Engineering and design (2016 entry)

Subject overview

  • Research in Engineering and Design is of world renown. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 88 per cent of our research outputs and 90 per cent of our research impact is categorised as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • The Department has strong links with industry, which are used to benefit both Masters-level and PhD research projects and enhance the employment opportunities for our graduates.
  • The Department has well-equipped research laboratories along with teaching laboratories dedicated to Masters-level courses.
  • Our research students benefit from direct supervision by research-active staff, along with training and professional development opportunities provided by the School of Engineering and Informatics and the University’s Doctoral School.
  • We have a vibrant international community within the Department, with students and faculty from all over the world.

Programmes

  • PhD in Engineering
  • MPhil in Engineering

Research students studying for MPhil or PhD courses are associated with one or more research groups in the Department of Engineering and Design.

Supervision

The Department is engaged in a wide range of highly rated research and we can supervise research students in all areas in which our faculty specialise. Research students are assigned two supervisors for the duration of their studies. They meet their major supervisor regularly on an informal basis and for a documented review meeting every month. A formal review of progress is conducted each year.

Research skills development

Students admitted to research courses also take a Research Skills Development module in their first two terms, which is specifically designed for the School of Engineering and Informatics.

Facilities

All research students are assigned a computer and allocated space in shared offices. They also have full access to their research group’s specialist facilities and laboratories.

Recent thesis titles

Adaptive object segmentation and tracking

An experimental study of windage due to rotating and static bolts in an enclosed rotor-stator system

Applications of the electric potential sensor for healthcare and assistive technologies

Behaviour of elastohydrodynamic films subjected to oscillatory motion

Design of gas turbine axial compressors for fuel flexibility

Economically stable public security and emergency network exploiting a broadband communications satellite

High-resolution electric field imaging using ultralow capacitance probes

Investigation into non-linear dynamics of rotorfloating ring-bearing systems in automotive turbochargers

Investigations of advanced injection and combustion strategies on DI diesel engine performance and emissions

Optimal control of a flywheel-based automotive kinetic energy recovery system

Pattern recognition employing spatially variant unconstrained correlation filters

Neurofuzzy controller-based full vehicle nonlinear active suspension systems

Numerical simulations of rotating stall in axial flow compressors

Side information exploitation, quality control and low complexity implementation for distributed video coding

Structural uncertainty identification using mode shape information

Research and professional/industry links

The Department fosters strong links with industry, both to support collaborative research and to provide routes to knowledge transfer and commercialisation of the outcomes of its research.

The activities in mechanical and automotive engineering are supported by the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, GE Aviation and SKF. Members of faculty are also active in UK and European research and industry networks such as the European Turbine Network and Rail Research UK.

In the electrical and electronic engineering area, there are notable examples of successful commercialisation such as the award-winning electric potential sensors (EPS) that are being manufactured by Plessey Semiconductors as the EPIC sensor chip; and a University spin-out company, TexRAD, which has developed software for the analysis of medical images and has demonstrated the ability to detect brain texture anomalies in Asperger’s syndrome patients.

Many of the research activities are, by their nature, interdisciplinary, and groups collaborate with a wide range of other researchers both within the University and globally. We are active contributors to the University’s strategic research themes including those that address environment, health and safety, and security.

The Department has close links with the professional engineering institutions. A number of our staff are Fellows of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Royal Academy of Engineering, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Many are also local branch members and the University regularly hosts talks and events of interest to staff, students and local businesses.

Entry requirements

MPhil in Engineering

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in an engineering discipline or physics. Applicants from other backgrounds may be considered if they have suitable qualifications or work experience

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Additional entry information

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more about ATAS.

PhD in Engineering

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in an engineering discipline or physics. Applicants from other backgrounds may be considered if they have suitable qualifications or work experience.

