School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


Professor Ivor Smith FREng BSc, PhD, DSc, CEng, SMIEEE, FIET

Photo of Professor Ivor Smith FREng

Emeritus Professor

After completing a student apprenticeship at the Witton works of the General Electric Company, Ivor Smith received both undergraduate and postgraduate training at the University of Bristol. He graduated from there with BSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering before returning to GEC, where to spent several years in the Witton laboratories as a development engineer working mainly on advanced excitation systems for large AC generators.

He moved across the city to become a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, subsequently being promoted to Senior Lecturer and Reader in Electrical Machines. He taught and researched mainly in the area of electrical machines, and he was awarded the DSc degree from the University of Bristol for the quality and continued success of his research contribution.

He joined Loughborough as Professor of Electrical Power Engineering, and has served as Head of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department, Dean of Engineering and Pro-Vice Chancellor. For several years recently his research interests have been in the pused power area, where he has been concerned with the Generation, Processing and Application of High-Energy pulsed of electrical energy.During this time he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He publishes widely in the pulsed power area, organises and attends important conferences, serves on a number of related industrial and professional committees and also acts as a consultant to various organisations.

Before entering university, Ivor spent six years as an apprentice with GEC which was then a major worldwide player in the electrical power industry. He returned to GEC as a development engineer for three years after completing his PhD studies, when he worked mainly on excitation control schemes for large synchronous generators.

His academic career began as a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Birmingham, where he subsequently became a Senior Lecturer and a Reader. Throught his time at Birmingham,both his teaching and his research were mainly in the electrical machines area, with a very significant number of PhD students being successfully supervised and receiving their degrees.

Various factors conbined to result in his research activities expanding to take in Pulsed Power following his move to Loughborough, with much of the work that has subsequently been undertaken being unique in UK Universities. Several important collaborations have been developed with universities overseas and joint experiments are undertaken. Ivor Smith and his colleagues also play a major role in important professional activites away from Loughborough. They are active in the organisation of many international conferences and they are regular contributors at these conferences. They are also involved in various industrial and professional committees and they present a range of lectures and short-courses in countries throughout the world.

The major thrust of the ongoing research activity is directed towards the production, conditioning and utilisation of large pulses of electrical energy. This is an area commonly termed Pulsed Power, and is one in which the Loughborough Group has earned a pre-eminent position as a consequence of the sustained quaity of its ongoing research. The work is performed either in well-equipped and resourced laboratories within the Department or sometimes on special sites away from Loughborough when circumstances so dictate.

Pulsed Power research is an expensive undertaking, and it is only as a consequence of substancial research grants from EPSRC and generous support from various industrial companies for collaborative activities that the quality of the work has been consistently maintained at a high level. Many research students and Research Assistants have mede important contributions over many years, and without exception they have gone on to interesting and well-rewarded employment on completion of their timr at Loughborough.

Pulsed Power is a multidisciplinary activity, and all members of the Group have an extensive range of experience and expertise. These areas include : High-energy pulsed power physics and technology,Compact and repetitive pulsed power systems, Magnetic flux compression and its applications, Detonics (explosives, shock waves, etc) Fast high-current and high-voltage sensore, 2D numerical modelling of pulsed power systems. As a consequence of this extensive portfolio, it has been possible to complete successsfully investigations into projects such as: Unconventional microwave generators, Ultrahigh magnetic field generation (physics, modelling diagnostics and applications), Explosively-driven autonomous compact pulsed puwer system design, Tesla transformer based compact and high-voltage generators for use in areas such as pollution control, industrial food sterilisation, bio-medical research and many more.