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BBSRC Industrial CASE PhD Studentship: Autonomous Quality Control in Manufacturing

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G Panoutsos
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

In collaboration with BBSRC and Nestle Global we offer a PhD studentship in Autonomous Quality Control in Manufacturing. Robust quality control is of paramount importance in the manufacturing sector in general. Relevant to quality control, specific challenges in complex manufacturing include the sparse opportunities for direct product-process sensing, need for low cost solutions, and frequent use of expert knowledge (humans) to drive any process optimisation.

This PhD will focus on the creation of new methods in Computational Intelligence, specific to autonomous quality control systems for VHV-LV (very high volume – low value) production in manufacturing with high product variability. Indirect sensing and inference, as well as model-based approaches for novelty detection in spatiotemporal data will be the key technical research themes of this PhD.
The applicant will have an excellent first degree in electrical/electronic engineering, computing, control or systems engineering, or in another relevant discipline, and be strongly numerate. You will be an excellent communicator in both written and spoken English. Above all we are seeking a highly motivated and numerate candidate with a strong interest in technology and drive to explore, learn and apply their engineering skills to autonomous manufacturing systems. Previous experience in Computational Intelligence, Modelling and Simulation and Data Mining, would be an advantage.

Nestlé is the world’s largest food manufacturer and the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company. Based in York, Nestlé’s Product Technology Centre (NPTC) is part of a global network of Research Centres and the global lead centre for confectionery R&D.

As an NPTC PhD student you will be part of a community of 15-20 students based at top UK and overseas universities. To complement your university-based research training Nestlé will offer you soft skills and industrial training that will enhance your readiness for employment, including6-9 months of placements at NPTC York spread over the course of your PhD. Nestlé also offer a £3,500 per year extra support in addition to the standard BBSRC stipend.

Funding Notes

This Studentship will cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and also provide a tax-free stipend at £17,884 for the duration of the project (this figure includes extra support from industrial sponsor).

Full grant requires UK Residency status: please see:


To apply please submit a PhD application using our online application system via the Apply link at the following:

Your application should include a CV containing the names and addresses of two referees, along with a 150-word (maximum) description of your relevant experience for this research programme. You should indicate this project and enter Dr George Panoutsos as your proposed supervisor in your application. If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr George Panoutsos at ([email protected]).

How good is research at University of Sheffield in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 21.80

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