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PhD Studentship: Sensing and Sampling Drone for Water Quality Monitoring

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Autonomous and semi-autonomous quadcopters are being used in various applications of our daily lives, and new applications and developments are constantly achieved by research and innovation. The success of such systems is achieved by the integration of new technology from various disciplines which include mechatronic systems, communications, embedded systems and computing, image and information processing, amongst others.

A particular motivation to research and develop innovative mobile robotic systems is to facilitate activities carried out by humans in difficult, hazardous, or dangerous areas; and quadcopters have proven to be an excellent example to explore and perform tasks under such circumstances.

The aim of this project is to explore the capability of an autonomous or semi-autonomous drone for sensing and sampling water quality. In particular, this will be achieved through the development of an innovative sensing and sampling system for water quality measurements that can be implemented in a drone. The drone will be capable to detect water via image processing, and to navigate over water while sensing and sampling. The system will be able to detect changes in the water environment such as pH level, nutrients, contaminants, temperature, etc. so that it can assist applications such as aquaculture, drinking water, aquatic habitats, etc. which have great impact in socio-economical activities. This project will adopt embedded systems, mechatronic systems, image and information processing, and communication technologies to build a sensing and sampling system suitable for implementation on a drone.

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Application procedure

Please apply for a PhD in Informatics via the University of Sussex postgraduate application system (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/apply). Include a brief statement of your scientific interests and skills/experience for the mandatory "research proposal" section, including how they relate to this project (maximum two pages). Indicate Dr Luis Ponce Cuspinera as your preferred advisor and clearly state the title of the studentship in the finance section.

This project is one of a number ear-marked for funding by the University of Sussex Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership to commence in September 2018. This project is in direct competition with others for funding; the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding.

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A Mechatronics or Robotics engineering background is highly desired.

Mechanical Engineers with confident programming skills, or Electrical/Electronic Engineers with confident mechanical engineering skills are also encouraged to apply.

Funding Notes

Applicants will have an excellent academic record and should have received or be expected to receive a relevant first or upper-second class honours degree. The EPSRC award is available to UK and to EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the previous 3 years. EU candidates who do not meet this criteria will be eligible for a fee waiver only. Overseas (non EU) students are not eligible to apply for EPSRC funding, but they are welcome to apply if they have access to other sources of funding.

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