Virtual and Augmented Reality Interfaces for Artificial Intelligence Enhanced Decision-Making Processes

Applications are invited 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).


Qualification type: PhD

Location: Hatfield, United Kingdom

Funding for: UK/EU and international applicants

Funding amount: Annual tax-free bursary of approximately £15,009 and waived tuition fee (approximately £4,975 for UK/EU or £13,250 for international applicants.

Hours: Full-time

Closing application date: 13th July 2020

Expected start: 1st Oct 2020

Project outline

The PhD studentship aims at studying and developing more comprehensive user interfaces for computer-aided decision-making processes, which can benefit from 3D/360 visualization, wearable and immersive displays, virtual and augmented reality technologies, eye-tracking and HCI design solutions.

The project looks at new methods to increase tele-presence and situational awareness in tele-exploration and tele-intervention for:

  • Immersive observations of operational scenarios and network-centred operation (NCO) information, including positions, threats and airborne warning and control systems (AWACS).
  • Streamlined and effective decision making in complex scenarios.
  • Natural interaction and communication between command and control (C2) theatre and operational units, and among individuals in C2 theatres.

PhD students will work independently in a collaborative research environment under the shared supervision of Dr Salvatore Livatino (Principal Researcher at the University of Hertfordshire) and Dr. Alessandro Zocco, (Industrial Supervisor at Elettronica SpA / ELT). The PhD students mainly based at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK, may spend limited periods of work at ELT in Rome. For informal enquires email Dr. Salvatore Livatino at

Industrial 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.


Applications are invited from individuals with preferably Master’s degree or equivalent knowledge in Computer Science or Engineering, and good programming skills. It helps having experience in computer graphics, games, 3D modelling, user interfaces, VR/AR applications.


To apply, please download the application form from our website and send along with qualification certificates and/or university transcripts and a copy of your passport to:

References should also be sent by email to

Closing application date: 13th July 2020

Expected start: 1st Oct 2020