Contact Professor James Brighton

Areas of expertise

  • Air Transport Safety & Investigation
  • Aircraft Design
  • Test and Evaluation
  • Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
  • Engines, Powertrains & Alternative Fuels
  • Aerospace Materials
  • Off-Road Vehicle Engineering
  • On-Road Vehicle Dynamics
  • Soil Resources
  • Space Systems
  • Low Carbon Technology
  • Vehicle Engineering & Mobility


Dr James Brighton has over 22 years' experience relating to off road vehicle dynamics, terra-mechanics, tyre and track system modelling, advanced vehicle instrumentation and lightweight material structures and his current clients span the globe. He is responsible for the Cranfield Off Road Dynamics Facility, which he designed and managed the delivery of together with its unique suite of research machines together with his colleagues within the Centre for Automotive Technology. The facility won the Henry Ford Technical achievement award in 2007. His team is able to offer a wide range of vehicle related technical solutions from fundamental research through product design and prototype vehicle sub-system manufacture, supply, evaluation and testing across a wide range of industry sectors.

  • Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (FIAgrE)
  • EngD Cranfield University
  • BEng (Hons) Silsoe College
  • ND Analytical Rycotewood College.

Current activities

Dr James Brighton manages the Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre and specialises in applied research, design, development and postgraduate teaching in relation to advanced vehicle technology for off road and race circuit environments together with the development of novel light-weight materials and associated nanotechnology.

The applications of this research are broad and include automobiles, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), motorcycles, competition vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, low carbon vehicles (LCVs), agricultural machinery, industrial machinery, military vehicles, space vehicles, marine vessels, air and landing craft. The Centre also manages and delivers the IMechE, RAeS and IET accredited MSc in Advanced Motorsport Engineering, the MSc in Automotive Engineering, MSc in Automotive Mechatronics and allied short courses, for which Dr Brighton teaches Motorsport Vehicle Dynamics. He was involved in the EU funded research projects ECOshell, InnoREX and Sirena, and is currently involved with the FutureSKY program. He was also involved with the EPSRC/TSB project CARBIO, and is currently working on the ATi funded LLGF program and actively building and seeking consortia for H2020 and Innovate UK calls.

Key areas of activity include off-road vehicle dynamics and development, off-road environment simulation, tyre characterisation and modelling, vehicle efficiency, motorsport engineering and management, terra-mechanics, vehicle light-weighting and novel materials, including nano and hybrid composites, agricultural engineering and off road environment measurement. 


  • Airbus
  • Messier Bugatti Dowty
  • Dunlop
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Nissan
  • Yamaha (GP team)
  • Millbrook Proving Ground
  • DSTL
  • QinetiQ
  • Claas GmbH
  • MSport
  • Redbull Technology
  • Caterpillar
  • Cammoplast
  • Singapore Technologies Marine
  • Michelin (America)
  • Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd.
  • AAIB
  • BEA
  • Astrium
  • European Space Agency
  • Scania
  • PMC Harvesters
  • Automotive Research Center (USA)
  • Mahle
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Eaton
  • Safran Landing systems
  • Halon


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • Lv C, Wang H, Cao D, Zhao Y, Sullman M, Auger DJ, Brighton J, Matthias R, Skrypchuk L & Mouzakitis A (2018) A Novel Control Framework of Haptic Take-Over System for Automated Vehicles. In: 2018 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium (IV), Changshu, Suzhou, 26-30 June 2018.
  • Fan J, Nassiopoulos E, Brighton J, De Larminat A & Njuguna J (2011) New structural biocomposites for car applications. In: EuroTec 2011 Conference, in Conjunction with EQUIPLAST, Barcelona, 14 November 2011.
  • Hathorn GNB, Brighton JL & Blackburn K (2010) An investigation into wheel sinkage on soft sand. In: 29th Annual Meeting and Conference on Tire Science and Technology, 2010, Akron, Ohio, 20-21 September 2010.
  • Misiewicz PA, Richards TE, Blackburn K, Brighton JL, Hann MJ & Godwin RJ (2008) Techniques for estimating contact pressure resulting from loaded agricultural tyres. In: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting 2008, Providence, Rhode Island, 29 June 2008.
  • Anker S, Brighton J, Godwin RJ, Blackburn DWK & Richards TE (2006) New Off-Road Dynamics Facility at Cranfield University. In: 10th European Conference of ISTVS, Budapest, Hungary, 3 October 2006.
  • Godwin RJ, Brighton J, Blackburn DWK, Richards TE, Ansorge D & Wheeler PN (2006) Off-Road Dynamics Research at Cranfield University at Silsoe. In: ASABE Annual International Meeting, Portland, Oregon, USA, 9 July 2006.
  • Oliver M & Brighton JL (2001) Replication of Off-road tyre testing.. In: Tire Technology Expo 2001, Cannes., Cannes, 1 January 2001.
  • Prins JP, Anker S, Blackburn DWK & Brighton J Off-Road Dynamics Facilities at Cranfield University. In: All-Wheel-Drive Congress, Graz, Austria.


  • Dedousis A, Godwin RJ, O'Dogherty MJ, Tillett N & Brighton J (2006) Effect of implement geometry and inclination angle on soil failure and forces acting on a shallow rotating disc for inter- and intra-row hoeing. In: Soil Management for Sustainability: Advances in Geoecology, Reiskirchen, Germany: Catena Verlag GmbH, p. 15-20.