Computer vision and deep learning for underwater vehicle navigation and control PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
4 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 July 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
01 March 2018



in the UK for research quality

REF 2014


in the UK for Mechanical Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2018


of 2 Queen's Anniversary Prizes


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

We are seeking excellent candidates with interests in computer vision, robotics and AI who want to study at a top 10 UK research-led University whilst working with industrial partners.  You will join the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence and be part of a growing research group within the Department of Computer Science. You will work alongside academics who are leaders in their field and benefit from a four-year studentship award that includes an enhanced EPSRC tax-free annual stipend and UK/EU tuition fees. Furthermore, you will have access to a personal training budget of £10,000, which is in addition to a research budget and support from academic members of staff and industrial partners.

Loughborough University aims to ensure equality for men and women. We follow the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter by wishing to attract, support, and reward women in STEMM at all career stages.

In the next years, accessible portable robots will enable customized applications such as underwater commercial applications, scientific research, environmental protection, and search and rescue. This project will develop state-of-the-art algorithms and software solutions to build embedded intelligence for curiosity driven robots to enhance the usability of underwater vehicles towards automation.  In particular, the latest advances in computer vision and deep learning will be explored significantly to build underwater robot vision and control for various tasks, e.g. path finding, navigation, target exploration, object recognition and tracking. The studentship is co-sponsored by a high-tech company, Witted Srl, and you will spend time at the company to conduct experiments in controlled and real-world environments. You will gain knowledge about the challenges in underwater robotics for practical applications and learn about control intelligence for underwater autonomous vehicles. 


Primary supervisors: Dr Baihua Li, Dr Emanuele Rocco 

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Baihua Li or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence, please visit their website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in related Computer Science, Engineering or Mathematics degree with strong programming skills (e.g. C++, Python, Matlab) and knowledge of artificial intelligence and computer vision. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in computer vision, machine learning and deep learning is desirable, as is a passion in robotics, navigation and control.

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements, details available on the website.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

The studentship is for four years and provides a tax-free stipend of £17,553 per annum for the duration, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. To qualify for a full award, applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement. 

How to apply

All applications should be made online.  Under programme name, select “CDT Embedded Intelligence Wolfson School” and quote reference CDTEI_Li_2

Application details

Reference number: 2018CDTEI_Li_2
Application deadline: 01 March 2018
Start date: 01 July 2018