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  Human Factors of trustworthy autonomous transport systems


   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Dr Katie Plant  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisory Team:   Katherine Plant, Katie Parnell, Siobhan Merriman

Project description

The University of Southampton are inviting applications for a PhD studentship in Human Factors within the Transportation Research Group as part of the EPSRC funded Trustworthy Autonomous Systems project. This a large £33M programme of research that brings together collaborators from multiple academic backgrounds and Universities to tackle issues related to the trustworthy development of autonomous systems.

This PhD will sit within the Human Factors Engineering team within the Transportation Research Group and will focus on issues relating to trust in autonomous transportation systems. The scope of the project can be tailored to suit the interests of the applicant, but possible ideas include looking at the interaction between autonomous vehicles and vulnerable road users, such as active travellers. We are also interested in exploring new methods and developing a tool kit to assess Human Factors in relation to autonomous systems. Furthermore, there is an interest in reviewing the equality, diversity and inclusivity challenges within the transport domain and the development of autonomous systems.

The Transportation Research Group has an array of experimental test beds that can be used within this studentship, including the ‘Southampton University Driving Simulator’ and the newly created ‘Virtual Reality Cave’ which can be used to review interactions between road users.

We are seeking a candidate who can prove that they can undertake independent research into this new and exciting field. Ideally the candidate will have some previous experience in Human Factors, Psychology. Experience of automation, automated systems and/or transportation is beneficial but this is not pre-requirement, and we will review each applicant on their merit. Uniquely, this studentship will also offer the opportunity to work collaboratively with peers from other disciplines such as Computer Scientists, Engineers, Psychologists, Philosophers, Lawyers, and Mathematicians, to tackle the issues of trust in autonomous systems.

This project offers a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a large network of researchers and project partners, with support and network opportunities provided by the TAS Hub Doctoral network. Due to the nature of the funding the studentship is only available to UK or ‘Settled Status’ citizens.

For more information and/or to discuss any ideas that you may have for this project please contact Dr Katie Parnell ([Email Address Removed]).

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent) in Human Factors, Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, or related.

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 July 2023 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £17,668 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Apply online: Search for a Postgraduate Programme of Study (soton.ac.uk). Select programme type (Research), 2023/24, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Katherine Plant

Applications should include:

Research Proposal (1 side of A4 detailing possible scope, aims, methodology and possible outputs)

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact: [Email Address Removed]


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 About the Project