If you are a non-EEA or Swiss national you must obtain clearance by the UK Government Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) for this degree. Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your University application to be processed in time for you to apply for ATAS clearance (and a Tier 4 Student Visa if appropriate). Find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme

Overseas entrance requirements

If your country is not listed below, please contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

If you have any questions about your qualifications after consulting our overseas qualifications, contact the University at E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Fees and funding

Fees

MPhil in Engineering fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Engineering fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs

Scholarships

The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Research is a core activity of the Department of Engineering and Design and is organised into four main groups. Our research often entails collaborations between the groups, as well as with other schools of study at Sussex and external academic, institutional and commercial partners.  

Visit Department of Engineering and Design: Research

Dynamics, Control and Vehicle Research Group

This group is known internationally for its high-quality automotive research and fundamental work in dynamics and control. The group has a broad range of interests such as the convergence of control, non-linear dynamics, structural mechanics, signal processing activities applied mainly to automotive engineering, and tribological research. It has attracted research grants from, and formed collaborations with, a variety of local, national and international public and industrial sources including the EPSRC, the Royal Society, Jaguar Land Rover and SKF. 

The primary focus is directed towards CO2 reduction in transport through energy conversion efficiency improvements in engines, and through ‘lightweighting’ and drag-reduction technologies. For dynamics and automotive engineering, this means reducing vehicle CO2 emissions by improving powertrain and vehicle efficiencies particularly of internal combustion (IC) engines in conventional and hybrid electric vehicles, and by better understanding vehicle noise emissions to allow weight reduction. 

This links directly to tribological research, which is at the forefront of efforts to address the demands of advances in material science, manufacturing, technology and the needs for better products, and improved human life, and to contribute to energy savings and a cleaner environment. The group researches areas including lubrication, dynamics of lubricated contacts, mechanical transmissions, contact mechanics and numerical modelling of lubricated contacts. 

Facilities include two engine-test cells, an engine-test laboratory, a full range of emissions measurement equipment, calibration equipment for engine control, and laser-based vibration measurement hardware. Specifically for tribological research, facilities include a PCS instruments optical interferometry test rig of EHD film measurement, an optical interferometry rig with a high-speed imaging system for dynamic testing of liquid films, an impedance/gain-phase analyser, and a range of viscometers. 

Faculty research interests include:

Prof Julian Dunne
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
J.F.Dunne@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Automotive Applications, Dynamic systems, Neural networks, Nonlinear systems, Optimal Control, Vibration (Mechanical)

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Dr Romeo Glovnea
Reader in Mechanical Engineering
R.P.Glovnea@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: lubrication, mechanical transmissions, Rheology, solid body mechanics, tribology

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Dr Yevgen Petrov
Reader in Structural Dynamics
Y.Petrov@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Aeroelasticity, Damping of Vibration/Motion, Finite Element Methods, Mechanical engineering, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, Optimisation Problems, Rotor Dynamics, Structural dynamics, Vibration (Mechanical)

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Dr Chang Wang
Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering
C.J.Wang@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: 3D printing, Additive Manufacturing, Biomechanics for Orthopaedics, Computer Aided Modelling, Engineering Design, Engineering Stress Analysis, Finite Element Methods, Mechanical engineering, Solid Mechanics, Structural Engineering

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Dr William Wang
Senior Lecturer in Engineering
W.J.Wang@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Aeronautics

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Industrial Informatics and Signal Processing Research Group

Our research is focused on digital image processing; computer vision; optical computing; network and control theory; medical and biological imaging and image processing, with a particular focus on cancer diagnosis and treatment. These activities find application in a range of strategically important areas including product security, biometrics, automated face recognition, event detection and traffic monitoring.

The Group is also engaged in interdisciplinary collaborations with the School of Life Sciences, Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), clinical practitioners and companies in the medical device and medical imaging sectors. The research provides imaging biomarkers in cancerous tissue by wavelet filtering in an apparently normal contrast-enhanced CT image of the liver. We are currently extending the technique to 3D-texture analysis of the whole liver and lung. This research is the subject of a patent and commercialisation of the software.

