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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Building Information Model Development Using Generative Adversarial Networks


   Electronic and Electrical Engineering


About the Project

Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN’s), are an approach to generative modelling using deep learning methods, such as convolutional neural networks. Generative modelling is an unsupervised learning task in machine learning that involves automatically discovering and learning the regularities or patterns in input data in such a way that the model can be used to generate or output new examples that plausibly could have been drawn from the original dataset. GANs are an exciting and rapidly changing field, delivering on the promise of generative models in their ability to generate realistic examples across a range of problem domain and they have seen recent success in the following areas:

·     Upscaling resolutions in photos and video

·     Creating realistic movements in computer games

·     Creating 3D models from 2D pictures

This project will develop a novel GAN architecture that will act as a design assistant for the development of building information models, providing design alternatives and filling in missing information in the model as it is developed. The model will implement industry standard design principles and UK design standards to ensure that the designs are safe, efficient and constructible.

This research sits at the intersection between computer science, data management, BIM and civil engineering and will require the application of established techniques from the computer gaming and visualisation industries, for example, to a novel application in developing BIM data.   

This project is a collaboration between the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the AI: Social and Digital Innovation Centre. The researcher will become part of an established and high-energy research group which meets frequently and works collaboratively on a range of industry problems across numerous industries.

The candidate will be provided with mentoring toward chartered engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status if they have an Engineering Council accredited degree.

About you

Due to the technical nature of this project, the ideal candidate will either be a computer science graduate or a civil engineering graduate with a programming background. A Masters’ degree is desired but not essential for the role.

Research journey

Doctoral research programmes (PhDs) take a proud place in the world-class research environment and community at Brunel. PhD students are recognised and valued by their supervisors as an essential part of their departments and a key component of the university's overall strategy to develop and deliver world-class research.

A PhD programme is expected to take 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time, with intakes starting in January, April or October.

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (1st or 2:1) or an international equivalent. A Masters degree is a welcome, but not required, qualification for entry.

Research support

Excellent research support and training

The Graduate School provides a range of personal, professional and career development opportunities. This includes workshops, online training, coaching and events, to enable you to enhance your professional profile, refine your skills, and plan your next career steps as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The researcher development programme (RDP) offers workshops and seminars in a range of areas including progression, research management, research dissemination, and careers and personal development. You will also be offered a number of online, self-study courses on BBL, including Research Integrity, Research Skills Toolkit, Research Methods in Literature Review and Principles of Research Methods.

Library services

Brunel's Library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 ebooks, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs. As well as the physical resources available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students. 

Dedicated research support staff provide guidance and training on open access, research data management, copyright and other research integrity issues.

Careers support

You will receive tailored careers support during your PhD and for up to three years after you complete your research at Brunel. We encourage you to actively engage in career planning and managing your personal development right from the start of your research, even (or perhaps especially) if you don't yet have a career path in mind. Our careers provision includes online information and advice, one-to-one consultations and a range of events and workshops. The Professional Development Centre runs a varied programme of careers events throughout the academic year. These include industry insight sessions, recruitment fairs, employer pop-ups and skills workshops.


Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

How good is research at Brunel University London in Engineering?


Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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