Department of Mechanical Engineering

Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre

Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre The Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre (PVRC) conducts internationally prize-winning research, focusing on improving the efficiency and emissions of both diesel and petrol engines.

We conduct research that is systems-based on all aspects of automotive powertrain engineering.

Our research represents four decades of achievement and extensive engagement with the automotive industry.

Contact us

General query:

Director: Professor Gary Hawley
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386855

Deputy Director: Professor Chris Brace
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 386731
Fax: +44(0) 1225 386928

 We have made a significant contribution to the continued development of low and ultra-low carbon vehicles, reducing their CO2 signature and thereby enhancing fuel economy. We have played an important role in the vital task of making a cleaner environment.

Research areas



Further details

The Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre's research is developed and embedded into business as highlighted in our case studies below.

Our success has come from a real exchange of staff, industry personnel based at Bath, and colleagues here seconded to companies.

PVRC research at the University of Bath: second generation hybrid system to reduce CO2 emissions

Second generation hybrid system design for reduced carbon dioxide



PVRC research at the University of Bath: Energy improvements in generating sets

Efficiency improvements in generating sets



PVRC research at the University of Bath: CO2 measurement accuracy and precision

Reducing CO2 in cars through precision measurements



PVRC Research at the University of Bath: air charge management

Air charge management - Turbo centre



The industry-standard research facilities operated within the Powertrain Vehicle Research Centre have been designed with flexibility in mind to meet the needs of the automotive industry.

We work to ensure the highest confidence in our results, enabling us to deliver excellent value to our clients.

Facility Overview
Centre for Low Emission Vehicle Research (CLEVeR) Our recently upgraded, state-of-the-art chassis dynamometer forms the hub of our vehicle research activities
Dynamic engine research cell (1) Flexible AC dynamometer facility for engine testing over realistic cycles.
Dynamic engine research cell (2) Data acquisition and control using CP Engineering Cadet V14 software allowing complex test scheduling.
Dynamic engine research cell (3) 16 high speed (crank synchronous) channels for fast emissions or combustion analysis.
InterSyn advanced transmission research facility A flexible transmission test facility built to match customer requirements.
Emissions measurement facility A centralised emission measurement facility houses a Horiba MEXA-7000 Series and the gas conditioning unit.
Control, simulation and rapid prototyping Developed for dynamic simulation of fluid power systems and extended to include many automotive features.

Work with us

The Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre is available for work ranging from short one-day test programmes to custom-designed research programmes lasting many months.

The facility has been designed with flexibility in mind and is suitable for transmission testing and research across all industries and sectors.

Quality-centred approach

Our emphasis is on quality. From the initial experimental design to the execution of tests and the analysis of results, we work to ensure the highest confidence in our results, enabling us to deliver excellent value to our clients.

We have extensive experience of work with industry and we are well-aware of customer’s needs as well as confidentiality and timeliness of delivery. An example of our long-standing partnership with industry is Ford, who have sponsored contract research with us for the last 24 years.

There are numerous ways in which we can work with you. From knowledge of your needs and potential outcomes we can ensure that our capability and your expectations are in harmony from the outset.

Research and Development

  • Contract-funded research
  • Provision of technical advice
  • Design and construction of experimental apparatus
  • Development of mathematical models and simulations
  • Preparation of expert critical literature reviews
  • Writing technical reports
  • Technical and environmental assessment of alternative technologies

We are also interested in ‘working in partnership’ to exploit Government, Research Council and European funding and we would be glad to discuss such requirements with you.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)  and consultancy

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) bring together the PVRC and industry, working together on a development project that is strategically important to the company's future. The Centre engages in KTP projects such as:

  • Ashwoods Automotive - Second generation hybrid ystem design for reduced carbon dioxide
  • Cummins Power Generation - Efficiency improvements in generating sets
  • Ford Motor Company - Carbon dioxide measurement accuracy and precision
  • Turbo Centre, Ford, JLR, Cummings Turbo Technlogies Ltd. - Air change management.

Our staff are also able to offer consultancy services.

For more information, please contact the University of Bath's Research and Innovation Services.

PVRC team 2015

Academic staff

Post Doctorate Research Associates/Fellows

  • Dr Ed Chappell
  • Dr Tomasz Duda
  • Dr Kesavan Gopalan
  • Dr Ian Kennedy
  • Dr Andy Lewis
  • Dr Misan Madamedon
  • Dr Umud Ozturk
  • Dr Simon Pickering
  • Dr Giovanni Vorraro
  • Dr Robert Wragge-Morley
  • Dr Yang Zhang
  • Dr Sipeng Zhu

Researchers (Experimental Officers, Research Assistants)

  • Mr Josh Ashby
  • Mr Allan Cox
  • Mr Davide Di Blasio
  • Mr Karl Giles
  • Mr Pratoy Mitra
  • Mr Simon Orchard
  • Mr Matthew Turner
  • Mr Ramkumar Vijayakumar

Visiting staff

  • Professor Brian Cumming 
  • Mr Dave Ketcher (Senior Research Fellow)
  • Professor Alec Parker (RAE Visiting Professor)
  • Dr Hasan Ali (Research Collaboration)

Affiliated staff


  • Mr James Burge
  • Mr Jim Cansell
  • Mr Craig Bayliss
  • Mr Bob Gusthart
  • Mr Tom Holley
  • Mr Colin Cooper

Management support

Research students

  • Ashwini Agarwal
  • Amyce Aurora-Smith
  • Franco Bota
  • Eric Fong Cisneros
  • Joseph Donnelly
  • Yuxiang (Felix) Feng
  • Karl Giles
  • Yang Liu
  • Zheng Liu
  • Pengfei Lu
  • Bingxing Luo
  • Darren Millwood
  • Dominic Parsons
  • Boyang Peng
  • Kate Powers
  • Stefan Tuechler
  • Hannah Willmott


Within the University of Bath




Current Vacancies

PVRC's 50-strong professional research team operates state-of-the-art testing facilities. We welcome application from specialists in the following areas:

  • Internal combustion engines
  • Air path systems
  • Transmission systems
  • Electrification
  • Alternative fuels
  • Energy storage (electrical/mechanical/hydraulic/thermal)
  • Fuel cells (PEM or SOFC)
  • Powertrain control systems

Available posts:


 Interested in joining us? Send your CV to