Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Professor Richard Stobart MA(Hons). FIMechE

Photo of Professor Richard Stobart

Emeritus Professor of Engineering


Richard graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1979 with a first class honours degree in Engineering and was jointly awarded the Ricardo Thermodynamics Prize.  In his first job at Ricardo Consulting Engineers he worked on high compression ratio gasoline engines before helping implement one of the first heavy duty transient test beds.   Richard  joined Cambridge Consultants in 1984 working on a range of technical and product development projects, serving as consultant, department head and business development manager.  He took up his first academic post in 2001 as Professor at University of Sussex and moved to Loughborough in 2007 as Ford Chair then Chair of Powertrain Systems, working closely with Caterpillar as Technical Director of the joint research activity. 

Richard retired from his full time position in September 2016, and was appointed Professor Emeritus soon after.  He assists with teaching and supervision of PhD students, while continuing to develop research in the field of energy recovery. 


  • MA (Hons) University of Cambridge
  • British Computer Society Part 2 Examination

Key Awards:

  • Ricardo Thermodynamics Prize, University of Cambridge
  • Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers

Outline of main research interests:

My primary research interest is in the thermodynamics of engines and their supporting systems.  This topic includes engine control, engine air and fuel management and the recovery of otherwise wasted energy from engine exhaust and coolant. 

The principal challenges in engine control lie in the translation of a control concept with strong theoretical underpinnings into a practical solution.  Modelling, control system design and digital implementation all have a role to play.  The adaptation of the control system to the practical application through the process of calibration includes a research challenge in the use of optimisation and statistical methods. 

My current research activity is centred on the use of solid state, thermoelectric methods for energy recovery from internal combustion engine exhaust flows.  New manufacturing methods will lead to lower cost solutions.  Deeper integration of thermoelectric generators will result in power generation to supplement the vehicle’s electricity supply and improved management of the thermal conditions in the exhaust and exhaust gas after-treatment systems.  

Grants and contracts:

  • VERITAS 2: implementation and demonstration of a control system for a turbo-compound device used to recover exhaust energy in a heavy duty diesel engine (EPSRC funded, £198k).  Started 1st September 2014.  Completed 30th September 2016.
  • TEG (2): an investigation into simulation and controls methods for thermo-electric generators applied to vehicles. (EPSRC funded, £980k, £330k for Loughborough). Started 31st October 2013, Completed April 30, 2017.
  • TC48: an investigation of a new lightweight hybrid powertrain for a passenger car (TSB funded, £1.5M total, £400k to Loughborough).  Started 1st December 2013. 

Current teaching responsibilities:

Assisting with delivery of the Automotive Systems Engineering MSc modules,

  • TTP408 Vehicle Electrical Systems Integration
  • TTP451 Powertrain Calibration Optimisation

Recent publications:

  • Dezong Zhao, Richard Stobart, Guangyu Dong, Ed Winward;  Real-Time Energy Management for Diesel Heavy Duty Hybrid Electric Vehicles, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology (1063-6536), doi: 10.1109/TCST.2014.2343939
  • Farraen Mohd Azmin, Richard Stobart;  Benefiting from Sobol Sequences Experiment Design Type for Model-based Calibration, SAE Technical Papers, doi: 10.4271/2015-01-1640, 2015
  • Song Lan, Zhijia Yang, Richard Stobart, Ed Winward; The Influence of Thermoelectric Materials and Operation Conditions on the Performance of Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Applications,  SAE Technical Paper,  doi: 10.4271/2016-01-0219, 2016
  • Dezong Zhao, Edward Winward, Zhijia Yang, John Rutledge, Richard Stobart; Control-Oriented Dynamics Analysis for Electrified Turbocharged Diesel Engines; SAE Technical Papers,  doi: 10.4271/2016-01-0617, 2016
  • George Dixon, Thomas Steffen, Richard Stobart;  A Parallel Hybrid Drive System for Small Vehicles: Architecture and Control Systems,  SAE Technical Papers,   doi: 10.4271/2016-01-1170, 2016
  • Richard Stobart, Anusha Wijewardane. Zhijia Yang; Comprehensive analysis of thermoelectric generation systems for automotive applications; Applied Thermal Engineering,  112, 5 February 2017, Pages 1433–1444,

Selected publications:

  • Weerasinghe, W. M. S. R., Stobart, R. K., & Hounsham, S. M. (2010). Thermal efficiency improvement in high output diesel engines a comparison of a Rankine cycle with turbo-compounding. APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING, 30(14-15), 2253-2256. doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2010.04.028
  • This paper is indicative of my interest in energy recovery methods for engines.   This paper has attracted a wide interest with 30 citations.  The paper has been cited by authors working in the recent projects on organic Rankine cycles.
  • Casten, S., Teagan, P., and Stobart, R., "Fuels for Fuel Cell-Powered Vehicles" SAE Technical Paper 2000-01-0001, 2000, doi:10.4271/2000-01-0001.
  • This paper informed the debate about what fuels would be most appropriate for a fuel cell powered vehicle.  It emerged from work funded by the US Department of Energy.  The paper particularly addressed the balance of risk between the vehicle manufacturers and energy providers and was cited by 14.
  • Plianos, A., Stobart, R., Achir, A., Langlois, N., & Chafouk, H. (2007). Dynamic feedback linearization based control synthesis of the turbocharged Diesel engine. Proceedings of the American Control Conference, 4407-4412. doi:10.1109/ACC.2007.4282344
  • This paper has been cited by 27 authors.  The paper represented a significant step for a European group to present at the American Control Conference.  The paper helps inform an important development in engine controls - that is towards a consistent and robust use of models as the basis for control design.
  • Plianos, A. and Stobart, R., "Modeling and Control of Diesel Engines Equipped with a Two-Stage Turbo-System," SAE Technical Paper 2008-01-1018, 2008, doi:10.4271/2008-01-1018.
  • This paper was very well received at the World Congress and later cited by 24.  It demonstrated an interest that was developing at the time and has continued in regard to the control of multiple devices in the air path.
  • Stobart, R. and Milner, D., "The Potential for Thermo-Electric Regeneration of Energy in Vehicles," SAE Technical Paper 2009-01-1333, 2009, doi:10.4271/2009-01-1333.
  • This was the first paper I prepared in co-operation with one of  my final year project students.  He was working with the then Honda F1 team, and used the opportunity of his project to build his knowledge for the developments in energy recovery in F1 which he continued after his return to Honda F1 on graduation.   

External Collaborators:

  • Johnson Matthey
  • Dana Corporation
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Reading
  • BeiHang University, Beijing, Peoples’ Republic of China
  • Tianjn University, Peoples’ Republic of China
  • Linköping University, Sweden

External roles and appointments:

  • Society of Automotive Engineers
    • Member of the Membership Board
    • Member of Powertrain, Fuels and Lubricants Activity
    • Chair of the UK Committee