Flexible networking and computing architecture for health applications
Funding: Full-time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a.
Application deadline: 7 June 2019
Start date: October 2019
Duration: 3 years (full time)
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
(in collaboration with the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences: https://www.essex.ac.uk/departments/sport-rehabilitation-and-exercise-sciences)
This three-year collaborative project brings together experts in computing systems, communications, and sports and rehabilitation.
The Internet of Things (IoT) applications are expected to connect us and our environments in unprecedented ways. Flexible offering of network services at the edge and deep in the Cloud is a corner stone in delivering this vision, particularly for sports and health applications. Requirements for: efficient data collection from multiple wireless sensors, intelligent data processing to provide cognitive services, power conservation of wearable devices, mobility and security renders the design of suitable Edge/Cloud fabrics a complex issue.
This necessitates undertaking rigorous investigation into Edge/Cloud architectures in order to design and develop novel solutions, suitable for interconnecting wearable sensors used primarily for sport and health applications.
Increased development of wearable sensors for physiological monitoring has spurred complementary interest in the detection of health and performance indicators. Wireless sensors such as near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices (PortaMon, MOXY Monitor), portable gas analysers (Cosmed K5), heart rate monitors and global positioning systems offer the capability to monitor and guide individual exercise prescription. Most devices operate as independent sensors and therefore networking multiple data outputs from various sources may provide a more holistic view of physiological load and facilitate intelligent data processing to enable cognitive exercise guidance.
Data security and network reliability are critical concerns of sports and health applications. For instance, ‘real-time’ data should be reported, processed and communicated accurately and timely to allow for accurate profiling of individuals health and performance. Manipulating this data could have severe consequences on the individual.
However, the exposed nature of wearable sensors - reporting the data - and the wireless body network that connects them makes for an easy target of data or network attacks. Added to that, portable devices are often constrained in resources and hence may not be able to apply typical, process-heavy, security mechanisms to protect against data manipulation or to mitigate an attack against the network. Enabling accurate processing and communication of this data requires investigating novel, lightweight solutions to data authentication and access authorisation.
This funded PhD studentship will address the design and development of a novel, flexible and intelligent Edge/Cloud networking solutions for smart sport and health applications.
You should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2:1 or above (or equivalent) in computer science, electronic engineering, or mathematics.
Preference will be given to students who have expertise in one or more of the following areas:
• Edge/Cloud computing
• Internet of Things (IoT)
• Future network
• Software Defined Networks (SDN)
• Wireless communications
• Cyber security
• Machine learning
• Information theory
How to apply
You can apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online:
Please include your CV, covering letter, personal statement, and transcripts of undergraduate and Masters degrees in your application.
The University requires one reference for PhD applications and these can be received after a conditional offer has been made, so the absence of these will not hold up the recruitment process.
When you apply you will be prompted to fill out several boxes in the form:
• For "Course title" put "PhD Computing and Electronic Systems"
• For "Proposed research topic or area of research" put the title of this studentship: Flexible networking and computing architecture for health applications
• For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." put the name of the lead supervisor: Dr Mays Al-Naday
If you have any informal queries about this opportunity, email the lead supervisor: Dr Mays Al-Naday ([Email Address Removed]).
You can find more information online:
The award consists of a full-time Home/EU fee waiver, or equivalent fee discount for overseas students, a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.