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PhD Studentship - Effective Fusion of Spatially and Temporally Sparse Data for Maritime Autonomous Systems

School of Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 30 June 2020
Reference:  1234020DA

Supervisor:                 Dr Jon Downes 

Project description

A fully funded industrially supported opportunity to work in the area of Maritime Autonomous Systems. Working closely with the project sponsor, your research will address the problem of ‘fusing’ data, information and knowledge from disparate data sources to enable better and more consistent decision making for Maritime Autonomous Systems.  

The Maritime environment has seen an explosion in data with development of Maritime Autonomous Systems. This has enabled the opportunity to gather data from a wide range of disparate sources that can span a large geographic, depth/altitude and with different levels of currency. Fusing and presenting that data to allow a human operator to make informed decisions is challenging. The technical approaches to fusing the data, and human factors of its presentation to form the basis for human and machine decision making (at the tactical, operational and strategic levels) are challenging. New techniques from areas such as Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) and Data Science offer opportunities to understand and explore complex data sets and the relationships within them

This project is supported by a large industrial collaborator – Thales Group who provides a wide range of potential opportunities for the successful candidate. In particular, the strong industrial connection helps to ensure that your research can have a direct impact on real-world engineering.

You will be joining an expanding group of PhD students and researchers who are at the forefront of developing Maritime Autonomous Systems. Examples of recent research include and

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Jon Downes, Maritime Engineering Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4654.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 30 June 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £20,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Jon Downes under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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