= Cambridge University Undergradaute Research Opportunities Programme - UROP
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UROP Projects

The UROP is open. Available projects are to be emailed to Vicky Houghton to be posted. All candidates are to follow the application process for the project/s you are applying for.


Application Restrictions EPSRC funded Projects
The UROP is designed to support undergraduates studying at the University of Cambridge who are going to return for at least one more year of undergraduate study.
Final Year undergraduates and Postgraduate students should not apply.

For projects that are EPSRC funded and marked with the blue flag,  European Union citizens ONLY students must meet certain criteria to apply.

( See LINK for criteria )

For EPSRC funded projects, students should be in the middle years of a first degree within EPSRC's technological remit.


Information for Cambridge University students


Information for Cambridge University Staff

Please report any broken links to UROP Web Page Co-ordinator

Ms Vicky Houghton


Vibration testing of 3D printed structures

Lead Supervisor: Professor Robin Langley, Department of Engineering
Project Available

Project Description:

The Dynamics and Vibration Research Group currently has a research project with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) on vibration mitigation in structures that use stiffened panels: for example, aircraft, spacecraft launch vehicles, and ships. The stiffeners are present mainly for structural strength reasons, but by making small adjustments to the position of the stiffeners it is possible that a significant reduction in vibration transmission can be achieved (from the engine room to a passenger cabin in a cruise liner for example). We have an ongoing programme of theoretical and computational work, but the plan for the UROP is to use 3D priniting to produce a number of panel designs and perform vibration testing on each one. The student could also get involved in the computational modelling work if motivated to do so.

  • There will be an opportunity for the student to learn 3D printing techniques and vibration testing, but a strong interest in these areas would be essential, together with an interest in the application areas.
  • The dates for the work over the summer would be flexible.
  • The project is being co-supervised with Dr Tore Butlin.
  • The work has the potential to be continued as a 4th year project.
  • If interested, please contact Professor Robin Langley before 28th February 2020.

  • Insertion Date: 18 February 2020


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    Learning 3D Printers

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Sebastian Pattinson, Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    3D printing is a relatively novel technique where parts are built by the layer-by-layer deposition of material. It offers virtually limitless opportunities to design and manufacture devices because it enables the control of geometry, material composition, and processing conditions at every point in an individual object. There is thus considerable excitement over the potential for 3D printing make better materials and devices, including through the use of complex and locally varying structure. Optimizing across such a large parameter space is difficult, though, and novel learning techniques are likely key to addressing this challenge.

    This project will involve working with the group to build novel learning 3D printing systems and developing their capabilities across different materials. There will be opportunities for hardware, software, and material development.

  • This project taking place is subject to securing funding.
  • Background knowledge of 3D printing, electronics, software development, materials, is useful but not essential.
  • Period of the project: 8-10 weeks.
  • The project will be based at the Institute for Manufacturing.
  • If interested, please contact Dr. Sebastian Pattinson, as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 12 February 2020


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    Cricket and Data Science: Why do Cricket Balls Swing?

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Sam Grimshaw,Whittle Laboratory, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    The Whittle Laboratory and The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are working together on a project to study the aerodynamics of cricket ball swing. The ECB have a large database of statistics gathered from international cricket matches which includes ball trajectories. This project aims to "mine" the data to look for correlations and patterns which will help us to understand why a cricket ball swings (and why sometimes it doesn't).

    As part of the project the student will develop a method to combine the ball trajectory information with biomechanical data enabling a new analysis of how players swing the ball, bowl different lengths and bowl quickly. We also have access to high quality video footage and if time permits the student will build on existing ball tracking software by adding a seam angle and seam wobble analysis. These are important parameters in determining whether a ball will swing or not.

    We expect that dbslice dbslice will be used as a platform to process and visualise the data and that the data analysis may require a machine learning approach.

  • The project would suit a student from any year interested in a combination of aerodynamics, data science, biomechanics and sport.
  • The 8-week project will be based at the Whittle Laboratory and has a flexible start date.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Sam Grimshaw as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 12 February 2020


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    Flow of glacial ice sheets over deformable material

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Katarzyna Kowal, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    The ice sheet of West Antarctica alone has the potential to raise sea levels by about 7 metres should it become unstable and flow rapidly into the ocean in response to global warming, altering coast lines and metropolitan areas as we know them today. Such sea level rise can result from the dynamics of ice sheets, alone, and depends greatly on conditions underneath the ice, causing rapid acceleration in ice discharge and melt rates. In particular, glacial ice sheets flow over unconsolidated, water-saturated subglacial sediment that serves to lubricate the base of the ice and accelerate the flow of ice towards the ocean.

