Important: Students should not restrict their search for a supervisor to those listed below. Use other sources of information on research groups to find out about possible supervisors. Most UROP research experiences are obtained with staff who do not advertise their availability. However, please also take note of the list of non-participating staff.

UROP Opportunities in the Faculty of Engineering
Title of UROP Opportunity (Research Experience) & DetailsExperience required (if any)Contact Details and any further Information

NEW: Added 13 February, 2018

Development of an Energy Aware IoT Sensor Node: The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly matured in the past decades and is becoming a viable solution for real world deployments. A major barrier to the practical adoption of IoT systems have been the limited deployment opportunities if run on mains power and limited operational lifetime on primary batteries.

Energy Neutral Operation (ENO) is a mode of operation of an IoT object where energy consumption is always less or equal to the energy harvested from the environment. ENO has created the ability to continuously operate wireless sensor networks in areas such as environmental monitoring, hazard detection and industrial IoT applications. Current ENO approaches utilise techniques such as sample rate control, adaptive duty cycling and data reduction methods. In order to test the efficacy of these methods energy aware IoT testing platforms are needed. However, the current state of the art in IoT test platforms do not include the necessary features to accurately test the energy dynamics in ENO systems.

Successful applicants for the UROP project for the summer of 2018 would focus around the development of a fully featured modular energy harvesting sensor node for ENO applications. Development would require the following features:

  • Ability to run multiple energy harvesting sources (Solar, thermal, vibration)
  • Utilization of various sensors (environmental, air quality, noise, water quality etc…)
  • Various communications methodologies (LoRa, ZigBee, BLE etc…)
  • The ability to measure the energy dynamics during operation.

This project would be of particular interest to students looking to develop skills in the rapidly evolving IoT space while getting exposure to an academic laboratory.

See further info in the next two columns.


Skills and experience required: We are seeking a talented, hard-working electronics engineer with skills to build this next-generation of IoT devices. The student will develop an embedded board that would be used for research purposes. The ideal student should have the following skills:
Essential knowledge:

  • Development of PCB using tools like Eagle/Altium/KiCad
  • Experience designing digital and analog circuits
  • Experience with debugging circuits.

Desirable knowledge:

  • Experience in power electronics design
  • Experience with RTOS (real-time operating systems)

The UROP would need to take place during the summer (preferably during the summer vacation).

Contact details: Professor Julie McCann, E258 ACEX building, Dept of Computing, Faculty of Engineering, South Kensington Campus. Email: Tel +44 (0)2075948375.

NEW : Added 8 February, 2018: Light Stage acquisition and processing pipelineThe UROP student will help the Realistic Graphics and Imaging develop their acquisition and processing pipelines for data acquired using a multispectral lightstage:

This will involve working with camera APIs and image processing APIs to acquire data from various cameras and store them in various file formats, as well as working with the group to streamline the processing pipelines for facial capture data. There might also be opportunity to some hardware/firmware programming with raspberry pi/arduino boards.

Skills and experience required: Previous programming experience with Python and C required. Experience with cameras APIs or hardware programming a bonus but not required.

Preferred Dates of Placement: Summer term 10 weeks (June 18 – August 25)

Contact Details: Dr Abhijeet Ghosh, Dept of Computing, Huxley Building 376, Faculty of Engineering, South Kensington Campus. Email:


NEW: added 4 December, 2017 - Non-invasive brain stimulation for treating brain disorders: There are 1 billion people around the world that suffer from brain disorder, with some 6.8 million dying of the maladies each year, as the majority of such patients are unamenable to any form of treatment as first line (drug) and second line (invasive surgeries) treatments fail. A growing body of evidence suggests that aberrant brain activity plays a mechanistic role in pathology of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), by disrupting the spatiotemporal framework that underpins cognitive or motoric functionality. We pioneer non-invasive brain stimulation interventions to modulate of the aberrant brain activity that underpins the brain disorder. Our work deploys synergistically advanced engineering and cutting-edge neuroscience, ranging from a single neuron cell to human behaviour.

I am seeking talented, hard-working physicists and engineers with a passion to tackle big problems in neuroscience and neuroengineering.

Skills and experience required: Demonstrated programming skills (Matlab, Labview, C, Java), prototyping, and computation would be considered as an advantage.