Faculty research interests include:

Dr Phil Birch
Senior Lecturer
P.M.Birch@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: 3D Microstructures, Adaptive Optics, Biomedical Signal Processing, Biometric Imaging and Analysis, Coherent Optics, Computer Vision & Image Processing - Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision - Tracking, Diffractive Optics, Lasers - Biomedical Optics, Lasers and Optics, Light, Microscopy - Optical, Optical Computing, Optics - Biomedical, Optics - Imaging, Photonics

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Prof Chris Chatwin
Professor in Engineering
C.R.Chatwin@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Communication technology, Computer Middleware, Computer Systems and Architecture, Computer Tomography (CT), Computer Vision & Image Processing - 3D, Computer Vision and Image Processing - Security, Electrical Impedance Tomography, Functional imaging for health, Health Informatics, Image and Vision Computing, Lasers and Optics, Manufacturing Systems and Integration, Mathematical modelling, Medical and health interface, Medical Informatics, Neural networks, Neurocomputing, Ontologies, Optical Communications, Optical Fibres, Satellite and Microwave Systems, Space science, Tomography for healthcare

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Dr Tai Yang
Reader in Computer & Control Engineering
T.C.Yang@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Wind Power

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Dr Rupert Young
Reader in Engineering
R.C.D.Young@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Computer Vision & Image Processing - Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision and Image Processing - Security, Genetic Algorithms (CS), Holography Instrumentation, Medical Informatics, Photonics

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Sensor Technology Research Centre (STRC)

The STRC is a world-leading centre focusing on sensor technologies, mobile and wireless technologies and their applications. The research attracts funding from the EPSRC, TSB, the EU and a number of industrial collaborators.

The Centre has pioneered a new class of device with generic measurement capability, the Electric Potential Sensor (EPS). This has attracted considerable attention, winning a number of awards and gaining wide publicity in the technical press. The first generation of the EPS has been licensed to industrial partners and is now being marketed as an integrated circuit device.

Research activity includes the fundamentals of sensor operation, development of novel sensors, wearable and networked sensors, and application-specific projects. These applications are very broad and include electrophysiological monitoring for medicine, healthcare, activity monitoring and rehabilitation, humanmachine interfacing and assistive technologies, wearable and mobile computing for human behaviour analysis, radiation sensing, space science technologies, security, forensics, and geophysical measurements in collaboration with the British Geological Survey.

The research also covers the area of mobile and wireless communications focused on improving capacity, power and spectrum efficiency, reliability, quality of service, and low-complexity implementations. Work involves theoretical studies, simulations, and implementations using advanced software tools and digital hardware. The research impacts a number of important areas in the communications industry and practical systems in different sectors such as health, transport, energy, security and environment.

The Centre is well resourced with a radiation detection laboratory, electro-magnetically shielded rooms, clean rooms, electron beam lithography fabrication, electronic systems spanning dc-to-microwave, and surface mount fabrication facilities.

Faculty research interests include:

Dr Falah Ali
Reader in Digital Communications
F.H.Ali@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Mobile and wireless communications, Vehicle communications, Wireless sensor networks

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Dr Anna Barnett
Senior Lecturer
A.Barnett@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Astronomy & Space Science Technologies, Gamma Ray Astronomy, III-V - Quantum Devices, III-V Arsenides, III-V Nitrides, III-V Optoelectronic Circuits, III-V Semiconductors, III-V Semiconductors (Optoelectronic), III-V Thin Film Arsenides and Phosphides, Instrumentation for Particle Physics Or Astronomy, Instrumentation, sensors and detectors, Optoelectronic Detectors and Receivers, Photodetectors, Photodiode, Planetary science, Radiation Effects on Instrumentation, Semiconductor Devices, Semiconductor Electronic Structure, Semiconductor Structure/Growth, Silicon Semiconductors, Space science, Spaceflight, X-ray Astronomy, X-ray Fluorescence, X-ray Imaging

