Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Dr Thomas Steffen Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Ing. MIEEE

Photo of Dr Thomas Steffen

Reader in Control of Energy Systems

Open Research Champion

Net Zero Lead for Commuting


Thomas Steffen studied Electrical Engineering and Automation and Control at the Technical University of Ilmenau, and he continued with a PhD in Fault Control at the Technical University of Hamburg and Ruhr-Universität Bochum. He worked for three years at mBalance in Amsterdam on message-routing solutions for mobile phone networks. Thomas Steffen joined Loughborough University as a postdoc Research Associate in 2007, and the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering as a Lecturer in 2010. He is now Reader for Control Engineering and Open Research Champion for the School.


  • Dipl.-Ing. in Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Ilmenau, 1999
  • Dr.-Ing. in Electrical Engineering, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2004

Key awards:

  • Eickhoff Prize for the best PhD thesis, 2005

Outline of main research interests:

Thomas Steffen has decades of experience in the control of power systems and using statistics for analysing engineering systems. His main technology focus is the electrification of vehicle powertrains and the smart charging of electric vehicles. He is the inventor of the “moments of power” approach to analysing energy systems under stochastic boundary conditions.

Key research areas are:

  • MCMC analysis of technical systems
  • control of electric machines, engine, powertrain and after-treatment control
  • optimisation of energy systems for high efficiency
  • analysis, simulation, and control of hybrid powertrains
  • first-principle modelling (white box and grey box)
  • digital engineering and digital twin
  • The component in the Loop and X-in-the-Loop
  • geometric approach to the control of linear and non-linear systems
  • (a variation of the Non-linear Direct Inverse method NDI)
  • virtual sensors
  • fault tolerant control and reconfiguration

Grants and contracts:

  • Innovate UK: TC48 – Town & Country Hybrid 48V, a collaborative research project to demonstrate a hybrid 48V powertrain
  • APC6: Accelerating the Drive to Low Carbon Propulsion
  • ViVID: Virtual Vehicle Integration and Development

Current teaching responsibilities:

  • TTB211 Electrotechnology
  • TTC012 Spacecraft Engineering
  • TTD108 Power Electronics, Machines, and Drives (PEMD)
  • TTP401 Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Current administrative responsibilities:

Thomas is ready to provide industrial training on electric machines, hybrid and electric powertrains, and embedded software engineering.

External collaborators:

  • Caterpillar
  • Ford
  • Jaguar LandRover (JLR)
  • Electric Miles
  • Des19ncor
  • HAW, Hamburg
  • TH Cologne

External roles and appointments:

  • External examiner at Cranfield University and University of Bristol
  • Co-organiser of the Advanced Engine Control Symposium in Tianjin
  • Member of the SAE WPT Taskforce for J2954

Open Source

Thomas published several open-source libraries for MATLAB and Simulink. The most relevant ones are:

  • ELVIO: ELectrified Vehicle modelling for sImulation and Optimisation
  • Moments of Power: a simple but growing library to study energy systems under stochastic boundary conditions