Personal profile


Judith Apsley received her BA in Electrical Sciences from Cambridge University in 1986, and her PhD from the University of Surrey in 1996. She started her career as a Technologist Apprentice at Westland (now Leonardo) Helicopters (1982-87), then as an Electrical Engineer in the Machines and Drives Department at ERA Technology (1987-1995), (now part of Cobham plc,  followed by industrial control and database projects for an independent software house (1996-2001). She joined  the University of Manchester in 2001 as a Research Associate, becoming a Senior Experimental Officer in 2006 and a Lecturer in 2008.


BA, PhD, CEng

Research interests

Judith Apsley's main research interest is the modelling and control of electric drive systems. This includes electrical machines, power electronics, microprocessor control, mechanical systems, sensors and the power system. Applications include transport, renewable energy and manufacturing. She is  interested in 

  • Electromechanical interactions
  • Energy efficiency of multi-drive systems for robotics and machine tools
  • Fault tolerant control of multiphase machines
  • Drive and generator systems for electric transport applications
  • Emulation of mechanical systems using electrical drives
  • Wave and wind generation systems

My group


Dr Apsley is looking to develop projects in the following areas: 

a) Wave energy electromechanical power take offs

Wave energy has a high peak to average power ratio, and the wave platform operates at  high torque or force and low speed. The drive train needs to be rated to withstand extreme peak torque or force, so optimum generator and power converter sizing is important for overall cost of energy. Power smoothing is required for power export to the grid, and the impact of power fluctuations on drivetrain components needs to be better understood.  

b)Fault tolerant control strategies for multiphase machines

Survivability and fault tolerance are key issues in the aerospace and marine sectors. Multiphase machines have built-in redundancy, allowing continued operation with one or more phases open circuit, although at a reduced rating. She has ongoing work on multiphase propulsion systems.

b) Self optimising drive systems and active load management.

Ongoing research has identified potential energy savings in multi-motor drives through the inclusion of the electrical machine constraints and losses in the calculation of optimised trajectories, in applications such as machine tools, 3D printers and robots. Active load management of motor drives can be used to provide virtual energy storage and reduce peak energy demand. Both techniques can be combined to reduce overall energy consumption in applications from factories to autonomous vehicles. Industry 4.0 provides the connectivity to achieve this.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Aerospace Research Institute


  • Electric Drive
  • Electric Motor
  • Control Systems
  • Energy Efficiency
  • INDUSTRY 4.0


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