PhD Studentship in Efficient Topological Decision Making

University of Southampton School of Engineering

United Kingdom

PhD Studentship in Efficient Topological Decision Making

School of Engineering
Location: Highfield Campus
Closing Date: Monday 31 August 2020
Reference: 1206619DA
Supervisor: Dr. D.J.J. Toal

Co-supervisor Prof. A.J. Keane

Project description

Engineering design essentially involves making decisions with respect to the geometry of a component. These decisions can be divided up into two types, topological decisions where the topology of the system is determined and sizing decisions where the sizes of features within a fixed topology are determined. Sizing problems have been explored for many years and there are numerous existing techniques to help designers determine the correct, or optimal, dimensions for maximum performance or minimum weight, etc. However, techniques which enable a designer to choose between topologies have been explored much less.

The following project will develop novel machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques which will enable engineering designers to more effectively and efficiently explore the impact of topological decisions on the performance of an engineering system.

This project is funded by Rolls-Royce plc as part of their support to the R-R University technology Centre for Computational Engineering at Southampton. In addition to the basic tax free student stipend of £15,141pa, R-R will provide a further tax free stipend increment of £9,000 pa and therefore in line with their graduate recruitment schemes. The stipend will rise in subsequent years. Funding for travel to international conferences will be available.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Andy Keane, Computational Engineering and Design Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2944.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Engineering (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter David Toal under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:

In your application, please refer to