Areas of expertise

  • Aeronautical Systems
  • Engines, Powertrains & Alternative Fuels
  • Industrial Automation
  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Mechatronics & Advanced Controls
  • Sensor Technologies
  • Systems Engineering
  • Throughlife Engineering Services
  • Vehicle Health Management


Professor Starr is Head of the Through-life Engineering Services Institute, a world-leading centre of excellence in maintenance and asset management for high value systems. The TES Institute works in partnership with industry in research and education.

Professor Starr read Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds, while sponsored by British Aerospace (Civil Aircraft), for which he was awarded first prize in the final year of his apprenticeship. He studied for his doctoral thesis in condition based maintenance for robotic production plant at the University of Manchester, sponsored by Ford and Wolfson Maintenance. He has held academic posts at the University of Huddersfield, the University of Manchester, and the University of Hertfordshire, as Head of the School of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering.

His research work has been funded by EPSRC, the EU, and a wide range of industrial partners. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a member of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing and a member of the Institute of Asset Management. He has published over 150 technical papers from a wide range of collaborative projects with industry, helping to solve real problems and to devise innovative products and services.

Research opportunities

Prof Starr supervises research students focusing on machine damage detection; diagnostics and prognostics; autonomous inspection, detection and robotics; "big data" for system monitoring and control; process monitoring; novel sensing and signal processing; algorithms and artificial intelligence; applications in railway infrastructure and vehicles; aerospace machines especially gearboxes; manufacturing, and defence systems.

Current activities

  • Industrial maintenance research, including systems, failure modes, vibration and wear debris, wireless sensing, automation, decision-making mathematics, and management processes
  • IGear: Intelligent Gearbox for Endurance Advanced Rotorcraft - Cleansky 2 738144 - focusing on algorithms for reliable helicopters
  • iBearing: Intelligent Bearing - Cleansky 2 687091 - developing automatic health monitoring for high-speed aero generators
  • Chariot: powder sensing technology - detecting real-time change in processes with acoustic emissions
  • Linear actuators - modelling and experimental degradation, diagnostics and prognostics
  • Gearbox degradation: surface damage and root cracking
  • Integrated through-life support for high-value systems: aiming to enable improved integration between architectural levels in data-rich environments in automated, intelligent maintenance, responding to business pull and demonstrating value
  • Director of Education for the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing - responsible for academic quality and innovation.


  • Active Space Technologies
  • Avio Aero
  • BAE Systems
  • Barden Bearings
  • Bombardier
  • DSTL
  • Network Rail
  • NNL
  • Procter & Gamble
  • QinetiQ
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Schaeffler
  • Schlumberger
  • Scisys
  • Sellafield Ltd
  • Thales
  • UK Space Agency


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers