EPSRC FIBE2 CDT PhD studentship with National Highways on Enabling the Roads Metaverse: Visualisation & Human Interaction

Department of Engineering, Cambridge

University of Cambridge, Trinity Ln, Cambridge, UK


  • Posted on: 19th Nov 2021
  • Funding amount: Funding Available
  • Funding for: EU Students, International Students, UK Students
  • REF: NM29100
  • Closes: 02nd December 2021
  • Hours: Full Time

This is a four-year (1+3 MRes/PhD) studentship funded through the Cambridge EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment: Resilience in a Changing World (FIBE2 CDT). The FIBE2 CDT aims to develop the next generation of infrastructure professionals who can create, shape and deliver the national vision for UK infrastructure, who will be equipped with a versatile and cross-disciplinary skill set to meet the most complex emerging challenges and contribute effectively to better infrastructure decision-making in the UK. Further details can be found at https://www.fibe-cdt.eng.cam.ac.uk/

Project details:Road stakeholders are increasingly realising that there is tremendous potential value to be gained by embracing Digital Twin – based information and asset management for the entirety of a road life-cycle. Yet, past experience with Asset Information Modelling has shown that even the richest asset models are significantly underutilised by stakeholder employees. This is particularly true of employees with below average technological competence and familiarity. IT providers have rushed to place the blame on the employees and suggest that the sole remedy to this problem is supplemental technological education. In reality, the problem lies with the gap between current ways for human – data interaction in this sector versus general platforms (Microsoft Metaverse) and social media firms (Meta).

MRes/PhD Project ObjectivesDerive a framework for Digital Twin to data visualisation environments communication. The purpose is to enable (i) secure data exchanges via distributed ledger concepts; (ii) multidimensional visualisation and Extended Reality (XR) environments usability; (iii) low latency; and (iv) futureproofing.

PhD Project DescriptionThe project will focus on expressways only to maintain feasibility. The student will: (i) derive a pareto front of solutions for human-data interaction/communications and leverage National Highways data insight teams to choose suitable solutions; (ii) use datasets provided by the Digital Roads of the Future initiative to conduct laboratory scale initial validation. This includes verifying data exchange integrity during “round trips” (to DT and back) and user experience performance feedback.

MRes ComponentThe student will create an Information Delivery Manual containing existing expressway information requirements and future requirements from smart materials, monitoring IoT outputs, and data science process inputs to identify protocol requirements.

PhD – Expected Outcomes, Contributions to Knowledge & PracticeThis research will produce a prototype for the visualisation of and interaction with expressway Digital Twins. This will set the foundations for encompassing Digital Twins (DT) into modern methods of working, thus tear down one of the key DT adoption barriers.

For general enquiries, please email cdtcivil-courseadmin@eng.cam.ac.uk. For project-specific enquiries please e-mail the supervisor Professor Ioannis Brilakis at ib340@cam.ac.uk or advisor Professor Mark Girolami at mag92@cam.ac.uk.

Applicants should posses a Bachelor or Masters in any Engineering discipline, Computer Science, or Architecture. They should have some computing skills or experience and very good English language skills.

The FIBE2 CDT studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for eligible students. Further details about eligibility and funding can be found at:https://www.ukri.org/councils/epsrc/https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/feeshttps://www.cambridgetrust.org/scholarships/

To apply for this studentship, candidates must apply through the University’s Postgraduate Admissions application portal. The portal is at: https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/egegpdfib and there is a £75 fee for PhD applications, with the title of the project quoted on the form and Professor Ioannis Brilakis identified as the potential supervisor.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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