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Personalised Intelligent Mobile Emergency Response through Crowd Shaping – helping people helping themselves and each other (EPS2020/34)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

To establish a formal framework to create an innovative formal foundation to enable the creation of intelligence safety instrumented systems that can be used to support emergency response missions via crowd sourcing and crowd shaping.

There is an acute need for personalisable systems for emergency response in the event of a crisis, e.g. car accidents, mountain and sea rescues, earthquake, terrorist attacks and home accidents. While bespoke emergency response systems are developed and used by formal rescue organisations and NGOs. However, up until today, there is not a suitable system available for individuals that may be used on a daily basis. Such a system must be robust, reliable and sensitive to personal needs that can cope with personal crisis to large-scale disasters. This system must be intuitive and easily deployable so it benefits most smart phones users.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and digital twin technologies, this project will create a formal foundation, that will be an extension of a formal framework MKDA, to enable the creation of a personalisable mobile communication system. Relevant safety standards for dependable systems and emergency response protocols will be investigated and this domain will be framed as a multi-agent problem.

In addition, digital twin technologies will be examined as a means to understand emergency response scenarios.
The ultimate goal of this project is to provide a rich and flexible foundation that can be used to support many different types of emergences. When used appropriately, this system should augment formal rescue organisations in their emergency response missions, by communicating and reporting critical situations as quickly as possible.


All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2020. Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype). This scholarship is only open to UK/EU applicants who meet residency requirements set out by EPSRC.

Closing Date

All applications must be received by 28th February 2020. All successful candidates should usually expect to start in September/October 2020.

How to Apply

Apply Online - https://hwacuk.elluciancrmrecruit.com/Admissions/Pages/Login.aspx

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in ‘Study Option’
You will need to select ‘Edinburgh’ and ‘Postgraduate Research’. ‘Programme’ presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Mechanical engineering PhD, chemical engineering PhD or Bio-engineering and Bio-sciences PhD and select September 2020 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
(b) in ‘Research Project Information’
You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor’s name.

This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.

Funding Notes

The annual stipend will be approx. £15k per year and full fees will be paid for 3.5 years.

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