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 estanlished as a centre of excellence for automotive brake systems research that remains to this day. 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. However, the main thrust of my work remains connected to brake systems research.  Current projects are linked to the active control of brake noise and the development of lightweight materials for use in braking applications.


  • Programme Manager for MEng/BEng and MSc(Eng) Automotive Engineering
  • Deputy Director Institute of Design, Robotics and Optimisation

Research interests

My current research interests embrace the areas of automotive braking systems, robotics and low cost, energy efficient vehicles.  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.


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

Professional memberships

  • CEng
  • MIMechE

Student education

I make a substantial contribution to teaching within the school through my role as module leader and programme manager 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 I take a team of of fourth year students through the process of designing and implementing the brakes and drivetrain on the car.  This also involves running a number of supporting third year projects in related areas.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Design, Robotics and Optimisation
  • Robotics at Leeds