Our international reputation for cutting-edge research helps businesses and industry compete more effectively, shape public policy and ultimately improve the quality of people’s lives. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, Loughborough was ranked as a top 10 rated university in England for research intensity (REF, 2014). An outstanding 66% of our academics' work was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ compared to a national average figure of 43%.
As one of the largest engineering schools in the UK, the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering is a leader in technological research and innovation, with extensive national and international connections to industry. We are passionate about our research and continually strive to strengthen and stimulate our portfolio. Our industrially focused research enables us to work closely with some of the world’s most renowned engineering and commercial companies.
The breadth of our research activity is captured in our research themes, which are served with activities from our research groups, and a number of cutting-edge research centres and institutes which are hosted by the School. These include:
- the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)
- the Centre for Biological Engineering (CBE)
- the Sports Technology Institute (STI)
- the Centre for Intelligent Automation, the Centre for Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling Technologies (SMART)
- the Advanced Virtual Reality (VR) Centre
- the 5G Research Centre.
Furthermore, we host and lead Centres for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence (EI) and Regenerative Medicine, National Hubs in Metrology and Photovoltaics, and an EPSRC Platform on Embedded Integrated Intelligent Systems for Manufacturing.
Loughborough recently invested over £70 million into developing the west side of campus, where the Wolfson School is based. In particular, we have improved our high-tech teaching and laboratory facilities to ensure you have access to specialist equipment which links to current research activities.
Our School also has 15,000m2 of facilities which cater for various research areas, including additive manufacturing, automation, dynamics and control, electrical power generation, engineering design, engineering management, fluid mechanics, healthcare engineering, intelligent transport, internal combustion engines, manufacturing, materials, mechatronics, metrology, optical engineering, product design, radio communications, renewable energy and energy storage, robotics, sports technology, structural integrity, systems and thermodynamics.
Why you should choose us
Where you'll study
We cover a wide range of activities in all aspects of modern communication systems including 5G networks. Particular strengths include antennas, signal processing, network security, mobile and wireless communications, Internet of Things, machine learning, metamaterials, bioacoustics, biomedical electronics and microwave measurements. Find out more about our communications research.
Control and Automation
Our research addresses the challenges and development of disruptive technologies and processes caused by the exciting evolutions that are taking place in engineering and manufacturing processing and products as a result of new concepts in digitalisation and Industry 4.0. This high impact multi-disciplinary research theme harnesses state of the art AI machine learning, automation, advanced control systems, human-machine interaction, modelling-simulation, robotics and virtual/augmented reality techniques to meet extremely demanding application driven needs. The research is inspired by our strong collaboration across the aerospace, automotive and rail sectors including being an Airbus preferred research and technology university partner.
Dynamics and Thermofluids
This internationally recognised group works in the fields of dynamics, tribology, thermodynamics, combustion, heat transfer and fluid mechanics. Our research has a strong emphasis on the fundamentals and application of advanced computational modelling and optical diagnostic methods relevant to the automotive, engine, powertrain, power, environmental and medical industries. We have major partnerships with global companies and play a leading role in shaping government strategy.
Energy and Power
Energy engineering is a core strength of the School, exploring both conventional and renewable electricity generation; alternative energy vectors; electricity, heat storage and transmission; systems management; delivery and utilisation; and the generation and application of pulsed power and plasma systems.
High Value Manufacturing
We address next generation manufacturing processes, in bio-manufacturing, laser processing and additive manufacturing, as well as manufacturing technologies in automation, robotics and digital manufacturing, and organisation and sustainability. Find out more about high value manufacturing.
Materials and Measurement
We undertake multi-disciplinary research into the response of advanced engineering materials, including biomaterials, to various types of external loading and environmental conditions. We are active in many areas of optics and laser technology, including high-power laser processing, chip-scale photonics and high-precision non-contact measurement of strain, shape and vibration. Find out more about materials and measurement.
Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, key strengths in world-leading research are exploited, enabling us to address the important grand challenges currently facing the world. Examples include sports technology, manufacturing ICT tools, design research, systems engineering and technology, operations management and human factors engineering. We work on understanding the interactions between humans and the systems they use, to optimise the output, both technologically and for the people involved and work closely with industry to get cutting-edge research implemented. Find out more about systems research.
Support from your supervisor
You will be assigned supervisors with expertise in your chosen research area, with additional guidance and pastoral support available from the Director of Doctoral Programmes, and other departmental academic staff as appropriate. We provide a structured induction programme to familiarise you with the School and University, and training and research seminars throughout your studies. You will be provided with a computer plus access to library and IT services.
Skills and experience
The School has a vibrant, international community of postgraduate research students. During your time with us, you will able to publish your research findings in top peer-reviewed scientific journals, present your research findings at leading international conferences and network with scientists and industrial partners to maximise the impact of your research and start building your own professional network.
Your future career
Graduates from our PhDs go on to establish a range of effective and successful career paths in various industries, both in the UK and overseas.
Graduate destinations are varied; whilst some graduates go on to work within industry for some of the world’s most well-known engineering and commercial companies, others go on to undertake further study or become academics, both at Loughborough University and at other institutions around the world.
Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.
Entry requirements for United Kingdom
A 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant discipline.
Applicants with a 2:2 will be considered with a master’s degree (merit or above) or international equivalent.
For all applicants, a relevant master’s degree or industry experience is advantageous and for some research projects, may be mandatory.
English language requirements
Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.
Fees and funding
- Full-time degree per annum
- To be confirmed
- Full-time degree per annum
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.
How to apply
If you can't find an advertised project that fits your interests and experience, you can submit a research proposal to the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering to find a supervisor who will work with you on your project. You can view our list of academic staff on our School website or you can email us for guidance.
Your research proposal should include the aims of your study, a brief literature review, an outline of the proposed research methods, and your preferred member of staff to supervise the project. Further information on preparing your proposal can be found here.
You are strongly recommended to contact us before applying to discuss your topic, availability and funding.