The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Apply now for a PhD studentship in Infrastructure Industry Transformation through applied AI

3 May 2019

Applications now open for a fully funded EPSRC PhD studentship exploring the use of artificial intelligence and other digital techniques for improving the productivity of the infrastructure industry.

Digital technology for infrastructure

The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management invites applications for a fully funded Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial Case PhD studentship to research a topic related to the digital transformation of the infrastructure industry. This would suit an individual who is looking to conduct research in the area of applying techniques of artificial intelligence to help improve both industry productivity and customer performance. Candidates must demonstrate original thinking and motivation to research in this subject area.

The student will be based in the Institute for Digital Innovation in the Built Environment (iDIBE) which sits within BSCPM. iDIBE was launched in August 2016 as a response to the challenges of the development and application of digital innovation within built environment design, delivery, operations and maintenance.   

About the studentship

The studentship will cover home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of no less than £16,777, increasingly annually with inflation. The studentship is funded for 4 years on a full-time basis.

The successful applicant is expected to start in September/October 2019. The studentship will be jointly managed by the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management and Costain. Costain is recognized as a leading UK engineering solutions and maintenance services provider, operating primarily in the energy, water and transport sectors. The studentship will involve close liaison and working with Costain project teams and their supply partners, and occasional travel to and from their offices may therefore be required.

Research topic

As part of their PhD thesis, the candidate would be expected to work closely with industry and develop an innovative digital approach across systems where data and advances in technology will be a critical component in addressing industry, safety, productivity and integration of new technology. The project will nominally have five phases: 

  • Developing a conceptual framework
  • Development of the technology road-map and use cases that will form the base of the future transformation
  • Simulation of the potential benefits to the efficiency of project delivery
  • Pilot testing
  • Recommendations for broader implementation

Entry requirements

  • The successful candidate will hold a Degree or Master’s Degree in the fields of engineering, computer science, economics, maths, statistics, or similar
  • Excellent academic record (top 10% of their class)
  • Proficiency in English
  • Interest in an academic career
  • Interest in working closely with the industry


This studentship is funded by the EPSRC, and in accordance with their policies applications are invited from UK/EU citizens who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of studentship. Candidates must also have no restrictions on how long they can remain in the UK. EU citizens who have not been residing in the UK for the past 3 years may be eligible for a fees only award. Please see EPSRC’s website for further details.


Prospective students must apply online. Please include in your online application at least two academic letters of reference, a personal statement including explicit interest and motivation for this post and indicating the nature of your application (EPSRC iCASE), a research proposal, up-to-date CV, academic transcript, English language proof.

The closing date for applications is 31 May 2019.  Any inquiries or further information about the application process should be emailed to Professor Tim Broyd.

Apply online