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Creating Dynamic 3D City Models for Smarter Cities

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Ellul
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Vacancy Information
UCL’s Geomatics Group and Ordnance Survey invite applications for a 3-year PhD studentship investigating the creation of 3D City Models for Smart Cities.

The Project
Good 3D City Models - showing details of buildings (indoors and outdoors), roads, parks, street furniture – are fundamental to enabling Smart Cities. They link information such as traffic flows, pollution, tourism, utilities, infrastructure and public transport to address real world problems in a wide variety of disciplines. Currently, a single 3D model of the city is re-used for multiple purposes – so someone using a tourism App is shown the same 3D buildings as someone looking at heat loss, at the potential for solar panels, or planning a new development. In reality, the 3D information needed by each of these users is different - tourists need landmarks, solar panel experts need roof structures.
In order to make 3D City Modelling efficient, all the information to address different user needs should be derived from one detailed source – this is known as generalisation. While research into 2D generalisation is extensive (e.g. the different levels of detail as you zoom into an online map), this is not a solved problem in 3D. The addition of the third dimension significantly increases the complexity of the process and 3D generalisation needs to be far more responsive and dynamic than its 2D equivalent.
The project investigates algorithms required to produce generalised 3D maps from detailed 3D City Models. It takes into account the multiple levels of detail required when interacting with and understanding a 3D scene, starting at the building and moving out to the city, and combines two aspects of the problem – research into algorithms required to generalise 3D datasets and research into user needs.

Studentship Description
The project will be supervised by Dr Claire Ellul from UCL and Jeremy Morley from Ordnance Survey.
Person Specification
Applicants should be interested in 3D City Modelling – e.g. Computer Graphics, Gaming, Building Information Modelling, Geographical Information and should possess a strong bachelor’s degree (1st Class or 2:1) or Masters Degree a related discipline. Candidates will ideally have some relevant previous research experience and should have excellent communication and presentation skills.
Applications are invited from UK and EU citizens residing in UK. In particular, applicants must meet EPSRC eligibility and residency requirements found here:

Start Date
September 2017

Application Procedure
Applicants should send the following by e-mail to Dr Claire Ellul on [Email Address Removed]:
1. Covering letter, including a personal statement explaining your interest in the project.
2. Examples of academic writing and outputs from past work (e.g. a dissertation or assignment)
3. Academic transcripts
4. A CV
Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Funding Notes

Duration – 3 years

Funding –The scholarship covers UCL registration fees and provides a stipend of between £16,553 per annum tax free. Travel expenses and research equipment will also be paid for.

Funding Body: Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering and EPSRC (IMPACT studentship), Dstl

How good is research at University College London in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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