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EPSRC iCASE PhD Project: Optimisation of Future Cellular Networks


School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Belfast United Kingdom Data Analysis Electrical Engineering Computer Science

About the Project

Principal Supervisor (s): Professor Simon Cotton, Dr Anvar Tukmanov (BT) 

Contact Details:  

Second Supervisor: Professor Michalis Matthaiou 

Project Introduction:  

The initial roll out of 5G networks has given us a glimpse of the many exciting applications that high speed and low latency communications will enable. These include augmented reality (AR), autonomous vehicles and connectivity on an unprecedented scale through the internet of things (IoT). The next generation of cellular is even more ambitious and purportedly targeting a ten-fold increase in user experienced data rates coupled with a factor of ten decrease in latency, all under stricter energy constraints. That being said, there is still significant research that needs to be conducted to enable the current generation of cellular to realise its full potential. This joint PhD programme of study between BT and Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) will investigate how cutting-edge advancements in physical layer wireless, data analysis and intelligence (through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)), can be used to enhance the performance of current and future cellular networks.  

Project Description: In this prestigious 4-year, industry supported EPSRC ICASE PhD studentship (https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/industrial-case/intro/), you will have the opportunity to explore different physical layer approaches for improving and optimising the performance of current and future cellular systems. Example areas include (but are not limited to): 

1. Channel measurements and modelling including performance analysis; 

2. Active antenna systems including distributed antenna systems (DAS) / coordinated multipoint (CoMP), multiple input multiple output (MIMO), massive MIMO and cell-free massive MIMO; 

3. Use of AI and ML to improve physical layer performance (including context awareness); 

4. Novel propagation enhancement techniques such as intelligent reflective surface (IRS) assisted communications; 

5. Physical layer security. 

The PhD studentship is flexible and the successful candidate will have the opportunity to propose areas of relevant research. Other benefits of this industry-sponsored PhD are an enhanced stipend, access to state of the art laboratories and expertise at BT (Adastral Park) and QUB, as well as gaining experience of collaborative research between academia and industry. 

Through this PhD study, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop skills in experimentation, data analysis and modelling, AI/machine learning as well as wireless communications. 

Academic Requirements (depending on studentships Local and/or International) 

• A minimum 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in Computer Science or Electrical and Electronic Engineering or relevant degree is required. 

• Experience with MATLAB or the Python programming language will be beneficial. 

Application Closing date: 11/06/2021 

Start Date: 01/10/ 2021 

Funding Information: This project will be funded by the EPRSC and BT through an ICASE award and covers tuition fees and an enhanced salary for a maximum of four years. 

https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/industrial-case/intro/  

Eligibility for both fees and maintenance depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship. Non UK residents and International students may also apply but if successful will be self-funded. 


Funding Notes

This project will be funded by the EPRSC and BT through an ICASE award and covers tuition fees and an enhanced salary for a maximum of four years.
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Eligibility for both fees and maintenance depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship. Non UK residents and International students may also apply but if successful will be self-funded.

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