Mechatronics is a lifecycle activity that involves the multidisciplinary integration of physical systems (which may include mechanical, electrical, hydraulic or pneumatic elements) with electronic digital control. 

It is widely recognised that numerous recent advancements and innovations within the automotive sector can be attributed to the specialised domain of mechatronics. The increasing trend for greater levels of vehicle electrification has encompassed every domain of the modern vehicle.

We perform fundamental research assisting in the advancement of current and future automotive green technologies and products to the marketplace.

Our expertise in the field includes:

  • Automotive mechatronics modelling;

  • Advanced control design and estimation;

  • Hardware-in-the-loop simulation and prototyping;

  • Vehicle control architecture and integration concepts;

  • Vehicle electrification and control system development.

We have considerable experience with working with UK and EU research councils and industry, from leading vehicle manufacturers to engineering consultancies and tier 1 suppliers to the automotive industry.

Research partners include EPSRC, FP7 (European Union) and Innovate UK. Business partners include AVL, Intelligent Energy, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus and MIRA.

About our research

Our greatest strength is the ability to combine the academic rigour and long-term perspective of a university with the commercial and business focus of industry.

Our excellence in strategic and applied research has enabled us to make significant contributions to the world around us for over 60 years. We address real life challenges and focus on research that is of strategic and practical importance.

We provide a supportive research community for students and our academic work is regularly published in journal article, book or thesis form.

Our facilities

Our mechatronic laboratory offers a number of hardware-in-the-loop test benches for the simulation and fast prototyping of control algorithms for automotive mechatronics systems. Real-time simulation is performed in standard dSpace hardware such as the 'Simulators' and the 'MicroAutoBox'. Such setup is ideal for testing physical components

We have developed a state-of-the-art hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) vehicle dynamics simulation facility for the calibration and development of vehicle control algorithms. The facility consists of a dSpace driving simulator, a MicroAutobox control unit and several automotive grade electro-mechanical actuators such as an EPAS steering system and an ABS braking module. The facility is also used to develop active chassis and power management control systems for HEV vehicles. It can accommodate any vehicle power/drive-train configuration, allow for the integration of different subsystems within the actual vehicle’s electronics hardware, and can lead to considerable reduction of calibration time during development.

We also support automotive mechatronics research with commercial software:

Working with us

We have a long history of working closely with the industry to investigate complex engineering problems and emerging technologies. Our interaction with the industry is either through joint research projects funded by research councils, e.g. TSB, or direct collaborative research. The University offers the possibility of providing academic supervision to PhD or MSc students to work on a research topic to address specific demands from the industry.

We provide expertise in automotive mechatronics system modelling, control design and prototyping, as well as access to a state-of-the-art hardware-in-the-loop simulation facility and commercial and custom made mechatronics modelling and analysis software.