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
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 and Engineering.

  For more information on the projects and details of how to apply please visit our website: 


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 is closed for 2016, but please note that it may be offered again for summer 2017.

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

Numerical packing of cubes with application to breakwaters with concrete cube units: AMCG has a powerful FEMDEM code, see that has been used now in 3D and in published research on (i) coastal defence structures where concrete units are packed into layers and (ii) industrial catalyst pellets. In (ii) we have achieved packing density results that compare closely with experimental packs that have been analysed with X-ray micro-computer tomography. Cubes are unusual in that they have the potential to pack with zero porosity if there is zero friction i.e. brick-like filling. We wish to explore the effect of friction coefficient on the packing density of cubes, the randomness of pack orientation and investigate the influence of rectilinear container boundaries. Cubes seem ideal also because we can use experimental and photographic data of carefully performed wooden cube packing experiments (Latham and Munjiza, 2004) Moving on to an important application, cubes are the most popular breakwater unit in Northern Spain and many places in the world. It would be very interesting to simulate packing of a randomly oriented double layer of 100 tonne cubes at full scale, placed on a sloping underlayer of rocks using regular grid spacing as used by crane operators.

Skills and experience required: Willingness to learn numerical simulation such as shown on and a grounding and curiosity regarding mechanics and granular interactions 

Contact: Dr John-Paul Latham, Room 4.97, Dept of Earth Science and Engineering, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 0207 594 7327.

Available in the Imperial College summer vacation (2017) only (July-September period). Dates are negotiable.

The student will be able to examine similar results achieved with the packing code and will be trained and then supported by a team that includes two PhD students, one devoted to our coastal structure research with rock-like and unusual concrete shapes.

We envisage an important outcome within 8 to 12 weeks culminating in a poster and some movie outputs, all leading towards a publication.

ADDED on 3 February, 2017

Wireless sensor networks for river stage and flow monitoring: This placement provides the opportunity to be part of an international consortium project on community-based flood early warning systems in Nepal. The hydrology group is developing prototypes of wireless sensors to provide robust and low-cost real-time data on flood level and river flow. For this, we test and adapt technologies originally developed in the automotive industry for distance sensing (acoustic, radar, lidar). Depending on the skills and the interest of the student, placement activities can focus on prototype design and assembly, hydraulic modelling and data assimilation, and in-situ testing in locations in and around London.

Skills and experience required: Basic knowledge of hydraulics and matlab programming, ideally combined with an interest in electronics (e.g., arduino). Contact: Dr Wouter Buytaert, Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Skempton building, South Kensington Campus. Email:

Added on 8 February, 2017

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:

Added: 3 March, 2017

Simulation of a sector module in MUSE, a novel energy systems model: The student will contribute to extend functionalities of the sector modules in MUSE (the Modular Universal energy system Simulation Environment). MUSE is the novel energy systems modelling framework of the Sustainable Gas Institute. It addresses the complex problem related to the world transition to a low carbon energy system. Each sector modules in MUSE is a mathematical model, which aims to closely capture on a worldwide scale real investments and operational decisions in an energy sector, such as industry, transport, power generation, refineries.

In this project, the student will focus on a specific energy sector module in MUSE and deliver:

  • A complete technoeconomic and environmental characterisation of the sector technologies
  • An appraisal of advances in energy consumption and environmental performance of the sector technologies
  • A definition of promising sector technologies available at lab and demonstration scales
  • Current research areas are in the industrial and transport sectors.

Skills and experience required: The student should have a strong interest in energy systems, excellent quantitative/analytical skills, abilities to manage large datasets. 

Contact details: Dr Adam Hawkes, Room C502, Roderic Hill Building South Kensington Campus. Email: Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 7250

Added: 16 March, 2017

Programming controllers for multispectral LED sphere Light Stage: The UROP student will be engaged in assisting the Realistic Graphics and Imaging group in controlling a reflectance measurement research apparatus called a Light Stage. The planned Light Stage is being built in the RGI group’s measurementlab and will consist of 336programmable LEDS mounted on a spherical gantrywith control over 6 channel multispectral illumination.The student will help write control software (Python/Kinet) for controlling the LED lamps over Ethernet and also write software for hardware controllers such as Arduino boards to control various digital cameras (DSLRs and machine vision) in synchronization with the LED lights.


Skills and experience required: Python/C, C++programming required, OpenGL experience ideal

UROP to be undertaken in Summer 2017

Contact details: Dr Abhijeet Ghosh, Room 376 Huxley Building, Dept of Computing, Faculty of Engineering, South Kensington Campus. Email:; Tel: (0) 20 7594 8351

Added: 24 March, 2017

Developing Interactive Visualisations for Education:

Background - This funded UROP project is an exciting opportunity to help realise one of the programmes funded by the College’s Excellence Fund in Learning and Teaching Innovation.

From June through September 2017 we aim to develop a suite of interactive visualisations for education. These visualisations will be designed to enhance understanding of abstract concepts and fall within the broad subject areas of Maths, Core Physics, and Modern Physics.

UROP description: The duration of the UROP placement will be 5 to 10 weeks over the summer break. During this time, you will work as part of a team of UROP students to undertake the programming of the visualisations in Python and Jupyter Notebooks. Within the team you will closely work with one or more other students on your particular subject area, under supervision of a member of staff of the Physics department.

There are two main stages to the project:

(1) Finding / developing suitable modules and packages for use in the creation of visualisations. If you are involved in this stage your main work will be to create the ‘core tools’ for the visualisations, i.e. packages that are compatible with Jupyter Notebooks and allow for the creation of stand-alone graphic, interactive web apps.

This stage is particularly suitable to Computer Science students or others with significant experience in Python programming and a knack for independent searching and evaluation of Python packages. We aim to employ students for this phase as early as possible (ideally June) to facilitate the implementation of stage (2).

(2) Creating visualisations in Maths / Core Physics / Modern Physics, using the ‘core tools’ identified in stage (1). You will work to realise and improve the designs that academics will have created, and probably help expand the ‘core tools’ library. This stage is best suited to students from the Maths and Physics department or others with a good conceptual understanding of vectors, vector calculus, differential equations, and/or Electromagnetism and other Physics courses, and who are competent Python programmers.


Skills and experience requiredby the ideal participant:

  • Essential: enthusiasm to create tools for education; competent in Python programming; ability to work and code independently; willingness to work collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Desirable: experience with Jupyter notebooks; experience with interactive and / or graphic Python modules; affinity with graphic design.

When: June to September 2017, with possible placements in term-time 2017-2018 and second placements during the summer break in 2018.

How to apply: If you are interested in participating in this project, please email Dr Caroline Clewley at, with the key word ‘UROP’ in the subject line. In your email, indicate your background and which stage of the project would suit you best. If you have any examples of relevant previous work, appending them as attachments or web links will be very helpful. Please also attach a short CV with relevant skills and experience, as well as a list of modules and marks obtained so far. This will help us put together a team with complementary skills.

We will review all applications over the Easter break and contact you at the beginning of term 3.

Contact details: Dr Caroline Clewley, Room 318, Blackett Laboratory, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 020759 45239. Email:

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