Civil Engineering

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
StudyQA ranking:3495 Duration:36 months

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We offer PhD supervision in topics relating to:

Nanomaterials and electronics

Strained Si technology for high-speed low-power integrated circuits; SiC for high-temperature, high-power electronics; reliability of interconnects; high-k dielectrics and developing novel electrical characterisation; ferroelectric materials for tunable capacitance and integration with silicon technology; biomedical devices; sensors and electronics for hostile environments; Si-based photovoltaics; nm scale material characterisation; diffusion in semiconductors; Atomic Layer Deposition; device fabrication; technology CAD; molecular electronics; integrative systems and applications; first-principles simulation of defects in semiconductors; theoretical modelling of the properties of materials. The group has many international collaborative research programmes and has been successful in placing PhD students at other world-leading research laboratories for three- to nine-month periods, including IMEC and SEMATECH.

Nanoscale Science and Technology

Microelectronic system design

Asynchronous systems design and test; design automation, synthesis and verification; concurrent systems modelling and implementation; metastability modelling and characterisation; on-chip synchronisation; dynamical systems methods in IC design; networks-on-chip; wireless sensor design; secure IC design; logarithmic scale computing; self-timed FPGAs; variability analysis and variation-tolerant IC design; power scavenging and power elastic computing; fault tolerant systems; design for testability and testing; biomedical interface electronics; optical-electronic interface; 3D stacked IC design. The group has international leadership in asynchronous systems design and successful track record of research collaboration with industry. This includes multinational microelectronics giants, EDA start-ups, and world leading laboratories such as IMEC, where the group's students have three to nine month placements. All students have access to Europractice CAD tool training and chip fabrication facilities.

Power electronics, drives and machines

The groups activity is principally directed in the renewable energy, aerospace, automotive and consumer product sectors. All aspects of power electronics and drive systems are covered including: stand-alone and grid-connected converters for renewable generation; fault-tolerant machines and drives; ultra high-speed machines/low cost drives; exploitation of insulated, compacted iron-powder for novel and improved performance machines; novel power converter topologies and thermal management ; novel energy storage systems; sensors and drive controllers for safety-critical applications; power semiconductors; drive configurations; advanced nonlinear modelling, control and optimisation strategies and applications. The group is recognised as one of the leading European research groups in this sector, working in areas from blue sky research to product applications. Projects may involve one or more of the following themes: electrical machines, power electronics or control engineering.

Communications and Signal Processing (CSP)

Major research themes in the group fall into the following four areas:

Communications and networks

Wireless communications; (network) coding; error correct coding; sensor networks; underwater communications; through-steel communications; antenna design and development; information theory for communications; beyond third-generation mobile communications; heterogeneous communications networks; encryption and security; 'Internet of Things'.

Signal processing and applications

Fast 3-D transforms; nonlinear and non-Gaussian signal processing; blind signal separation; speech and audio processing; computer vision and machine intelligence; data mining and fusion; co-operative and collaborative signal processing; statistical signal processing; compression algorithms.

Sensor systems and applications

Modelling and simulation; smart sensor systems; clustering and distributed sensors; sensor fusion and system integration; electromagnetic non-destructive evaluation; RFID sensing and networks; condition monitoring and structural health monitoring; reliability and condition-based maintenance; security systems; measurement and automation.

Biometrics and biomedical engineering

Multimodal biometrics; biomedical algorithms and instrumentation; biomedical sensors and interface; non-invasive measurement and diagnostics; medical signal processing; medical image processing and pattern recognition; advanced medical electronics; e-health and wellbeing.

The group has an excellent track record for attracting overseas researchers and international visitors, with rich national and international collaborative research programmes. The group actively undertakes world-class multidisciplinary research, balancing technology-driven and application-driven research.

For examples of recent research topics please see our website.



We offer a number of different routes to a research degree qualification including full-time supervised research projects and industry-based research. Part-time and off-campus models are also available. The Science, Agriculture and Engineering Graduate School provides training in professional/key skills and research techniques, supports personal development and hosts postgraduate events.


An upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in electrical or electronic engineering, computer engineering or a related subject such as mechanical engineering or physics.

Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.0, Pearson's PTE Academic Test 54 or equivalent.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme, applicants will be informed of this in the offer letter.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6


IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.




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