Dr David Cole

Senior Lecturer at Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Senior Lecturer, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Dr David Cole was sponsored by Rolls-Royce Motors during his time as an undergraduate and worked there for a year after graduating. He then returned to CUED to undertake research in the field of vehicle dynamics, obtaining a PhD in 1990. After further research he took up a lectureship in mechanical engineering at the University of Nottingham, returning to Cambridge in 2000. His research is concerned with measuring, understanding and modelling the dynamic interaction between drivers and vehicles. He leads the Driver-Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) research group; much of the group's research is performed in collaboration with the automotive industry.

The understanding of driver-vehicle dynamic interaction has been very limited in the past. This has prevented vehicle manufacturers from designing chassis and steering control systems that optimize the closed-loop driver-vehicle behaviour. Reliance has had to be placed on costly and non-optimal trial and error methods late in the vehicle development programme. Chassis technology has now advanced to the stage where better theoretical understanding of the driver is vital to ensure that the full benefits of the technology are realized.

The DVD Group's objectives are to:

  • measure, understand and model mathematically the control behaviour of the driver
  • design vehicle chassis and control systems that optimize the closed-loop driver-vehicle behaviour
  • support industry through the provision of services and the transfer of knowledge and personnel
  • provide opportunities for research training.