Industry 5.0: The role of immersive technologies (e.g., XRs) in improving resource efficiency and workers’ well-being
Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements
Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International - including EU at international rates from September 2021)
Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term
Application deadline: 14 June 2021
Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates
Start date: September 2021
This fully-funded PhD project is part of the Cotutelle arrangement between Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
The successful applicant will spend the first year at Coventry University and the following year at Deakin University and then the final 1.5 years at Coventry University. The supervision team will be drawn from the two universities.
This PhD explore the role of immersive technologies in the context of future manufacturing assembly workers which will benefit from solutions based on dynamic mixed reality (XR) visualisation appropriately guided by AI methods to carry out complex product assemblies (such as high performance battery packs for electric vehicles) with increased efficiency. The research seeks to develop a novel approach that can identify elements of a task; observe and understand state; and intervene with corrective guidance.
In these complex manufacturing assembly tasks, the operator must perform a physical action in response to a work instruction. For situations where the conventional work instruction is unavailable (e.g. it may be tacit knowledge) or where high complexity and flexibility is required (e.g. flexible production lines with bespoke, low volume products), XR and AI technologies can substitute the absent instruction or complement the existing instructions with a visual overlay in the area of assembly required.
During the epistemic action of task completion, a novel XR system can assess: operator task intent, operator skill level, action context and intervention response. This method forms part of a system integration between an engineering system (PLM, MES, QMS, CAD, etc.) with the XR overlay and data processing tools.
The aim of this PhD Project is to develop an XR solution that focuses on assisting future workers, improving operator efficiency and providing consistent results. The solution is expected to support a wide-range of scenarios a future worker in complex and flexible manufacturing would be involved in such as:
- Complex product assembly (long cycle times > 30 minutes + high complexity of parts >100)
- Flexible production lines (change worker process and task on a regular basis =/> once week)
- Bespoke products (high product configurability level demanding bespoke processes each time)
This is a fully-funded studentship, including:
- Full tuition fees (for up to 4 years)
- A stipend for up to 3.5 years subject to satisfactory progress
- A one-time economy return airfare to host institution
- Conference allowances
The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.
Applicants must meet the admission and scholarship criteria for both Coventry University and Deakin University for entry to the cotutelle programme.
- Applicants should have graduated within the top 15% of their undergraduate cohort. This might include a high 2:1 in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 70% mark (80% for Australian graduates) in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 70% overall module average (80% for Australian graduates).
- A Masters degree in a relevant subject area, with overall mark at minimum Merit level. In addition, the mark for the Masters dissertation (or equivalent) must be a minimum of 80%. Please note that where a candidate has 70-79% and can provide evidence of research experience to meet equivalency to the minimum first-class honours equivalent (80%+) additional evidence can be submitted and may include independently peer-reviewed publications, research-related awards or prizes and/or professional reports.
- Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).
- The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study.
For an overview of each University’s entry requirements please visit:
Please note that it is essential to be able to physically locate to both Coventry University (England) and Deakin University (Australia).
All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.
Please note that applications must be made to both universities.
What is the application process?
Applications are submitted to both institutions. Applicants must ensure they meet eligibility requirements. Selection involves academic staff from both institutions. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel including academic staff from each institution. Applicants will need to submit copies of certificates to both institutions in line with their respective requirements.