    The project seeks to explore the dependence of the flow of viscous fluids, such as glacial ice sheets on the large scale, on what lubricates it from below and on the accumulation of the underlying material.

    There will be the opportunity for designing and conducting small-scale fluid-dynamical laboratory experiments involving viscous fluids, such as syrup as well as the opportunity to model the flow mathematically from first principles. Guidance on laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling will be provided.

    The project will be based in the G. K. Batchelor Laboratory of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

  • Background knowledge of fluid mechanics (such as from an introductory course on fluid mechanics) is useful but not essential as the project is self-contained.
  • Period of the Project: 8-10 weeks.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Katarzyna Kowal, as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 6 February 2020


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    Dynamics of lubricated ice-sheet grounding zones

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Katarzyna Kowal, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    The stability of marine ice sheets, such as those of West Antarctica, depends heavily on the dynamics of ice-sheet grounding zones - regions separating grounded ice sheets, in contact with the bedrock, from freely floating ice shelves. Curiously, it has been found that subglacial till (a mixture of water, clay and subglacial sediment) that lubricates the base of ice streams accumulates into sedimentary wedges, or till-deltas, in these grounding zones. Such sedimentation can have immediate consequences in stabilizing grounding zones against retreat in response to rising sea levels.

    The aim of the project is to explore the formation of grounding zone wedges and their effect on the large-scale dynamics of ice sheets using principles of viscous fluid mechanics. There will be the opportunity for designing and conducting small-scale fluid-dynamical laboratory experiments involving viscous fluids, such as syrup, as well as the opportunity to model the flow mathematically from first principles. Guidance on laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling will be provided.

    The project will be based in the G. K. Batchelor Laboratory of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

  • Background knowledge of fluid mechanics (such as from an introductory course on fluid mechanics) is useful but not essential as the project is self-contained.
  • Period of the Project: 8-10 weeks.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Katarzyna Kowal, as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 6 February 2020


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    Control of viscous fingering instabilities

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Katarzyna Kowal, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    The interface between two fluids can be made morphologically unstable, resulting in complex pattern formation frequently encountered in porous media and biological systems. Such phenomena are widespread in nature and industry, ranging from crude oil recovery, hydrology, and filtration, to the self-organisation of collective biological systems and medical applications. In most cases, these instabilities occur when a less viscous fluid displaces a more viscous fluid, for example water displacing syrup, either by injection or by gravity when the interface separates two fluids of different densities.

    As it is advantageous to suppress these instabilities for a number of industrial applications, the aim of the project is to understand the control mechanisms behind stabilising such interfacial fingering patterns. There will be the opportunity for designing and conducting small-scale fluid-dynamical laboratory experiments involving viscous fluids, such as syrup as well as the opportunity to model the flow mathematically from first principles. Guidance on laboratory experiments and mathematical modelling will be provided.

    The project will be based in the G. K. Batchelor Laboratory of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

  • Background knowledge of fluid mechanics (such as from an introductory course on fluid mechanics) is useful but not essential as the project is self-contained.
  • Period of the Project: 8-10 weeks.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Katarzyna Kowal, as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 6 February 2020


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    Robotic Manipulation Platform Development

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Fumiya Iida, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    Manipulation of a large variety of objects are still significant challenges for robots. This project aims to develop an integrated robotic manipulator to demonstrate robotic manipulation of large variety of objects. By using a co-working robotic arm platform, the student is expected to integrate mechanical, electrical and software components to demonstrate tasks.

    The project will be based in the Bio-Inspired Robotics Lab.

  • The student working on this project needs to be able to program python and learn how to use physical robot platforms. The practical skills of computer vision and machine learning are also essential.
  • The project can be continued as a 4th year student project.
  • If interested, please contact Dr. Fumiya Iida, as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 3 February 2020


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    Open source modular robot development

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Fumiya Iida, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    This project develops a modular robot system and simulation models for the purpose of effective and efficient student research and education. The system consists of commercial sensor/motor components, along with some 3D printed parts, which can be quickly constructed into simple robotic arms or legged robots. By building and experimenting with these systems, the students should be able to learn the fundamentals of robot design, control, and simulation, both theoretically and practically.

