PhD Opportunity in Automated Visual Inspection

The EPSRC National Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation is part of a government funded initiative to support the development of new technologies that will underpin future growth in high value manufacturing.

The Centre is a collaboration between Loughborough and Cranfield Universities and industrial partners Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Aero Engine Controls and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). The EPSRC Centre has a physical presence at both Universities allowing joint access to state of the art facilities and rapid transfer of knowledge between researchers and industrial partners via the MTC and the Cranfield exploitation network.

This PhD project is about investigating automated visual inspection (AVI) technologies aimed at reducing or removing the workload on people carrying out visual inspection of high quality components and assemblies. The work is wide ranging and will include: alternative illumination wavelengths, image capture and enhancement, machine learning, use of a-priori knowledge and models, field of view manipulation and sophisticated classification techniques. The overall aim is to demonstrate an AVI system that can operate over a wide range of surface finishes that exhibit different reflectivity, detecting micrometre sized features, and robustly deciding how to classify the features. The work will initially focus on bench top evaluation test rigs that need to be created and then move to component and/or imaging system manipulation to provide dynamic adaptivity in an automatic manner.

Applications are invited for a full time three-year PhD based at Loughborough University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

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Award value: The studentship is valued up to £23,000 (the exact amount depends on fee status and experience). This covers University fees at the level set for UK/EU students and in addition provides a tax-free maintenance grant. Due to funding restrictions overseas students will liable to account for their own living costs.

 Candidate Requirements 

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class or high 2.1 honours degree in Mechanical, Manufacturing Engineering or a similar subject
  • Excellent record of academic and/or professional achievement
  • Enthusiasm to undertake the research required for a doctorate
  • Ability to work independently and guide own learning
  • Good English written and spoken communication skills

Application Procedure

To apply for this studentship:

Candidates are required to send a resume and covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date) to 

Further details about making a graduate application are available at the Apply link below

Please quote EPSRC IA-CIM in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: Noon 30th Sept 2013

Applicants seeking additional information are invited to contact Centre Administrator Ms. Smita Jenna (

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