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PhD Studentship - A Semantics Framework for Authoring Context-aware Augmented Reality Applications

  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

PhD Studentship - A Semantics Framework for Authoring Context-aware Augmented Reality Applications

The project aims to establish a framework for abstracting real-world data and linking semantics with a software development engine for authoring context-aware Augmented Reality (AR) applications. This match-funded PhD project between Bournemouth University (academic partner) and Phantom Technology Ltd. (industry partner) will investigate various state-of-the-art semantic labelling methodologies to segment point datasets into meaningful scene and object classifications. The goal for this project is to enhance the development process for authoring context-aware mobile AR applications, by exploring methods of accounting for real-world uncertainties using data modalities provided by the proprietary software developed by Phantom Technology. 

This is a fully-funded PhD studentship which includes a stipend of £15,450 each year to support your living costs.

This project is conditional upon the funding being secured.

The closing date for applications is 31st October 2021.

Key information

Next start date:

24 January 2022

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

36 months

Entry requirements:

Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA), or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent). For more information check out our full entry requirements

Additional eligibility criteria:

  • An independent engineer who’s comfortable working in a small industrial team alongside their time at the university
  • 4+ years of total programming experience in research or industry
  • Advanced software engineer with the ability to write production-quality object-oriented code in C++ or C#
  • A strong maths or physics background
  • Good oral and written communication
  • Practical experience working with machine learning or NLP
  • Interest in emerging technologies and commercialisation. 

Project details

PhD Studentship - A Semantics Framework for Authoring Context-aware Augmented Reality Applications

The project aims to establish a framework for abstracting real-world data and linking semantics with a software development engine for authoring context-aware Augmented Reality (AR) applications. This match-funded PhD project between Bournemouth University (academic partner) and Phantom Technology Ltd. (industry partner) will investigate various state-of-the-art semantic labelling methodologies to segment point datasets into meaningful scene and object classifications. The goal for this project is to enhance the development process for authoring context-aware mobile AR applications, by exploring methods of accounting for real-world uncertainties using data modalities provided by the proprietary software developed by Phantom Technology. 

Having a system understand high-level contextual information can lead to advanced meaningful and rich user interactions in the environment for all types of mobile applications. Additionally, improving the authoring process will lead to a major contribution for AR applications, related to a variety of fields around computer vision, digital games, productivity plus utility and, finally, emerging HCI frameworks for its exploration of context-awareness and adaptability around user surroundings.  

During the course of this PhD, the solutions will be integrated with the PhantomEngine software development kit (SDK), as part of Phantom Technology’s proprietary AR engine. AR prototypes will be developed to test the efficacy of the solutions composed and will be integrated with mobile AR gaming projects (developed by Phantom Technology’s current industrial partners) with a potential of reaching commercial users. 

As described above, context awareness for mobile AR applications in an effective manner is far from a resolved problem (notably accuracy is an area which needs improvement), but also usability of a given prototype. The work will build on existing literature and results in the area of multimodal system interactions, computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) techniques. The impact will further extend to a number of established research and industrial communities tackling some of the biggest challenges amongst computer interactions and interface design. The immersive technology industry is a significant proportion of the UK’s economic and cultural footprint, and through the successful development of these areas, the leading industries can be perpetuated further. 

The student will be in a vibrant academic environment which will be stimulating both in terms of the research work to be carried but also on a social level. The student will be able to attend Doctoral College training, and will be able to sit in many industry talks organised for the undergrad student cohorts (such as Unity, Microsoft’s Playground Games, Climax Studios and others) and, finally, amongst many other development opportunities, will be able to attend international conferences which often take place at BU in this area. 

View the full project description (pdf 175KB).

The closing date for applications is 31st October 2021

Supervisors

Dr Fred Charles

Dr Fred Charles's main research interests focus on Computational Intelligence applied to Computer Games including Artificial Intelligence combined with Human-Computer Interaction. He has been involved in research on Interactive Storytelling which led to the development of several interactive systems which have won several awards.

Dr Charles completed a PhD in Computer Science, entitled “Intelligent Virtual Actors in Interactive Storytelling”, which had an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence techniques but also covered areas of Computer Graphics and Human Computer Interaction applied to Computer Games Technologies. He has a BSc in Computer Science, followed by a Master’s degree in Computer Aided Graphical Technology Applications.

Please contact Dr Fred Charles for informal enquirers fcharles@bournemouth.ac.uk

Professor Christos Gatzidis

Professor Christos Gatzidis is the Head of Department for Creative Technology, within the Faculty of Science & Technology. 

He completed his PhD at the School Of Informatics, Department of Information Science, City University London and he has a Masters in Arts in Computer Animation from Teesside University and a BSc in Computer Studies (Visualisation) from the University of Derby. Professor Christos Gatzidis also has a PG Cert in Research Degree Supervision from Bournemouth University.

He has contributed to several refereed conference, book and journal publications (including articles in Wiley's Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, Springer's Visual Computer and Elsevier's Computers and Graphics amongst others) and has served as a member on a number of international program committees for various conferences plus reviewed for a number of journals. He has chaired the VS Games 2013 conference as well as guest edited special issues at journals such as Elsevier’s Entertainment Computing and IGI’s International Journal of Game Based Learning.

cgatzidis@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Funding

A fully-funded Studentship includes a maintenance grant of £15,450 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.

Associated costs, such as for fieldwork and conference attendance, will also be met under the Studentship.

Academic support

The Research Development Programme, developed by the Doctoral College in line with the Researcher Development Framework (Vitae).

An added benefit is the opportunity to meet researchers from other academic schools at BU through the activities of the Doctoral College and benefit from their experiences, skills, and perspectives.

Full entry requirements

The BU PhD and MRes Studentships are open to UK, EU and International students.

Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

  • Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA) or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent
  • An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application.

In addition to satisfying minimum entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful completion.

Applicants will be asked to submit an online application form and a proposal (approximately 1500 words) outlining their understanding of the project for which they are applying, the approach they would envisage taking and what qualities they will bring to the research community.

Please note:

  • current BU Doctoral students are not eligible to apply for a Studentship
  • current MRes/MPhil students can apply, subject to satisfactory completion of their Research Degree prior to being able to take up the award
  • PhD Studentships cannot be used to support BU staff to complete doctoral programmes.

Additional eligibility criteria:

  • An independent engineer who’s comfortable working in a small industrial team alongside their time at the university
  • 4+ years of total programming experience in research or industry
  • Advanced software engineer with the ability to write production-quality object-oriented code in C++ or C#
  • A strong maths or physics background
  • Good oral and written communication
  • Practical experience working with machine learning or NLP
  • Interest in emerging technologies and commercialisation. 

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally: 

IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 (with a minimum 6.0 in each component) or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.

How to apply

Click the green ‘Apply now’ button at the top of the page and complete the online application form. You can find further guidance about applying for a postgraduate research degree in our Postgraduate Research section.

The closing date for applications 31st October 2021.

Careers

A research degree can open new career opportunities in commercial research and development, consultancy, or could lead you to starting your own business. You may alternatively consider a career in academia. You may wish to undertake research to contribute to your knowledge of a specialist subject, or develop your employability by enhancing your skills in project management and analysis.

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The Doctoral College

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Fees and funding

Find out about the fees and different funding options for postgraduate research degrees.

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