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Dr Niko Munzenrieder
Lecturer in Sensor Technology
N.S.Munzenrieder@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Clean room Processing, Flexible Electronics, Large-area Electronics, Oxide Semiconductors, Semiconductor Technology, Thin-film Transistors

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Prof Helen Prance
Emeritus Professor
H.Prance@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Electromagnetic Sensors, Electrophysiology, Instrumentation, sensors and detectors, Medical sensors, Microsystems - imaging applications, Radio Frequency (RF) and Microwave Technology, Sensor Arrays

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Prof Robert Prance
Research Professor
R.J.Prance@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Engineering Design

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Dr Daniel Roggen
Reader In Sensor Technology
D.Roggen@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Activity recognition, Ambient intelligence, Applied machine learning, Assistive Technologies for Rehabilitation, context awareness, Context recognition, Embedded systems, Human-Computer Interactions, Mobile Computing, Mobile Robots, Sensor technologies, Smart Sensors, Ubiquitous Computing, Wearable computing

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Dr Zhengguo Sheng
Lecturer in Advanced Networks and Communications
Z.Sheng@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cloud computing, Communication and signalling, Internet of things, Machine-to-Machine, Mobile and wireless communications, Power line comunications, Vehicle communications, Wireless Communications, Wireless Sensor Networks (Comms)

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Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre (TFMRC)

The TFMRC is a dedicated research laboratory specialising in flow and heat transfer, and has substantial experimental and computational facilities. It has a proven track record in research, particularly in relation to gas turbine engines, and has attracted significant funding over previous years from industry, the European Commission and the EPSRC to conduct cutting-edge research on a wide range of engineering problems. It is now engaged in a major collaboration with GE Aviation.

The Centre has a significant experimental research infrastructure including a number of high-pressure air supplies such as the Rolls-Royce DART engine-driven compressor. It has an array of state-of-the-art flow instrumentation including laser anemometry, particle imaging velocimetry (PIV), phase Doppler anemometry
(PDA) and hot wire anemometry.

The Centre has expertise in temperature measurements including thermal imaging and liquid crystal measurements. It also specialises in computational fluid dynamics of complex scenarios including compressible flow and aeroelasticity. Current experimental projects funded by GE Aviation are focused on internal air
systems of gas turbine engines.

Faculty research interests include:

Dr Vasudevan Kanjirakkad
Lecturer in Experimental Thermofluid Mechanics
V.Kanjirakkad@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Experimental Aerodynamics, Heat Transfer, Turbomachinery

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Prof Martin Rose
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
M.G.Rose@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Combustion, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Fluid Mechanics (Continuum), Gas Turbines, Internal Aerodynamics, Turbomachinery, Unsteady Flow

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Careers and perspectives

Our graduates are successful in gaining employment in industry and academia. Recent destinations for doctoral graduates include development engineer for Nokia, performance engineer for Bowman Power, software engineer for Applications Solutions Ltd, applications engineer for Plessey Semiconductors, and civil servant through the fast-track route. Our graduates also regularly take up postdoctoral research positions at Sussex and other universities in the UK and overseas.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

Engineering and Design, 
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9QT, UK
T +44 (0)1273 678367
E enquiries@enginf.sussex.ac.uk

Visit the Department of Engineering and design

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Overseas visits

Meet with Sussex staff in your country at exhibitions, visits to schools and universities, and at a wide range of other events. Forthcoming visits are planned all over the world:

Bahrain • Brazil • Brunei • Canada • China • Colombia • France • Germany • Ghana • Greece • Hong Kong • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Kenya • Kuwait • Malaysia • Mexico • Nigeria • Norway • Pakistan • Qatar • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Spain • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • UAE • USA • Vietnam.

In-country representatives

In the International Office, we manage a network of overseas representatives who have been trained to support international students with their application to study at the University. Services representatives provide can include pre-departure information, support in submitting your housing application and advice regarding applying for a UK Student Visa.

Find out more about our overseas visits and in-country representatives

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