Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Dr Martin Balchin

Contact details

Room 2 East 1.26

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386323


PhD supervision

Interested in supervising students studying;

  • Electrical machines and drive systems
  • Conventional and aircraft electrical power systems
  • Mechatronic and robotic systems

Dr Martin Balchin



Dr Balchin read for his degrees at Imperial College, London. Before coming to Bath he worked for the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory, the former English Electric Company, Kingston Polytechnic and the University of Aberdeen.

In addition to his present appointment at Bath, Dr Balchin currently holds part-time posts at the University of Plymouth and the National Grid Company.


Dr Balchin's current research work concerns ac-side excited motors and generators, development of semi-autonomous underwater vehicles and energy flow in aircraft power systems.

The secondary (moving) members of ac-side excited electrical do not have to support electrical conductors. These members can therefore be manufactured in a mechanically robust form which is ideal for applications where electrical connections are undesirable and/or high speeds are required.

Two possible applications are a linear form of motor for high-speed rail transport (track as secondary with no electrical connections) and a starter motor/generator for aircraft gas turbines (high secondary speed).

At present there is a good deal of scientific, industrial and military interest in semi-autonomous (unmanned) underwater vehicles. Areas of interest here are the development of methods to control such a vehicle and also to enable it to map its surroundings using a combination of inertial navigation, water pressure and computer vision algorithms.

The final objective is to develop a machine capable of mapping complex and hostile flooded environments such as cave systems, sunken ships, or sewer systems, with a view to conducting scientific research, search and rescue, or military missions.

Increases in fuel costs and environmental concerns have, in recent years, highlighted the importance of fuel efficiency in aircraft and other vehicles. Thus, a greater understanding of energy consumption is needed, not only to aid in the design of vehicles, but also to assist with decisions concerning vehicle operation.

It is felt that the improved understanding of energy consumption may be obtained through the use of an advanced thermodynamic concept known as ‘exergy’. This gives a measure of available work in an imbalance of state and permits systems to be compared on an equal basis. It also makes it possible to translate loss and waste directly into fuel costs.

Dr Balchin also acts a technical and academic consultant. His recent work has been for the UK National Grid Company, the Academy of Sciences of Finland and the University of Essex.


  • Electrical systems and power electronics
  • Power electronics and drives 1
  • Power electronics and drives 2/Power electronics and machines
  • Electrical power systems fundamentals
  • Control of power systems
  • Undergraduate, MSc and PhD projects

Administrative work

  • Director of Studies for the NCEPU 2+2 degree programme.
  • Chair of the Departmental Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee.
  • Member of the Departmental Staff-Student Liaison Committee.
  • Member of the Departmental Admissions Team.
  • Director of Courses for undergraduate years 3 and 4, and project work coordinator
Read publications by Martin Balchin