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(BBSRC DTP) Wine-making berry and grapevine condition monitoring using multi-band electromagnetic transmission characteristics: Feasibility analysis and post-harvest application

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

About the Project

Vineyards in some of the most productive new-world wine-making regions, from California to Chile, from South Africa to South Australia, face a growing threat from the effects of climate change. Rising temperatures cause grapevines to ripen early resulting in a loss of grape vitality at harvest, and a poorer quality wine. The increasing likelihood of bushfires, such as those that ravaged parts of Australia in early 2020, cause contamination of the grape tainting the flavour of the wine. To preserve the taste and quality of these vintages, viticulturists need new precision agricultural technologies to monitor the condition of their produce and help them adapt to a changing climate.

This PhD project will explore a new approach to non-invasively measure and assess the physiology of fruit and other biological tissue using electromagnetic transmission characteristics – e.g. bioimpedance or dielectric spectroscopy. By measuring these characteristics over frequencies from low radio to microwave, we aim to capture the information-rich dispersion regions that mark the electromagnetic transmission mechanisms, and to decode this information in terms of the physical, biological and chemical condition of the fruit. This project will seek to understand these mechanisms at a fundamental level, mastering the different measurement techniques and instrumentation to measure over a broad spectrum, and to develop the new science necessary to create unique new analytical tools to analyse the grape, grapevine and canapy in field or factory.

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Entry Requirements:
Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. This project is offered as a Dual Award. Applicants for Dual Award projects must meet the entry requirements of both The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne. The University of Melbourne admissions criteria can be found at:

UK applicants interested in this project should make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. International applicants (including EU nationals) must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English Language) as outlined before contacting potential supervisors to express an interest in their project. Eligibility can be checked via the University Country Specific information page (

If your country is not listed you must contact the Doctoral Academy Admissions Team providing a detailed CV (to include academic qualifications – stating degree classification(s) and dates awarded) and relevant transcripts.

Following the review of your qualifications and with support from potential supervisor(s), you will be informed whether you can submit a formal online application.

To be considered for this project you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on the BBSRC DTP website

Funding Notes

Funding will cover UK tuition fees/stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website View Website

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