Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Steven Begg is a Reader in Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) of Research Excellence at the University of Brighton. His research focuses on thermodynamics and fluid mechanics applied to future powertrains and wider engineering applications. His interests include:

  1. Fluid mechanics of liquid sprays, particle-laden and two-phase flow systems.
  2. Propulsion and transportation systems, alternative fuels, advanced cycles and energy systems, incorporating experimental and simulation methods.
  3. Application and development of experimental laser and optical measurement techniques.

Dr Begg's work has been supported by Ricardo UK Ltd, 8 EPSRC grants, 3 DfT/DTI/TSB Vehicle Foresight grants, a European FP6 programme (SUSTDEV-2002- and 1 INTERREG IIIa and 2 INTERREG IVa projects. He has been involved as PI/CI in over 30 projects since 1995, including 15 significant consultancy contracts with large automotive OEM's and Formula 1 racing teams. 

Approach to teaching

Dr Begg was previously the Course leader responsible for the IMechE and IET accredited Automotive Engineering Pathways (BEng, MEng and BSc Top-up). He is involved with teaching on the Undergraduate and Postgraduate Engineering programmes as well as supervisor for major dissertations and placements. Over a period of 27 years, he have taught a wide range of subjects that has included Engineering Mechanics, Aircraft and Automotive Systems, Sensors and Interfacing and Powertrain and Transportation Systems. This broad experience and input from Accrediting, Academic and Industrial professionals, has re-shaped the content and delivery of the taught programmes. He approaches teaching from an experiential perspective in the first year, building competence, confidence, independence as well as subject knowledge mid degree and finally team working and consulting skills, in the latter stages. A key part is providing the motivation and support to help develop practical skills. Relevent examples, smaller exploratory tasks and laboratories are used to bridge the link between theory and application.  At project level, he encourages students to investigate an applied research problem in the laboratories alongside academics, industry contacts and PGR students.         


Scholarly biography

Dr Begg's academic career has developed over a period of 27 years at the University of Brighton where he started as a Research Assistant in 1995. His PhD, conducted in collaboration with Ricardo UK Ltd, was entitled In-cylinder airflow and fuel spray characteristics for a top-entry, direct injection, gasoline engine. As a post-doc, he progressed to Principal Research Fellow before appointment to a lecturing post in 2010 within the School of Engineering. He became a Principal Lecturer, Fellow of the HEA and Course Leader in 2011. He was appointed Reader in 2013 with nominations from Loughborough, Cardiff and Manchester Universities. He is the former Course Leader for the Automotive Engineering pathways, responsible for Professional Body accreditation, course development and management and academic environment and practice. In 2016, he was appointed Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research Studies for the College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences. He has supervised 6 successful Phd and 1 MPhil completions and he is currently supervising 3 PhD students. He is a grant peer reviewer for the EPSRC and the British Council and has reviewed Journal articles in publications such as 'Fuel', "Journal of Automobile Engineering", "Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science" and "SAE Intl. Journal of Engines". He has acted as both external/internal PhD examiner and PhD Chair in the UK and France. He has been involved in over 15 significant consultancy contracts and acted as a member of expert industrial advisory panels, scientific and organising conference committees, the National Universities Internal Combustion Engine Group and the IMechE Combustion Engines and Fuels Group. 

He is a member of the Topical Advisory Board of Fuels and Special Issue Editor, Advances in Propulsion and Energy Systems Utilising Alternative Fuels: Fuel Injection and Combustion Systems.



Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research students in experimental thermofluids, powertrain engineering for future transportation, alternative fuels and advanced cycles, heat transfer, sprays, two-phase flows, laser and optical measurement techniques.

Current PhD students

Mr Zuhaib Nissar (2021-) - Sprays: Liquid Break-up and Droplet Distribution

Ms Aleksandra Skalba (2022-) - Universal Life Cycle Emissions Tool Applied to the EV's in Automotive Sector

Mr Ian Kemp (2022-) - Micropower Volumetric Machines as Energy Recovery Expanders in Two-phase Conditions


Knowledge exchange

UKRI Future Leader Felllowship (Dr Oyuna Rybdylova) Next generation spray simulation model (NGSSM), 2021-2025.  

KTP Supervisor for British Hovercraft Company, Sandwich, Kent (Emmanuel Sakyi),  2022-2025.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, In-cylinder airflow and fuel spray characteristics for a top-entry, direct injection, gasoline engine. , University of Brighton

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

External positions

Fellow, Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy, UK



  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Combustion engines
  • Spray
  • Droplets
  • Experimental fluid mechanics
  • Optical diagnostics
  • Simulation


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