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Funded Research degree opportunities

We currently have the following funded Research degree opportunities available. 

PhD Studentships in Electronic and Computer Engineering, Experimental Particle Physics

The College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences at Brunel University London is offering two funded PhD studentships within the Particle Physics Group, UK funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

  • One successful applicant will work on the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment (CMS) at the Large Hadron COllider at CERN, Geneva
  • One successful applicant will work on the MICE experiment based at STFC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire

Both PhD studentships are for a period of up to four years commencing on or before October 2017 and will include, for CMS, the possibility of a long-term attachment at CERN for a year or longer. The successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £16,553 plus payment of their full time Home-EU tuition fees.

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The Particle Physics Group has been carrying out research in experimental particle physics for more than 25 years, with its current focus being the CMS experiment at CERN, the MICE experiment at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and Grid computing for particle physics (GridPP project).

Our CMS group makes a significant contribution to the study of top quark production in proton-proton collisions using CMS data. The group also plays an active role in the maintenance, operation and upgrading of the Silicon Tracker, having contributed to the construction and commissioning of this detector and the current endcap electromagnetic calorimeter. We are looking to recruit a student to study the production of the top quark in both Standard Model and Beyond the Standard Model scenarios using CMS data and to contribute to activities related to the upgrade of the current CMS tracking detector. Successful applicants will also contribute to detector performance studies. A period of long-term attachment at CERN is associated with the CMS studentship.

The MICE collaboration aims to demonstrate the ionisation cooling principle for a muon beam by making one of the most precise measurements of emittance and its reduction through ionisation cooling. The successful candidate will take a leading role in the analysis of data taken in 2016 and 2017. The student will contribute to the precision measurement of beam emittance and emittance reduction across the MICE absorbers. Our aim is to make the most precise measurement of beam emittance ever. This is an exciting opportunity for a PhD student who will be based jointly at Brunel University London and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

Eligibility
Applicants will have or be expected to receive a good undergraduate degree (upper second or first BSc) but ideally an MSci/MPhys degree, in Physics or a closely related subject, to be eligible for STFC studentships. Experience of C++ or python would be an advantage, and additionally for the MICE studentship a knowledge and interest in particle accelerators and beam dynamics. The studentships also have eligibility criteria relating to UK residency, for full details of the STFC eligibility criteria and other information, please visit the STFC studentship website.

How to Apply
If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to Group Leader, Professor Peter Hobson (Peter.Hobson@brunel.ac.uk) as soon as possible: 

  • An up-to-date CV;
  • A single-page A4 personal statement setting out why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills);
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees;
  • A copy of your degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of English language capability to IELTS 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all sections), if applicable

Applications will continue to be accepted until all studentships have been filled.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel Research Scholarships

Applications will open on 1st March 2017 for three full PhD scholarships, available in October 2017, for outstanding Home/EU students to study in one of the three Research Institutes – Institute of Energy Futures; Institute of Environment, Health and Societies; and Institute of Materials and Manufacturing. You must have either a 1st class or 2:1 honours degree  from the relevant discipline at Brunel University London. 

Each scholarship will cover tuition fees at the current Research Councils UK (RCUK) rate for three years plus a stipend (Current RCUK rate) of approx. £16,621 per year for three years. (NB: bench fees associated with a PhD course will also be covered). 

We are seeking applications for research in a number of priority research areas/themes.However we will welcome applications from topics related to the themes/institutes research areas .

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General information on the Institutes’ Research Themes:

Institute of Energy Futures: energy generation from renewable energy sources; energy distribution; energy demand reduction in buildings, transport or industry; cross theme topics. 

Institute of Environment, Health and Societies: environment and health; ageing research; welfare, health and wellbeing; synthetic biology; health economics; biomedical engineering and healthcare technologies; cross theme topics.

Institute of Materials and Manufacturing: structural integrity; design for sustainable manufacturing; liquid metal engineering; materials characterisation and processing; micro-nano manufacturing; or a related cross-theme topic. 

