New postgraduate research opportunities in engineering

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from anyone considering postgraduate study at master's or doctoral level in a range of areas within engineering.

Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand is a young and dynamic university that offers a stimulating teaching and research environment, with strong connections to business and industry. AUT has a mission to promote excellent research that inspires curiosity, advances knowledge and benefits communities, with a strong focus on applied and interdisciplinary research.

BDL001 - Design and analysis of smart body brace system

PhD, Expressions of Interest in the field of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Biomechanics of bone support involving computational modelling of brace system with bone and soft tissue interaction. A background in biomedical engineering, stress analysis and design is essential. Knowledge of embedded systems, artificial intelligence and signal processing is desirable.

Research project details

AUT002 - Development of advanced, novel biopotential sensor platform for NZ health-tech companies

PhD or Masters, Expressions of Interest in the field of mechanical, electrical or mechatronic engineering, physics, biomedical science or chemistry.

This project will form part of a larger research programme which aims to deliver multiple, highly novel technologies to make possible easy-to-use, long-term, wearable sensors. In particular the programme has a focus on EEG, EMG and ECG biopotential sensing. The research programme is supported by a large MBIE funded grant and involves several NZ research and commercial partners

Research project details

AUT003 - Development of novel biomaterial-derived hybrid electrodes for applications in energy storage and conversion devices (supercapacitors, batteries, and electrocatalysis)

PhD or Masters, Expressions of Interest

This project is part of a larger research programme which aims to deliver sustainable and novel technologies for energy storage applications. In particular, the project focuses on using native New Zealand plant fibre for its development. The research programme, led by A/Prof Xiaowen Yuan, is supported by a MBIE funded grant and involves national and international researchers, as well as industry partners.

Research project details

AUT004 - Design and fabrication of flexible and wearable energy storage devices (flexible supercapacitors, batteries, etc.) with nano-composite structures

PhD or Masters, Expressions of Interest

This project is part of a larger research programme which aims to deliver sustainable and novel technologies for energy storage applications. This research aims to develop light-weight, flexible and high performance energy storage devices. This research programme, led by A/Prof Xiaowen Yuan, is supported by a MBIE funded grant and involves national and international researchers, as well as industry partners.

Research project details

AUT005 - Processing and treatment of NZ plant fibre for smart textiles used in healthcare

Master of Engineering or PhD, Expressions of Interest

This research will explore methods in processing NZ pant fibres, including hemp fibres and flax fibres (harakeke) for application in smart textiles. The team, led by A/Prof Xiaowen Yuan, aims to develop a technique sustainable and friendly for the environment. Essentially, we are looking for a relatively chemical free process to turn raw fibre natural white, modify fibre diameter and fibre length; for PhD research, further to tailor the fibre properties and manufacture nanocomposites for healthcare clothing. We look forward to finding a technically, environmentally and commercially acceptable solution. Bioenzymes will be used along with some mechanical, physical and chemical methods.

Research project details

AUT006 - Three-dimensional (3D) carbon-based aerogel for efficient and recyclable oil-water separation

PhD or Masters, Expressions of Interest

This research aims to develop a novel, simple and efficient method to fabricate a 3D carbon-based network with super hydrophobicity, strong absorbability and outstanding recyclability. The key work focuses on the architecture design, fabrication and functionalisation of the selected biomaterials, as well as conformal coating of other hydrophobic materials. The successful candidate will be working with A/Prof. Xiaowen Yuan’s team.

Research project details

AUT007 - Design a minimally invasive skull traction device

Masters, Expressions of Interest

This project is part of a research collaboration with industry which aims to deliver a minimally invasive medical device that helps to avoid permanent injury or paralysis caused by low velocity injury. Low velocity injuries tend to occur during activities like rugby, trampolining, diving, and play-fighting. Current treatment of these injuries involves stabilizing the neck in traction while waiting for surgery to realign the spine.

