Centre for Doctoral Training

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training for Sustainable Electric Propulsion (CDT SEP)

CDT logo

CDT SEP aims to create a new school of thinking amongst engineers and scientists, capable of leading the transformation from fossil fuel transport to sustainable and environmentally-friendly electric transport.  

The CDT is a collaboration between Newcastle University and The University of Nottingham who are supported by over 30 industrial and network partners to deliver high-quality research and comprehensive training.

CDT SEP aims to create a new school of thinking amongst engineers and scientists, capable of leading the transformation from fossil fuel transport to sustainable and environmentally-friendly electric transport.

The Centre currently has 3 cohorts progressing through the stages of their PhD journey.  The disciplines that CDT SEP covers are diverse and include electrical and mechanical engineering, physics, manufacturing, big data, and materials.

Recruitment for cohort 4 is now underway and interested applicants should visit How to apply | Sustainable Electric Propulsion CDT | Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk) for further details.

CDT SEP is always interested to hear from industrial sponsors and network partners who would like to join the Centre.  If a company or a network association would like to get involved please contact Amanda Lane, CDT Manager via email amanda.lane@newcastle.ac.uk.

Technological Challenges

Electric propulsion requires the tight integration of power electronics with electric motors. To make such electric drives commercially viable, their cost must be halved and their size and weight reduced by up to 500%. Through PhD research and industrial partnership, we aim to develop radical new solutions to:

  • cut the cost of electric propulsion by 50%
  • increase power density by 500%

Highlights of the training programme include:

  • Fusion-Training-Units – a revolutionary new training method combining technical knowledge with professional skills
  • Supervisor-on-Demand scheme – students will get support from their main academic and industrial supervisor and also from a pool of experts throughout training and research
  • A large choice of taught modules and laboratories – subjects in engineering, science, business tailored to students’ needs.


Students will spend the first semester in Newcastle and the second semester in Nottingham. After the second semester students will either be placed at one university and/or at the industrial partner’s site depending on the project.

The CDT student community will stay in touch with each other through regular workshops that will run across the country. In addition the Fusion-Training-Unit will provide remote cohort-based training.

Students will meet regularly with the team for their supervision meetings. Meetings will alternate between the place where the company is based and at Newcastle or Nottingham.

Industry engagement

The CDT is based on strong industry support and will immerse the candidates in a programme of bespoke training, together with a joint industry-university research project, please use the email address on our Contact page.

PhD Studentships

We are looking for students with a background in any area of engineering or science. You will have a minimum qualification of a 2:1 Bachelors degree. Each student will be assigned to one of our industrial partners and will register with either Newcastle University or the University of Nottingham.

Further information

For further information about the CDT and how to apply follow the link below: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/electric-propulsion/