Tutor and Student Profiles


Felix Batsch

PhD Student

Felix is a PhD student in the field of autonomous vehicle research. He is conducting his doctoral studies in a collaborative research project between Coventry University and HORIBA MIRA. He is a member of the Institute for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University and the Centre for Connected Autonomous Automotive Research at HORIBA MIRA.  

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, he went on to pursue a consecutive Master of Science in Automotive Engineering from KIT. Additionally, he holds a Master of Engineering degree from Tongji University in Shanghai, China, where he spent two years. He concluded his studies with a research project at Bosch (China) Investment Ltd., leading to the dissertation “Modelling and Degree of Hybridization Optimization of a Fuel Cell-Battery Hybrid Scooter”. 

His research focuses on developing a new methodology to test autonomous vehicles using comprehensive vehicle simulation in conjunction with supervised machine learning. Felix is developing a framework, which identifies safety critical corner case scenarios. Corner case scenarios reveal flaws in the design and behaviour of novel autonomous vehicles. 

He has further interest in the area of model predictive control for behaviour generation and path planning of autonomous vehicles. 

Richard Stocker

PhD Student

Richard is a PhD student as part of a collaboration between HORIBA MIRA and Coventry University in the field of battery cell degradation. He is also an employee at HORIBA MIRA in the position of Energy Systems Innovation Lead within the Horizon Scanning team.

After completing a MEng degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham, he joined HORIBA MIRA on their graduate scheme program. In this, he was rotated around several departments before taking a permanent position in the Software and Controls team, specialising in testing, modelling and control system development of automotive battery cells. Recently he moved to his current position in the Horizon Scanning department where he now focuses on research projects and strategic roadmap development for energy systems development, leading the energy systems team in areas including batteries, fuel cells and flow cells.

His research focuses on a key challenge of Li-ion cells which is durability. The project encompasses testing, analysing and modelling the degradation behaviours within Li-Ion cells to express their performance changes with lifetime, and the sensitivity of these changes to the way in which the battery cells are used.

James Spooner

James Spooner

PhD Student

James Spooner is a PhD student in the field of autonomous vehicle research. He is conducting a collaborative research project between Coventry University and HORIBA MIRA. He is a member of the Institute for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University and the Centre for Connected Autonomous Automotive Research at HORIBA MIRA.

James completed his Bachelors degree at Coventry University in Automotive Engineering in May 2017, graduating first class with honors. He then went on to work for the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) as a researcher for 7 months, working on innovative projects such as the London Bus Safety Standard, and a Highways England fatal accident study. James decided to return to Coventry University in January 2018 to pursue a PhD.

James’ PhD research focusses on generating realistic and rare pedestrian scenarios for the testing of autonomous vehicles. To do this, he has curated his own dataset detailing the movements and behaviours of pedestrians in any given scene; the dataset consists of videos taken from dashcam footage.
He will then use novel machine learning methods to generate new scenarios from the knowledge learnt from the real scenarios. This will give engineers better testing coverage when testing their autonomous systems.

Samson Palmer

Kacper Sowka

I am a first year PhD student at Coventry University in partnership with HORIBA MIRA, with a background in Computer Science.
My research is focused on the automatic generation of attack trees for automotive on-board networks in order to facilitate automated systematic cybersecurity evaluation. I’m studying the ways in which machine learning could be applied towards this problem area in order to produce attack trees which can discern emergent and unexpected behaviour in ways that traditional formal methods of attack tree generation cannot.
In the early stages of my research I am investigating how a generative model can be taught on such nuanced and complex problem domain, and how this learning can be performed on a small dataset.

Luis-Pedro Cobos

Luis Pedro Cobos is an early stage researcher for the ETN-SAS ESR 14 project. This research will be conducted at HORIBA MIRA and in collaboration with the university of Coventry. His main activity will focus on the dependability (in safety and security) of the autonomous vehicle

Luis Pedro is a Spanish researcher, he graduated as biomedical engineer at the UPC in Spain; and proceeded with a master’s degree in risk management and biomechanics. Furthermore, he also has a master’s degree in project management. He has worked for Volkswagen Group and SEAT in research and development of vehicle safety (both Active and Passive). His interest in the ever-evolving automotive industry and safety, plus the fact that as a biomedical and biomechanical engineer, the protection of human beings and minimizing the injuries in any accident is a must, he drove back to academia and into this PhD.

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