School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Nick Baker

Senior Lecturer

Background

Background

I am a Senior Lecturer within the Electrical Power research group of the School of Engineering, specialising in electrical machine design for unusual and emerging technologies. I have several industrially and publicly funded projects on electrical machine design, including modelling, fabrication and testing in the lab. Applications range from marine renewable energy, automotive to aerospace. The majority of research has been in permanent magnet machines, but also focus on low or no rare earth topologies in line with the present trend for cost reduction in many applications. My role varies from PhD supervisor, Principal Investigator or Electro mechanical modeller. I have quite a lot of experience and projects in the development of linear machines.

I joined Newcastle University as an RA in January 2011 to work on novel topology traction motors for electric vehicles,  became a member of academic staff in June 2012 and a Senior Lecturer in 2017.

I lecture in the area of Electrical Machines and Renewable Energy. Teaching responsibilities include General Electrical Machines,  Power/Grid Systems and Design of Machines and Drives. Other responsibilities include supervision of undergraduate and MSc projects, tutor for the E3 academy and involvement with student recruitment and general engagement.

I obtained a PhD in electrical machine design for marine renewable energy devices from Durham University in 2003(http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/696/) .

For 18 months I designed and built a 30kW low speed linear generator and test rig for the National Renewable Energy Centre - NaREC.

In 2005, I joined Lancaster University Renewable Energy Group as an Engineering lecturer for 3.5 years. Research interests here included power take off for wave energy, low head hydro electric power and development of linear generators. After securing research grants to fund 3 PhD students, I moved to Newcastle based energy consultancy TNEI in 2008. 

During my 2.5 years with TNEI, I was involved in several modelling aspects of wind farm development, including loss minimisation, grid connection and power flow, microwave interference, flicker, resource and noise prediction.

Qualifications

MEng(hons) in Mechanical Engineering
PhD (Durham)

Previous Positions

Senior Technical consultant (TNEI)
Lecturer (Lancaster University)
RA (Durham University)

Memberships

MIET CEng

STEM activities

I am really keen on getting more young people interested in Electrical Engineering, and try and get out to local schools at least twice a year. This is mostly via STEMNET but feel free to get in touch directly. I have run a workshop called 'build your own motor' to kids aged 8-13 at local schools, the MakerFaire and at the University.

Informal Interests

Cycling, swimming in lakes and playing with my three kids. I tend to do the Great North Run and/or Great North Swim every year, and presently own a rusty 1968 Triumph Vitesse and a weedy allotment. Some pictures available https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/nickbaker/ 



Research

Nick is a member of the Electrical Power research group.

google scholar profile linked in profile

News available here https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/nickbaker/ 

Since 2012 I have won around £1,500,000 of project funding (June 2017) and lead a small team of 7 PhD students and 4 RAs, plus am second supervisor on a further 3 PhD projects. I was included as part of the School’s 2013 ref submission and GoogleScholar gives my H index as 12

Within my research group, I am the theme leader for electrical machines research and renewable energy and sit on the School Energy group. I have worked on proposals with academics within MaST and Chemical Engineering, as well as within my own school. Many of my PhD students are in renewable energy, with second supervisors in the SWAN institute and Marine Science and Technology.  

In total I have authored/co-authored 12 journal and 60 conference articles - the majority of which are listed on the publications tab above. 

 Research Interests

My formal research interest is on electromagnetic design of novel topology electrical machines. I have worked on generators for aerospace, renewable energy, free piston engines and electric vehicles. Most of the machines I have worked on have used permanent magnets, either transverse flux machines or 2D flux topologies. I have a lot of experience on developing linear generators, including my own PhD and supervising 4 PhDs in this area.

I have a more general interest in engineering for sustainability and have previously published on and taught eco-design.

Other Expertise

Development of generators for slow speed renewable energy applications.

Using Soft Magnetic Composite to design 3 dimensional flux machines.

Linear electrical machines 

Grid integration of renewable energy.

Power systems analysis.

Numberical modelling and optimisation.

Current Work

I am currently working on a number of industrially and publically funded projects:

  • Soft Magnetic Composite to develop and build high torque electrical machines with inherent 3D flux patterns.
  • Aerospace alternator design
  • In wheel traction motor for electric vehicles. 

I have PhD projects in linear generators for free piston engines, tidal energy, in wheel motor development and coil pressing. I manage RAs working on aerospace generators, actuators and wave energy generators.


Current PhD Students

Liam Naugher (Tidal turbines)

Sichao Yang (In wheel motor for electric vehicles)

Junnan Wang (Transverse flux machine for free piston engine)

Mehmet Kulan (Thermal improvement of electrical machines)

M. Raihan (Linear generators for wave energy)

Ahmed Almoraya (Linear generators for wave energy)

Aslan Jalal (Performance of direct drive free piston engines)

Iago Martinez Ocaña (In wheel motor for electric vehicles) 

Current Research Staff

Dr Steve McDonald - the Wave Energy -  Edrive project

Dr Steve Jordan High performance electric machines for aero space - The AEMTA project

Dr Juntao Shi Fault tolerant electric machines for aerospace - The AEMTA project

Sichao Yang  (In wheel motors for electric vehicles) (PhD project here)

Esteem Indicators

In 2006 Nick was awarded the Donald Julius Groen prize by the IMechE for his work on direct drive linear generators for wave energy converters.

Teaching

Each academic year I am module leader for three modules at UG and MSc level, have four third year project students and eight first year tutees. I contribute to the Singapore immersion program and have provided material for two Singapore modules. I often supervise student projects on the faculty REFLEX program, as well as EEE8107 ECAD and the 3rd year engineering study project.

I am the university contact for, and sit on the management committee of, the E3 academy, an IET supported organisation for getting UG students industrial sponsorship.

 I am the second year tutor for undergraduates studying Electrical / Electronic Engineering degrees.

I am module leader for: 

EEE8015 and EEE8102  Design of Machines and Drives (MSc, 4th year MEng)

SPG8004 Grid Systems (Msc in Renewable Energy)

EEE3021 Renewable Energy and the smart Grid (3rd / 4th year)

 I have previously been module leader for

 Electrical Machines (3rd year) (2012/13 and 2013/14)

I have run 3rd year projects on the design fo self balancing robots, the development of renewable energy, linear generators, more electric aircraft, measurement and prediction of electrical machine losses and many others.


Publications