Research course

Engineering and design

University of Sussex · School of Engineering and Design

Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in an engineering discipline or physics. Applicants from other backgrounds may be considered if they have suitable qualifications or work experience. For more information see:

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

  • PhD in Engineering
  • MPhil in Engineering

Research students studying for MPhil or PhD courses are associated with one or more research groups in the Department of Engineering and Design.


The Department is engaged in a wide range of highly rated research and we can supervise research students in all areas in which our faculty specialise. Research students are assigned two supervisors for the duration of their studies. They meet their major supervisor regularly on an informal basis and for a documented review meeting every month. A formal review of progress is conducted each year.

Research skills development

Students admitted to research courses also take a Research Skills Development module in their first two terms, which is specifically designed for the School of Engineering and Informatics.


All research students are assigned a computer and allocated space in shared offices. They also have full access to their research group’s specialist facilities and laboratories.

Recent thesis titles

Adaptive object segmentation and tracking

An experimental study of windage due to rotating and static bolts in an enclosed rotor-stator system

Applications of the electric potential sensor for healthcare and assistive technologies

Behaviour of elastohydrodynamic films subjected to oscillatory motion

Design of gas turbine axial compressors for fuel flexibility

Economically stable public security and emergency network exploiting a broadband communications satellite

High-resolution electric field imaging using ultralow capacitance probes

Investigation into non-linear dynamics of rotorfloating ring-bearing systems in automotive turbochargers

Investigations of advanced injection and combustion strategies on DI diesel engine performance and emissions

Optimal control of a flywheel-based automotive kinetic energy recovery system

Pattern recognition employing spatially variant unconstrained correlation filters

Neurofuzzy controller-based full vehicle nonlinear active suspension systems

Numerical simulations of rotating stall in axial flow compressors

Side information exploitation, quality control and low complexity implementation for distributed video coding

Structural uncertainty identification using mode shape information

Research and professional/industry links

The Department fosters strong links with industry, both to support collaborative research and to provide routes to knowledge transfer and commercialisation of the outcomes of its research.

The activities in mechanical and automotive engineering are supported by the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, GE Aviation and SKF. Members of faculty are also active in UK and European research and industry networks such as the European Turbine Network and Rail Research UK.

In the electrical and electronic engineering area, there are notable examples of successful commercialisation such as the award-winning electric potential sensors (EPS) that are being manufactured by Plessey Semiconductors as the EPIC sensor chip; and a University spin-out company, TexRAD, which has developed software for the analysis of medical images and has demonstrated the ability to detect brain texture anomalies in Asperger’s syndrome patients.

Many of the research activities are, by their nature, interdisciplinary, and groups collaborate with a wide range of other researchers both within the University and globally. We are active contributors to the University’s strategic research themes including those that address environment, health and safety, and security.

The Department has close links with the professional engineering institutions. A number of our staff are Fellows of theInstitution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Royal Academy of Engineering, or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Many are also local branch members and the University regularly hosts talks and events of interest to staff, students and local businesses.

Department specialisms

For further information, visit the webpage below.

Information for international students

See link for international students' entry requirements:

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study and offers one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university. For full details of our scholarships please

Qualification and course duration


full time
24-48 months
part time
36-72 months


full time
12-36 months
part time
24-48 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 678367