Digital engineering

We are accelerating next generation transport and mobility solutions, working closely with public and private sector partners across the automotive, aerospace and rail sectors to help to deliver the UK’s strategy for net zero carbon vehicles by 2035.

Validated Digital Engineering (VDE) is central to achieving this, with advanced simulation tools including embedded knowledge (e.g. digital twins) crucial to expedite the design process. The fusion of advanced digital technologies with best-in-class product engineering capabilities, moving physical resource intensive processes into the digital environment, will secure the UK’s competitiveness in a global industry powered by 'digital'.

As we transition from combustion engines and hybrid powertrains to zero emission private vehicles, traditional transport based on car ownership will decrease, replaced by Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and more integrated transport networks.

The Institute of Digital Engineering

Based at Loughborough University London, the Institute of Digital Engineering (IDE) leads the Automotive Council’s 'Advancing Digitalisation' Mission and is responsible for the Automotive Council Digital Roadmap in Engineering.

The IDE is funded by the Department for Business, Environment and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is the Digital Engineering Spoke of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Digitalisation Roadmap

The IDE roadmap guides the UK automotive sector through the next 20-years of industry digitalisation. The online interactive document sets out how digital technologies can support engineers and manufacturers in creating the next generation of products faster and more efficiently. Drawing on more than 600 hours of interviews and workshops with experts from within the industry – as well as from academia and other sectors, such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and gaming – the comprehensive plan outlines the importance of tools and processes such as AI, digital twinning and cybersecurity.

IDE Digitalisation Roadmap

Digital engineering research impact

For more than 20 years, we have been translating engineering science into tools and processes that improve powertrain, vehicle and aerodynamic performance in the automotive and motorsport sectors.

Translating engineering science into product development

Our multi-disciplinary digital engineering research – spanning modelling and simulation, validation, and calibration methods – has delivered major cost and time savings, improved engineering processes and products, and made significant reductions in CO2 emissions in the automotive and motorsport sectors.

Research impact and experts

Driving efficiency through predictive learning

In partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, we are addressing the energy management challenge created by the presence of multiple energy sources; fuel, battery energy and grid energy.

Propulsion system optimisation through prediction and machine learning

The PREPARE project which is supported by the Advanced Propulsion Centre will design, engineer and test predictive energy management strategies for electrified propulsion systems in Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. Through driver learning and prediction, the technology prepares the propulsion system on approach to the zone, or even the day before, to deploy the best source of energy to achieve the lowest possible emissions or energy use for any given journey.

Prepare project

Understanding the tyre-road interface

Building on successful research with F1 racing teams that reduced frictional losses in gears and bearings, we are investigating tyre dynamics, including aerodynamic and hydrodynamic losses and spray generation.

The future of tyre modelling

This innovative work will improve performance and safety using predictive models from projects. These include the recently awarded £1m Advanced Route to Market Project: PREPARE – Optimisation of Powertrain through Predictive Modelling and Machine Learning, funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Jaguar Land Rover.

Meet the experts

The experts below represent the broad interests of our researchers in digital engineering. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dr Matt Best

Senior Lecturer in Vehicle Dynamics and Control

Photograph of Ashley Fly

Dr Ashley Fly

Lecturer in Vehicle Electrification

Dr Eve Zhang

Senior Lecturer in Digital Engineering