The following projects are also available:  
  • Identifying and exploiting naturally occurring bio Parts for Synthetic Biology - Prof Nigel Saunders
  • FEA-based design and analysis of air-bearing spindles/slides using metal matrix composites (MMC) - 
    Prof Kai Cheng
  • Trust in Autonomous Vehicles - Prof Joseph Giacomin
  • Emotional Automobile - Prof Joseph Giacomin
  • Autonomous  Vehicles for the course - Prof Joseph Giacomin
  • Automotive Crowdsourcing - Prof Joseph Giacomin
  • Situational adaptation - Prof Joseph Giacomin
  • Improving the Efficiency of NOx reduction in Engines by Developing H2 assisted NH3-SCR System - 
    Dr Lionel Ganippa
  • Research on a novel high efficiency combustion engine - Prof Hua Zhao
  • Modelling Multicomponent Spray Evaporation, Combustion and  Emissions - Dr Jun Xia
  • Realisation of the bio-inspired flow control in real life wind turbine blades - Dr T P Chong
  • Aero-thermal Design of Advanced Turbocharger Architectures under Realistic Engine Conditions - 
  • Dr Apostolos Pesiridis
  • 3D Visual Data Acquisition and Management for Smart Cities - Prof Abdul Sadka
  • Sequence Analytics for Developing Process Theories in Sustainable Energy Value Chains - Prof Habin Lee
  • Energy Infrastructures and Landscape: Change and Social Acceptance - Dr Daniele Rugo
  • Near Zero Energy Building Renovation - Prof Maria Kolokotroni
  • Materials for Energy Efficient Low Carbon Buildings and City Infrastructure - Prof Mizi Fan
  • Novel Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Formulations – Improved Numerical Stability and Application to Solid Mechanics - Dr Tom De Vuyst
  • Dislocation dynamics plasticity model for shock loading of anisotropic metals - Dr Tom De Vuyst
  • Personalised medicine using Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence - Dr Allan Tucker
  • Mechanisms of response and resistance to cancer therapy - Dr Concetta Bubici
  • Novel Markers and Therapeutic Targets in Breast Cancer - Dr Amanda Harvey
  • Understanding the impact of chemicals on the stromal regulation of breast carcinogenesis - Dr Elisabete Silva
  • Examination for radiation-induced transgenerational genomic instability - Dr Rhona Anderson
  • Involvement of matricellular proteins in the dynamic interaction between tumour and host cells - 
    Dr Gudrun Stenbeck
  • Using the zebrafish model to understand the effects of low-grade chronic inflammation on the brain - 
    Dr Luigi Margiotta-Casaluci
  • Training balance in older adults using novel videogame technologies - Dr Will Young
  • Using motor imagery and novel sensory cueing techniques to help people with Parkinson’s overcome freezing of gait - Dr Will Young
  • Assessing physical activity in acute stroke survivors: a feasibility trial - Dr Cherry Kilbride
  • Feasibility of enhancing exercise and physical activity in non-ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis - 
    Dr Jennifer Ryan
  • The effect of exercise on the immune system in people with multiple sclerosis - Dr Jennifer Ryan
  • Study of the ageing-related pre-mRNA splicing of the LMNA gene - Dr Evgeny Makarov
  • Changes in the molecular basis of stem cell regeneration after tissue insult in young and aged Drosophila melanogaster - Dr David Tree
  • Co-designing care for the ageing population: what is the desired care and what are the prospects for new professional profiles in the care system? - Dr Gabriella Spinelli
  • Altruistic actions and reciprocity as the engine of circular economies: is it possible?  - Dr Gabriella Spinelli
  • Designing out Loneliness: design interventions in the built environment to support socialisation among the older adults - Dr Gabriella Spinelli
  • New products and really new products among the ageing population: the ambiguity of innovation -  
    Dr Gabriella Spinelli
  • The costs and consequences of loneliness - Prof Christina Victor
  • Ageing without children - Prof Christina Victor
  • Loneliness in later life: constructing a  moral panic - Prof Christina Victor
  • Growing old in a foreign land: experiences of ageing among older migrants - Prof Christina Victor
  • A grassroots approach to sustainable housing: A study of the development of the Acorn UK Housing Federation - Prof Peter Wilkin
  • Physical Activity, Communities and Wellbeing in Adolescents / Young People - Dr Louise Mansfield
  • Comedy, Mental Health and Wellbeing - Dr Sharon Lockyer
  • Evaluating University Actions to prevent and Respond to Violence against Women, Harassment and Hate Crime: a mixed methods study - Dr Pam Alldred
  • An Investigation of the Structural Integrity of Shape Memory Components - Dr Eujin Pei
  • Luminescent materials development - Dr George Fern
  • Improving human collaborative working with autonomous manufacturing systems - Dr Kate Hone
  • Genome Dynamics in the Transition to Senescence and Back Again - Dr Joanna Bridger
  • Developing the Next Generation Artificial Heart - Prof Ashraf Khir  

Selection will be made on the quality of the applicant based on:  

  • Academic and non-academic qualifications provided in a CV
  • A research proposal of 500 words, tailored to the featured priority areas listed below (information on what to include in your proposal is also provided below)
  • A cover letter explaining why you are interested in pursuing a PhD in this area and how your current qualifications and skills map onto this
  • Two academic references. Your referees must not be the proposed supervisors of the project.
  • Performance at interview (shortlisted candidates only) 
 The Research Proposal

  The proposal should be 500 words and should include the following: 

  • The title of your chosen project
  • A brief abstract offering a general overview of the area
  • Appropriate referencing to relevant literature (relevant debates and issues, key articles and texts)
  • Key research questions
  • Brief Methodology (including tools and appropriate approach)
  • Timescale/research planning
  • Bibliography (list of references to key articles and texts)   

Please send your CV, covering letter, and research proposal to emma.sigsworth@brunel.ac.uk – please inform your referees to also send your references to this address. These must be on headed paper. 

Please click for the Terms & Conditions

The deadline for applications is 12 May 2017.

Applications will then be reviewed by a shortlisting panel and all applicants will be notified of the outcome of shortlisting by 6 June 2017.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interview on 27 June 2017.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to apply for PhD enrolment at Brunel if they are not already holding an offer or have not already applied.

