Industry 5.0: The role of immersive technologies in improving the efficiency of future repair engineers

Industry 5.0: The role of immersive technologies in improving the efficiency of future repair engineers

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

For further details contact: Professor Ben Horan (Deakin) or Dr Lorena Moreira (Coventry)

Cotutelle PhD Programme

This studentship is part of the Cotutelle PhD Programme with Deakin University (Australia). Find out more about our global Cotutelle opportunities.

Find out more


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 Deakin University and the following year at Coventry University and then the final 1.5 years at Deakin University. The supervision team will be drawn from the two Universities.

Project details

This PhD explore the role of immersive technologies in the context of future digital engineers which will benefit from solutions based on dynamic mixed reality (XR) visualisation appropriately guided by AI methods to carry out repair works 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 engineering tasks, the engineer 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), XR and AI technologies can substitute the absent instruction in the form of visual overlay in the region of interest.

During the epistemic action of task completion, a novel XR system can assess: operator task intent, 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 outcome of this PhD project will be to develop an XR solution that focuses on assisting the digital engineers of the future, improving operator efficiency and providing consistent results. The aim of the PhD will be to better understand XR learning and its correlation to complex maintenance tasks. The devised solution is expected to support a wide-range of scenarios that a digital maintenance engineer would be involved in such as:

  • Maintenance – inspection, adjustment, servicing
  • Repair – removal, installation, replacement
  • Overhaul – upgrade, modification, rebuild


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.

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the admission and scholarship criteria for both Coventry University and Deakin University for entry to the cotutelle programme.

This includes:

  • 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).

How to apply

To find out more about the project, please contact Prof. Ben Horan (Deakin) and Dr Lorena Moreira (Coventry

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.

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