Long-lived networked sensors in real-life deployme...

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Long-lived networked sensors in real-life deployment

Eligibility: UK/EU/International students with the required entry requirements

Award Details: £15000 bursary plus tuition fees

Duration: Full Time - between 3 years and 3 years 6 months fixed term

Application deadline: 30th June

Interview dates: TBC

Start date: September 2018

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Professor Elena Gaura to discuss this opportunity.


Coventry University has been voted ‘Modern University of the Year’ three times running by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide. Ranked in the UK’s top 15 (Guardian University Guide), we have a global reputation for high quality teaching and research with impact. Almost two-thirds (61%) of our research was judged ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. By joining the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing (EEC), you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with relevant industry and other third parties.

The Project

Reducing energy consumption of wireless sensor nodes extends battery life and/or enables the use of energy harvesting and thus makes feasible many applications that might otherwise be impossible, too costly or require constant maintenance. The area of low-power long-lived sensor-based systems has seen many developments recently – from scientists and practitioners alike. Over the past few years, we have also witnessed a proliferation of sensor network deployments that provide a sound base for studying network longevity and the development of solutions to address component failures.

This project will focus on investigating sensors and server failure modes in wireless networked sensor systems. You will develop both theoretical and practical solutions for preserving network life. These solutions will account for the application level data needs and the viability of the deployed network as an informational decision-enabling tool in specific real-life settings. 

Depending on your background, the project will have a variable weight on theoretical and/or practical contributions to the field. The successful candidate will work within the context of the EPSRC HELP-Refugee project, where a variety of sensor networks will be deployed for monitoring energy interventions (from mobile lanterns to micro-grids) in multiple international locations. This will offer real-life deployment data and the opportunity to test solutions for long-lived sensor network concepts that you will develop through your research.

During the project, you may need to undertake some field work, as well as taking up challenges that naturally come with interdisciplinary work that crosses the engineering and computer sciences domains. You will develop as a researcher, scientist and individual, through a structured learning programme that encourages you to use your strengths while gaining new skills.


  • £15,000 bursary plus tuition fees  - UK/EU/International
  • For the academic year 2018/19, any English student who is not part of a research council can borrow up to £25,000 to help cover the cost of their PhD tuition fees. Further details can be found here.


  • Our research strategy is underpinned by a £250m investment in research and facilities
  • Dedicated Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability Development delivers high quality professional support for researchers, from PhD to Professor
  • Free training: research career planning, managing your doctorate, research communication skills, research ethics, research impact, research integrity, research methods and research supervision
  • Coventry is a member of the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA), the largest multi-partner and only nationwide doctoral training initiative of its kind.

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with  a minimum 60% overall module average.
  • In the event of a first degree classification of less than 2:1, a Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at minimum merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at minimum merit level (60%), plus
  • 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)


  • A relevant degree in Computer Science, Electronics, or similar
  • Strong and proven programming skills---essential
  • Understanding of wireless network protocols and principles - essential
  • Demonstrable experience with embedded/wireless systems programming---essential
  • Working knowledge of electronic systems design/implementation---desirable
  • Working knowledge of machine learning---desirable
  • Demonstrable experience with data analysis and data processing principles and tools---desirable.

Eligibility & Application Procedure


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.