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Funded PhD Opportunity

Creation of a SMART infrastructure management tool using remote sensing methods to identify, quantify and categorize litter in urban and highway environments.

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Summary

This project will help create a ground-breaking vehicle-mounted remote sensing system capable of detecting, quantifying and identifying types of roadside litter. At the heart of this project is the ethos of ‘smart infrastructure’, which brings together technology, government and society to enable characteristics such as informed management strategies, sustainable environments and higher qualities of life.

This project is essential as UK regions like Northern Ireland are officially filthy. Over 95% of all streets and public spaces contain litter with associated annual spend exceeding £40 million. Many millions more are lost on property prices, tourism, crime and mental health. Work will involve investigation of hyper/multi-spectral and RGB photography methods to both detect and identify litter in urban and/or highway environments. Machine learning techniques will be employed to analyse very large data sets generated by continuous remote sensing.

The project will also involve liaison with key infrastructure owners and focus on increasing public awareness of the need for behavioural change, provide platforms for key stakeholder engagement and enable optimum monitoring and amelioration techniques to be identified. The project will contribute to the development of a coherent national strategy relating to litter and embed identified best practices within the routine operations of a diverse network of infrastructure owners.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    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 fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
Week beginning 9 March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Dr Bryan Magee


Other supervisors

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