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PhD Studentship - Locally Deriving Information from Data for Buried Water Distribution Infrastructure Performance, UK

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

An exciting opportunity has arisen to undertake a PhD project as a part of a multidisciplinary team in sensors, systems and water engineering. A PhD studentship is available as part of the recently awarded prestigious multi-million pound, multi-institute, EPSRC funded “Assessing the Underworld” project (assessingtheunderworld.org). The overall aim of the project is to provide a step change in our understanding of the condition of buried infrastructure that facilitates modern life.  The work at Sheffield is focussed on the buried water distribution systems and will build upon the existing world leading research in this field in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (CSE). This project will establish links between CSE and the world leading robotics research conducted at the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, now expanding into the new state-of-the-art facilities of the Sheffield Centre for Robotics (SCentRo) and the Leonardo Centre for Tribology in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

The topic for the PhD studentship will be to investigate the derivation of information from data at the local scale.

Areas of research will include; algorithms for translating time series data to information, local hosting of algorithms, power usage implications including the possibility of local generation, communications options including between remote monitors and to and from central intelligence.  The research will relate to existing parameter of interest and relevance to water distribution pipe infrastructure performance, but could include investigating issues around spatial and temporal resolution.

The successful applicant will be co-supervised between the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering.


Applicants should have an MEng (or BEng/BSc with MSc) passed at 2.1 or 1st, or equivalent, in an appropriate discipline, such as: mechanical, civil engineering, electronic, computer science or control systems engineering. A relevant Masters Degree and/or experience in remote systems engineering would be an advantage. Applicants should be self-motivated and able to formulate and implement new ideas.


The deadline for applications is 03/04/2015

Applications should be made by submitting a CV and covering letter explaining suitability for the role, to  Lindsay M Hopcroft (l.hopcroft@sheffield.ac.uk).


Funding for this studentship is provided by EPSRC and is only open to full UK nationals.  The studentship  will provide full support, in terms of fees and a student stipend.

For details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements go to www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx

The awarding of the two studentships will depend on the quality, and backgrounds of the applicants. 
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