PhD Studentship Next generation user interfaces for smart environments


Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) funded PhD Studentship in collaboration with Bath Institute of Medical Engineering.

Applications are invited for the following DEL CAST studentship (Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology):

Title – Next generation user interfaces for smart environments


This is a three year PhD studentship based at the Computer Science Research Institute, Jordanstown Campus, in collaboration with the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering. It is envisaged that the student will spend 25% of their time with the collaborating body. The project would suit a graduate with a Computer Science, Engineering Design or Psychology background.


The use of technology to provide independence and support to vulnerable individuals living in their own homes is now well established. These systems are generally provided by health and social care professionals who are able to assess the needs of the client and install and set up the equipment that is needed. However, as home automation products become more common and people are encouraged to buy this technology themselves, there is a real need for systems that either require no programming, or can be configured by carers. The gap between technology that is currently available and the needs of older users is well recognised, but attempts to bridge the gap have been based on an incremental approach and have had limited impact. The student will conduct novel research to tackle this challenge and investigate knowledge-based customised Next Generation User Interfaces (NGUI) for home support systems.

Also Read  Phd Studentship Long-lived quantum states in magnetic systems


Drawing on knowledge from other domains, the student will develop radical innovations which show promise for integration into future or existing home support systems. They will work explore state-of-the-art user interface and data processing techniques, and work with stakeholders i.e. customers, carers, housing association, and clinicians to develop an understanding how these might impact on users’ and carers’ lifestyle, and on design usability. The final stages of the work will involve proof of concept work with users and data from smart houses to assess the feasibility and usability of NGUI.


The student will have the opportunity to interact with researchers from the University of Bath and other collaborating bodies and partnered technology providers who are developing home based monitoring systems. These interactions will provide the student with a strong set of research and technical skills to complete a successful and expeditious research program.


Applicants should hold ordinary UK residence to be eligible for both fees and maintenance. Non UK residents who hold ordinary EU residence may also apply but if successful will receive fees only. All applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree in Computer Science, Engineering Design or Psychology. Successful candidates will enrol on a full-time research programme, of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress, leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
The studentship will comprise tuition fees and a maintenance award (subject to UK residence status) of not less than £15,000 per annum, funded by DEL (the Department for Employment & Learning in NI) and Bath Institute of Medical Engineering.

Also Read  KESS Research Masters Scholarship 2013-14 Life Cycle Assessment of Anaerobic Digestion Business Models


The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 03 May 2013.


Interviews will be held in May 2013


If you wish to discuss your proposal or receive advice on the research project please contact: Dr Huiru (Jane) Zheng, email:; or Dr Nigel Harris, email:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *