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PhD Opportunities

Event-Driven Perception and Computation for Autonomous Systems

School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science | PHD

Applications are now CLOSED
Reference Number
Application Deadline
15 March 2023
Start Date
1 October 2023


For autonomous systems such as robots, vehicles or infrastructure, the performance and power consumption of their embedded computers is critically important. This is leading to new types of sensing and computing devices, such as brain-inspired neuromorphic computing architectures. These mimic the behaviour of the brain and specifically its operation based on events, rather than time-ordered data. There has been an explosion of interest in how neuromorphic paradigms such as spiking neural networks (SNNs) can be used to enable processing and cognitions in such systems. This approach offers the advantage of significantly reduced energy expenditure because when there are no events to sense or compute, there is no activity.

These advantages make SNNs an extremely promising area of research. However, there remains to be undertaken significant investigations into how SNN models and architectures can be created and realised on practical devices to meet real-world behaviour, accuracy and performance requirements. This project will address this problem with a focus on up to three areas: autonomous vehicles, robotics and computer vision.

• Develop an understanding of the behaviour, key operations and network structure of neuromorphic computing techniques.
• Devise custom neuromorphic systems for the three application domains.
• Devise and realise strategies for realising the systems in applications.
• Create a demonstrator system showing the effectiveness of the resulting solutions.
• Present your work in leading international journals and conferences in the area.

Funding Information

*Please note that the deadline for applications from international candidates closed on 28 February*

Please note that funding may be available for this project (still to be confirmed). To be eligible for consideration for a DfE Studentship (covering tuition fees and maintenance stipend of approx. £17,668 per annum), a candidate must satisfy all the eligibility criteria based on nationality, residency and academic qualifications. The Studentship is open to UK and ROI nationals, and to EU nationals with settled status in the UK, subject to meeting the specific DfE nationality and residency criteria. Full eligibility information can be viewed via:

Academic Requirements:
The minimum academic requirement for admission is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI Higher Education provider in a relevant discipline, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Project Summary

John McAllister

Research Profile

Mode of Study

Full-time: 3 Years

Funding Body
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