Exceptional candidates are welcomed to contact me throughout the year.

Contact details: Nir Grossman, PhD, Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Fellow, UK Dementia Research Institute, Division of Brain Sciences, Dept of Medicine, Imperial College London, E503 Burlington Danes Building, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS. Email:; Web:

Digital Electronics: The development of tools and techniques to help automate the design of digital circuits from high level specifications. The implementation of algorithms in reconfigurable hardware or combined hardware/software An interest and skills in both software and hardware (digital).

Prof George Constantinides, Circuits and Systems Research Group, Dept of Electrical Engineering, Room 910, Electrical Engineering Building, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 020 7594 6299 Email:


Non-Destructive TestingComponents and structures in safety-critical applications must be tested before service and at intervals during their operating life to ensure that there are no defects such as cracks or delaminations present which could cause failure. The tests which are carried out must not damage the component and are, therefore, termed non-destructive. Many parameters which can give information about the integrity of components are measured but there is no universally applicable technique and several areas, such as adhesive joints, are not adequately covered by existing test methods.

Current research is investigating the potential of sonic vibration and ultrasonic measurements for the detection of defects. Opportunities are available in these areas.

Further details of the group can be found at

  Professor Mike Lowe, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rm 461a, Mechanical Engineering Building, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 020 759 47071; Email:


Mechanical Engineering (Non-Destructive Evaluation): A technology transfer project that aims to develop a novel measurement technique from a laboratory tool to an industrial system suitable for commercialisation. The technology is already being demonstrated in limited site trials in power stations and we are now looking to produce a more robust, mass producible system that can be easily installed on a wider basis.

- Research, design and testing of sensor hardware and installation equipment.
- Laboratory testing to validate performance and reliability under demanding conditions.
- Modifying existing hardware for new applications

Background in mechanical design required. Experience in laboratory experimentation/testing desired Prof Peter Cawley, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, 318 City & Guilds Building, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 0207 594 7068; Email:

Aerospace Composite Structures: This project deals with developing improved design methodologies for advanced composite structures in aerospace. Within this project, the selected students will have the opportunity to contribute to (i) advanced experimental material characterisation, (ii) development of analytical failure models, (iii) implementation of numerical algorithms, and (iv) development of user-friendly stand-alone computer codes

Practical knowledge of composite materials and programming languages (fortran, matlab).

Dr Silvestre Pinho, Department of Aeronautics, Room E457, ACE Extension Building, South Kensington Campus
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 5076, Email:


Custom Computing, Reconfiguarable Architecture: Theory and practice of developing systems containing:

- run-time reconfigurable and partially reconfigurable components
- hardware and software
- clocked and asynchronous elements
- Models, architectures, development methods and tools for:
- high performance designs
- embedded systems
- parallel computers
- Applications of custom-designed systems in areas such as multimedia, communications, medical computing

  Prof Wayne Luk, Dept of Computing, Room 434 Huxley Building, South Kensington Campus. Tel:  020 7594 8313  Email:

Projects in Cybersecurity, Adaptive systems and Resilience: A range of projects is usually available on a variety of topics including security and resilience of wireless sensor networks, threat intelligence, attack propagation and countermeasures, security of cloud environments, privacy etc. Other areas of interests include software engineering for adaptive systems, crowdsourcing, and pervasive computing in general.

Dr Lupu is particularly interested in candidates passionate about security, software development, probabilistic modelling or machine learning for security Dr Emil Lupu, Rm 564 Huxley Building, Dept of Computing, South Kensington Campus, Email:

Polymer flame retardancy for the aircraft industry: Flammability is a fundamental problem involving chemistry, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics. Tackling the inherent flammability of many commonly used polymers, both thermoplastic and thermoset hence requires understanding of all three subject matters.

This UROP researches the effect of changes to polymer chemistry on its flammability. Samples of epoxy resin with systematic changes to cross-link density, added halogens, or with bulky phosphor containing side groups will be subjected to flammability routines to identify the effect of the changes made. Additionally, polymeric and ceramic nano and micro scale particles will be incorporated to assess their effect on flammability. Such materials are typically incorporated to improve the mechanical performance of resins and composites but the work here will investigate whether such particles can be used to impart greater flammability resistance too.

Simple flammability tests will be carried out and ignition, flame spread, and extinction behaviour investigated.

