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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Steven Begg is a Reader in Mechanical Engineering with a research focus on the study of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics applied to future powertrains and wider engineering fields:

  1. Fluid mechanics of liquid sprays, particle-laden and two-phase flow systems.
  2. Thermodynamics of combustion, emissions, propulsion and energy systems, incorporating experimental and simulation methods.
  3. Application and development of experimental laser and optical measurement techniques.

Since joining the Heat Transfer Research Unit (HTRU) with Prof. Morgan Heikal in 1994, Dr Begg has been involved in the development of the Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories (SHRL), Centre for Automotive Engineering (CAE) and more recently, the Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) at Brighton. His work has been supported by 6 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 27 projects from 1995, including 15 significant consultancy contracts with large automotive OEM's and a Formula 1 racing team.

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, independence and subject expertise (mid-degree) and finally consulting skills, at the latter stage. A key part is providing the motivation and support to help develop practical skills. Relevent examples and laboratories are used to bridge the link between the theoretical foundations and applied aspects of the discipline. He uses a series of multi-disciplinary, smaller, exploratory tasks to achieve a bigger goal. This develops team work in a way that better reflects the Engineering workplace. At project level, he encourages students to investigate an applied research problem together in the laboratory, in conjunction with the PhD students and industrial contacts.         


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. 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.


Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising postgraduate research students in experimental thermofluids, powertrain engineering for future transportation, 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, 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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