Next generation integrated chassis controllers and state estimators for passenger cars (two studentships)

In collaboration with AVL List and involving an internationally leading supervisory team, these two PhD projects will focus on the development of the next generation of integrated chassis controllers and state estimators for passenger cars. The controllers will enable significant enhancements of comfort and vehicle dynamics.

Start date

1 July 2022


3 years

Application deadline

Funding source

EPSRC and AVL List

Funding information

Full UK tuition fee covered. Stipend at UKRI rate increasing annually. Laptop and personal computer provided by the department. Available conference attendance budget, as well as a budget for visiting the facilities of the industrial Sponsor throughout the project. Funding duration is 3 years.


The first year of the PhD programme will set the foundations for the project developments. This includes the creation and experimental validation of a model-in-the-loop development environment consisting of a vehicle model, relevant actuation system models, state estimators, a set of benchmarking controllers and state estimators, and relevant post-processing tools.

The second and third years of the PhD activity will focus on the formulation, implementation and simulation of the novel integrated chassis controllers and state estimators, as well as their experimental assessment on real vehicle prototypes. The chassis controllers will be based on the combination of: a) computationally efficient nonlinear model predictive control technology; b) intelligent control / artificial intelligence for the online update of the controller parameters depending on the current operating conditions of the vehicle; and c) innovative pre-emptive control techniques enabled by vehicle connectivity, using the information on the expected road scenario ahead (e.g., road curvature profile) to enhance control system performance. The potential of the novel controllers will be critically analysed with respect to the available benchmarking controllers.

The research of this PhD project is expected to generate high-quality journal publications, and to have long-term academic and industrial impact in the specific subject area.

Eligibility criteria

All applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first-class degree in a relevant engineering discipline (mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, electrical engineering, control systems engineering, mechatronics, aerospace engineering) or MSc with Distinction (or 70% average) and a strong interest in pursuing research in this field. Additional experience which is relevant to the area of research is also advantageous, especially a demonstrated capability in model-based control system implementation, vehicle dynamics and multi-physics simulation. High motivation, ambition, initiative and enthusiasm are expected, with high quality results to be generated since the first year of the PhD project.

The award is available to UK applicants only.

English language requirements: IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with no sub-test of less than 6.0.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Automotive Engineering PhD programme page on the "Apply" tab. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisors on your application

Applications should also be sent to Professor Aldo Sorniotti ( Include your CV with qualification details (copies of transcripts and certificates). Shortlisted applicants will be contacted directly to arrange a suitable time for an interview.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Aldo Sorniotti
13 AA 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689688

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