St John's College Oxford

James Fleming

Non-Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering



At St John's I give tutorials on a range of topics within Engineering. I was previously an undergraduate at St Edmund Hall, gaining the degree of MEng in 2012, and a graduate at Worcester College until 2016, when I finished my DPhil studies. During that time I worked in the Control group at the Department of Engineering Science in Oxford. Before arriving at St John's I was a research fellow with the Energy Technology group at the University of Southampton.

Research Interests

My research concerns optimal control in the presence of constraints. The objective is to get the best possible output from an engineered system (such as the maximum power from a wind turbine, or maximum product from a chemical reactor) while satisfying limits from economic or safety considerations. Typically, this requires mathematical modelling of the physics of the system and design of a computer algorithm that can choose the best control input for a given set of measured outputs.

I am particularly interested in nonlinear systems and those containing uncertain parameters or disturbances, and applications in the automotive and renewable energy sectors. During my time with the Control group in Oxford, I developed new techniques for model predictive control of systems with uncertain, time-varying parameters. Presently, I am investigating how to minimise fuel usage in hybrid vehicles using optimal control, and methods of applying constraints to systems with stochastic uncertainties.