Following interview, unsuccessful candidates will be notified by 3 July 2017.

Offers to successful candidates will be confirmed in writing by 7 July 2017.

All successful candidates are expected to start on 1 October 2017.

EPSRC funded DTP PhD Studentships

Applications are invited to our EPSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships in the College of Engineering, Design & Physical Sciences. Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £16,553 plus payment of their full-time home tuition fees for a period of 36 months.

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Research Opportunities
These DTP PhD studentships are available to support research in the University’s Research Institutes and the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences. These include the following research themes and topics: 

  • Advanced Powertrain and Fuels (EPSRC funded Centre for Engine Flow and Combustion Diagnostics (CEFCOM))
  • Aerospace, Civil and Mechanical Engineering
  • Autonomous Systems and Robotics
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Design for Sustainable Manufacturing
  • Energy Efficient and Sustainable Technologies (RCUK National Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains (CSEF))
  • Environment and Water Engineering
  • Human-Centred Research
  • Liquid Metal Engineering (Advanced Metal Casting Centre (AMCC))
  • Materials Characterisation and Processing
  • Mathematics, Computing and Digital Technologies
  • Micro-Nano Manufacturing
  • Resource Efficient Future Cities
  • Smart Power Networks
  • Structural Integrity (National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC))  

Eligibility
Applicants must have a good undergraduate degree (upper second or first) in engineering, design, mathematics, computer science, physics or a similar numerate discipline. Applicants must also have a relevant connection with the UK, for example by having been resided in the UK for 3 years not wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education, to meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria for an award. 

How to Apply
If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk by noon on Friday 19 May 2017

  • An up-to-date CV;
  • A 300-500 word document setting out the ideas for your research project
  • A single-page A4 personal statement setting out why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills);
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees;
  • A copy of your degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of English language capability to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent), if applicable 

Interviews will take place during June/July 2017 with a proposed start date of 1 October 2017.

Optimisation and Demand Side Response of Built Environment Management - EPSRC funded PhD studentship

Applications are invited for one full-time PhD studentship in the College of Engineering, Design & Physical Sciences, in conjunction with National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Mitie Energy funded by the EPSRC doctoral training partnership (DTP). The PhD studentship is for a period of three years, effective from 1 October 2017. The successful applicant will receive an annual stipend (bursary) of £16,558 plus payment of their full-time home/EU tuition fees.

Overview
The research project, Optimisation and Demand Side Response of Built Environment Management, will look to enhance two aspects:-

  • Building analytics core (BA) - A big problem with BA is initial data acquisition and translation to onboard new client’s data into the BA rules engine. This work today is undertaken by skilled operatives. This project would look to replace this manual element with mathematical techniques & self-learning algorithms. The project would also then look at enhancing the existing rules database with new energy rules that pull out the signals from the noise. 
  • Demand Side Response (DSR) - is seen as a high revenue growth area for Mitie Energy. Our current DSR proposition is supported by key strategic partnerships. As with BA this project would look at two business problems in the same space. 

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Project details
To accurately provide a proposition to a DSR client a site audit is performed, however it is necessary prior to this taking place to provide a Desk Top Audit (DTA) to give the client an indicative cost & benefit. A new approach is needed that can turn raw data the client can easily provide into DSR indicative costs & benefits.  In addition to the DTA work Mitie requires a DSR tender price prediction methodology to allow forward tender price setting based on market history and analysis of the prevailing market.

Brunel University London (named after the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel) is a public research university located in Uxbridge, London. It is very strong in research, particularly in engineering related subjects.  In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 90% of Brunel research submitted was rated as being of international quality. In the 2014 RAE Brunel was ranked 33rd for Research Power.

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is the UK's National Measurement Institute, and is a world-leading center of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science and technology available. For more than a century NPL has developed and maintained the nation's primary measurement standards. NPL delivers world-leading measurement solutions that are critical to commercial research and development, and support business success across the UK and the globe.

Mitie Energy is a specialist provider of energy solution services, working with clients to develop smarter ways to manage energy consumption and create effective solutions tailored to their organisation.

The project will be looking at improving aspects of Mitie's existing Building Analytics architecture and furthering its Demand Side Response capability.  Both of these areas are seen as key part of Mitie's energy's strategy to deliver not only energy solutions but a fully connected workplace.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr QingPing Yang via email to QingPing.Yang@brunel.ac.uk.  

Eligibility
Applicants must have a good undergraduate degree (upper second or first) in engineering, design, mathematics, computer science, physics or a similar discipline. A Masters qualification is an advantage but not essential.

How to Apply
If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk by noon on Friday 26 May 2017

  • An up-to-date CV;
  • A 300-500 word document setting out the ideas for your research project
  • A single-page A4 personal statement setting out why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills);
  • Names and contact details for two academic referees;
  • A copy of your degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of English language capability to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent), if applicable 

Interviews will take place during June 2017.

 

For all other research degree opportunities visit our Research Degree homepage.