Research project details

AUT008 - Design and development of an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) inspired by the biomechanics of aquatic animals

Master of Engineering or PhD, Expressions of Interest

This project is part of a research collaboration with industry which aims to deliver a AUV based on the biomechanics of aquatic animals. AUVs have been used in different applications: to make detailed maps of the seafloor, bathymetric surveys, pipeline inspection, ocean parameter research, Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, etc. The aim of this project is to further develop an existing AUV prototype and to compare its performance against a conventional AUV or ROV propulsion system with respect to noise reduction, energy consumption etc.

Research project details

AUT009 - Development of a wearable device for monitoring prisoner wellbeing

Master of Engineering, Expressions of Interest

In this project, we want to develop a proof-of-concept wearable heart rate monitor (HRM) using photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors. The project will focus on the development and implementation of algorithms that can automatically tune the PPG sensor to optimise HRM signals, regardless of skin colour and tone. We will also investigate the feasibility of using an array of 3 sensors to improve HRM accuracy.

Research project details

AUT010 - Solid State Beam Steering of LED Flood Lights

PhD, Expressions of Interest

Investigate novel, solid state (non-mechanical) methods for steering powerful beams of light, and determine how these mechanisms can be integrated into LED flood lights used in harsh environments. This project will involve both a theoretical study of solid-state beam steering methods, with some practical experimentation to validate results.

Research project details

AUT011 - Integration of Physiological Sensors into Head Mounted AR/VR Displays

Master of Engineering, Expressions of Interest

This project seeks to develop and integrate fabric based physiological sensors to measure neural activity (EEG), facial muscle activity (EMG) and eye activity (EOG) into head mounted Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) displays. These sensors will enable the development of a range of different AR/VR applications that can recognise and respond to users’ physiological activity.

Research project details

AUT012 - Investigating skin stretch as a source of motion artefact in biopotential measurements

Master of Engineering or PhD, Expressions of Interest

This research forms part of the larger MBIE funded research programme which aims to deliver novel technologies for long-term, ambulatory and wearable biopotential monitoring. Particular focus will be on quantifying the effect of skin’s electrical response and its variations during ambulatory biopotential measurements.

Research project details

AUT013 - Efficient Safety Broadcasting Technology for Emergency Services in 5G Cellular-V2X Networks

PhD, Expressions of Interest

The project aims to design a dynamic resource allocation algorithm, considering both safety-related and non-safety related services in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to improve frequency reuse and provide Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC). The work will be in collaborations with a large telecommunications company.

Research project details

AUT014 - 5G enabled precision agriculture

PhD, Expressions of Interest

This project will investigate precision agriculture as a use case of a 5G network with edge computing capabilities. From the perspective of the network operator, it is imperative to ensure not only network resources, but also computing and storage resources, are being provisioned appropriately to meet the service requirements of the farming businesses. This project will focus on developing solutions for network operator to support agile and demand responsive orchestration of resources from the 5G network and edge computing infrastructures to enable precision agriculture.

Research project details

AUT015 - Advanced glazing system

Master of Engineering, Expressions of Interest

Glass-glass-photovoltaic laminates offer significant scope for integration into buildings: as an architectural feature, to provide electricity to the building and as a means of reducing the solar heat gain. This project aims to develop a prototype glass-glass-photovoltaic laminate in collaboration with one of NZ’s leading manufacturers of glazing systems, as a first step in the development of a new range of integrated photovoltaic products.

Research project details

AUT016 - Development of advanced, novel methods for Computational Neuro-Genetic Modelling of Biomolecular Data

PhD, Expressions of Interest

This project will form part of a larger research programme which aims to deliver novel computational AI technologies and predictive modelling techniques for early detection of mental illness using a combination behavioural, cognitive, and biomolecular data. The programme has a focus on high-dimensional, multi-modal, and heterogeneous data types: Genome-Wide Association, RNA-sequencing, gene expression, proteomic profiling, cognitive, and behavioural data.

