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PhD Studentship - School of Computing and Communications

Data Analysis and Algorithms Development applied to Climate Research

Lancaster University, School of Computing and Communications

Minimum of £13,590


Applications are invited for a 3-year funded PhD studentship in Evolving Clustering of Atmospheric Measurements commencing 1 January 2013.

About the project

The studentship is funded by the Natural Environment Council (NERC) as a part of the multimillion-pound project, CAST: 'Co-ordinated Airborne Studies in the Tropics'. The CAST consortium includes 6 UK Universities and is coordinated by Cambridge University. The project's aim is to investigate and develop innovative methods, algorithms and software for real-time on-board processing of climate science data, from the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, by identifying dynamically evolving clusters and autonomously monitoring, modelling and extracting knowledge from the data streams.

The aim is for this studentship is to address both basic theoretical and application research questions relevant to the real-time conversion of the Global Hawk data stream into a useful climate science product. Basic questions include those on development of autonomous and dynamically evolving clustering and classifiers. Application research will centre on developing new algorithms, software and possibly hardware (on chip) implementation serving the experimental elements of the project for real-time data stream processing in the high altitude atmospheric composition in tropical areas of the Earth. The studentship thus offers the opportunity to participate in the development of new theoretical and application advances of research methodology and development of related algorithms and software, as well as to be closely related and provide this to a real state-of-the-art experiment which will take place in the high altitudes of the tropical parts of the Earth.

Supervisors and Location

The studentship will be supervised by Dr Plamen Angelov, who will provide the expertise in artificial intelligence and provide the day-to-day pastoral supervision, and co-supervised by Prof Rob MacKenzie (University of Birmingham), who will provide expertise in atmospheric science. The studentship will be based in Lancaster University's InfoLab21 - a Centre of Excellence in ICT the School of Computing and Communications This provides an excellent opportunity for professional and personal development.

Candidate eligibility

Due to NERC requirements, this award is only available to UK citizens or candidates who meet the eligibility set out in the NERC Studentship Handbook. This studentship is fully funded by NERC and covers all fees, an annual maintenance award of a minimum of £13,590 per annum (2012/13 level) over 3 years.

Qualifications/Experience/Person specification

Applicants should hold (or expect to obtain) a minimum upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in a discipline related to machine learning, pattern recognition, computational intelligence or broader computer science and/or electrical engineering. Some experience in atmospheric physics and/or chemistry will be an advantage; a willingness to study across scientific disciplines is essential. Technical aptitude and a willingness to learn fast new areas of research will also be essential. Because this studentship is a part of a project and includes communication with partners of a large consortium, excellent communications skills are required.

How to apply

To apply, please send the following documents by email to Dr Plamen Angelov ( a CV (including names and contact details of two referees) as well as a Covering letter (including the motivation and a research proposal/statement).

Closing date: 15 December 2012

Wed 17 October 2012