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Virtual vehicle validation

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The automotive industry, along with other high-tech sectors, needs to move away from their reliance on physical prototypes. Today these prototypes are used to validate the performance of the vehicle against the design requirements. This is an expensive and time-consuming process but there are still many areas of real-world operation that are not possible to validate using traditional methods.

The vision is to move to a future state where there will be an increased reliance on virtual validation. The need is for better, faster and cheaper techniques that harness the power of advanced simulation and data analysis. The stakes are high – leaving things as they are is not an option, the industry needs a better way of working. But if the new tools proved to be inadequate the risks are huge, product recalls resulting from errors in vehicle validation could bankrupt a car maker.

There are 3 main facets to this type of validation, of which the first 2 are already areas of investigation, but the third is an essential enabler and often overlooked:
i. The ability to use technology to virtually test the components, systems and vehicles in a manner that replicates physical testing
ii. The correlation of the virtual testing to the physical experiments to the level of fidelity that will be required for engineering sign off
iii. The novel digital processes that underpin these two objectives. These processes need to describe the way we build, validate and use the vast datasets that all the other steps rely on; the way we design and build the digital models we use; and the complex tests that we perform using these models.

This PhD opportunity will explore these topics in partnership with industry and will result in new techniques with significant potential to change the way that the industry works.

This project is offered within the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (CDT-AAPS). The centre aims to create a diverse and stimulating environment where you can deepen your knowledge in your discipline through your PhD whilst giving breath to your skills through collaborations.

Prospective students will be applying for the integrated PhD programme run by CDT-AAPS which includes a one-year MRes (full time) followed by a PhD programme. The MRes course will be conducted as a cohort with a focus on technology, team-working and research skills. On successful completion of the MRes, you will progress to a PhD programme which can be conducted on a full-time or part-time basis.

CDT-AAPS is determined to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members. The whole CDT community will come together at specific events during the calendar year, most notably the induction events, workshops and guest lectures. All new students joining the CDT will be assigned both an academic personal tutor and a student mentor. Each student will be assigned a minimum of 2 academic supervisors at the point of starting their PhD.

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

See our website to apply or for more details (

Funding Notes

AAPS CDT studentships are available on a competition basis for UK and EU students for up to 4 years. Funding will cover UK/EU tuition fees as well as providing maintenance at the UKRI doctoral stipend rate (£15,009 per annum for 2019/20) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum.

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