An Intuitive Drift Assist Control System for the Average Human Driver PhD

Cranfield University

A fully funded PhD studentship in the area of Control of Vehicle Dynamics funded by Rimac Technology is now open in the Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre. The funding covers fees (home or international) and stipend.

Vehicle powertrain topologies with multiple electric machines allowing for individual wheel torque control has enabled the development of advanced vehicle dynamics control systems to enhance the safety and fun-to-drive characteristics of modern vehicles. Features such as Torque Vectoring and Drift Assist aim at enhancing the vehicle’s performance and allowing the driver to operate the vehicle near the limit of handling or even in extreme, post-limit conditions of high sideslip angle cornering. Apart from the attractive fun-to-drive feature offering for high-end performance vehicles, research on limit and post-limit handling control systems advances our understanding of vehicle dynamics control in emergency situations. Furthermore, post-limit control systems can facilitate the acceptance of ADAS and driverless technologies from the broader public by demonstrating safe operation of the vehicle in vehicle dynamics regimes, which are challenging and non-intuitive for the average human driver.

The project aims at developing control algorithms for the on-demand stabilisation of the vehicle in extreme sideslip cornering conditions with an intuitive interface for the interaction with the average human driver. The control algorithms will need to account for the complex nonlinear vehicle dynamics in extreme operating conditions and satisfy robustness and real time applicability requirements. These algorithms will be implemented and validated through a project platform provided by Rimac Technology.

At a glance

  • Application deadline26 Jul 2023
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start date25 Sep 2023
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of World
  • Reference numberSATM376

Entry requirements

Applicants should have either a UK or UK-equivalent first or second-class honours degree in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, control engineering, or a relevant area. An MSc degree and/or experience in vehicle dynamics, control theory, optimal and model predictive control will be an advantage.

This opportunity is open to UK and international students.


A fully funded PhD studentship for three years will be available for both UK and non-UK candidates.

About the sponsor
Sponsored by Rimac Technology
Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network.  This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

For further information please contact:

Name: Efstathios Velenis

Email: [email protected]

If you are eligible to apply for this studentship, please complete the online application form.

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