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PhD Studentship: Repurposing an API for Oil Drilling Simulation Software

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Science and Technology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bournemouth
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,000
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 5th September 2019
Closes: 31st October 2019

Lead Supervisor name: Dr. Christos Gatzidis on

This project is to be carried out in collaboration and with the support of a Bournemouth-based company called Drilling Systems. The company develops oil drilling simulators for educational and other purposes and has a long-standing relationship with the University, for example taking on in the last few years a number of placement and graduate students from the Creative Technology Department and other Departments (plus Faculties). The project proposed here has a strong software-engineering focus, concentrating on the existing DrillSIM API (Application Programming Interface) and the associated “downhole” model. Both are key elements of the DrillSIM range of drilling simulators. 

The intention of the project is to develop the API and the downhole model architecture concurrently in order to support both the company developers and their collaborative research customers in developing models, features and algorithms which can both benefit the company’s product range and allow real-world research aims to be met.

To summarise; the technical challenge of the project is to carry out research and development/improvement/addition of new functionality/restructuring of an existing API in a very niche context area (that of drilling simulation) and downhole model to support the wider R&D activities of Drilling Systems. Extensive research will be conducted in all the activities of the API work above, plus other existing approaches in this area, with attempts to, then, introduce novel approaches (such as automation and machine learning for example) within these (and into the general process).

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,000 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 36 months. In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates for funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years.

Studentship candidates must demonstrate outstanding academic potential with a 1st class honours degree and/or a Master’s degree with distinction. An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6 in each component) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 31 October 2019.

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button below or email

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