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Mechanical Engineering: Fully Funded EPSRC and Swansea PhD Scholarship: Collaborative Robotics Technology for Assembly & Disassembly of Awkward-shaped Objects in Manufacturing Environment (CRTAD-ASOME)

   School of Aerospace, Civil, Electrical, General And Mechanical Engineering

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  Dr Ashraf Ahmed Fahmy  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funding providers: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Swansea University's Faculty of Science and Engineering

Subject areas: Robotics Control

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2023 (Enrolment open from mid-September)
  • 1 January 2024 (Enrolment open from mid–December)
  • 1 April 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-March)
  • 1 July 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-June)

Project supervisors: 

  • Dr Ashraf Ahmed Fahmy
  • Dr Shuai Li

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Mode of study: Full or Part-time study is possible.

Project description: 

Assembly and disassembly of uncertain shapes, sizes, conditions, and awkward-shaped objects forms a great challenge in manufacturing when considered for automated and robotic processes. This is because it needs a lot of correct identification, dexterity, flexibility, and manoeuvring capabilities of the manipulators. In most cases, it ends-up for manual and tedious processes with limited or no robotics support to human operators. However, this results in increased cost of product repair, end of life decommissioning, and disassembly for replacing parts. This project will focus on understanding the technologies and methods required for flexible and adaptable autonomous assembly and disassembly processes using robotic manipulators associated with humanoid hands and vision system for human-like performance for uncertain shapes, sizes, conditions, and awkward-shaped objects. The project objectives can be summarized as:

  1. Conducting a fundamental investigation into human assembly and disassembly dexterity of awkward shaped objects using both arms and hand.
  2. Using the knowledge obtained in achieving Objective 1, planning, testing, learning and adaptation strategies for an example assembly and Disassembly operations.
  3. Using UR3E/UR5E robots and DLR-HIT II Robot Hands available in the robotics lab to build the infrastructure needed to implement the strategies developed in previous objective 2 in handling complex assembly and disassembly tasks.


Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.


Please note that the programme requires some applicants to hold ATAS clearance, further details on ATAS scheme eligibility are available on the UK Government website.

ATAS clearance IS NOT required to be held as part of the scholarship application process, successful award winners (as appropriate) are provided with details as to how to apply for ATAS clearance in tandem with scholarship course offer.

Funding Notes

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rate (currently £17,668 for 2022/23).
Additional research expenses will also be available.

Open days

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