Our Programme

This innovative programme will deliver the skills required to meet the future demands of the automotive and aerospace sectors. Our PhD candidates will develop the all-round expertise needed by engineering experts and future leaders to build and manufacture electric propulsion.

A bespoke cohort model

The cohort model will engage a tight-knit learning and research community of students over the entire length of the programme. It will generate new bespoke course material to support group activities. Guided independent learning will use digital communication and peer-assessment activities.

Enhancing the student experience


We will provide the best research and teaching platform to maximise the CDT's output and student experience. Newcastle and Nottingham Universities will deliver the training modules. Both universities have bespoke teaching facilities and world-class research facilities. In addition, industrial partners will provide their development and manufacturing facilities.

The CDT has the support of over 20 industrial partners and seven network partners, all contributing to cohort-based research and teaching.


As a future propulsion engineer, you will need an understanding of non-traditional engineering subjects such as business thinking, use of big data, and ethical impact.

You will acquire skills not limited to engineering, including subjects such as:

  • environmental impact: recyclability
  • societal interactions: the impact on communities
  • business: life-cycle-cost analysis

Year One

  • Semester One - Training at Newcastle University and thesis research
  • Semester Two - Training at University of Nottingham and thesis research
  • Semester Three - Thesis research at Newcastle University, University of Nottingham or industrial partner

Typical subjects may include: power electronics, electric drives, control, mechatronics, materials, big data, manufacturing, entrepreneurial business, management. Other taught activities are available and selection will be tailored towards students need.

Years Two - Four

  • Research and Training whilst undertaking the PhD with either Newcastle University or University of Nottingham

Research Project

Research takes place at the location where the industrial partners are based and/or at Newcastle University or the University of Nottingham. The final three years of the CDT will be made up of a mix of:

  • Thesis research
  • Interactive training fusing technical training with transferable skills
  • Workshops, conferences, seminars, vitae research development

You will work with one industrial partner on industrial-need research. Consequently, all CDT students will actively play a vital role in the development of key products of our industrial partners.

Research topics will vary but the overall goal is to develop the techniques needed to make power electronics and electric propulsion smaller, lighter, environmental friendly, sustainable and low-cost. This can be achieved by a combination of new research in semiconductors, packaging, passive components, converter topologies, manufacturing techniques, thermal management, materials, control methods etc.

The final project will be discussed with you, the sponsoring company and the CDT management prior the start of the CDT.


We will monitor progress and work throughout the programme to ensure full graduate employment in power electronics related sectors. We will provide our CDT students with:

  • career counselling through one-to-one meetings with academic and industrial supervisors
  • help in finding opportunities, with an emphasis of fairness of opportunity.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will be at the heart of this CDT, and we will take specific measures in all its processes and elements. We will ensure flexibility in all activities so that students with caring and family responsibilities can fully participate in the programme.

Responsible research

Our processes will ensure responsible research, whilst maintaining an ambitious agenda of innovative solutions within power electronics. All our PhD candidates will participate in ongoing training in Responsible Innovation (RI). This will provide them with an ethical framework to develop their research careers in line with societal needs.