Hardware in the loop for Mechatronic Rail Vehicle Development PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
09 March 2018



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In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

The commissioning process of complex systems such as cars and aircraft have changed in recent years to incorporate a phased systems integration approach where subsystems are validated in isolation before being brought together and testing as a whole. A difficulty in this method is replicating the complex hardware interactions. Hardware in the loop (HiL) methods seek to achieve this by replacing physical coupling with high-power actuators to replicate the transfer of forces from external or internal loads.

An advancement of this method seeks to align actuation techniques with simulation models of the wider system, often realised through detailed simulated synthetic environments such as flight simulators. This provides an opportunity to validate subsystems 'in-situ' before commissioning, but does require the careful management of integrating hardware and software components.

This method provides a unique opportunity to develop and validate novel technologies in a realistic, tangible manner. Results produced in this was often produce visuals that assure stakeholders that performance data captured is believable and fit for purpose - enabling progression of technology that was previously thought of as high-risk.

This project is concerned with exploring this method for proving and de-risking mechatronic rail vehicle solutions for active guidance control.

The main research questions are:

  •  Can wheel/rail forces be replicated using this method?
  •  What are the actuation and sensing requirements to achieve this?
  •  How does this compare to current validation metrics?


Primary supervisor: Peter Hubbard

Secondary supervisor: TBC

Find out more

For further project details email Peter Hubbard or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the Control Systems Research Group please visit our website.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Control Engineering,  Mechatronics Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Control, Systems, Mechatronics or Mechanical Engineering.

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements, details available on the website.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Please note that these studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or the following 30 projects that have been prioritised for funding; advert ref: WS01 – WS30

If awarded, each 3 year studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £14,786 p.a ( provisional), plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,262 p.a). While we welcome applications from non EU nationals, please be advised that due to funding restrictions it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 30th April 2018.

How to apply

All applications should be made online.  Under programme name, select Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Please quote reference number: WS28

Application details

Reference number:  WS28
Start date: 01 October 2018
Application deadline: 09 March 2018