World class powertrain specialist joins Torotrak research team

New chief engineer for research and development will help to open new markets for Torotrak technologies 

Torotrak has appointed Dr Quanbao Zhou as chief engineer, research and development in the face of growing demand from clients for engineering application work across a diverse range of market sectors. An international figure in powertrain tribology

and advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics

(CFD), Dr Zhou’s experience in friction and parasitic loss reduction will be of particular benefit as Torotrak expands its range of full-toroidal traction drives to include smaller units, suitable for variable-speed supercharger drives, mechanical kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) and other applications where size, cost and efficiency are critical.

For the last 12 years, Dr Zhou has been mainly responsible for low friction engine design, analysis and optimisation at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), including the piston assembly, valvetrain, bearings, oil pump and lubrication system. Under Dr Zhou’s leadership, JLR’s V8 gasoline engines, developed over the last decade, are among the lowest friction engines to have been independently tested by the German automotive consultancy, FEV. He has worked with the universities of Leeds, Leicester and Clausthal (Germany) on a variety of projects, presenting over 20 papers to technical conferences and co-authoring 13 more for learned publications and journals. He is also named as the inventor in four patent applications.

Prior to this, Dr Zhou’s expertise lay in the use of CFD to research complex airflow and particle tracking problems, gaining his PhD from the University of Birmingham while working for the Silsoe Research Institute. His earlier education, in China, included BSc, MSc and PhD degrees and his model of heat transfer by radiation for in-cylinder combustion processes, published in 1987, became a worldwide standard.

Commenting upon the appointment, Torotrak’s engineering director, Roger Stone says, “Dr Zhou brings additional experience to enhance our R&D capability and bolsters our background in system development for volume manufacture at a time when customer project work is growing rapidly. We are working with many clients across a diverse range of sectors in which Dr Zhou’s expertise will help to ensure our future technology pipeline delivers further improvements in efficiency and CO2 reduction for our customers.”

About Torotrak

Torotrak is the world’s foremost developer of full-toroidal traction drive technology. The company designs and develops Continuously Variable (CVT) and Infinitely Variable (IVT) transmissions which deliver outstanding levels of performance, functionality and refinement along with improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. Torotrak develops main drive transmissions as well as variable ratio transmissions for application in flywheel-based mechanical hybrid systems and for use as auxiliary drives.

Torotrak operates in the automotive, truck, bus, off-highway and agricultural markets, in motor sport and in outdoor power equipment.  Its customers are widely spread across Europe, North America, India and Japan, and include major vehicle makers and tier one transmission manufacturers.

Torotrak plc is fully listed on the London Stock Exchange.