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PhD studentship in 3D City Modelling: semantically enriched 3D city models for urban resource flow simulation

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Boyd
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted

Project Description

University of Nottingham – Laboratory of Urban Complexity and Sustainability (LUCAS)

The Laboratory of Urban Complexity and Sustainability (LUCAS), ( is seeking to appoint a PhD studentship in 3D City Modelling, as an important part of a large interdisciplinary Leverhulme Research Programme Grant “Sustaining Urban Habitats”.

Underpinning this ambitious research programme is the development, for the first time, of a comprehensive platform simulating the functioning of the complex socioeconomic systems that are our cities, to test strategies to maximise their sustainability. This requires the spatially-resolved simulation of a broad range of phenomena (urban climate, land use and transport interactions, the transport of goods and people, infrastructure development, buildings’ energy performance, energy, water and waste systems etc). Crucial to the success of this endeavour therefore, is the preparation of semantically enriched 3D models describing our case study cities (in Europe and China) and the further development of the underlying technologies to facilitate this.

3D urban models are an abstracted 3D representation of the elements that comprise the urban fabric (terrain, buildings, streets, vegetation), enriched with semantic detail to reflect domain requirements. These models are widely used to support visualisation, but their use to support simulations of urban climate, land use, transport etc is in its infancy. Specific semantics will be developed that address city-scale simulation requirements. This may include the development of new or contributions to emerging Application Domain Extensions for CityGML and the further development of a database that imports/exports CityGML, called 3DCityDB.

Working closely with other members (PhD students, Research Fellows and Professors) of the interdisciplinary LUCAS team of social, economic, physical and computer scientists this task will be your focus – to help us simulate and optimise the sustainability of our future mainly urban society.


Preferred candidates should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree and / or a distinction or high merit at MSc level in a relevant subject area (e.g. computer science, geography, geoinformatics, engineering or a cognate discipline). Experience in one or more of the following is essential: Geographical Information Science, 3D modelling, semantic enrichment, remote sensing, database development, scripting.

Good communication skills, and the ability to work as part of a team as well as independently are also essential. A willingness to travel within Europe and to China is desirable.

The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU students, due to funding restrictions, plus a tax free stipend for three years of £14,296 per annum.

Informal enquiries prior to making an application may be addressed to Dr. Doreen Boyd, email: [Email Address Removed]. To apply, please email a covering letter stating why you wish to apply for and how you fulfill the requirements of this studentship. Please also provide a full CV, a transcript of your academic record and the names and addresses of two referees (in PDF format) to Dr. Sameh Zakhary ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU students, due to funding restrictions, plus a tax free stipend for three years of £14,296 per annum.

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