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Propagation of signals from indoor small cells and optimization of cell positions

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Chris Budd
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted

Project Description

We are looking for an exceptionally qualified student wanting to work at the interface between applied mathematics and electrical engineering, with a clear industrial focus for a four year fully funded PhD I-CASE award between Bath and BT, in collaboration with the Smith Institute.

The PhD project will be supervised by Prof. Chris Budd, OBE, and Dr. Robert Watson at Bath, together with Dr. Michael Fitch and Dr. Zaid Al-Daher at BT. The student will be based in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath, with extended visits to the BT research centre at Adastral Park, of at least one month per year.

Project description
One of the key problems facing the telecommunications industry, for example, BT which is the UK’s leading provider of WiFi and mobile cellular infrastructure, is the provision of effective WiFi and more recently LTE (Long-Term Evolution) small cells with high data capacity. The increasing use of high volumes of data on WiFi means that the user frequency needs to increase to 5GHz and ultimately to even higher frequencies. This causes significant issues in ensuring that the signals from femtocells (used to off-load traffic from the main macro-cells) can propagate around a cluttered domestic environment where line-of-sight paths are short, and in determining the optimal placement of (often multiple) transmitters and their associated antennas and reflectors. LTE (4G) technology is expected to replace 3G for mobile telephony services in the near future, and some telecom operators are also considering it as a replacement for WiFi homehubs.

The challenge is now to develop an effective method for simulating next-generation systems such as LTE (and beyond such as 5G) and their performance in a cluttered domestic environment and for this to be fast enough to allow for optimisation of the location of the LTE transmitters.

The PhD project will be the development of mathematical ideas and related numerical algorithms that will overcome the current bottleneck in the analysis of wireless propagation in a complex and cluttered environment which is limiting the current use of ray tracing or PDE based methods.

Application and training
Candidates should have a strong background in applied mathematics and numerical methods. Simulation skills are also essential. Candidates must have (or be about to attain) a 1st or 2:1 Honours degree and must be able to demonstrate interest in interdisciplinary projects. Strong verbal and written communication skills are also essential.

A Student taking up the award will benefit from the infrastructure of Bath’s EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (SAMBa). This includes symposia on topics in statistical applied mathematics, week-long Integrative Think Tanks involving industry, academics and students formulating mathematical problems, and transferable skills training. They will also have support to attend academic conferences.

The project will also be supported in project meetings by the Smith Institute for Industrial Mathematics and System Engineering, in order to facilitate further beneficial connections, including an annual showcase event for current Industrial CASE projects, to which the student is invited to attend and present their project.

We expect that the successful student will start in October 2016.

Expressions of interest and informal enquiries should be sent to Prof Chris Budd, via email ([email protected])

Formal applications for the PhD should be made online through the University of Bath postgraduate website (see website link below)

Funding Notes

Funding includes full tuition fees for four years at the home rate, a training support fee, and tax-free maintenance of £14,057/annum (2015/16 rate). There will also be an additional CASE top-up over the four years.

Only UK and EU students who have been residing in the UK since at least October 2013 are eligible for this funding. Please note: international students are NOT eligible for this funded project.

For more information about student eligibility criteria for this project, please see:

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Bath in Mathematical Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.40

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