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PhD in Control for Autonomous Vehicles

Cranfield University - School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Cranfield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Up to £15,500 tax free bursary, tuition fees for three years and access to office and laboratory space
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th July 2018
Closes: 24th September 2018
Reference: SATM0076

Start Date: 24th September 2018
Duration of award: 3 years
Supervisor: Dr Stefano Longo and Dr Efstathios Velenis

Cranfield University has received full funding from EPSRC for a full-time PhD scholarship in Control for Autonomous Vehicles. We are looking for an exceptional candidate with background in control engineering, computer science, electronic engineering or similar. The successful candidate will receive a bursary of up to £15,500 (tax free), tuition fees for three years and access to office and laboratory space.           

Road vehicles are currently designed to help the driver drive safely. The reason why a car pitches down when braking or lean to one side when turning is not an engineering limitation but a way to trick the driver into feeling they are going fast and that is dangerous. Such features make the driving safer at the expenses of the passengers’ comfort (e.g. motion sickness). Autonomous vehicles won’t have a driver and we expect a paradigm shift from driver-centric designs to passenger-centric design.

The research question is: will such paradigm shift improve passenger comfort to a level where, in future journeys, occurrences of motion sickness or other discomfort will be eliminated so that the passengers can comfortably engage in productive tasks such as reading?

The overall aim of this PhD research programme is to investigate the feasibility and opportunities arising from a paradigm shift where vehicles will be designed entirely for their passengers’ comfort and safety, rather than for helping the average driver minimising accidents.

The Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre focuses on the development, application and evaluation of advanced vehicle technologies to help make vehicles more capable, lighter, greener and more efficient. Working across multiple sectors, such as automotive, aerospace, agriculture, defence and motorsport, our vehicle engineering capabilities deliver solutions to make vehicles greener, through advanced and alternative powertrain solutions to the development and application of lightweight materials. Our knowledge and expertise in automotive control and mechatronics is applied to help realise the future of autonomous vehicles while our unique capabilities in off-highway dynamics help industry develop more capable off-road vehicles.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree, a mater degree or equivalent in control engineering, computer science, electronic engineering or similar.


To be eligible for this funding, applicants must comply with the EPSRC requirements outlined here.

How to apply:

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

For further information please contact:

Dr Stefano Longo

T: (0) 1234 758581

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