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Department of Computer Science

Developing Reliable Software for Autonomous Robots

Primary supervisor

Additional supervisors

  • Marie Farrell
  • Michael Fisher

Additional information

Contact admissions office

Other projects with the same supervisor


  • Directly Funded Project (Students Worldwide)

This research project has funding attached. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

Autonomous robotics are desirable in hazardous environments such as nuclear decommissioning and space exploration. But before we can deploy autonomous robots we need a fundamental change to the way that these autonomous systems are verified and assessed. This change includes support for verification using multiple techniques for distinct system components.

This PhD project will seek to develop new and improve existing methods for verifying autonomous robotic systems. It will also examine how results from these distinct methods can be combined to provide an argument for whole system verification. The ideal candidate will possess some knowledge of Formal Methods and Algebraic Specification.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work in a stimulating and challenging environment and will be expected to publish high-quality research papers in leading journals and conferences. They will also have the opportunity to participate in international collaborations and attend conferences and workshops to present their research.

Informal enquiries regarding this project can be sent to

Person specification

For information


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will have good time management.
  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.


Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?