    The project will be based in the Bio-Inspired Robotics Lab.

  • The student working on this project needs to work with basic matlab scripts, CAD designs, 3D printing. Technical writing for instructions and reporting is also necessary.
  • The project could be continued as a 4th year student project.
  • This project will be co-supervised by Rick Hyde from Mathworks.
  • If interested, please contact Dr. Fumiya Iida, as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 3 February 2020


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    Sensor Characterization and Interactive Visualization

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Phillip Stanley-Marbell, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    All sensor manufacturers publish datasheets that describe the technical specifications of the sensors they manufacture. These datasheets include quantitative information characterizing many important properties of sensors. An analysis of a large collection of datasheets could reveal historical trends and correlations between sensor parameters: An initial analysis suggests that there are indeed correlations between sensor power dissipation and noise parameters across a large collection of sensors from different manufacturers over the last several decades. Previous similar analyses of properties of digital integrated circuits [1] and their power dissipation and packaging properties has proven to be very influential commercially and highly cited academically.

    This UROP will build an interactive database of information for a large number of commercial sensor integrated circuits. The student will obtain the underlying data from published datasheets, building on preliminary work that has already been completed. The student will then build an interactive online tool to enable plotting and analysis of the sensor data, integrating it with a large database for other integrated circuit types [1].

    [1] P. Stanley-Marbell, V. C. Cabezas and R. P. Luijten, "Pinned to the walls - Impact of packaging and application properties on the memory and power walls," IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design, Fukuoka, 2011, pp. 51-56. doi: 10.1109/ISLPED.2011.5993603

  • If interested, please contact Dr. Phillip Stanley-Marbell to apply or for further information.

  • Insertion Date: 27 January 2020


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    Amorphous materials for quantum computers?

    Lead Supervisor: Prof Lindsay Greer, Department of Materials Science. Co-supervisor: Dr Jonathan Bean, Department of Materials Science.
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    Technology changes our lives, allows access to new experiences, accelerates learning. The advent of quantum computers promises to change the way we live and work significantly but the power usage of these new machines is extremely high due to the cold temperatures these machines required to operate.

    This is a computational project which aims to automatically screen a large number of possible alternatives to the Josephson junctions which comprise modern day machines. We will be using non-equilibrium greens function (NEGF) quantum mechanics and the SIESTA/Quantum expresso code to do this. This project will also have some web coding and potential for industrial interactions.

    Specific details:

    There are a number of parts to this project, first we will need to develop a method to generate potential candidate materials and their associated atomic structure from the periodic table which could serve as a replacement. Next we need to perform electronic transport calculations through simple interfaces of these structures. Finally we will insert defects such as grain boundaries in these structures to understand how these defects affect the conductivity properties. Note that we have built what we think is the largest database of materials science calculations and this project will directly extend this project.

  • The project will last for 8 to 10 weeks; preferably starting at the end of June, but we can be flexible.
  • We are also prepared to consider current Cambridge students who are planning to start an MSc/MPhil or PhD in Cambridge next academic year.
  • This placement is available to all students, whether EU or not.
  • This will be mainly supervised by Dr Jonathan Bean.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Jonathan Bean. Applications should consist of your CV and a short cover letter highlighting why this project is a good fit for you. Applications are due by 30.04.19 and interviews will be held on in May.
  • This UROP may offer an opportunity to continue into a 4th year project.

  • Insertion Date: 27 January 2020


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    BELOW THIS LINE IS NOT VISIBLE ON THE WEB SITE So copy and paste the text and hyperlinks between the lines and use as template DELETE WORDS BETWEEN asterisks.** __________________________________________________________________________ PROJECT TAKEN IMAGES Project Taken

    ++++++++++ DUMMY PROJECT DESCRIPTION +++++++++++++

    NAME OF THE PROJECT

    Contact:Lead Supervisor: Dr.Zuess Secret Lab
    Project Available

    Project Description:

    Setting the world to rights.


    Please apply to Contact/Lead Supervisor.

    This project will be co-supervised by Professor Bob Dillon Cavendish Lab

    Working 10 weeks over the summer

    Insertion Date: 1 February 2016


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