Development and integration of Industry 4.0 into Engine Manufacture

Key Information

The Ford Motor Company is the third largest car manufacturer in the world and the second largest in Europe.  Bridgend Engine Plant (BEP) was opened in 1980, employs over 1700 people and supplies Ford Assembly Plants worldwide along with Jaguar Land Rover in the UK.

As a plant in 2017 we produced over 600,000 engines across two engine architectures with a third engine production facility coming on-line in 2018.

Bridgend Engine Plant is some way along the road of Industry 4.0 and is already collecting vast amounts of data on both our production and back room process. We also utilise cutting edge technology to machine engine components such as cylinder blocks and heads and then subsequently assembly them into a finish product.

 Project Aims


The aim of this project is to investigate the rapid development of technology around Industry 4.0 and how it can be utilised to improve productivity, improve quality and reduce cost in a modern engine manufacturing site.

To compete in the global forum we have to identify emerging technologies, understand if and how they can leverage our business, turning those ideas to a reality in a shorter space of time than ever before.

This research project will look at what technologies we currently utilise as a company then investigate emerging technologies and their suitability to the automotive industry. This is not confined to manufacturing and will also need the research of other fields; for example how developments in sports science could benefit employees who perform repetitive manual operations to name just one.

 Suitable candidate 


The suitable candidate will work alongside the plants Senior Emerging Technologies Engineer who’s aim will be to bring aspects of this research to life in an actual production environment.

The candidate will need to have a broad understanding of manufacturing processes but also a passion and desire to learn about new technologies. These two aspects will need to be combined with a creative mind-set to identify new and exciting endeavours.

The role would be suitable for candidates with background in Mechanical/Electronic Engineering and Manufacturing and Production Engineering. Alternatively, suitable candidates with a Computer Science background in the area of Embedded and Control Systems, Robotics and Big Data and with an interest in industrial applications are also encouraged to apply.

Opportunities to visit and benchmark other Ford locations that have implemented certain technologies will be available along with a technical support structure where required.

It is hope that this research will identify key opportunities that can be utilised to give the plant a competitive advantage but also to find replication opportunities throughout Ford Motor Company.

Academic Supervisor

Dr C Giannetti

Sponsoring Company Ford Motor Company Ltd

Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. 

 Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.


Closing Date 28 February 2018

Start Date October 2018

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk