PhD Studentship: Empowerment of Disabled People Through the User Co-Production of Assistive Technology (EDUCAT)

University of Kent - Electronic Engineering

The University of Kent is offering a PhD opportunity as part of an INTERREG project [Interreg Va 2 Seas –] on assistive technologies in partnership between the University of Kent, the Institut Supérieur d'Electronique et du Numérique (ISEN) in France, the East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust and Sussex Community NHS Trust in UK, the Catholic University Leuven in Belgium, and the Voka Chamber of Commerce of East-Flanders, Belgium. This project investigates the development of new semi-autonomous wheelchairs and will incorporate research in user interaction, usability, and control of semi-autonomous systems, including navigation.

The objective of EDUCAT is to empower disabled people by designing, developing and using assistive technology in a co-production approach in which all stakeholders (including users, families, care givers, universities, healthcare professionals, businesses, and voluntary organisations) will be involved. This approach will guarantee that this technology will be accepted and used, ensuring a better quality of life, autonomy of disabled people, leading to reducing barriers created by society. The technology will be delivered into the lives of users with appropriate on-going support and training.

This project builds upon our successful and highly promising work in semi-autonomous wheelchair navigation and seeks to both strengthen existing partnerships and build new partnerships in both France and Belgium, as well as with our existing UK healthcare collaborators [ &].

Candidates should have a good honours degree in a relevant subject in Computer Science/Electrical/Electronic/engineering or related areas relevant to the PhD topic, and ideally be familiar with techniques used in human-robot interaction, assistive technology, robot navigation, and path planning.

Funding Details: Stipend allowance of approximately £21,720 per annum.

Length of Award: 3 years (PhD).

Start date: As soon as possible.

Eligibility: Open to Home/EU and overseas applicants.

Enquiries: Any enquiries relating to the project should be directed to Dr. Gareth Howells (

Application procedure:

Apply for an Electronic Engineering PhD online via the 'Apply' button below, stating you wish to be considered for the EDUCAT project.

Deadline: 28 April 2017.

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