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.

Daniel Fowler

PhD Student

Daniel obtained his first degree from Coventry University and had a successful career as a software engineer developing a wide range of high value industrial and financial projects, from programming microprocessors in control equipment to managing teams designing and producing software for financial services. He is a Chartered Engineer with an interest in the social impact of technology and the trustworthiness of the computer systems that we use to run our world.  Looking for a new challenge he returned to Coventry University to obtain a Masters in Forensic Computing and pursue research in the new field of automotive cyber-security.

The rapid increase in computational power, digital networks and connectivity in road vehicles and city infrastructure (Smart Cities) coupled with new connected sensor technologies (Internet of Things) is providing new opportunities to engineer systems that solve existing and emerging socioeconomic issues. He believes that it is important to ensure that new technology is safe and secure to use in an accessible and natural manner. Connected cars and autonomous vehicles are high impact technologies and there are theoretical and proven cyber threats to such systems. His doctoral research is contributing a cyber-security testing technique for vehicle systems to help combat future threats. 

Maciej Cieslak

PhD Student

Maciej Cieslak is a PhD research student in the field of vehicle ride comfort. He is conducting his research in a collaborative programme co-funded by Coventry University and HORIBA MIRA Ltd., based in Nuneaton, UK. He is a member of Research Institute for Future Transport and Cities at Coventry University and Centre for Connected Autonomous Automotive Research at HORIBA MIRA.   

Before joining Coventry University for doctoral studies, Maciej has obtained his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology (WUST) in Poland. After completing his undergraduate studies, he went on to finish a Master of Science in Automotive Engineering at the same university. During his studies at WUST, he was also involved in Formula Student and Smart Moto Challenge competitions as vehicle dynamics and numerical simulation specialist. His studies were completed with an industry partner and led to a formulation of a new hydraulic arm design for electronically controlled small demolition machines. The findings were captured in a dissertation titled: “Development of the new arm system solution for small mobile demolition vehicle through design thinking and numerical methods”.   

In his research at Coventry University, he is pursuing a PhD titled: “Perception of Vehicle Ride Quality”. He focuses on novel methodologies for objective and subjective vehicle ride comfort data correlation as well as the influence of vibration on human physiology. The research leads to the formulation of a predictive model for ride comfort data correlation based on artificial neural networks. Secondly, an innovative methodology of subjective vehicle ride comfort assessment and evaluation using biometric data has been tested and proved to accurate.   

Maciej’s further research interests include the impact of vibration on human ride perception, motion sickness and active/adaptive suspensions systems for autonomous vehicles.   

Joscha Wasser

PhD Student

Following a degree in transport design at Coventry University, Joscha is currently putting the finishing touches to his PhD at HORIBA MIRA and the National Transport Design Centre.  

His research focuses on the passenger experience and comfort in driverless first and last mile mobility vehicles.  

The research is based around the MiCar concept, a driverless first and last mobility vehicle which was designed specifically for the MIRA Technology Park. The concept was initially used as a visualisation tool to synthesise the findings from a passenger comfort model for this type of vehicle. The concept was then evaluated using a traditional ergonomic buck, focusing on accessibility and usability. As such an ergonomic buck gives little insight to the full design of the vehicle, a mixed reality simulator was developed which provides trial participants with a fully immersive journey experience in the MiCar concept. Ultimately this work provides a guideline for the development of a user centred design of a driverless first and last mile mobility vehicle. 

He is now looking to continue his research into the user experience in these vehicles and potentially develop the MiCar project further into a working prototype. 

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.

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