Bath launches £5m doctoral centre for advanced propulsion systems

Academics, industry partners and students have come together to celebrate the launch of the new CDT in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS).

Participants network at the launch event

Participants network at the launch event


Academics from the University of Bath, students and prospective students attended the event as well as a variety of industry partners (including those from Shell, Mclaren, and AVL to name a few). Chris Brace and Richard Burke, Co-Directors of the Centre presented at the launch event, and theme leads gave ignite talks. The launch also provided a space for attendees to hear about research opportunities. They were also able to learn more about our expertise, and presented the opportunity for industrial and academic partners and prospective doctoral students to meet each other and find out about how to engage with us.

Academics from across the university presented inter-disciplinary talks that highlighted the diverse yet connected research themes of the CDT; from the future of the internal combustion engine, to renewable fuel chemistry and driver and user behaviour. The event also allowed posters from PhD students to be displayed, opening essential and intriguing dialogue between PhD students, academics and industry.

Helen Bliss, from HiETA Technologies Ltd said;

It was a privilege to have been invited to the launch of the APPS CDT. Thank you for providing such an informative day with great company and speakers. We are very excited about the opportunities that lay ahead, and HiETA are looking forward to continuing our future collaborations.

What is the CDT?

The £5m EPSRC funded centre will train the next generation of industrial, research and policy leaders in automotive propulsion systems. The interesting element of our particular centre is that it is going beyond the traditional engineering disciplines to bring together students from backgrounds in sciences, mathematics and social sciences. This will give our students the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to collaborate with professionals across disciplines in the automotive industry, and events such as this launch provide invaluable networking opportunities.

The CDT is also designed to help students hone a range of core personal skills that can be utilised inside and outside of academia. These skills include leadership, business practices, innovation and cross-disciplinary working. Team working and mentoring will be central to our students’ training, as will industry involvement on guest lectures and placements. Our students will have the opportunity to work with global industry partners, creating a richly immersive and collaborative environment for them to align their skills development with those required by industry.

The CDT course is a four-year integrated MRes and PhD programme where the cohort will work together during the MRes year before specialising in individual PhDs. We will recruit 86 students over the next five years (2019 - 2024). These projects, designed in collaboration with our industry partners and previewed at the launch event, will address the current and future challenges of the automotive sector, and guarantee the transition towards a more sustainable future.

An exciting vision for the future

The vision for the CDT is to produce graduates who will bring together the many technical disciplines and skills to help propulsion systems transition to a more sustainable future. One of the really exciting elements of the CDT will be the opportunity for students to benefit from the transformational research taking place within the University’s new £70m automotive propulsion research facility – IAAPS. The new purpose-built research and innovation institute will house state-of-the-art testing facilities. These facilities will enable precise experimentation into future automotive propulsion systems, supporting the automotive industry on the Road to Zero, and helping the University of Bath to educate the next generation of leaders in the Automotive Propulsion Sector.