Using convective and radiative heating scenarios the underlying reasons for the behaviour exhibited shall be understood, making use of IR imagery and microscopy.

The work shall be done in cooperation with FAC Technology, a London based R&D firm focusing on the design, testing and manufacture of composite structures. The samples are produced as part of ongoing research into the replacement of aluminium panels with composites in the aircraft industry.

Good knowledge of heat transfer; Basic understanding of combustion and polymers 

Dr Guillermo Rein, 614, City and Guilds Building, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, South Kensington Campus. E: 

Available in the summer vacation.

A bursary is expected to be available to the successful applicant

Theory and Simulation of Materials

The Theory and Simulation of Materials Centre for Doctoral Training is offering a number of UROP projects this summer in areas across Physics, Materials, Chemistry and Engineering.

  For more information on possible projects and details of how to apply for summer 2018 please visit our website in January/February:


Robotics and Machine Learning: Depending on the skills and interests of the student, this UROP project could include designing a new robot, creating it using 3D printing, and controlling it. The main focus is on novelty – coming up with a novel robot design, or novel robot controller, or novel way to manufacture a robot, such as a robot arm or a mobile robot. In terms of software, the focus is on applying Machine Learning methods for the flexible control of a robot, and to allow the robot to learn new skills from experience. The topic is quite flexible and will be defined in collaboration with the student.

Skills and experience required: Basic knowledge of robotics, software programming skills, creativity. Contact: Dr Petar Kormushev, Dyson School of Design Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, South Kensington campus, 10 Prince’s Gardens, London, SW7 1NA. Email:; Tel: +44 (0)20 759 49235; Mobile: +44 (0)75 72 69 69 56; Web:

ORCA protocol verificationThe ORCA protocol is a protocol for automatic garbage collection in actor-based programming languages. It has been implemented for the programming language Pony. We want to develop a formal proof of the soundness and completeness of the protocol.


Skills and experience required: Basic appreciation of computer architectures, and concurrent programming. Good mathematical and formal skills, ability to develop proofs, proof by various forms of induction.


Contact: Professor Sophia Drossopoulou, Dept of Computing, Faculty of Engineering, South Kensington Campus: Email:

This opportunity may be offered again for summer 2018.

Instrument development for a Jupiter space missionWe are developing a magnetometer instrument that will fly on ESA’s JUICE space mission to the Jupiter system in 2022. Arriving at Jupiter in 2030 it will make a tour of the Galilean moons Callisto, Europa and Ganymede.

We are offering projects to support testing of the breadboard version of the instrument. This will involve design and development of small PCBs to support test and debugging of the instrument power converter and data processing boards. It is anticipated such boards will be built around Arduinos (or similar) so some coding will also be involved.

Successful candidates will work closely with the engineering team at the Space Magnetometer Laboratory which has a high international profile having been responsible to instrumentation for many ESA and NASA missions including Ulysses, Cassini, and Rosetta.


Skills and experience required: Candidates must have good skills in electronics design (e.g. OrCad, Design Spark etc), coding (preferably C, Python), and/or embedded systems (Linux). It is anticipated the project would be most suited to 3/4th year students in Electronic Engineering, however, the most critical qualification is hands on experience and enthusiasm for building electronics.

Contact: Patrick Brown, Dept of Physics, Blackett Laboratory , South Kensington Campus. Email:; Tel: 0207 594 7768

Control of a Laboratory Scale Gantry Crane

  • Digital filtering of measured signals.
  • Estimating velocity and acceleration based on position measurements.
  • Implementing a PID controller for direct acceleration, velocity and position control.
  • Performing system identification for the closed-loop system that includes the crane, estimator and PID controller.
  • Making improvements to the simulation model in Matlab and Simulink.
  • Implementing a Kalman filter for estimating the states of the system.
  • Implementing an LQR controller with anti-windup.
  • Implementing a nonlinear optimization-based controller.

Skills and experience required:

  • 3rd year student who has followed a course on state space control. 
  • This project is also suitable to 2nd year students interested in pursuing control engineering

Available in the Summer Vacation.

Contact details: Dr Eric Kerrigan, Room 1108C, Dept of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, South Kensington Campus. Email:

UROP Opportunities in the Faculty of Engineering
UROP Opportunities in the Faculty of Engineering