Funded PhD Opportunity Modelling Human-Like Movement with Applications to Smart Environments and Human-Robot Interaction

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Computer Science and Informatics


Understanding and predicting human movement is an important scientific endeavour with applications to rehabilitation, security/surveillance, smart environments, robotics, etc. Specifically, in Smart Environments (SE) and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) models of human movement allow to anticipate human actions, therefore enabling predictive automation – e.g. in smart homes –, to detect irregular motion patters, and to adapt robot behaviour in view of a human’s intentions.

This project will develop a novel methodology for modelling human-like movement using advanced machine-learning techniques. Specifically, the work will focus on modelling human navigation in indoor environments, and object manipulation. The new methodology will make use of dynamical systems learning and non-linear systems identification as a comparative baseline. The models obtained will be tested in a smart environment setting to predict people’s behaviour and to detect deviation from normal movement.

The goal of this project is to develop, implement and test a novel methodology for the modelling and generation of human-like movement. The expected research outcome is a novel methodology to obtain movement models applied to human motion prediction and comparison in Smart Environments with applications to other areas like human-like motion generation in Robots.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 70%


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £15,009 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.


    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

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As Senior Engineering Manager of Analytics at Seagate Technology I utilise the learning from my PhD ever day

Adrian Johnston - PhD in Informatics

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
9 to 23 March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Dr Jose Santos

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #237852 when applying for this PhD opportunity