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Funded PhD Opportunity

Non-contact detection and monitoring for Ambient Assisted Living

Subject: Engineering


Ambient assisted living (AAL) can be defined as “the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in a person’s daily living and working environment to enable them to stay active longer, remain socially connected and live independently into old age”. In 2017, there are an estimated 962 million people aged 60 or over in the world as per the United Nation (UN) data. Particularly in the UK, it is expected that one in 7 people will be aged over 75 by 2040. The better understanding of their daily activities and vital signs can provide a knowledge base to assist them in the situation of an emergency (e.g. fall detection) and monitor their health (e.g. respiration rate and heart rate) under the AAL framework. In addition, such knowledge base will play an important role in the connected healthcare for both patients and health professionals.

The successful applicant will be expected to investigate the daily life activities and vital signs using radar (non-contact) based systems. This will be an experimental based work where data will be collected in real environments (e.g. a living room) and process using appropriate artificial intelligence (AI) techniques.

Following is the breakdown of this Ph.D.:

1.Calibration of the cm-wave and mm-wave radar systems The radar systems (cm and mm) will be tested to quantify their performances (e.g. sensitivity and dynamic range).

2.Data collection and processing Data will be collected with both radar systems in different environments (e.g. living room) for different human activities. Unique features relating activities will be extracted from the data and further used to detect any activity.

The candidate will ideally have good knowledge of radar systems, signal processing, programming (e.g. C/C++ and MATLAB) and AI.

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)


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £14,777 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 £ 14,777 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

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 18 February 2019

Interview Date
March 2019


Apply Online


Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses

Contact supervisor

Dr Adnan Ahmad Cheema

Other supervisors

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