• Prof Richard Burke

  • Job Title:Co-Director for AAPS

Other key roles

Automotive Teaching Theme Lead

Research Interests

  • Powertrain design and control optimisation
  • Thermal evaluation and modelling of powertrain components
  • Evaluation of powertrain behaviour in stochastic operating conditions
  • Dynamic characterisation and experimental techniques


Dr Richard Burke is Professor of Sustainable Automotive Propulsion. He was appointed Prize Fellow in Automotive Powertrain Systems in 2012 and is focused on the characterisation of these systems under dynamic operating conditions.

He has strong links with industrial and academic organisations throughout Europe and is a track chair of the ASME Internal Combustion Division for Powertrain Testing and Control.

Richard was appointed Knowledge Transfer Fellow - Developing Robust Methods for Turbocharger/Engine Matching and Design, in 2011/12.

Between 2008 and 2011, Richard developed his PhD thesis Investigating Interactions between Engine Thermal, Lubrication and Control Systems during Engine Warm-Up.


  • I have published research with my wife
  • I can speak French and some German
  • I am a bit of a Trainspotter

What does being Co-Director for AAPS mean for Richard?

I have a great deal of pride to have the privilege of leading such an exciting activity to shape the shift in automotive research at a pivotal moment for the industry. I am fascinated and excited by the discussions and work that the diverse CDT students are having. I also recognise and feel the huge responsibility I have to these students to create an environment that allows them to become the best they can be. Each student who joins the CDT has put their trust in me and I need to deliver for them.

Key research projects

Research interest

Richard's research is focussed on the characterisation of powertrain systems under dynamic conditions which are a closer representation of real world usage. His research spans mechanical and electrical components that form the basis of future powertrains as well as the human interactions with the system.

The main aims are the optimisation of efficiency and performance through the physical understanding of a wide range of components and the interactions that occur when coupled together as system.

His research interests include the use of fundamental heat transfer, fluid dynamics, combustion and control combined with advanced data analysis techniques.

Richard oversees experimental research projects on a range of powertrain testing facilities (engine and e-machine dynamometers, vehicle dynamometers, hot flow gas stands, Hardware in the Loop facilities and on-road evaluation. He develops new techniques to transient experimentation and measurement on these facilities to promote realism and accuracy. The work is supported by simulation research, primerily in 1D modelling environments.

Career/Research highlights and achievements

  • Proposed new Multivariate statistical techniques for analysing large batch datasets
  • Created new simulation models providing insights into transient thermal behaviour of propulsion system components (turbomachinery, electric motors, engines)
  • Initiated the Bath/Valencia collaboration
  • Best Paper ASME Internal Combustion Division 2016

Key publications

  • Burke, RD 2016, 'A numerical study of the benefits of electrically assisted boosting systems' Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power: Transactions of the ASME, vol 138, no. 9, 092808. DOI: 10.1115/1.4032764
  • Burke, RD, Burke, KA, Chappell, EC, Gee, M & Williams, R 2018, 'A novel use of multivariate statistics to diagnose test-to-test variation in complex measurement systems', Measurement, vol. 130, pp. 467-481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2018.07.059
  • Burke, R, Giedymin, A, Wu, Z, Chuan, H, Bourne, N & Hawley, G 2020, 'A Lumped Parameter Thermal Model for Single Sided AFPM Machines with Experimental Validation', IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification, pp. 1-1. https://doi.org/10.1109/TTE.2020.2998110
  • Burke, RD 2014, 'Analysis and modeling of the transient thermal behavior of automotive turbochargers' Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power: Transactions of the ASME, vol 136, no. 10, GTP-14-1108. DOI: 10.1115/1.4027290

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