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  Stochastic randomized control on bicycle balance

   School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

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  Dr Yuyan Zhou, Dr K Goh  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Bicycles are widely used for transportation, exercise, and recreation and play an important role in urban mobility. Individuals benefit from the fact that cycling is a healthy and cheap form of transport.

Moreover, in urban areas, cycling can sometimes prove to be faster than other transport modes and also allows cyclists to avoid traffic jams. For society, the advantages of cycling include environmental sustainability, cheap infrastructure requirements, and improvements in public health. However, there are some challenges for the existing bicycles in the market including:

  1. Bicycle is statically unstable, especially for old and less flexible people.
  2. Bicycles commonly are subjected to various sources of disturbances, making bicycle control more challenging.

This project is to develop a randomized control algorithm to address the aforementioned issues. The randomised controller will be designed firstly in theory and then be implemented on a real bicycle to test. This control method will be based on fully probabilistic design where the control goal is to keep the bicycle stay balance while subjecting various source of randomness. Then, the developed controller will be implemented on a bike provided in the lab, while different sensors will be used to collect the signals and a motor to provide the torque. This project is suitable for people who have basic control theory knowledge and electrical electronic knowledge. The applicants should have good experimental skill, mathematical skills and programming skills. The c programming skill is desirable but not essential.

Academic qualifications

A first-class honours degree, or a distinction at master level, or equivalent achievements ideally in Electrical Electronic Engineering/ Mechanical Engineering/control automation with a good fundamental knowledge of basic mechanical/electrical engineering and mathematics, control theory/ probability theory.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online. 

Application process

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisor Dr.Yuyang Zhou at [Email Address Removed]  to discuss the content of the project and the fit with their qualifications and skills before preparing an application. 

The application must include: 

Research project outline of 2 pages (list of references excluded) with the details about: 

  • Background and motivation of the project. The motivation must be supported by relevant literature. You can discuss also the applications you expect for the project results. 
  • Research questions or objectives. 
  • Methodology: types of data to be used, approach to data collection, and data analysis methods 
  • List of references 

Statement no longer than 1 page describing your motivations and fit with the project.

Recent and complete curriculum vitae. 

Two academic references (but if you have been out of education for more than three years, you may submit one academic and one professional reference), the form can be downloaded here

Documents proving your qualifications and your skills. 

Applications can be submitted here. To be considered, the application must use: 

  • “SCEBE0523” as project code. 
  • the advertised title as project title  

All applications must be received by 21st May 2023 and include the required documents. Applicants who have not been contacted by 1 month later should assume that they have been unsuccessful.

Engineering (12) Mathematics (25)


[1] Herzallah R, Zhou Y. A tracking error–based fully probabilistic control for stochastic discrete-time systems with multiplicative noise[J]. Journal of Vibration and Control, 2020, 26(23-24): 2329-2339.
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 About the Project