School of Engineering

National Centres

Centres of Expertise

APC Electric Machines Spoke

Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC)

Centre for Advanced Electrical Drives work as the APC Electric Machine Spoke

The Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC) aims to position the UK as a centre of excellence for low carbon propulsion development and production. The APC team brings together and supports those who have good ideas in the form of innovative technologies with those who can bring them to market as products.

As the Electric Machines Spoke, we act as the focal point for electric machines development in the automotive sector. We are bringing together the academic and industrial communities in order to set the agenda for future collaborative research.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) consists of six Spoke communities:

  • Newcastle University for Electric Machines
  • University of Nottingham for Power Electronics
  • University of Warwick for Electrical Energy
  • Loughborough University for Digital Engineering & Test
  • University of Brighton for ICE Thermal Efficiency
  • University of Bath for ICE System Efficiency

The Spokes network identifies the next generation of researchers and industrialists in the UK. The aim is to encourage collaboration and engagement with the automotive industry. The Spokes work also includes helping junior researchers into collaborative projects and working with industrial partners to ensure apprentices are trained to manufacture future technologies. 

The Electric Machines Spoke acts as the focal point for electric machines development in the UK automotive sector. The Spoke brings together the academic and industrial communities and set the agenda for future collaborative research.

Advanced Propulsion Centre: Newcastle University Electric Machines Spoke - Logo

APC Spoke Network

The Spoke Network aims to build collaborations that focus on transforming research into products. ‘Open to all’ the Spokes will include research and industrial representatives from the materials, manufacturing, design and simulation, testing and vehicle integration.

The aims of these Spoke communities include: 

  • Taking the key research from the academic community and identifying opportunities for embedding the outcomes into future low carbon technologies
  • Establishing key industry challenges and translating them into fundamental and applied research programmes for the broader academic community
  • Bring together the whole of the Supply Chain to establish ‘end to end’ solutions and routes to production 

The Spoke is for everyone involved in the development of electrical machines for the automotive industry, including: 

  • materials research
  • electromagnetics
  • mechanical design of high speed rotating machines
  • software tools
  • manufacturing
  • test and more 

For more information on our work in Electrical Machines, visit the APC Spoke Network

Find out more and view galleries of events in Working with Business & Government.


The Hybrid Electric Aerospace Research Group develops Hybrid Electric Aircraft technologies. Hybrid Electric Aircraft offer major improvements to performance and significant reductions in CO2, NOx and noise.

Although the group's initial focus is within Electrical Power, future work will branch into other fields. These include:

  • physics
  • mechanical
  • engineering
  • fluid dynamics
  • computing

Hybrid Electric Aircraft

Hybrid Electric Aircraft generate electrical power by prime movers (usually gas-turbines) driving alternators. This power is then distributed across the aircraft and used to power a large number of small fans. This approach allows for much more flexible and efficient aircraft design.

Airbus has recently announced significant new developments in this field with a collaboration with Siemens.

Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, stated:

Electric and electric-hybrid flight represent some of the biggest industrial challenges of our time, aiming at zero-emissions aviation.

Current research projects

  • Advanced Motors designs for Hybrid Aircraft 
  • Superconducting Power networks
  • Medium Voltage Power Networks
  • Feasibility study on a large aircraft using tail mounted BLI systems

PhD research Opportunities

A wide range of opportunities are available for PhD studies including specialised electrical machines and power systems for aerospace applications. For further information, email Peter Malkin.

EPSRC/ ATI Institutional Support Grant

Newcastle University has received funding to support the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Strategy.


National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

The £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI) is primarily funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Siemens. The balance of funding comes from industry and academic partners. 

The Centre brings together energy experts from around the world to help unravel the energy network and understand future supply and demand.

CESI: National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

Power Electronics

Underpinning power electronics.

Funded by the UK Research Council, this project has a total value of £23m. There are four Themes:

  • Integrated drives: led by Newcastle
  • Use of fast switching devices
  • Increased reliability
  • High temperature operation
Power Electronics UK: Underpinning Research