Automotive Control Group

Centres And GroupsAutomotive Control Group

Automotive Control Group

The Automotive Control Group was established in 2000 at the Waterford Institute of Technology under the leadership of Mr Brendan Jackman.

Research Activities

The main areas of research are software and electronic systems applicable to automotive applications.  Research is conducted on automotive networks, vehicle diagnostics, embedded automotive software development and automotive system modelling and simulation.

The group's research is applied in nature and the group has very well-established links with the international automotive  industry.

Group Leaders

Mr. Brendan Jackman [email protected]

Mr. Frank Walsh [email protected]

Mr. David Power [email protected]

Mission Statement

"To continue to be a recognised source of high-calibre skilled postgraduates and a leading research partner with the automotive industry".

Brendan Jackman B.Sc. M.Tech.

Telephone: +353 51 302057

Email: [email protected]

Brendan is a principal researcher at the Automotive Control Group. Brendan graduated in 1984 with a B.Sc. in Applied Computing from Waterford Institute of Technology. He also holds an M.Tech. in Advanced Manufacturing Technology from the University of Limerick and has APICS certification in JIT and MRP.  He previously worked with Logica BV in The Netherlands designing and developing real-time control systems, mostly for the electronics and process industries. Brendan was subsequently employed as a Software Project Manager with Digital Equipment Corporation where he was responsible for developing and supporting manufacturing process control and CAD systems.

In 1991 he joined Waterford Institute of Technology where he lectures in computing and electronics. His experience covers all aspects of computing including object-oriented analysis, design and programming. Brendan’s research interests include engine control and diagnostic systems, and in-vehicle networking. He is currently supervising six post-graduate researchers at the Centre for Automotive Research.


Frank Walsh M.Sc. B.A. B.A.I. (Hons)

Telephone: +353 51 051-302089

Email: [email protected]

David Power B.Sc. (Physics), M.Sc. (Computing)

Telephone: +353 51 302741

Email: [email protected]

David is a research supervisor at the Automotive Control Group.  David graduated from NUI Maynooth in 1993 with a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics.  He proceeded to study Optoelectronics at Queen's University Belfast and began lecturing in Waterford Institute of Technology in 1995.

David completed his M.Sc. in Computing from Cork I.T. in 2002 and joined the Automotive Control Group as a Researcher.  His areas of lecturing include programming, software engineering, distributed systems and converged networks.  He has also satisfactorily completed all four semesters of the Cisco Systems CCNA instructor course.  David is currently supervising one post-graduate researcher in the area of time-triggered networks.


Stephen Comerford B.Tech.



Liang Zhang B.Sc

Telephone: +353 51

Email: [email protected]

Liang holds a B.Sc. in Applied Computing from Waterford Institute of Technology.  Liang is researching techniques for improving the efficiency of system integration testing in the automotive industry.

Research Programme

The past decade has seen phenomenal growth in the use of software and electronics in vehicles.  The software and electronics content of new vehicles is about 35% of overall vehicle cost and is set to rise.  The main driving factors are customer demands, legislation and OEM cost-reduction requirements.  The general trend is a replacement of mechanical systems by electro-mechanical (mechatronic) systems that are smaller, cheaper and programmable.  Sensor fusion, the combination of data from multiple vehicle sensors to make control decisions, is driving the growth in vehicle networking technologies.

New vehicle applications such as telematics and drive-by-wire are facilitated by a new breed of time-triggered network protocols such as FlexRay..  There is also a paradigm shift taking place in the methodologies used for vehicle system development.  Higher levels of abstraction, simulation tools and Hardware in the Loop (HIL) rapid prototyping platforms are used to provide earlier verification of system functionality.  Recent years have seen a shift towards the use of standard architectures for vehicle software applications.

Current Research Programme

The research programme for 2009 - 2011 focusses on the following areas of research:

  • System Integration 
  • FlexRay Vehicle Network Design
  • Automotive Software Development with AUTOSAR

For more information on any of the above research please contact a member of the group.


The Automotive Control Group has built up a comprehensive set of industry-standard design, development and testing tools for embedded automotive applications.  The latest software and hardware tools for vehicle software and network development are available to its researchers to ensure the continued relevance of the group's research to our industrial partners and to provide the best skills training for researchers seeking employment in the automotive industry.