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Robust Control Development for System Engineering Applications

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Thanapalan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Graduate Teaching Associate – Engineering 0.4 FTE

We offer an exciting Graduate Teaching Associate opportunity in Autonomous Systems within the School of Engineering, supporting graduates in relevant disciplines to develop the skills and experience to fill future Lecturer roles within our Schools. These are excellent development roles for graduates with an aspiration to enter an academic career. Employed two days a week to support teaching, the GTA will pursue doctoral research studies on the remaining three days, supported by a stipend.

Our Schools pursue impactful, applied research while providing an excellent education and experience for our students. Each GTA will develop the ability to fulfil both of these expectations. Research and teaching will be in areas related to Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, with a PhD project entitled “Robust Control Development for System Engineering Applications”.

Each GTA position will be for a period of up to 5 years, during which we will support the appointees to develop their experience in teaching and assessment, and complete their doctoral studies. Each School will agree tailored teaching and research development plans with the GTA.

At the end of the period, a successful GTA will have completed their doctoral studies and gained the experience necessary to fulfil a Lecturer role. Normally this would be within the host School, subject to demand in relevant subject areas.

This fixed-term position is based at the Pontypridd Campus of the University of South Wales. A GTA must also meet the progression requirements for of a part-time PhD student.

PhD project brief

Robust Control Development for System Engineering Applications:

Autonomous systems working together. The aim is to design a low cost mechanical arm to be fitted to vehicles such as quadcopters, to sample near terrain and perform simple tasks. Furthermore, to generate a method for docking a slave drone to a mothership, including suitable disconnect during flight and live docking. The dual drone system can be used in many applications, ranging from lifting load to saving life. Real-time implementations of a dual drone system will be analysed with reference to the developed system models. Initially, mathematical models of a master and slave drones will be developed. A mechanical arm model will be incorporated in the small drone. This will allow study of the flight stability of the whole system. For a smooth operation and control of the whole system, an advanced robust controller must be designed. Secondly, an advance functional robot design will be considered. This should be a low cost robot, which is able to accept the arm as a fitting, allowing the robot to perform tasks such as 3-D printing. Development of an advance docking method allowing accurate docking and disconnect of the arm to the robot is required. Finally, an advanced controller design for both systems will be investigated. For the experimental study a laboratory testing hardware including robot and an advanced functional arm will be designed and built. Further research will examine the details of potential failure modes of operations to see whether safe operation is practically achievable by controller.

Closing date: 3rd June 2019

For further information and to apply for this post please visit:

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