We always look for self-motivated and hard-working students to work on robotics research, e.g. robot localisation, mapping, navigation, learning, perception and vision.
Here are the traits that I look for in prospective students, listed in order of importance:
- Grit, tenacity, and perseverance: These traits are mandatory for anyone who works with me. Every researcher fails a lot, so the ability to recover from repeated failures is crucial for success.
- Hard focus: Nobody succeeds at research without focusing hard for extended periods of time. But you also need to take good breaks to stay happy and prevent burnout.
- Reliability: Are you a reliable person whom I can count on to get things done on time? I personally don’t work well with flaky students, no matter how brilliant they may be.
- Ability to get unstuck and collaborate: You will frequently get stuck when working on research, so the better you get yourself unstuck, the happier you will be. Be willing to try, fail, and try again. Collaborating with labmates will also help.
It’s fine if you don’t have all of these traits up-front. I certainly didn’t. They can be developed through hard work.
Note that I didn’t include being “smart” or “passionate” – the former is overrated, and the latter often develops over time.
Some essential technical requirements that you are expected to meet:
- First-Class or Distinction Master's degree in Computer Science/Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics or related fields from a UK university. For overseas students, see international qualifications
- Background in, at least, one of the following areas: robotics, computer vision, machine/deep learning, state estimation, numerical optimisation
- Strong C++/Python programming skills
- The College's Higher English language requirement
- (Desirable) Experience with Robot Operating System (ROS) and real robot platforms
If I haven’t scared you off yet, here is what I can offer you:
- The freedom to formulate, implement, and promote your own creative robotics research projects within the parameters of my grant funding and research background.
- I will be available 24/7, e.g., for establishing solid technical background, discussing technical problems and revising manuscripts.
- First authorship on papers you lead and funded travel to conferences to publicise your own research.
- I will always be honest and straightforward about my expectations and concerns.
- I will remove as many administrative and bureaucratic barriers as possible, which gives you the time to focus on doing your best work.
- I will mentor you in developing transferable skills (e.g., technical writing, public speaking), provide you with the appropriate professional connections and help to develop your career.
If you are still not scared and interested in joining us, please see the application process below.
* Adapted from Philip Guo.
Email below docs to Dr Sen Wang with a subject line starting "[PhD]"
- a 1-page cover letter introducing 1) why you are interested in our lab and 2) your experience relevant to our research areas
- CV, including 1) a publication list and 2) previous hands-on projects (including video/GitHub links)
- Undergraduate and master transcripts