Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

The Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering is a specialist centre for teaching and research. By joining our department, you will be part of one of the top-ranked Aeronautical Engineering and Automotive Engineering departments in the world.

Top 10 in the UK for Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022
Top 10 in the UK for Mechanical Engineering The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022
Top 10 in the UK for Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering The Complete University Guide 2022
Top 100 for Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering QS World Subject Rankings 2021

Aeronautical Engineering and Automotive Engineering at Loughborough

Loughborough University is regarded as one of the best institutions in the UK to study Aeronautical Engineering and Automotive Engineering. Our reputation for pioneering and topical research is built on a rich and successful history, with programmes dating back to 1919. So, by choosing Loughborough as your study destination, you can draw on the wealth of experience and expertise acquired throughout the schools 100 years of excellence.

There are many exciting challenges facing the transport industries and our postgraduate degrees will prepare you for a career tackling these well into the future, with a focus on electrification, increasing automation and sustainability. Taught by expert academics in a leading research environment, our postgraduate offering will equip you with all the knowledge and skills to succeed in an exciting yet challenging sector.

We have a thriving community of postgraduate students and research associates from all over the world, who benefit from the expertise of our 37 world-class academic staff. Our ground-breaking research feeds directly into our teaching, meaning that you’ll be taught by academics who are at the forefront of their disciplines. Many of whom are also linked to industry, working on innovative projects with some of the biggest names in the transport world to transform the technological landscape.

Research degrees

In addition to our exciting range of taught programmes, there are also a variety of funded and unfunded opportunities to join the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering as a doctoral researcher. You can develop your own unique research proposal or browse our current list of PhD opportunities – either way, we’d love to hear from you.

Browse our PhD opportunities

Research and teaching

Our staff are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, with many of our academics carrying out research in collaboration with major companies. This research directly feeds into our teaching, meaning that your education will involve some of the latest innovations, scholarship and practice, and will cover the latest industry knowledge.

In the Government’s external subject review, we were awarded an excellent score for the quality of our teaching (23 out of 24). In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), our subject areas featured in the top 10 nationally.

We welcome students who wish to join and contribute to a variety of research areas, covering the spectrum of engineering, technology and science activity essential to the fast-paced aeronautical and automotive sectors. Our research provision is centred on four major research groups. These groups cover a broad range of research areas, from the development of new low emissions combustion systems for gas turbine engines, through to fundamental investigations into the operation of hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

Find out more about studying a research degree with us.

Links with industry

Our highly-sought after students and researchers work with some of the world's leading motor and aerospace companies on research projects. Through these strategic partnerships, our students gain insight into the latest technologies and business thinking.

Bridging the gap between academia and industry, the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Combustion System Aerothermal Processes and the Caterpillar Innovation and Research Centre in Engine Systems are both situated within the department and have become training grounds for current and future engineers.

We also have links with other top engineering companies, including BAE Systems, Bentley, Caterpillar, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, MIRA and Nissan.


Our extensive range of first-class facilities are designed to help our students throughout their studies and fully-equip them for their future endeavours.

The £14 million state-of-the-art facilities include laboratories, workshops, wind-tunnels, a flight simulator and a technical display area with a recently retired military aircraft. Loughborough's outstanding £17 million STEMLab is adjacent to the department, and offers first-class engineering, science and materials laboratories, forming a truly cutting-edge learning facility.

Facilities include: wind tunnels; high performance computing; anechoic chamber; indoor UAV testing; structures testing facilities; gas-turbine engines; eight purpose built engine test cells; BAE Systems Hawk aircraft; 6-axis simulator (road and aircraft); chassis dynamometer and numerous instrumented test vehicles.


Our master’s programme is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). Accreditation facilitates progression towards professional chartered status (CEng) after a period of relevant graduate-level employment.

Career opportunities

There’s high demand for graduate engineers who are ready to tackle the transport challenges of the future, from finding ways to design and build vehicles that are more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective, to working in motor racing.

Graduates from our department leave with a breadth of technical skills and expertise, far beyond their particular degree specialism. A higher degree, such as a PhD, can also accelerate your career and facilitate progression into positions with higher responsibility. Upon completion of your postgraduate degree, you may wish to say within academic research, either securing a post-doctoral research position or lecturing role, within UK and international institutes.

We have close links with Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Bentley, Ford Motor Company, Group Lotus, Jaguar Land Rover, JCB, MIRA, Perkins Caterpillar and many tier one automotive suppliers.

Beyond your studies

At Loughborough, we are proud to offer a wide range of activities for you to get involved in outside of your studies, such as the Engineers Without Borders Society, which is great if you're interested in engineering, international development, technology or if you just want to try something new. We also have a variety of volunteering projects, including a fantastic STEM project where you can become a Science and Engineering Ambassador. The role involves visiting local schools to encourage young people to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths activities; it's a rewarding experience.

The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has also been growing in strength over recent years with a strong and proactive group driving the opportunities for female students across the engineering departments and school. The society membership has a full inclusion policy for all engineers regardless of gender.