Research project details

AUT017 - Development of a hybrid off-peak electric / gas instantaneous water heater

PhD or Master of Engineering, Expressions of Interest

This project will investigate the practicality of a domestic water heating system that combines an electric storage water heater using off-peak electricity, with a gas instantaneous auxiliary.

Research project details

AUT018 - Vision tracking with re-detection capabilities

PhD or Master of Engineering, Expressions of Interest

The Defence Technology Agency (DTA) is interested in supporting a student who intends to enrol in a research Masters or PhD in 2021 to work in computer vision and deep learning. The project is focused on real-time vision tracking with re-detection capabilities. Professor Edmund Lai will be supervising the project and Dr Jing (Julia) Ma will be the co-supervisor.

Research project details

AUT019 - Automated Completion and Adjustment for Knowledge Graph

PhD, Expressions of Interest

Knowledge Graphs (KGs) have found many applications in industry and academic settings, which in turn, have motivated considerable research efforts towards large-scale information extraction from a variety of sources. In this project, we aim to construct high-quality domain-specific KGs from unstructured big data and explore hidden knowledge from the constructed KGs. This is an interdisciplinary research, including AI, NLP and network science.

Research project details

AUT020 - Energy-optimal control scheme for mobile robotic platforms in offshore aquaculture

PhD, Expressions of Interest

Mobile robotic platforms such as USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles) used in offshore or open ocean aquaculture, rely on an on-board power supply (e.g., battery). This project aims to develop energy-optimal control schemes to allow a robotic platform to achieve its operation objectives with minimum energy consumption.

Research project details

AUT021 - Investigating the combined use of Force Myography (FMG) and Mechanomyography (MMG) in the Zero-Cast Wx wrist orthosis

Master of Engineering, Expressions of Interest

Surgisplint Ltd is an Auckland based medical device company that has developed and manufactures a plastic wrist orthosis that replaces the need for traditional plaster or fiberglass cast after a broken wrist (distal radius fracture) that sell both locally and internationally. The company is seeking a capable, motivated, and enthusiastic postgraduate master student to assist in a project embedding smart sensor technology into their Zero-Cast Wx wrist orthosis system. The project outcome expected is a second generation fully functional prototype system that can be used to demonstrate the technology. The student will work within the company and AUT BioDesign Lab research and development partnership team.

Research project details

AUT022 - Design and testing of the Zero-Cast Wx smart brace user interface experience using android/IOS applications

Master of Computer Science, Expressions of Interest

Surgisplint Ltd is an Auckland based medical device company that has developed and manufactures a plastic wrist orthosis that replaces the need for traditional plaster or fiberglass cast after a broken wrist (distal radius fracture) that sell both locally and internationally. The company is seeking a capable, motivated, and enthusiastic postgraduate master student to assist in a project embedding smart sensor technology into their Zero-Cast Wx wrist orthosis system. The project outcome expected is an android/IOS user interface that integrates with the revised brace smart hardware/software. The student will work within the company and AUT BioDesign Lab research and development partnership team.

Research project details

AUT022 - Design and testing of the Zero-Cast Wx smart brace user interface experience using android/IOS applications

Master of Computer Science, Expressions of Interest

Surgisplint Ltd is an Auckland based medical device company that has developed and manufactures a plastic wrist orthosis that replaces the need for traditional plaster or fiberglass cast after a broken wrist (distal radius fracture) that sell both locally and internationally. The company is seeking a capable, motivated, and enthusiastic postgraduate master student to assist in a project embedding smart sensor technology into their Zero-Cast Wx wrist orthosis system. The project outcome expected is an android/IOS user interface that integrates with the revised brace smart hardware/software. The student will work within the company and AUT BioDesign Lab research and development partnership team.

Research project details

Contact

For further details, please contact

Andrew Hilton
ahilton@aut.ac.nz
021 814307

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