Personal profile

Research interests

Currently Jonathan is concerned to build a team to develop reliability engineering science to enable the prediction of electrical component/system reliability under harsh operating conditions. The science that underlies analysis and modelling of component/system reliability is still in its infancy. Most ageing models are a collection of equations generally describing a system from a phenomenological perspective and are limited mainly to that specific system under examination. This has generated a vast array of ageing models based on many different physical principles with many different variables. From an engineering perspective this approach has been adequate within specified limits. However, Jonathan is concerned to develop the physics of component ageing from a fundamental thermodynamics approach and thus develop a generalised theory of ageing (or importantly system robustness) from the bottom upwards.

Three facilities are under development in this research at Heriot-Watt:-

  • The 3D X-Ray Computer Tomography Facility is to aid defect analysis to better understand the physics of failure of electrical and electromechanical devices.
  • The High Current Test Facility is to aid the understanding of degradation processes in high current connectors and wiring in electrical vehicles.
  • The GreenGlean Research Facility uses the micro-systems fabrication facilities within the School to build a suite of macro-systems manufacturing tools for fundamental research of novel materials for energy converter devices.

See also for a collection of resources related to Reliability Engineering.


Jonathan Swingler is Senior Lecturer in Energy at Heriot-Watt University within the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences (Electrical Engineering). Over the last twenty years he has developed an extensive expertise in the reliability of electrical systems following positions at Loughborough University and the University of Southampton. His work has particularly focused on electrical contacts and interconnecting in automotive and aerospace systems. He has more than 60 publications, is a reviewer for many leading journal publications, acts as an Expert Witness concerning failure of components and patent disputes, and is a proposal evaluator and project reviewer for the European Commission. He is a chartered physicist and is actively involved with the Institute of Physics. He is the Honorary Treasurer for the Dielectrics Group and was Chair of the Dielectric2011 International Conference and is Chair for the 28th International Conference on Electrical Contacts

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Contact resistance Engineering & Materials Science
Conducting polymers Engineering & Materials Science
Fretting corrosion Engineering & Materials Science
ceramics Physics & Astronomy
humidity Physics & Astronomy
Flashover Engineering & Materials Science
Tin Engineering & Materials Science
Tomography Engineering & Materials Science

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Research Output 1996 2018

Breakdown Process Experiments of Cap-and-Pin Insulators and their EMT Leader-Progression Model Implementation

Koehler, F., Swingler, J. & Peesapati, V. 30 Jan 2018 In : IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution. 12, 2, p. 448–454 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
curve fitting

Practical model for tower earthing systems in lightning simulations

Koehler, F. & Swingler, J. May 2018 In : Electric Power Systems Research. 158, p. 306–314

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Unconventional flashover mitigation measures to improve the lightning performance of transmission lines

Koehler, F. & Swingler, J. 21 May 2018 IET International Conference on Resilience of Transmission and Distribution Networks (RTDN 2017). Institution of Engineering and Technology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Electric lines

A 3D contact analysis approach for the visualization of the electrical contact asperities

Roussos, C. & Swingler, J. Jan 2017 In : AIP Advances. 7, 1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Open Access
Contact resistance
Gold plating
Water supply
Atmospheric humidity