Autonomous Systems for Train Servicing and Maintenance
Applications are invited for a full time PhD studentship in the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences on a research project in Autonomous Systems for Train Servicing funded jointly by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). You will join a team currently developing an experimental robotic system for train fluid servicing with TBG Solutions Ltd, in collaboration with Chiltern Railways. The plan is that this lab-based demonstrator of fluid servicing leads onto a railway demonstrator system and eventually a commercial system. Areas for further research are emerging from this industrial project, in terms of widening the scope of autonomous systems for performing tasks that are dirty, dull or dangerous for humans. Such systems will generate data on the condition of the trains being serviced, providing opportunities to improve the reliability and availability of trains. Using the train servicing robot, the proposed doctoral research will initially investigate:
• Development of digital twin technology (representing physical assets with intelligent virtual models) in the context of autonomous servicing of trains.
• Improving autonomous train servicing through the use of digital twin technology.
• The design of future trains for autonomous servicing.
Successful eligible applicants will be asked to develop a research proposal on the application and development of a digital twin in the context of autonomous servicing of trains to be provided as part of the application process. Further details will be provided to successful applicants. You will be supported by a research team working on the project as well as the industrial collaborator and RSSB contacts in the rail industry.
You would receive an annual stipend of £16,777 plus payment of annual full time home tuition fees for a period of 36 months (3 years).
You should have a first degree at or equivalent to 2:1 or above in a suitable engineering discipline, e.g. mechanical engineering, design engineering, physics, or similar. A Master’s level qualification is desirable but not essential. Demonstrable practical engineering ability through project work and relevant experience in autonomous systems or mechatronics is an advantage.
You must be eligible for home tuition fees in order to be considered for this position.