• 4 EAST 2.48

Accepting PhD Students

1986 …2019
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests


Nigel Johnston is a Reader in Mechanical Engineering. He specialises in the areas of fluid-borne noise measurement and reduction in hydraulic fluid power systems, active noise control, numerical modelling of hydraulic components, unsteady turbulent flow, pipeline and hose dynamics.

Nigel Johnston studied the measurement and prediction of pressure ripple in hydraulic systems for his PhD. This work has since been used as the basis for an ISO Standard for the measurement of pump pressure ripple characteristics. He was appointed Lecturer in 1990 and Senior Lecturer in 2003.

He has supervised 18 PhD students to completion.

He regularly teaches on industrial fluid power courses in the UK, Europe and USA. He is Organiser and joint Editor for the Bath/ASME International Fluid Power and Motion Control Symposium.


Nigel Johnston has over 30 years’ experience in hydraulic fluid power research and teaching. He obtained his PhD for research into fluid-borne noise characteristics of hydraulic systems. This work has since been used as the basis for an ISO Standard for the measurement of pump pressure ripple characteristics.

He has also been involved in research into: active noise control, cavitation, numerical modelling of fluid power components, unsteady turbulent flow, pipeline and hose dynamics, pump condition monitoring, vehicle steering dynamics and aircraft fuel systems. He has published about 100 refereed journal and conference papers and has collaborated with several companies including Delphi Steering Systems, General Motors, Airbus, John Deere, Sun Hydraulics, Parker Hannifin and BMW.

He recently led a large research project looking into efficient fluid power systems, funded by EPSRC with industrial collaboration. In most hydraulic fluid power systems, valves are used to throttle the flow and reduce the hydraulic pressure. This is a simple but extremely inefficient method as the excess energy is lost as heat, and it is common for more than 50% of the input power to be wasted in this way. Novel methods are being investigated for increasing the efficiency of hydraulic systems whilst maintaining performance, cost-effectiveness, reliability and low noise. The potential for improvement is huge. Reducing power consumption will contribute to the UK Government's commitment to cutting carbon dioxide emissions. However there are significant challenges.

Willing to supervise PhD

Interested in supervising students studying;

  • Efficient fluid power systems, including digital switching valves
  • Aircraft and automotive hydraulic systems
  • Fluid-borne noise in hydraulic systems: measurement, analysis, active control
  • Hydraulic component and system dynamic modelling
  • Unsteady laminar and turbulent flow in pipes and hoses

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Bath

Bachelor of Science, University of Bath

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Nigel Johnston is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
Hydraulics Engineering & Materials Science
Pumps Engineering & Materials Science
Fluids Engineering & Materials Science
Flow rate Engineering & Materials Science
Pipelines Engineering & Materials Science
hoses Physics & Astronomy
hydraulics Physics & Astronomy
Motion control Engineering & Materials Science

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2004 2018

Predictability bounded control of the Mocean WEC

Hillis, A., Johnston, N., Plummer, A. & Sell, N.

Wave Energy Scotland


Project: Central government, health and local authorities

KTP with Moulton Bicycle Company Limited

Darling, J., Hicks, B. J., Johnston, N. & Nassehi, A.

Innovate UK


Project: Central government, health and local authorities

Research Output 1986 2019

19 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Acoustic wave velocity
Frequency standards
Pressure transducers
37 Downloads (Pure)

An electro-hydrostatic actuator for hybrid active-passive vibration isolation

Henderson, J-P., Plummer, A. & Johnston, N., 1 May 2018, In : International Journal of Hydromechatronics. 1, 1, p. 47-71

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Gear pumps
Brushless DC motors

Comparison of methods for measuring pump flow ripple and impedance

Bramley, C. & Johnston, D., 17 Oct 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Networks (circuits)

Linear PID control design

Du, C., Johnston, N., Manring, N. D., Plummer, A., Semini, C., Yang, M. & Yu, T., 1 Jan 2017, Nonlinear Control Techniques for Electro-Hydraulic Actuators in Robotics Engineering. Guo, Q. & Jiang, D. (eds.). U. S. A.: CRC Press, p. 17-44 28 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Three term control systems
System stability
15 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Motion Control
Motion control
Energy Efficient
Performance Analysis


Active control of fluid-borne noise

Author: Wang, L., 1 Dec 2008

Supervisor: Johnston, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Active Control of Pressure Pulsation in a Switched Inertance Hydraulic System

Author: Pan, M., 30 Apr 2012

Supervisor: Johnston, D. (Supervisor) & Hillis, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Active Valve & Pump Technology: Modelling and Control of Variable-Speed Trim Transfer Pump in Aircraft Fuel Systems

Author: Boyd, L., 1 Sep 2008

Supervisor: Edge, K. (Supervisor), Tilley, D. (Supervisor) & Johnston, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Control of a Fast Switching Valve for Digital Hydraulics

Author: Sell, N., 8 Jun 2015

Supervisor: Johnston, D. (Supervisor), Plummer, A. (Supervisor) & Hillis, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Fuel Pump Motor-Drive Systems for More Electric Aircraft

Author: Skawinski, G., 1 Aug 2010

Supervisor: Robinson, F. (Supervisor), Tilley, D. (Supervisor) & Johnston, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD