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Programmes 2019-20

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PhD projects funded from autumn 2019

2D and 3D computational imaging through turbulence

Dr Yoann Altmann, Assistant Professor, Heriot -Watt University
In partnership with Leonardo


Long-range imaging and sensing is a rapidly evolving domain of research, relevant to a growing range of industrial applications. However, the current and future systems to be developed critically require efficient computational methods able to handle rapidly large data volumes while being robust to challenging observation conditions. The main objectives of this PhD project are thus to develop new and ground-breaking computational methods for fast and robust sensing and 2D/3D imaging in the low illumination regime. This ambitious project will concentrate on real-time solutions for object detection and 2D/3D reconstruction in the presence of scattering media and atmospheric turbulence.

Glancing angle deposition of ZnO nanostructured thin films for enhanced ultrasonic sensing and imaging applications

Dr Carlos Garcia Nuñez, Lecturer in Physics, University of the West of Scotland
In partnership with Novosound



Nowadays, there is a great demand on advanced materials which show multi-sensing functions for measurement applications in medical and industrial non-destructive testing markets. Among materials, deposited piezoelectric thin films have attracted a lot of attention due to their attractive properties in a wide range of physical and chemical sensors. Current challenges of this thin film sensors technology include low sensitivity but high selectivity, but the advantages include low-cost, wearability, energy-autonomy and cost-effective, scalable manufacturing. This project is an ambitious investigation focused on the development of an ‘ultrasonic thin-film, multimodal, flexible sensor’, with the ultimate aim of commercialising the eventual prototype through the industrial partner.

Next generation fluorescence imaging ophthalmoscopy for enhanced detection of disease

Prof Andy Harvey, Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Glasgow
In partnership with Optos


Retinal imagers, such as the world-leading instruments manufactured by Optos, are the dominant tools for screening and informing treatment for retinal disease. Whereas existing imaging modalities produce images of retinal structure, we will develop new chemical-imaging techniques based on the spectral excitation and fluorescence properties of retinal fluorophores combined with fluorescence-lifetime imaging. We aim to develop new imaging technologies for: enhanced imaging of retinal chromophores such as drusen that are important for diagnosis of eye disease; and for mapping of metabolism indicators, such as flavoproteins, which offer a convenient route to detection of a wide range of systemic diseases.

Intelligent interaction between edge and cloud for IoT and ambient data processing to enable smart mobility in cities

Prof Muhammad Imran, Professor of Communication Systems, University of Glasgow
In partnership with BT

In this project, multimodal technologies (IoT) based cameras, wearable sensors and RF-based sensing system) which generate a torrent of data that contains key information as well as redundant noise. This will used for in-home monitoring of elderly people living alone with an aim to improve their living quality and their independence. On one hand, it is not cost effective to equip each edge device with the required computational power to extract the required knowledge from the massive noisy data. On the other hand, it is neither reliable nor efficient to transfer all data to the cloud in order to share the centralised computational power. This project will explore optimum event detection using RF and other techniques and intelligent mechanisms that optimise the task delegation between edge and cloud in a context-aware approach that minimises the data transfer and storage while it maximises the knowledge retention and augmentation.

Automatic threat detection and anomaly counteraction in home IoT

Dr Paul Patras, Lecturer and Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Edinburgh
In partnership with ARM


The number of Internet-connected devices is expected to reach 1 trillion by 2035. A large fraction of these devices will become an integral part of households. This can improve the productivity and quality of life of their users, but also exposes them to new cyber security and privacy risks. This project will design intelligent algorithms that can detect and counteract cyber threats originating from or targeting IoT devices in user homes, without requiring manual intervention. Novel mechanisms will also be devised to allow users to operate safely with potentially compromised gadgets, while ensuring such devices will not damage the networking infrastructure or the operation of other equipment in homes. The concepts developed will be prototyped on commodity home routers and the source code of the implementations released into the public domain.

RF system‐on‐chip implementations for flexible 5G radio

Dr Louise Crockett, Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Strathclyde
In partnership with Xilinx

Looking beyond the popular interpretation of 5G as simply an advanced mobile phone technology, there is an opportunity to build new types of services to better serve IoT networks, industrial automation, secure control of critical infrastructure, driverless cars, rural connectivity, and a host of other applications. The communications processing needed for these services may differ considerably, and hence there is a strong motivation for Software Defined Radio (SDR) systems to support enhanced flexibility and scalability. This project will specifically investigate single chip solutions based on the disruptive Xilinx RFSoC device, focusing on Shared Spectrum methods and IoT applications.