PhD Studentship: Smart Snake Reconnaissance System

Cranfield University - Centre for Aeronautics

Start Date: 6th Feb 2017
Eligibility: UK
Duration of award: 4 years 
Supervisors: Dr Huamin Jia & Mr Julian Gronland

Sponsored studentship will provide a bursary of up to £23,796. (tax free) plus fees* for four years

This project aims to develop a smart snake reconnaissance system (SASAR). SASAR has many potential and irreplaceable applications, including military reconnaissance, counter-terrorism (terrorist shelter access) and security, small or risk space access (aircraft wing, dangerous caves), search and rescue of lives from earthquaked ruins.

The challenging research activities cover several aspects: elastic and plastic SASAR structures, faster and efficient crawling mechanisms on tough terrains and in crashed environment, locomotion guidance and control, target search and obstacle avoidance, and telemetry/telecommand. The expected results are two SASAR prototypes with two different crawling mechanisms. Furthermore, research results are expected to extend to various SASAR scales for other civil, public and commercial applications.

Application is invited for this PhD studentship fully funded by the EPSRC and BAE Systems on the EPSRC Industrial Case Programme 2016. The successful candidate will investigate the project research tasks, such as flexible/elastic SASAR structure, crawling mechanisms, target/obstacle detection, guidance, navigation and control system

Entry requirements:

Applicants must have a first-class or MSc degree in mechanical electronic systems engineering, or related disciplines. Good understanding of locomotion mechanisms and elastic structure of biological snakes, multi-body analytical mechanics, prosthesis and multisensor fusion techniques is essential. The PhD candidate is expected to start in February 2017.


This studentship will provide a bursary of up to £23,796 p.a. (being a combination of funding from the EPSRC CASE and BAE Systems). It will cover the tuition fee at UK level and the PhD stipend. To be eligible for a full award (tuition fee and stipend), the candidate needs to be a UK National and has lived in the UK for the past 5 years.

How to apply:

Please contact Dr Jia if you would like further information. Applicants should send their CV to Dr Huamin Jia, T: 01234 755115E: and formally submit an online application form online application form.

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

For further information contact us today:
T: 44 (0)1234 758008

Doctoral Training Centre

This higher research degree is associated with Cranfield’s Thematic Doctoral Training Centres which provides a focal point for engagement and academic discussion for all students involved in research at Cranfield. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme, provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities with Cranfield’s wider research community.

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