Next generation of automotive engineers to be trained at world-leading University of Bath centre

February 5, 2019

The University of Bath’s reputation as a world-class centre for automotive industry research has moved up another gear after it was awarded major funding to establish a new senior academic training hub.

The Doctoral Training Centre (CDT) in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems has received £5m funding from the government’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), to produce graduates capable of working on the zero emissions cars of the future. 

It will bring together the many technical disciplines and skills needed to make innovative, world-leading new propulsion systems a reality.

The high-quality research leaders will be involved in intensive research projects the University of Bath’s new £60m automotive propulsion research facility – the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) on the Bristol and Bath Science Park, pictured.

The cohort will have the opportunity to develop invaluable skills using the latest state-of-the-art testing facilities in the purpose-built research institute – due to open next year – ensuring the UK maintains and expands its global position within the automotive sector.

The specialist facilities will make IAAPS a centre of excellence for training and skills development in automotive engineering, supporting new apprenticeships, honours degrees, masters and doctoral courses, helping to address the engineering skills shortage facing the UK automotive sector.

The university said the CDT will be multidisciplinary in its approach, drawing on a 50-strong academic supervisor pool from a variety of complementary disciplines at the university. A diverse range of graduates will be recruited from across a range of first degrees including engineering, sciences, management and social sciences.

In total 86 studentships have been secured, 40 funded by the EPSRC, 20 by the university and 26 by the university’s global industrial partners. The university said the result would be “an immersive experience within a rich collaborative environment [that] will ensure they are developing both the technical and the interpersonal skills needed to succeed in such a progressive industry”.

University of Bath programme lead and Professor of Automotive Propulsion, Chris Brace, said: “By creating an environment for our graduates to research new propulsion systems and the wider context within which they sit, we will nurture individuals who will lead the scientific, technological, and behavioural changes required to develop future generations of ultra-low emission, sustainable vehicles.” 

IAAPS programme director Gavin Edwards added: “I am delighted the university has been successful in establishing this highly important and exciting Doctoral Training Centre. The CDT in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems, as part of IAAPS, will cement Bath’s role in supporting the UK automotive sector.

“The cohort will support IAAPS in addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our age – the struggle to provide truly sustainable, affordable, connected, zero emissions transport needed by both industrialised and emerging economies.”

UKRI chief executive Prof Sir Mark Walport said highly talented people were required to tackle key global challenges such as sustainable energy and cyber security, and provide leadership across industries and our public services.

“Centres for Doctoral Training provide them with the support, tools and training they need to succeed, and the involvement of 1,400 project partners underlines how much industry and the charity sector value this approach,” he said.

IAAPS will be a global centre of excellence, leading the development of future generations of ultra-low emission and zero-impact vehicles, and attracting sector-related businesses to the region. It will support the industry to deliver rapid R&D that will accelerate the transition from low-carbon to zero-carbon vehicles. It will be able to complete research across all propulsion types, including fully electric and hybrid powertrains.


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