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The use of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) to improve safety in kitchens in assisted living homes

Eligibility: UK/EU applicants and existing Coventry University employees with the required experience

Award Details: £15,000 bursary per annum plus tuition fees

Duration: 3 years 6 months fixed term. If the PhD is completed within 3 years the PhD holder will be eligible to apply for one year’s post-doctoral funding to continue the work

Application deadline: March 13th (5pm)

For informal enquiries about this studentship, please contact Professor Shuli Liu or Professor Mark Tyrer.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree as part of the Data Driven Research and Innovation collaborative programme. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

This PhD is hosted by Coventry University in close collaboration with the University of Sheffield and a strategic residential partner from the Housing Association sector.

In an ageing population, the management and mitigation of the effects of dementia take many forms. In terms of the wellbeing of the individual, continuation of life at home requires subtle and sensitive support to maximise the time over which a person can enjoy independence. This proposal seeks to provide a simple means by which kitchen safety is ensured whilst minimising the intrusion and intervention, which may accompany other forms of care. 

The onset of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease manifests itself in many ways, amongst which forgetfulness is particularly obvious. Whilst at many levels, an individual may be very capable of meeting their needs in terms of cooking, it is commonplace to leave the gas burner or electric hob without switching it off after use. This project seeks to use Ambient Intelligence to develop an automated and non-intrusive means of monitoring the state of a cooker, alongside the presence of an individual in the kitchen. Through a combination of sensors, computer-control and machine-learning, the cooker may be switched off if left unattended, minimising energy wastage, fire risk and user injury.

About the Centres/Departments

The Centre for Low Impact Buildings (LIB) at Coventry encompasses a range of disciplines and research expertise related to the built environment, including construction and materials, environment and impact and society and health.

The Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) at Sheffield researches new user-friendly technologies to enable people to live independently and builds on a world-leading interdisciplinary research base across assistive technology and connected healthcare.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will have:

  • a taught Masters degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. sport science, occupational therapy, physiotherapy), involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


  • knowledge and/or experience in the subject
  • a good knowledge of the application of sensors and electronics for monitoring and control
  • experimental, modelling or analytical experience, including data analysis and manipulation
  • experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn) about machine learning, ambient intelligence and big data and associated ethical and data protection issues.

Eligibility & Application procedure

Application Procedure:

Application information can be found in our how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact Professor Shuli Liu for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity. You can also find the Research Studentship Application Form here.


UK/EU applicants are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found at the making an application page. Existing Coventry University employees with the required experience are also eligible.