Dr Peter Brooks

Dr Peter Brooks


My journey along the path of a mechanical engineer took on real form when I graduated from Leeds in 1983 with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering. I then went on to further study towards PhD at Leeds and worked within the then Vehicle Dynamics Group under the supervision of Robin Sharp on the subject of sensitivity analysis applied to problems in vehicle dynamics. I then moved to work in the Vehicle Dynamics Unit at British Rail Research where my time was split between passenger comfort studies and coding elements of their rail vehicle dynamics software package, VAMPIRE. I then took a number of fixed term positions at Manchester Polytechnic where I played a key role in setting up an industrial truck testing and advisory centre, teaching and consultancy.

In 1991, I returned to the School of Mechanical Engineering at Leeds to work on a collaborative research project on brake noise and vibration. This led to Leeds becoming established as a centre of excellence for automotive brake systems research that remains to this day. My current braking projects are linked to the active control of brake noise and the development of lightweight materials for use in braking applications. In 1994, I joined the School as a member of academic staff and begain to develop various taught courses as well as taking on responsibility for our undergraduate and taught post graduate programmes in automotive engineering. Working in the Leeds environment has allowed me to actively contribute to many areas of research and these have included projects in rehabilitation engineering, sports engineering and pressure vessel design. 

More recently, I became involved in the newly formed Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration. This project involves working closely with colleagues across the University and industry to deliver a world class environment within which to develop rail technology. I lead the development of the Vehicle Test Facility - this is a full scale facility with which to dynamically test/characterise the performance of a rail vehicle (high speed and conventional). The facility uses rollers to generate the sinuous path of the track, including horizontal and vertical curvature along with track irregularities. Tractive and braking forces are supplied by the rig or vehicle on test. The facility will be commissioned during the latter part of 2020/early 2021. I am also Deputy Director of the Institute for High Speed Rail and System Integration.


  • Deputy Director Institute for High Speed Rail and Systems Integration

Research interests

My current research interests embrace the areas of automotive braking systems (brake noise and lightweight materials for braking applications) along with my renewed involvement with rail engineering/rail vehicle dynamics.  All rely on a sound knowledge of solid mechanics and dynamics and all involve a strong element of design, numerical modelling and material characterisation.  I have contributed directly to an ISO Working Group on Scale Testing of Friction Materials.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BScHons) Mechanical Engineering
  • PhD (Leeds)
  • PGCTLHE (Leeds)

Professional memberships

  • CEng
  • MIMechE
  • FHEA

Student education

I make a substantial contribution to teaching within the school through my role as module leader as well as supporting the delivery of modules led by colleagues.  Over the years, my teaching has covered a broad spectrum of subjects in the area of solid mechanics and design.  The supervision of student projects at both UG and PG level forms a significant element of my teaching year that is particularly rewarding.  The projects I run are varied and, where possible, are structured in such a way as to give the individual student the opportunity grow/develop/engage in areas that support their development as young engineers.  These projects are often linked to industry.  I have also been involved with the Leeds Formula Student Car project and each year. More recently I have managed the delivery of the Peer Mentoring Programme within Mechanical Engineering in which mentors, drawn from our second, third and fourth years, provide support and guidance to our new cohort of first year students.

Research groups and institutes

  • Robotics
  • Institute of Design, Robotics and Manufacturing
  • Energy efficient aerospace and automotive structures
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>