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Personal profile

Research interests

Daniel Coren is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics, and a member of the Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC), at the University of Brighton. He is a chartered professional engineer and educator, with a track record of successful automotive and aeronautical research and development activities, which he has undertaken from within the academic and commercial sectors. He has extensive experience with the IMechE Formula Student competition, having launched the University of Brighton team, and acted as a Team Coordinator and Chief Technical Advisor.

Current interests are centred around the design and development of light electric vehicles, focussing on propulsion system specification and matching, whole-vehicle thermal management, low drag bodywork aerodynamics, and onboard methods for collecting airborne particulates emitted from tyres and brakes.

Recent research has involved in-cylinder air and fuel motion studies in reciprocating internal combustion engines, using fully optical single cylinder research engines and high-speed photography. This interest is maintained by means of historic racing car engine development project work, especially cylinder head inlet port and combustion chamber design.

Previous research work focussed on gas turbine aero engine internal air systems, using an experimental approach with non-invasive instrumentation to better quantify the flow physics of the rotating 3D flow fields present, improve cooling effectiveness, and minimise windage heating. This interest has continued through the role of reviewer for ASME and IMechE papers.

Daniel is published in ASME and IMechE technical journals, and is a recipient of an ASME International Gas Turbine Institute best paper award. He is an international scholar, who currently has an h-Index of 12, over 300 citations, and has provided supervisory support for six PhD students. He has presented his work in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Scholarly biography

Daniel Coren began his engineering research and development career as a draughtsman with the innovative and trend-setting independent design house International Automotive Design (IAD), 1991 to 1994, where he gained insight into processes and practices particular to automotive design projects, ranging from clay model concept car mock-ups to production-intent prototypes for OEMs. As a powertrain development technician with Ricardo, 1994 to 1996, he worked on low emission engine development, and a pioneering single cylinder direct injection gasoline research project. Daniel received his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Sussex, and became a powertrain engineer with the engineering consultancy Roush (UK division), 1999 to 2002, where he developed gasoline and diesel vehicle powertrains for emission legislation compliance. His work at client facilities involved climatic wind tunnel testing and driveability tests on banked test tracks, while real-world environment work included altitude tests on the Grossglockner glacier in Austria.

Daniel received his D.Phil., on the investigation of internal air systems in gas turbine engines (windage due to protrusions in rotor-stator systems), from the University of Sussex, 2002 to 2007, as a Research Officer at the Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre (TFMRC), and as part of the EU funded (€5 million) FP5 ICAS-GT2 project. He used non-invasive measurement techniques to quantify aerodynamic drag and viscous frictional heating in flows as found in the internal cooling air systems of gas turbine engines. He produced correlations for estimating aerodynamic drag in rotor-stator assemblies at real engine operation fluid conditions, and developed proposals for future research. This led to post-doctoral research with the TFMRC as a Research Fellow, 2007 to 2010, as part of the EU funded (€6 million) FP6 MAGPI research project, where he used rotating flow physics theory to develop high speed turbine test rigs, allowing the cooling effectiveness of gas turbine engine internal air systems to be improved. Daniel took up an opportunity to apply his experience and undertake viability assessment of solar-fuelled gas turbines, as a Visiting Research Fellow with the Design Engineering Group, Imperial College London, 2010 to 2011, examining the feasibility of adapting Brayton cycle gas turbine hardware for sustainable low carbon land-based power generation.

Daniel joined the Centre for Automotive Engineering (CAE) at the University of Brighton as a Research Fellow, 2012 to 2013, working in the Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories (SHRL) where he obtained high speed photography of air and fuel motion, at stratified and homogeneous conditions, using an advanced optical single cylinder gasoline research engine (synthetic quartz piston and cylinder liner). He also carried out engine architecture research for a split-cycle engine, as part of the EU INTERREG IV project, CEREEV. Daniel took up his current post, as Senior Lecturer, in the Division of Engineering and Design, and School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics in 2013. He launched the University of Brighton IMechE Formula Student team, Brighton Racing Motors (BRM) with the role of Team Coordinator and Chief Technical Advisor, responsible for team development strategies (including a Technology Roadmap), project planning, process development and project supervision. As part of these activities, he has worked with Marketing and Communications to publicise the success of the team, resulting in a series of short films telling the story of a car being developed over the course of a season. He has worked with Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement to develop a network of sponsors and partners, and initiated an industrial mentorship scheme with Ricardo for undergraduate project students. He also initiated project partnerships with Brighton Business School (BBS). Daniel is also a member of the Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) and sits as part of the Division Industrial Advisory Board (IAB). He works with Research Enterprise and Social Partnerships to grow funded research and development partnerships with the local community, themed around low carbon transport. He has provided informal technical consultancy for the Ardingly College solar powered car project solar powered car project and is a member of the International Bicycle Engineering Research Group (IBERG). He also works with the with the Brighton Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), helping to devise an interdisciplinary problem-identification research project, Expanding Dialogues.

