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Research interests


Dr Richard Burke is a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering specialising in Automotive Propulsions Systems.  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 thesisInvestigating Interactions between Engine Thermal, Lubrication and Control Systems during Engine Warm-Up.


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.


Willing to supervise doctoral students

PhD supervision

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • 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

Students wishing to undertake a PhD in Automotive Propulsions Systems with strong trans-disciplinary collaboration or wishing to engage with international academicor industrial parthers through their studies are encouraged to get in touch.

Education/Academic qualification

Mechanical Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy

Award Date: 4 Nov 2011

Mechanical Engineering, Master of Engineering

Award Date: 1 Jul 2008

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Research Output

3D CFD optimisation of T-piece junction in engine inlet air path

Liu, Y., Hopf, A. & Burke, R., 11 Jun 2020, (Acceptance date) Memorial Book for Prof Roland Baar.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

A Lumped Parameter Thermal Model for Single Sided AFPM Machines with Experimental Validation

Burke, R., Giedymin, A., Wu, Z., Chuan, H., Bourne, N. & Hawley, G., 28 May 2020, In : IEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification. p. 1-1 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
13 Downloads (Pure)

A novel air and EGR emulation facility for the optimisation of the powertrain architecture

Orchard, S., Ozturk, U., Evans, N., Duda, T., Chappell, E. & Burke, R., 1 Jan 2020, ASME 2019 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference, ICEF 2019. U. S. A.: American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 8 p. ICEF2019-7166, V001T05A003. (ASME 2019 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference, ICEF 2019).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Dimensionless Quantification of Small Radial Turbine Transient Performance

Deng, Q., Pennycott, A., Zhang, N., Avola, C., Pohorelsky, L. & Burke, R., 8 Aug 2020, In : Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
6 Downloads (Pure)


Investigation into the Interactions between thermal management, lubrication and control systems of a diesel engine

Author: Burke, R., 1 Sep 2011

Supervisor: Hawley, J. (Supervisor) & Brace, C. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD