Engineering Department

The Engineering Department is staffed by academics, technicians and visiting lecturers who are focussed on teaching and researching the design, development and testing of off-highway vehicles, agricultural vehicles and agricultural machinery. Our academic staff are professional engineers with expertise across a range of specialisms including robotics, mechatronics in agriculture and off-highway vehicles, off-highway vehicle stability control systems and mobility, automotive engineering, production line optimization, agricultural chemical application, CAD and 3D modelling.

The department is responsible for teaching a range of undergraduate and postgraduate engineering courses, with core subjects in mechanical engineering, mechanical science, materials, electronics and mechatronics, engineering design and maths. Students can also study a number of specialist modules, depending on the route chosen, which include off-road vehicle design, terramechanics, agricultural engineering principles, soil and water and hydraulic system design and control. A dedicated member of the team provides mathematics support, and the technical and support staff have a wealth of experience and hands-on skills.

Students using CAD software in the EDC

The Engineering Department has an excellent reputation for the high quality of teaching. Small class sizes and good contact hours with academic staff mean that students get an excellent learning experience. Teaching is biased towards project-based learning, much of which is sourced directly from our industry partners, with applied teaching that concentrates on real engineering issues and techniques. This is backed up by some great facilities for teaching, independent study and hands-on work - many unique in the UK. While many universities emphasise laboratory-based work, we believe experiments should be done on real vehicles and machines to explore real problems so you will spend a lot of time in our unique covered field demonstration area, well-equipped mechatronics and materials labs, and off-road demonstration track, working on the fleet of vehicles and machinery. The purpose built Engineering Design Centre, housed in the impressive JCB-sponsored Bamford Library, has specialist equipment for Computer Aided Design (CAD). A dedicated design room adjacent to workshops is invaluable for final year project work, and a Z Corporation 3D printer allows for rapid prototyping.

Excellent links with industry give students the opportunity to carry out industry sourced project work, as well as working for major engineering companies on their placement year. This makes Harper Adams students highly employable in the engineering sector once they have completed their studies.

The Engineering department undertakes academic and applied research and development in a number of areas:

  • Agricultural implement control optimisation
  • 4x4 transmission analysis
  • Agricultural chemical application technology
  • Robotics
  • Electric off-highway vehicle design

The department runs a number of short courses in the areas of telehandler, tractor and ATV driver training and can also run bespoke courses in terramechanics and vehicle dynamics.