Approach to teaching

Daniel Coren has developed a personalised approach to the teaching and learning of the subject of engineering, which is informed by academic and industrial experiences, and aims to encourage a life-long interest in problem solving. Why? What? How? For Daniel, these seem like good questions to start off with if useful teaching and learning is to occur: Why am I doing this? What is the problem that needs to be solve? How can I solve the problem?

‘Why’ must be linked to a strong personal motivating factor, and this can be addresses by picking inspirational themes. Whether it’s cars, trains, aeroplanes, boats, bridges, spaceships, propulsions systems or solar power, that takes your fancy, there are plenty of exciting things to get involved with in the fields of mechanical engineering. At our university, and in our labs, there are lots of those kinds of things, that you can see, touch, adjust, read about, or listen to, as and how you prefer. These can be thought of as visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic learning opportunities.

‘What’ means getting to grips with some problems. They are probably unclear at first, and if they are not, then you have quite probably missed something. Talking this through with a tutor, and seeing the fundamental physics that underpin the practice of engineering by means of test rigs, lab experiments and lectures, is a good way to expand the range of your knowledge. If this is implemented with time to think, discuss with peers, and reflect, it is a good way to expand your understanding too. This merits of this approach have been highlighted by Gert Biesta. With practice, problems become more easily recognised and defined. Human beings are not machines and there is only so much ‘accelerated learning’ that can be implemented before the intended deep learning is skipped. This is something which is discussed by Guy Claxton in ‘Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind’.

‘How’ should you solve the problem that you have found? A good way to proceed is to apply the principles of The Scientific Method to your problem; to poke, prod, or provoke a response which can be observed, as a way of building up a more detailed understanding of its characteristics, and then identifying adaptations or changes that could lead to a good solution. This is not a passive method, which can easily be automated, but that is what makes it so interesting; allowing the creative aspect of human nature, and engineering practice, to be recognised and gainfully employed. This becomes even more interesting and powerful when utilised to tackle real-world problems, where complex mechanical systems, economics and ethics are considered holistically. If ‘Why’, ‘What’ and ‘How’ are practiced well, then iteration, evolution, and sometimes revolution, will result, leading to a perpetual cycle of enquiry and learning, a key ingredient for success whichever career trajectory the students might pursue.

Daniel has put this into practice with the University of Brighton Formula Student team, where he developed a successful model for integrating the activity with taught courses (Automotive, Aeronautical, Electrical and Business) by means of major project work, and with key support materials through modules such as Vehicle Design. A topical and motivational central theme of low carbon transport is manifested in low drag bodywork and propulsion system efficiency. Investigation of the fundamental physics underpinning all aspects of car design, from suspension kinematics and chassis stiffness, to propulsion system operation and bodywork aerodynamics, is the start point for idea generation and concept design. Bespoke test rigs are used to facilitate deeper understanding, and allow digital analysis tools to be validated. Team-wise discussions, where quantified performance benefits are then used to make informed design compromises, allow integrated and manufacturable design solutions, to be arrived at. Build processes allow timely manufacture. This approach, where the full design-make-test cycle is experienced, is referred to as Science Informed Practical Problem Solving (SIPPS).

Daniel teaches or has taught modules that include: Vehicle Design, Aircraft Propulsion Systems, Aeronautical Instrumentation and Testing, Aeronautical and Automotive Systems, Engineering Mechanics, and Fluid Mechanics. He was awarded Higher Education Academy Fellowship teaching qualification in 2018.

Supervisory Interests

Daniel Coren is interested in supervising undergraduate and postgraduate project work, and also forming new research and design partnerships, in the following areas of low carbon transport: Light electric vehicle design, niche electric vehicle conversions, active automotive aerodynamic bodywork for drag reduction, internal combustion engine in-cylinder air motion, rotating flows in gas turbine engines, historic racing car engine development, problem identification techniques, and the future of the car.


  • TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
  • Vehicle Design
  • Propulsion Systems
  • Aerodynamics
  • Suspension Kinematics
  • Experimental Fluid Mechanics
  • R&D Projects
  • Motorsport
  • Pedagogy
  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery


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