Skip to content

Automotive Research Centre

The Automotive Research Centre builds on many years of University of Bradford engineering research expertise in mechanical engineering. The Centre brings together staff knowledge, expertise and experience over a broad range of mechanical and automotive engineering research areas with a focus on CO2 reduction in the road transport sector.

The Centre has a unique set of experimental facilities with associated instrumentation, hardware, and software for automotive engineering research including engines, powertrain, quality, qesign, modelling, simulation, and manufacturing. 

We apply our academic research to industry on a wide range of projects and training courses mainly associated with automotive engineering, systems, and manufacturing.

Find out more about automotive engineering history in Bradford.


A large engine in a lab at the University of Bradford

Research expertise

Commerical research projects funded by automotive companies over the last 30 years include commercial vehicle brake design, engine management, mapping and calibration, accelerator pedal design, design and manufacturing process improvement, statistical engineering, and vehicle design for safety.

Current projects include PhD research into brake squeal noise with Jaguar Land Rover and Liverpool and Cranfirld Universities, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with Merlin Diesel Systems, Watson Smith / Norgren, and BAE Systems, and a CASE PhD studentship with Jaguar Land Rover on engine emissions optimisation.

Research is firmly linked to sector imperatives and most activity takes place in collaboration with partners from an extensive network of automotive manufacturers (e.g. Ford, Jaguar, LandRover, Honda) and their supply chains (e.g. Ricardo, Visteon, Altair, Cummins). 

Our main research themes include engineering quality improvement, failure mode avoidance, brakes and braking systems. These are built upon established research strengths in Mechanical and Process engineering and are delivered by the following research groups and centres housed in the Automotive Research Centre:

  • Braking Research Centre
  • Bradford Engineering Quality Improvement Centre
  • Advanced Engineering Systems Optimisation
  • Hybrid Powertrain & Engineering Research Centre
  • Advanced Automotive Analytics Institute
  • Computing Enterprise Centre

Find out more about our research groups and centres

Professional development

Bradford Engineering Quality Improvement Centre (BEQIC) has developed learning interventions in Engineering Quality Improvement directed at technical and professional staff with responsibilities in specification, design, planning, product development, and new product launch activities.  The interventions supports the application of knowledge in the workplace and relate to complex consumer goods developed in volume.

The EQI learning is tailored to be accessed in a number of ways ranging from a one-off short course to an integrated package of short courses along with a formally assessed work-based project leading to the award of a Post Graduate Certificate in Process Improvement.

The BEQIC short courses support the product creation process with avoidance of failure modes in design by guiding engineering professionals through ways of doing their jobs better using ingenuity and innovation of thought.

Our standard courses are workshop based so participants can gain sufficient skills to immediately apply the knowledge they have gained.  In addition to standard courses, BEQIC can deliver courses in-company where the demand exists. The course content can also be customised to a particular company's needs.

The work-based project leading to the award of the Post Graduate Certificate in Process Improvement is based on the application of knowledge gained from the short courses. The academic credits associated with the Post Graduate Certificate can be used as a part of a course of further learning related to any UK university leading to the award of an MSc. BEQIC can offer such a course of learning through a work-based research project.  Our standard courses include:

  • Braking of Road Vehicles
  • Failure Mode Avoidance

Find out more about our professional development courses

engine being tested in mechanical engineering

Research facilities

Bradford Engineering Quality Improvement Centre

The Bradford Engineering Quality Improvement Centre (BEQIC) has a dedicated suite of seminar, breakout, and study rooms within the School of Engineering.  This facility provides a good learning environment for Company offsite learning and development. We also provide in-house learning and development in the form of bespoke and/or 'off-the-shelf' short courses.  Find out more about the BEQIC

Hybrid Powertrain & Engineering Research Centre

The Hybrid & Powertrain Engineering Research Centre (HyPER-C) provides state-of-the-art experimental and simulation facilities in a laboratory with two computer controlled regenerative dynamometers, one of which is unique (in the UK) being for large engines up to 500kW. Find out more about the HyPER-C

Advanced Automotive Analytics Institute

The AAA Institute provides a unique set of world class computational and analytics facilities with associated hardware and software for automotive analytics research including powertrain, quality, design, modelling, and simulation. Find out more about the AAA Institute

Braking Research Laboratory

The Braking Research Laboratory which houses bespoke test rigs for NVH, thermal and friction testing including:

  • brake noise test rigs - Several noise rigs ranging from 2.5kW up to 45kW.  The test rigs are capable of housing disc and caliper assemblies and also full suspension knuckle/upright assemblies.
  • friction testing - Heavy duty scale friction test rig with a capacity of 5W/mm2
  • brake judder test rigs - Capacity ranging from 45kW to 90kW with disc and caliper or quarter suspension. 
  • analysis - A range of analysis techniques are used including modal analysis, FEA, multibody dynamics modelling and custom built software for noise prediction. 

Holographic interferometry

This fundamental investigative procedure is a whole body visual technique making use of a double-pulsed laser that allows two time related holographic images to be overlaid in a precise manner such that the two combined images provide a visual high resolution representation of the modes of vibration of a noisy brake and its associated parts. 

This technique has allowed predictive models to be developed to aid in the elimination of such noises. Noise elimination can achieved through a range of measures which are dependent on the exact squeal frequency and geometry of the brake components. The research group is currently investigating a robust design to eliminate brake squeal completely.

Find out more about the Braking Research Centre

SAFI - Statistical Analysis For Industry

The here>> Consortium Partners (Airbus, Renault, PSA, Valeo, IAV and the University of Bradford) have set out to create an innovative programme of learning to develop the knowledge and skills for the mastery of statistical and data-driven approaches to empower efficient engineering methodologies required for designing current and future generations of complex systems.

Meet the team

Automotive Research Centre
Ford Suite
Chesham Building
University of Bradford
Richmond Road

Professor Felician Campean
Automotive Research Centre Director
Tel: +44(0)1274 234569