


   Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS)

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  Dr Nic Zhang  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Bath United Kingdom Applied Mathematics Data Science Electrical Engineering Electronic Engineering Energy Technologies Mechanical Engineering Computer Science Physics Software Engineering Statistics

About the Project

Accurate simulation models are vital for the implementation of digital development techniques. These models need to be a suitably accurate representation of the system behaviour, whilst also satisfying key requirements in terms of computational speed and scalability. Currently there are two major categories of models:

  1. those that are physically based which generally have strong scalability but also inherent inaccuracies due to the constraints of the underlying physical model.
  2. those that are data driven which have good accuracy within the range for which data is available, but poor scalability.

This PhD will seek to create new algorithms that can automate the creation and parameterisation of physical and semi-physical models that are both scalable and accurate. The starting point for these will always be a known physical model and some limited measurements of the system performance. For physical systems, model parameters of interest are often distributed across a state space, which leads to a large number of parameters to identify, and restricts the usage of state-of-the-art identification procedures. For example, battery resistances will inherently depend on ambient temperature as well as the current state of charge. Your research will be focussing on localisation strategies to identify these distributed parameters independently, such that the identification procedure can be performed in a parallel fashion across the state space, and becomes computationally tractable. Your research will need to consider the future of automotive propulsion to ensure the approach is compatible with relevant technologies. Whilst there will be specialisms associated with the modelling of individual components (batteries, motors, engines, fuel cells…), you should seek to draw out the commonality of the mathematical approach that can be applied more generally. The outputs from this PhD would be expected to be integrated into a model factory engineering software tool that supports engineers in the creation of mathematical models.

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 (£15,609 per annum for 2021/22 rate) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum.
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