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Novel AVI techniques for ultra-quiet bases

   School of Engineering

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  Dr S S Aphale, Dr Vahid Vaziri  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Precision manufacturing, high-fidelity measurements and supersensitive equipment – all require an ultra-quite base / floor [1, 2]. The current Active Vibration Isolation technology as well as popularly employed control schemes fall short of the desired performance metrics. This research will first start with a detailed study of the state-of-the-art to clearly understand what the current performance boundaries are and why. Initial studies have demonstrated that dual-stage complimentary actuator platforms might be able to deliver a step-change in AVI performance.

Control of these platforms to fully exploit their performance capabilities is a multivariable control and optimization problem that is to date, unsolved. This research aims at first developing a digital-twin model of the dual-stage AVI Platform and then designing optimized MIMO control algorithms that allow for exploitation of the extreme limits of operation to deliver the required ultra-quiet performance. The control schemes developed within this research have the potential to be applied to other MIMO systems that collaborate to deliver a unified goal; for example multi-legged robots.

Successful candidates will join the interdisciplinary Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Mechatronic Systems Group (ARMS) at the School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen and will have access to area experts as well as a well-furnished laboratory for all their experimental studies, should they choose to explore that direction. They will also be involved (as opportunities arise) in short-term live industry projects as paid research assistants, allowing them to broaden their industry-relevant skillset. A limited number of paid teaching assistantship positions can also be availed (subject to budget restrictions and course requirements). Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with the Structural Vibrations Group at Exeter and Alcala Henares.

Selection will be made on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Electrical / Mechanical / Mechatronics / Structural Engineering, Applied Physics / Mathematics along with evidence of adequate competence in the underlying concepts.

Familiarity with any two of the following subject areas is required:

i.                    Mathematical modelling of systems

ii.                  Dynamics of structures

iii.                Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory

iv.                Control Systems

v.                  Mechanical / Structural Vibrations

vi.                Nonlinear dynamics

Candidates must be competent with MATLAB and SIMULINK and / or similar mathematical software.


Formal applications can be completed online:

• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering

• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor

• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding

• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)

• Detailed CV, Personal Statement/Motivation Letter and Intended source of funding

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr S Aphale ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

This PhD project has no funding attached and is therefore available to students (UK/International) who are able to seek their own funding or sponsorship. Supervisors will not be able to respond to requests to source funding. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting


[1] B. Bakker and J. van Seggelen, “The revolutionary Hummingbird technology”. Mikroniek 50 (3): 14–20, 2010.
[2] A. Preumont, M. Horodinca, I. Romanescu, B. de Marneffe, M. Avraam, A. Deraemaeker, F. Bossens, and A.A. Hanieh, “A six-axis single-stage active vibration isolator based on Stewart platform”. J. Sound Vibr. 300: 644–661, 2007.
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