Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Risk and Reliability

Our research develops improved methods and modelling capabilities in the field of risk and reliability, with application from components through to system level.

The safety and reliability of our aeronautical and automotive engineering systems are paramount into today’s society.  Our research aims to develop improved risk and reliability methods and modelling capabilities to deal with these complex transportation systems, to enable improved design, operation and maintenance strategies.  The ultimate aim is to reduce the frequency and consequences associated with failure, with application to components through to complete systems.  

We also focus on increasing the understanding of failure mechanisms in systems and processes from a broader range of discipline areas to predict ways of optimising performance, such as minimizing whole life cycle costs and maximizing service provision.

Activities we address include but are not limited to:

Reliability Modelling and Quantification

Failure and Degradation analysis
    • Component failure and degradation analysis
    • Modelling of large complex engineering systems to predict the likelihood of system failure, to account for the potential consequences and the resulting risks
Health monitoring
    • Data driven, Model-based and Knowledge-based fault diagnostics and prognostics
Reliability Model Generation and Application
    • Automated generation of reliability modelling methods
    • Application of methods to novel domains
    • Maintenance Planning and Service System Modelling
    • Optimisation for improved system design and processes

Risk Analysis and Assessment

Risk Assessment
    • Application in multiple domains
Risk Analysis for Enhanced Service Provision
    • Using analytics and OR techniques to facilitate better understanding of risks and enable knowledge based decision support to enhance service provision, across multiple domains (including emergency services)

Industry sectors covered:

The group works with partners covering a wide variety of industries:

-        Transport – aeronautical and automotive

-        Energy – low carbon technologies

-        Manufacturing – end of life processes

-        Public Sector – emergency services

More about us

Degradation analysis and health monitoring

Understanding the failure and degradation mechanisms of components and their interaction within systems is fundamental to improving the inherent reliability of a component and also to allow mitigating strategies to enhance the life of the component and the system. Research in the area of degradation analysis is currently focussed on fuel cells and stacks, with supporting health monitoring techniques. These techniques are also investigated in other domains – automotive and offshore. (for more detail of projects click on the links below)

Project 1 - RESILIENCE

Project 2 - Knowledge based diagnostics

Project 3 - Fuel Cell Dynamic Reliability Assessment

Reliability Modelling

Improving the reliability of systems is paramount in todays society. Though reliability modelling techniques have been in existence for many years mechanisms that facilitate their expedient utilisation in the design cycle is required.  Our research aims to develop techniques for the automated generation of these modelling methods from an engineering drawing of the system.  In addition with the ever increasing functionality and complexity of systems reliability modelling methods are required that deal with such characteristics. Petri nets are one method that can cater for such analysis. The research projects within the group are currently focussed on:

  • Automated generation of reliability models
  • Application of petri net models to varying domains

Project 1 - Automated Petri Net Model Generation

Project 2 - Enhanced Reliability Modelling for Automated Guided Vehicle Systems

Project 3 - Automated Generation of Fault Tree models

Risk Assessment for Enhanced Service Provision

Having a better understanding of the risks in any domain can facilitate prioritisation of these risks and strategies to optimise system/process performance in accordance with these risks. Current research in the risk area is focussed in two main domain areas:

  • Emergency services – Police and Armed Forces
  • Health care

Project 1 - Predictive Policing for Crime Reduction

Project 2 - Reducing risks in custody through simulated process modelling

Project 3 - Improved Risk Assessment for Criminal Justice Service Provision

Project 4 - Embedded Intelligence for Mitigating Risks in the Healthcare Domain

Project 5 - Improving resource positioning and deployment in conflict situations

Academic staff involved and their primary research interests in this area:

  • Dr Lisa Jackson - Techniques for enhanced reliability engineering and system safety including system failure and degradation analysis, health monitoring and optimisation service provision
  • Dr Sarah Dunnett - Enhanced reliability modelling techniques, including automation and application of reliability modelling methods to novel applications
  • Dr Paul Cunningham - Component degradation analysis, typically applied to composite materials
  • Prof Rui Chen - Component and system degradation analysis for fuel cells
  • Prof Kambiz Ebrahimi - Health monitoring of automotive systems
  • Dr Thomas Steffen - Reconfiguration of dynamic systems after severe faults

Research associates and their primary research interests:

  • Dr Lei Mao - Fault diagnostics and prognostics with application to fuel cells as part of the EPSRC (EP/K02101X/1) RESILIENCE project

PhD Students and their project outlines:

  • Ben Davies - Novel methods for improved fuel cell health assessment using a knowledge based approach
  • Andrey Vasilyev - Modelling PEM Fuel Cells for Dynamic Reliability Assessment
  • Ashish Bhagavatula - Automated Generation of Fault Tree models
  • Derek Low - Improving the understanding of environmental conditions on Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell lifetime and reliability
  • Derek Yan - Theoretical research for optimising the Design, operation and maintenance of automated guided vehicle systems
  • Christina Latsou - Automated Petri Net Model Generation
  • Samantha Lee - Improving resource positioning and deployment in conflict situations
  • Luke Power - Embedded Intelligence for Mitigating Risks in the Healthcare Domain
  • Hanjing Zhang - Optimisation of Roster Allocation for the Emergency Services
  • Johanna Leigh - Predictive Policing for Crime Reduction
  • Heather Callaghan - Reducing risks through predictive policing
  • Melanie-Jane Stoneman - Improved Risk Assessment for Criminal Justice Service Provision
  • Panagiotis Athanasiou - Vibration monitoring and analysis in hydrocarbon well drilling
  • Rhys Comissiong - Optimal Transducer Configurations

Associated research centres and groups