Re-inventing the journey experience: life on board the autonomous vehicle of the future

Loughborough University

Application details:

Start date of studentship: 1 October 2018

Interview date:  9 August 2018


Primary supervisor:           Dr Diane Gyi

Secondary supervisor:      Professor Andrew Morris


Loughborough Design School invites applications for a PhD Studentship starting in October 2018 with funding for 4 years.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Loughborough Design School focusses on applied design research with global reach. It provides a vibrant research community and a high quality training environment and is committed to supporting students throughout their PhD research.

Full Project Detail:

Autonomous vehicles provide scope to re-invent and improve the journey experience, but there are significant engineering challenges. The human-centred questions of driving automation have not been sufficiently investigated and there is a demand for human-centred knowledge focussing on the diverse needs of occupants for work, leisure, health and well-being; interactions and non-driving tasks; and design innovations to support requirements for future automated vehicles.

The research will develop knowledge to evidence design guidance concerning occupant ergonomics for automated vehicles. Research questions include:

  • What potential is there for improving the travelling experience?
  • What are the constraints/limitations?
  • How can design innovations support new occupant requirements?

Through our long established Partnership with Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE), the research has the potential for global impact in terms of future automated vehicle development.

Find out more:

Informal enquiries should be made to Dr Diane Gyi (; or Professor Andrew Morris, ( Information about Loughborough Design School can be found at

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have an interest in vehicle design and have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in a design, human factors/ergonomics, human sciences, or engineering related subject. A relevant Masters’ degree and/or experience would also be an advantage. They should also have excellent inter-personal skills and a willingness to communicate their ideas with engineers and designers from the partner company.

Funding information:

This studentship will be funded through the EPSRC ICase scheme with Nissan. It consists of a tax-free stipend of £17,777 per annum, plus UK/EU tuition fees. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. To qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement:  

The successful student will be expected to spend at least 3 months on placement at Nissan Technology Centre Europe (NTCE) with potential for visits to Nissan, Japan.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Diane Gyi

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 223043

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Loughborough Design School.  

Please quote reference number: LDSDEG06/18

In addition to the application form, please include a short CV and cover letter stating your reasons for doing a PhD and any other background information you wish to include.

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Midlands of England