Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Dr Cunjia Liu BEng, MSc, PhD

Photo of Dr Cunjia Liu

Senior Lecturer in Unmanned Vehicles


Cunjia Liu is a Lecturer in the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering (AAE) at Loughborough University. He received his PhD in autonomous aerial vehicles from this department in 2011. After completing PhD, he worked at Triumph Actuation & Motion Control Systems-UK Ltd. as a control system engineer and then returned to the Autonomous Systems Laboratory at Loughborough University as a Research Associate. He was appointed as a Lecturer in Unmanned Vehicles, or Flight Dynamics and Control in October 2013 and became a Senior Lecturer in 2018.


  • PhD in Autonomous Vehicles - Loughborough 2011
  • Member of IEEE
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Certificate of Practical Flight Assessment for Rotorcraft UAVs

Key Awards: 

  • IMechE  Charles Sharpe Beecher Prize 

Outline of main research interests: 

I have broad interests in Control Engineering and Unmanned Vehicles. With a background in flight dynamics and control, the majority of my research encompasses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and their applications in different fields. The research activities this area have also led to another part of my work, which is about Bayesian filtering and sensor fusion in order to provide a better situation awareness for unmanned vehicles. Recently, I have been developing new research activities on intelligent mobility. 

  • Flight dynamics and system identification
  • Advanced control techniques and their applications in unmanned vehicles
  • Bayesian estimation (Particle filters) and sensor fusion
  • Situation awareness for autonomous systems
  • UAV operations and applications

Grants and contracts:

  • DSTL CDE: Autonomous Bayesian Search for Hazardous Sources (DSTL1000110007), PI, 01/2017-06/2017.
  • EPSRC First Grant: Autonomous landing of a helicopter at sea: advanced control in adverse conditions (EP/P012868/1), PI, 03/2017 -- 07/2018.
  • STFC Newton Fund: Enabling wide area persistent remote sensing for agriculture applications by developing and coordinating multiple heterogeneous platforms (ST/N006852/1), Co-I, 05/2016 -- 04/2019.
  • DSTL ASUR: Gust alleviation for mini UAVs using disturbance rejection flight control (97004522), PI, 04/2015 -- 10/2015.
  • EPSRC AISP: Towards More Autonomy for Unmanned Vehicles: Situational Awareness and Decision Making under Uncertainty (EP/J011525/1), Co-I, 03/2012 -- 12/2016.

Current teaching responsibilities:

  • TTB202 Control Engineering - Module Leader
  • TTC045 Rotorcraft Engineering
  • TTD106 Autonomous Vehicles - Module Leader
  • TTP409 Autonomous Vehicle Systems
  • Supervision of Final Year Projects

Selected publications:

External Collaborators:

  • MOD Dstl
  • BAE Systems
  • Thales UK
  • Roke Manor Research
  • Swarm Systems Ltd
  • University of Manchester
  • Cranfield University

External roles and appointments:

  • Regular reviewer for several journals
  • External PhD Examiner at the university of Bristol