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  Planetary Subsurface Exploration using Ground Penetrating Radar: Developing data intensive processing methods and advanced numerical tools for multi-offset measurements (Advert ref: NUDATA23/MCE/WARREN)


   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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  Dr Craig Warren  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

About the Centre for Doctoral Training

This project is being offered as part of the STFC Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science, called NUdata, which is a collaboration between Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, STFC, and a portfolio of over 40 industrial partners, including SMEs, large/multinational companies, Government and not-for profit organisations, and international humanitarian organisations. Please visit https://research.northumbria.ac.uk/nudata/ for full information.

PhD project description

Subsurface exploration of the Moon and Mars is a rapidly growing international scientific endeavour. There are 4 active planetary rovers and a further 3 to be deployed by 2024, most of which are equipped with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) – an electromagnetic (EM) instrument used to image the subsurface. GPR is a well-developed tool for use on Earth in a wide variety of infrastructure and geophysical applications, however, the uniqueness of planetary subsurface environments demands a paradigm shift in GPR data processing and interpretation.

gprMax (http://www.gprmax.com/) is open-source EM modelling software already used by the RIMFAX project team (NASA) and China National Space Administration (CNSA) for Mars and Lunar GPR investigations. This project will develop new knowledge of planetary subsurface structures and materials through the creation of innovative data intensive processing methods and advanced numerical tools for planetary GPR data. It will focus on large volume, multi-offset GPR data and amplitude versus offset (AVO) analysis, as well as the development of an EM digital twin of the GPR/lander system which will allow its characteristics and performance to be investigated, and be a significant step forward for model-based processing. The project is multi-disciplinary involving planetary science, research software engineering, machine learning, high-performance computing, geophysics, and electrical engineering.

Recruitment Event

You will join a strong and supportive research team. To help better understand the aims of the CDT and to meet the PhD supervisors, we are hosting a day-long event on campus on Monday 9th January 2023.

At that event, there will be an opportunity to discuss your research ideas, meet potential PhD supervisors, as well as hear from speakers from a variety of backgrounds (academia, industry, government, charity) discussing both STFC and data science as well as their personal paths and backgrounds. Click here for details.

Eligibility Requirements*:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student. Applicants will need to be in the UK and fully enrolled before stipend payments can commence, and be aware of the following additional costs that may be incurred, as these are not covered by the studentship.

  • Immigration Health Surcharge https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application
  • If you need to apply for a Student Visa to enter the UK, please refer to the information on https://www.gov.uk/student-visa. It is important that you read this information very carefully as it is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the correct funds required for your visa application otherwise your visa may be refused.
  • Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19
  • Costs associated with English Language requirements which may be required for students not having completed a first degree in English, will not be borne by the university. Please see individual adverts for further details of the English Language requirements for the university you are applying to.

How to Apply

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/

Please note:

You must include the relevant advert reference/studentship code (e.g. NUDATA23/…) in your application.

If you are interested in more than one of the Northumbria-hosted NUdata research projects, then you can say this in the cover letter of your application and you can rank up to three projects you are interested in (i.e. first choice, second choice, third choice). You are strongly encouraged to do this, since some projects are more popular than others. You only need to submit one application even if you are interested in multiple projects (we recommend you submit your application to your first choice).

You do not need to submit a research proposal for the proposed project, since the project is already defined by the supervisor. If you have your own research idea and wish to pursue that, then this is also possible - please indicate this on your application (if this is the case, then please include a research proposal of approximately 300 words).

We offer all applicants full guidance on the application process and on details of the CDT. For informal enquiries, email Professor James McLaughlin ([Email Address Removed]). Please contact the Principal Supervisor of the project(s) [Email Address Removed] for project-specific enquiries.

Deadline for applications: 31st January 2023

Start Date: 25th September 2023

*please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

Computer Science (8) Geology (18) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

The studentship supports a full stipend, paid for four years at UKRI rates (for 2022/23 full-time study this is £17,668 per year), full tuition fees and a Research Training and Support Grant (for conferences, travel, etc).

References

• Giannakis, I., Zhou, F., Warren, C., & Giannopoulos, A., 2021, “Inferring the Shallow Layered Structure at the Chang’E‐4 Landing Site: A Novel Interpretation Approach Using Lunar Penetrating Radar”, Geophysical Research Letters, 48(16), 10.1029/2021GL092866
• Giannakis, I., Giannopoulos, A., & Warren, C., 2019, “A Machine Learning Based Fast Forward Solver for Ground Penetrating Radar with Application to Full Waveform Inversion”, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience & Remote Sensing, 57(7), 4417-4426 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2891206
• Warren, C., Giannopoulos, A., & Giannakis I., 2016, “gprMax: Open source software to simulate electromagnetic wave propagation for Ground Penetrating Radar”, Computer Physics Communications, 209, 163-170, 10.1016/j.cpc.2016.08.020

Where will I study?

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