Dual Award PhD: Human and activity detection in ambient assisted living scenarios


Qualification type: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Location: Hatfield, United Kingdom

Stipend amount:  £15,609 bursary per year (plus tuition fees)

Funding for: Open to UK and EU applicants

Duration: Full Time

Application closing date: 16 July 2022

Programme Outline

Our previous work in ACCOMPANY project (accompanyproject.eu) and recent collaboration with the North Hertfordshire County Council, focuses on person and activity detection in ambient assisted living scenarios. The next natural progression in this work is to improve on the technological readi-ness of systems for deployment in supervised and unsupervised settings. This involves  working on detection algorithms fidelity, as well as user interfaces for the triad of care, the person under care, their relatives andthe service provider. The goal here is to detect people and objects and what people do with objects. This then serves as a repository of activities that are automatically detected in support of independent living. The PhD involves both elements of robotics and artificial intelligence, thus to enable accurate detection of activities in a robot-mediated interaction scenario.

A further inspiration and enrichment for this topic emerges from the dual award nature of this PhD. Candidates will have the opportunity to receive co-supervision from Prof Gu Fang at Western Sydney University in order to enrich aspects of activity monitoring from state of the art in monitoring in industrial environments. Candidates are also required tospend first and third year at University of Hertfordshire, and to spend the second year of their PhD research in Sydney, Australia.

Candidates are expected to have very good programming skills and prior experience in using ambient sensors and mobile robotic devices. Experiences in multisensory fusion is a bonus.

Research in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire has been recognised as excellent in the REF 2014, with 50% of the research submitted rated as internationally excellent or world leading.

The University of Hertfordshire provides a very stimulating environment, offering a large number of specialised and interdisciplinary seminars as well as general trainingand researcher development op-portunities. The University is situated in Hatfield, in the green belt just north of London.


Applicants should have a very strong first degree(Honours Class 1 or 2) or a Master of research/philosophy degree in Cybernetics, Computer Science, Electronics, or other relevant area. Also due to the dual award nature, Candidate degrees should equate to Australian equivalent.

Funding details

This is a three-year funded project to begin in 2022 and funding covers UKRI stipend plus tuition fees. The starting date is negotiable, but we would like the applicant to start no later than September 2022.

Application process

Informal contact before application: The PhD's will be conducted under Prof Farshid Amirabdolla-hian’s, Dr Patrick Holthaus and Prof Gu Fang’s supervision and candidates are invited to contact them for further assistance.

How to apply: Download the application form

Please note: You must download the application form to your computer before you complete it. If you complete the form in the browser window, the information you have entered may be lost when the form is saved.

The application form should be returned to Lynette Spelman Research Student Administrators University of HertfordshireHatfieldHertfordshireAL10 9ABPreferably, please email the application form to doctoralcollegeadmissions@herts.ac.uk. Applications should also include two references and transcripts of previous academic degrees. We accept applications for self-funded places throughout the year.