PhD Studentship - Visible Light Communication and 3D Mapping for Automotive Applications

Aston University - Engineering and Applied Science

Contract Type: Fixed Term (for 3 years)

Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Tuesday 31 October 2017

Interview Date: To be confirmed

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the Adaptive Communications Networks Research Group at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on automotive LiDAR (Light detection and ranging), free space optical communications and connected/autonomous vehicles in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover and Highways England.

The position is available to start in January 2018 (subject to negotiation)

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home/EU fees rate plus a maintenance allowance of £14,553 in 2017/18.

Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, currently this is £12,005 in 2017/18.  As part of the application process confirmation that this funding support is in place will be required.

Background of the Project

This project will investigate the use of photon counting techniques for the applications of automotive laser range finding (LiDAR), visible light vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications. Most previous studies in the field have utilised linear detectors (i.e. output is directly proportional to incident light power) rather than single photon detectors which produce an electrical pulse for every successful single photon detection. Numerous technical challenges will be addressed, including mitigating mutual interference (i.e. LiDAR systems must not respond to light emitted from other vehicles), improving resolution, measurement rate, communication bandwidth and reliability in high mobility, adverse weather and light conditions. The addition of traditional RF communication channels will be pursued to solve problems inherent with current systems.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in BEng Electronic Engineering or other numerate disciplines. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of FPGA implementation, electronic design and prototyping, high speed electronics, Matlab and optics. 

For informal enquiries about this project and other opportunities within the Adaptive Communications Networks Research Group, contact Dr Richard Nock by email

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at

The online application form, reference forms and details of entry requirements, including English language are available here.

Applications must also be accompanied by a research proposal giving an overview of the main themes of the research, and explaining how your knowledge and experience will benefit the project.

Details of how to write your project proposal are also included in the How to Apply section.

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