Department of Mechanical Engineering

Centre for Power Transmission and Motion Control

8e-night-2The Centre for Power Transmission and Motion Control (PTMC) has a world-leading reputation as a centre of excellence in many aspects of fluid power, actuation, and the dynamics and control of electro-mechanical systems.

The Centre undertakes research, runs CPD courses and offers consultancy services to industry. Every year since 1988 the Centre has hosted or co-hosted an international symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control (FPMC). It was also a founder member of the Fluid Power Centres of Europe (FPCE), a grouping of the foremost research institutions in the field, now merged into the Global Fluid Power Society (GFPS).

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386371


Our research

The Centre for PTMC was founded as the Fluid Power Centre in 1968. The Centre’s scope has grown beyond the original fluid power field, to include electro-magnetic and piezoelectric systems and other technologies motivated particularly by challenges in automotive and aerospace engineering. A common thread is systems modelling and design, including control engineering. Research is grouped into the following themes:

We are also affiliated with the Robotics and Autonomous Systems lab.

Services for industry

The Centre for PTMC works directly with industry on knowledge exchange and consultancy projects, and through running courses targeted at industrial engineers.

Specialist short courses

The Centre offers a range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses in the fields of hydraulics, electrical drives, and control.

We deliver the courses at the University of Bath and include a wide range of experimental demonstrations in the well-equipped laboratories. We can also tailor courses to your needs and may present them at your premises if required, in the UK or overseas.


The Centre has undertaken applied research and consultancy projects with companies and organisations in a wide range of industrial sectors including aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, marine, construction, and government.

The type of activities we undertake include fundamental research, product development, detailed technical analysis and measurement, simulation studies, design appraisal, and training.

Further details

The PTMC is housed in a new building on the campus of the University of Bath.

Our experimental facilities are available for industrial projects and consultancy, and include:

  • State-of-the-art multi-axis shaker table (MAST) (up to 50Hz, 450kg max. payload)
  • Range of hydraulic drives and test equip
  • Reconfigurable hydraulic test actuators
  • Fluid-borne, structure-borne and air-borne noise test equipment
  • Magnetic bearing test equipment
  • Particle counters for hydraulic fluid contamination measurement
  • Various shakers, modal analysis, frequency analysis equipment.

PTMC Consortium members currently include 13 companies in various motion control, fluid power, aerospace, and off-highway vehicle fields.

Members can register for Full membership (£3600/year) or Associate membership (£1350) and enjoy the following benefits:

Full membership

  • Three free places on the CPD courses (current value £3750)
  • 25 per cent discount on subsequent course fees
  • Free registration for one at the International FPMC Symposium (value £530)
  • Free attendance to occasional special seminars.

Associate Membership

  • One free place on a CPD course (current value £1250)
  • 10 per cent discount on subsequent course fees
  • Free registration for one at the International FPMC Symposium (value £530)
  • Free attendance to occasional special seminars.

The Consortium membership is renewed on 1st August every year.

The Centre is one of the leading academic providers of professional, technology-based consultancy and support services.

Our main activities are short to medium term projects (one day to one year) undertaken at the University of Bath.

The work is usually carried out by the Centre's academic and research staff, but if appropriate, we can call upon expertise in other University departments as well.

The Centre serves a diverse range of industry clients in a wide range of areas: 

  • Machine system design, simulation and analysis
  • Control system design and analysis
  • Vehicle dynamics 
  • Structural dynamics 
  • Aircraft and automotive systems 
  • Wave power systems 
  • Hydraulic components and electric drives
  • General CFD and FE modelling.

Case studies

Our recent consultancy projects give a brief overview of our activities:

Contact us to enquire about ways we can work with you. We would be pleased to discuss your requirements.

University Information on Consultancy

PhD/MPhil research

The Centre for Power Transmission and Motion Control offers a wide range of PhD research opportunities in the fields of fluid power, motion control, machine dynamics and mechatronic systems.

Projects often link with industry and other research centres. This gives research students the opportunity to work on inter-disciplinary projects with strong industrial relevance. We are offering an exciting variety of PhD vacancies.


Fluid-borne noise

A prime source of noise in hydraulic systems is pump flow ripple, which produces fluid-borne noise or pressure ripple, resulting in vibration and air-borne noise.

The Centre is well known for its research in this area, which has led to the development of International Standards for the measurement of flow ripple. We have developed a methodology to measure the noise-related characteristics of a wide range of fluid power components.

We offer the following software packages for commercial use:

  • FBN for measurement of fluid-borne noise
  • Prasp Matlab/Simulink toolbox for modelling fluid borne noise.

Fluid circuit simulation

In the past, the Centre has also offered the interactive dynamic simulation package Bathfp. Although this software is still used internally for research and consultancy projects, it is not offered for sale anymore.

We recommend to use the commercial package LMS Imagine.Lab AMESim instead, which grew out of the development work for Bathfp.

Fluid circuit simulation

Dynamic simulation of multi-physics systems

Our expertise in the dynamic simulation of multi-physics systems has resulted in the development of a software package, DYSIM.

We are using this in-house for inverse dynamic modelling of multi-body systems for the synthesis of mechanisms, as well as for real-time control of complex mechanical systems. 

Dynamic simulation of multi-physics systems