Autonomous vehicles. Self-funded PhD in Engineering Ref: 3072

About the Research Project

Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, EX4 4QJ

Academic Supervisors:
Prof Christopher Smith, University of Exeter

Project Description:
There is a huge push for development of autonomous systems currently, most notably for driverless vehicles. A good deal of effort is being given in the heavy goods and passenger vehicle sectors. Other sectors however have similar needs for autonomous vehicles, but have very different and possibly more demanding requirements. Prof CW Smith has been working with SC Group on a new 6-wheel drive, amphibious, highly mobile hybrid drive vehicle mainly aimed at the defence sector, which will be in trials by 2020. At the same time there is a need for an autonomous version, most notably for the last-mile-supply role.

PhD candidates are sought in the area of autonomous vehicles, with strong skills in drivetrain control, vehicle power management, vehicle location and steering. Experience in the defence sector is welcomed.

For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the primary supervisor: Prof Christopher Smith

Information about current fees can be found here:
Information about possible funding sources can be found here:

Entry requirements

Applicants for this research project must have obtained a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. Experience in Engineering is desirable.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests.

How to apply

You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter and two academic references. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project. You may also be asked to upload verified transcripts of your most academic qualification.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email

Please quote reference 3072 on your application and in any correspondence about this project.


Application deadline:24th September 2018
Duration of award:Not applicable
Contact: EMPS Postgraduate Research Office