Quan Zhou

Colleges, School and Institutes


Dr Zhou received BEng and MEng in Vehicle Engineering from Wuhan University of Technology in 2012 and 2015 before he joined the University of Birmingham (UoB) as a scholarship-funded PhD researcher. He obtained a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2019 from the UoB.

He was the School of Engineering’s sole 2019 recipient of the UoB’s Ratcliffe Prize for the best postgraduate research in the Sciences. His work was also recognised by the China Scholarship Council through one of only two research excellence awards that they made at the UoB in 2019. He has been instrumental in the successful execution of Prof H.M. Xu’s strategy in the research of vehicle hybridisation, and he is a co-founder and the leader of the CASE-V research team.

Before he appointed the position of Research Fellow at the Engine and Vehicle Research Centre in 2019, he was a part-time research assistant and teaching assistant at the UoB. He led the research in intelligent vehicle systems team (now is CASE-V) and performed as core researcher of two EPSRC projects (EP/J00930X/1EP/N021746/1) and one Innovate UK project (102253) for the development of low-carbon vehicular technologies. During his undergraduate and master period, he was the president of the student union (2010-2012) of Wuhan University of Technology (a UoB partner university). He received the China National Scholarship (top 0.2% of the year nationwide) and several scientific innovation competition prizes. 

He is PI of an international collaborative research grant from Tsinghua University (Top 1 University in Asia) for development of digital twin models for hybrid engine optimisation, Co-I of a China (Jiangsu province) - UoB joint R&D project (~£420k) for development of intelligent component sizing and cognitive PHEV power management method, and Co-I of an industry project sponsored BYD motor company (a global leader in R&D and manufacturing of electric/hybrid vehicles)  for intelligent hybrid vehicle calibration. 


Research interests

Autonomous and electrified vehicles will be in a key position for future transport to achieve ultra-low emissions, and he is working towards a new area of ‘Cognitive Eco-Mobility’ that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) with advanced electrified propulsion technologies. His research develops Artificial-Intelligence-based control/optimisation methods at four different vehicle operating levels for CO2 emission mitigation:

  • Lv.1 Engine/motor level transient control/calibration
  • Lv.2 Powertrain-level component sizing and energy management 
  • Lv.3 Vehicle-level driver-machine interaction
  • Lv.4 Fleet-level collaborative energy management with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) network. 

Dr Zhou's work is available with open access at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Quan_Zhou16

Full-time PhD applicants and visiting scholars/students are welcome in the following areas:

  • Evolutionary multi-objective optimisation for online/offline optimisation of vehicle systems;
  • Reinforcement Learning for real-time advanced decision making in the vehicle systems;
  • Model-based predictive control for energy management in hybrid/electric vehicles;
  • Human factors for driving safety and economy;
  • Information fusion and global energy efficiency optimisation of connected autonomous vehicles;

Excellent PhD applicants will have the opportunity to be sponsored by the university’s PhD scholarship. We can support application to external funding (e.g. Newton/EPSRC Fellowship, EPSRC StudentshipCSC Scholarship*,**).

* The College of Engineering and Physical Science offers tuition fee scholarships for holders of the China Scholarship Council (CSC) studentships. please refer the link for further information 

** As per the university's regulation, we cannot provide any 'Certificate of English Capability' as a supplement to CSC visiting student scholarship application. Please make sure you already have a qualified English testing result (e.g. TOFEL, IELTS) for both CSC scholarship applications and UK immigration. More information regarding the entry requirement, please refer to https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/pgt/requirements-pgt/international/index.aspx


  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering, The University of Birmingham, 2019 
  • MEng (by research) in Vehicle Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, 2015
  • BEng in Vehicle Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, 2012