Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


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

Photo of Dr Thomas Steffen

Reader in Control of Energy Systems

Automotive MSc Programme Director


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. 


  • 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:

Apart from the control of internal combustion engines, aftertreatment systems, and energy systems, the main focus of research is the electrification and control of hybrid vehicles, and the integration with the connected / autonomous vehicle.

Key research areas are:

  • engine, powertrain and after-treatment control
  • fault tolerant control
  • reconfiguration of dynamic systems after sever faults
  • first principle modelling (white box and grey box)
  • control structures and structural analysis
  • geometric approach to the control of linear and non-linear systems
  • (a variation of the Non-linear Direct Inverse method NDI)
  • optimisation of fixed structure controls
  • simulation and control of hybrid powertrains
  • optimisation of autonomous vehicles

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

Current teaching responsibilities:

  • TTB211 Electrotechnology (module leader)
  • TTC012 Spacecraft Engineering
  • TTD003 Automotive Group Project
  • TTP401 Sustainable Vehicle Powertrains
  • TTP408 Vehicle Electrical Systems Integration
  • TTP451 Powertrain Calibration Optimisation

Current administrative responsibilities:

  • Programme Director for the MSc Automotive Systems Engineering

Zhao, D., Winward, E., Yang, Z., Stobart, R., Mason, B., Steffen, T. (2018) An Integrated Framework on Characterization, Control, and Testing of an Electrical Turbocharger Assist. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 65(6).

Zhao, D., Winward, E., Yang, Z., Stobart, R., Steffen, T. (2017) Characterisation, control, and energy management of electrified turbocharged diesel engines. Energy Conversion and Management, 135.

Zhao, D., Winward, E., Yang, Z., Stobart, R., Steffen, T. (2016) Real-Time Optimal Energy Management of Electrified Engines. IFAC-PapersOnLine, 49(11).

Haupt, A., Steffen, T. (2016) Two methods for the ressource efficient control design in wireless networked control systems. At-Automatisierungstechnik, 64(6).

Mambo, D.A., Eftekhari, M.M., Steffen, T., Ahmad, M.W. (2015) Designing an occupancy flow-based controller for airport terminals. Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, 36(1).

Mody, S., Steffen, T. (2015) Optimal Charging of Electric Vehicles using a Stochastic Dynamic Programming Model and Price Prediction. SAE International Journal of Passenger Cars - Electronic and Electrical Systems, 8(2).

Davies, J., Dixon, R., Goodall, R.M., Steffen, T. (2014) Multi-agent control of high redundancy actuation. International Journal of Automation and Computing, 11(1).

View central publications database

External Collaborators:

  • Caterpillar, Peterborough
  • Newcastle University
  • Oxford Brooks University
  • Sheffield University

External roles and appointments:

  • External examiner at Cranfield University
  • Co-organiser of the Advanced Engine Control Symposium in Beijing 2016