• Matthew Smith

  • Theme:Chemical Energy Converters
  • Project:Advanced Air Supply and Energy Recovery Systems for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
  • Supervisor: Tom Fletcher ,Richard Burke
  • Industry Partner: Cummins Turbo Technologies
  • The Gorgon's Head - Bath University Logo
Photo of Matt Smith


Matthew recently received a Distinction in MSc Automotive Engineering from Coventry University after graduating with a First Class Honours in BEng Aerospace Technology in 2020. He has a devotion to his industrial and academic career, with experience in teaching assistance as a Student Proctor whilst studying at Coventry University, drawing on knowledge gained from a 1-year design internship in the automotive industry. He is particularly enthusiastic about the physical, mechanical, and thermal areas of automotive engineering, such as aerodynamics and propulsion.

In the fourth year of his bachelor's degree, his final project and supporting dissertation titled 'Parameterisation of a Glider Empennage' involved the use of CAD and MATLAB scripting to create a tool which creates aircraft tail designs using a set of input criteria, provided by the user of the tool. The following year, he finalised his master's degree in automotive engineering by revisiting aerodynamics in a project titled 'An Investigation into the Aerodynamic Characteristics of Bluff Bodies in a Vehicle Platoon', which provided numerical and experimental data on the effects of vehicle geometry on the aerodynamic performance of vehicles in close proximity. During his PhD, Matthew will apply his knowledge and experience of fluid dynamics, automotive design, and thermodynamics to the Chemical Energy Converters research theme at AAPS, whilst taking opportunities to revisit his passion for teaching.


  • I used to do lots of sailing, racing small sailboats at various inland and sea venues around the UK in National and World Championships.
  • I love cooking and trying different cuisines.
  • Music is an essential part of every day and I love almost all genres: rock, metal, alternative, hip-hop funk and soul, electronic...
  • I love learning the subjects I didn't do at school via YouTube, books, etc., such as psychology, music, and geography.

Advanced Air Supply and Energy Recovery Systems for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Hydrogen fuel cells are a vehicle power source with several advantages compared to the fossil- fueled incumbents. Fuel cells emit no harmful emissions, producing only electricity and water from hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air. The electricity generated is used to power electric motors, similar to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), but the use of a consumable fuel instead of batteries alone negates the need for time-costly recharging. Hydrogen fuel can also be produced in a ‘green’ manner, such as by solar-powered electrolysis, which is more environmentally sustainable than fossil fuel use. This combination of benefits make hydrogen fuel cells a pivotal technology for the reduction of carbon emissions in the transport sector.

To feed the chemical reaction in the cell, oxygen is provided to the cathode from the ambient air, but must be compressed and managed in various ways to maximise performance and efficiency. The aim of Matt's PhD project is to optimise these air handling systems for hydrogen fuel cells

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