• Mark Butcher

  • Theme:Propulsion Electrification
  • Project:High temperature superconducting dynamometer
  • Supervisor: Xiaoze Pei ,Chris Brace
  • Industry Partner: AVL
  • The Gorgon's Head - Bath University Logo
Photo of Mark Butcher


Mark is from the south coast of England. Growing up on the Isle of Wight, he went from a tranquil coastal island to a bustling city at the University of Brighton. Mark did his MEng in Automotive Engineering there, having been fascinated with automotive propulsion systems throughout his college education and doing bits on his own car. The natural progression of the course was to look into green technologies and sustainable propulsion, which handed itself perfectly to applying for the AAPS CDT to continue his journey after a few years in different industries.

The opportunity to take a year in the MRes to learn from the disciplines within the cohort and develop his research and presentation skills was a big part of his decision and he is excited to get a broader perspective on the transport industry than simply from a technical standpoint. Eventually, however, he will expand on his mechanical base knowledge to discover how superconductive wires with cryogenic cooling channels can reform a traditional electric motor to be more powerful and compact. This has implications in electrifying Heavy Duty transport where a standard motor cannot conform with the power and weight requirements.

It will be a big learning curve in a field he is quite unfamiliar with but he is enthusiastic to approach the topic and bring forward his knowledge of mechanical systems alongside this!


  • I can locate every country on a map and identify any national flag!
  • I love to cook, especially using whole foods and fresh spices. My mission is to continue travelling around the world to try authentic foods.
  • I love Portugal and one day I will be fluent in the language!
  • I bought a collection of original Pokemon gameboy games as a kid and still hold them all to this day :O
  • Harry Potter was my childhood. Best books I've ever read!

High Temperature superconducting dynamometer

Transport electrification plays a key role in achieving emission reduction targets. Dynamometers, as highly dynamic load systems, are critical for testing powertrains and electric motor. There are two common types of dynamometers: Wheel dynamometers are used at low speeds of 0-3000 rpm, but with a high torque of up to 3000 Nm, whilst E-motor dynamometers are used to test e-motors at high speeds, up to 25krpm. Traditionally, a machine that can run at 25krpm will require a rotor too small in diameter to be able to generate the torque required to be used in the wheel dynamometer application.
High temperature superconductors offer high current density and high efficiency, and could potentially be employed to enable the design of a dynamometer that is both a wheel dynamometer and an e-motor dynamometer. A high temperature superconducting dynamometer could also have the advantage of being a very low inertia machine, which would be useful for dynamic testing.

Mark's PhD project aims to explore the feasibility to design a high temperature superconducting dynamometer, capable of functioning as both a wheel and E-motor dynamometer. The project will investigate the feasibility of the rotor using high temperature superconductor. The project will focus on electromagnetic analysis and thermal analysis to evaluate its feasibility. The cooling mechanisms will also need to be considered. Mark's research has a strong application focus, and will involve experimental work to understand dynamometers and superconductor characteristics. This work will take place at the University of Bath Applied Superconductivity Laboratory, IAAPS Ltd. in Bristol, AVL in Graz (Austria), or a combination of these locations as appropriate.

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