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ECU Vice Chancellor's PhD by Research Scholarship

This project, which is aligned with the themes of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems, aims to undertake PhD research in autonomous navigation of AI-powered ground vehicles in natural environments.


Important dates

Opens: 15-06-2020 Closes: 31-07-2020

Applies to

Domestic International Postgraduate Research

The Project

This project involves applying artificial intelligence and computer vision methods to enable light commercial ground vehicles to be used for autonomous navigation, mapping, scene analysis, and object recognition in natural environments.

Working with Prof David Suter and Dr Jumana Abu-Khalaf, the successful candidate will contribute to the development of accurate virtual environments that simulate the functionality and performance of candidate autonomous vehicles in various environmental terrains and interaction scenarios. This includes developing geometric and dynamic models of the vehicles, exploring different sensors and sensors setups, and more importantly developing and testing AI algorithms for autonomous navigation and useful interaction with natural environments of interest. Simulation results will identify appropriate algorithms to be deployed onto operational and useful robotic platforms that can increase productivity and safety in real natural environments.

This position is based in ECU's School of Science (Joondalup campus). The candidate will receive a 3-year scholarship for a stipend of $28,420 per year (full-time), with possible 6-month extension.

Candidates are required to have the following skills in order to undertake the project:

  • BSc (Honours)/MSc/MPhil (with a significant research project component) in Computer Science, Mechatronics, Robotics, Electronics Engineering, Automation or a related subject.
  • Strong theoretical and applied knowledge in machine learning, as well as good programming skills in Python/ MATLAB/C++ or other languages of choice.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.

Experience in the following is highly desirable:

  • Operation of light Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs).
  • Working with robot simulators such as CoppeliaSim and Gazebo.
  • Working on robotics project(s) using Robot Operation System (ROS).
  • High-quality publication(s) in English.

How to apply

To apply please send your expression of interest to Dr Jumana Abu-Khalaf (j.abukhalaf@ecu.edu.au). Put "Autonomous Navigation of AI-powered Ground Vehicles in Natural Environments - PhD Application" in the subject line.

Your expression of interest should include the following:

  • A cover letter that includes a brief statement of your suitability;
  • A brief CV containing your contact details; and
  • Academic transcript (s).
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