Innovative Virtual and Augmented Reality Interfaces for Rich and Complex Operational Scenarios PhD studentship

Programme Description

The University oh Hertfordshire invites applications for a 3-year full-time PhD Studentship available within the School of Engineering and Computer Science. The research is a collaboration between the VR and Robotics Lab of the Communications and Intelligent Systems Research Group of the University of Hertfordshire - UK and Elettronica S.p.A. - Italy (ELT). Find out more information about the lab's research.

Start date: March 2020

Duration: 3 years

Partner: Elettronica Group


Starts at £15,009 per annum and waived tuition fee.

The project

The PhD studentship aims at studying and developing innovative and more comprehensive user interfaces that benefit from 3D/360 Visualisation, Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies, and Human-Computer Interaction design solutions, to effectively and timely managing rich and complex operational scenarios.

The project looks at new methods to enhance tele-intervention while reducing cognitive workload. Topics may include:

  • Intuitive visualisation of rich and complex operational scenarios and network-centred operation (NCO) information, including positions, threats and airborne warning and control systems (AWACS).
  • Simplified planning and action prediction.
  • Facilitated communication and collaboration between command and control (C2) theatre and operational units.
  • Effective C2 operations and training.

The successful PhD applicant will work under the shared supervision of Dr Salvatore Livatino (Principal Supervisor at the University of Hertfordshire) and Dr Alessandro Zocco, (Industrial Supervisor at Elettronica SpA / ELT). The PhD student will be mainly based at the University of Hertfordshire but may also spend limited periods of time at ELT in Rome.

For informal enquires email Dr. Salvatore Livatino.

The partner

Elettronica Group, as a European leader in Defence & Security, has been on the cutting edge of Electronic Warfare (EW) for more than 60 years. The Group is composed by three industrial assets, Elettronica S.p.A, headquarter, based in Rome, leader in full EW capabilities, CY4GATE, specialized in Cyber EW, Cyber Security and Intelligence, and Elettronica Gmbh, the German subsidiary specialized in EW signal processing design and production and Homeland Security solutions. Elettronica’s systems are deployed for Strategic Surveillance, to Self-Protection, Sigint, Electronic Attack and Operational Support for airborne, naval and ground applications, etc. Elettronica is the co-design authority of the Defence Aid Subs System as well as the EW self-protection suite of the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Applicant requirements


Applications are invited from individuals with a 1st or 2:1 in Computer Science or relevant engineering degree. A Master’s or equivalent industrial experience would be desirable. We are seeking applicants with good programming skills. Previous experience in computer graphics, games, 3D modelling, user interfaces and VR/AR applications would be an advantage.


Application Process

Please download the application form here. Applications should be sent to

You must complete section 11 of the application form, titled personal statement/further information with a 500-word summary of your motivation to undertake the advertised PhD projects.

You must also send with your application a research proposal not exceeding 2 pages.

Closing application date:10 February 2020

Interviews: 13-14 February 2020

Expected start date: 2 March 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.