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PhD in Acoustic Sensing

Project Description

A great opportunity has arisen for a research student (PhD) to join a prestigious Programme Grant funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and led by the University of Sheffield ( The Grant aims to develop a new swarm robotics technology platform for buried pipe inspection which can measure the pipe conditions (e.g. leaks and blockages) and their deterioration autonomously and pervasively. Your part will be to design, model, test and to integrate new acoustic sensor solutions with small robots which will be able to navigate, communicate and sense the environment while being left inside the pipe. These robots will be manufactured at the EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotics Systems at Leeds. You will contribute to a key outcome of this Grant which will be the new sensing platform and signal processing algorithms to be used by the industry as the next generation of autonomous inspection solutions for buried pipes. This new technology will yield a step change in the way the buried pipes are inspected, rehabilitated and managed.

The appointed PhD student will have the opportunity to advance science in one or more of the following related topics: (i) acoustic wave propagation in buried pipes; (ii) swarm acoustic sensor technology; (iii) advanced signal processing methods for swarm acoustic sensing. This work will be done in collaboration with the University of Bristol (ultrasonic sensors) and University of Leeds (communications and robots). Although the successful candidate will be based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, there will be plenty of opportunity for him/her to travel and work with our non-academic partners in the UK, Australia (UTS), Netherlands (Deltares) and USA (US Environment Protection Agency). This PhD studentship also benefits from extensive inter-faculty collaboration available through the Pennine Water Group at Sheffield ( and EPSRC Twenty65 project ( The appointed candidate will be able to use for his/her work two bespoke experimental facilities at Sheffield: UKCRIC Distributed Water Infrastructure ( and Laboratory for Validation and Verification (

The successful candidate should have graduated (or expect to graduate before the start of this PhD project) with a good honours degree in Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Environmental Sciences or a related subject. They should be able to demonstrate an aptitude for research and a willingness to work flexibly, in a number of locations and environments. They will be expected to have good communication skills to publish their work and to present it to our partners and external peers. Possession of a driving licence is desirable.

The applications should be made through the University of Sheffield on-line submission system (

Informal enquiries can be made to through email to Prof. Kirill V. Horoshenkov ().

Funding Notes

This opportunity is open to the UK, EU and overseas candidates. The University of Sheffield will offer £15,009 per annum stipend. However, an overseas candidate will be expected to cover the difference between the home and overseas fees.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Chemical and Biological engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 30.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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