= Cambridge University Undergradaute Research Opportunities Programme - UROP Projects
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UROP Projects 2019

Projects for 2019 are accepting applications. Please email the lead supervisor directly to register your interest in their project.


Application Restrictions EPSRC funded Projects
The UROP projects are only available to 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 cannot 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 and they should be EU citizens.


Information for Cambridge University students


Information for Cambridge University Staff

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

Ms Vicky Houghton


Robust Driving Strategies for the Cambridge Minicar

Lead Supervisor: Dr. Amanda Prorok, Computer Science and Technology.
Project Available

 European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

We are interested in developing cooperative driving strategies for connected autonomous cars. Towards this aim, we have built a mini-highway with 1:24-format cars. The goal of this project is to extend this successful deployment with new algorithms that account for malicious / non-cooperative cars, and unforeseen obstacles.


Overview of tasks:
  • Develop a car controller that integrates collision avoidance and overtaking capabilities.
  • Develop algorithms that enable robots to communicate with one another to negotiate maneuvers.
  • Develop a fault-tolerance strategy.
  • Run large-scale experiments (on 20+ Minicars).

  • Desired skills:
  • familiarity with robot kinematics and control
  • excellent programming skills
  • familiarity with Raspberry Pi
  • eager to work with experimental setup (hands-on).


  • This project can support two students.
  • The first project may be EPSRC funded therefore applicants need to be EU citizens and not in the final year of study. The second project has funding with no citizenship eligibility restrictions.
  • The project has an expected duration of 8-10 weeks.
  • This UROP could lead into a final year project on similar topics.
  • If interested, please contact Dr. Amanda Prorok.

  • Insertion Date: 22 February 2019


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    Particle morphology and mechanical behaviour of granular materials

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Stuart Haigh, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    The increasing understanding of the connection between particle morphology and mechanical behaviour of granular materials has generated significant research on the quantitative characterisation of particle shape. Non-dimensional quantitative morphological descriptors have been introduced to describe overall particle shape at the macro-scale, particle regularity at the meso-scale, and particle texture at the micro-scale, based on the fractal analysis of the particles contour, as retrieved by high-resolution 2D images of the particle. The main problem of working with 2D images is that particles tend to lie flat on their major dimensions, introducing a bias in their orientation, and significant differences have been reported between both the average values and the distribution of computed 2D and 3D morphology descriptors. This is possibly because, when working with 2D images, the outline is evaluated on the projection of the particle, and thus multi-level asperities are flattened in one plane, altering the real particle profile.

    Recent advances in machine vision have enabled multiple images of an object taken from different directions to be used to build up a 3D reconstruction of an object. In order to implement this for objects on the scale of a sand grain, technology has had to be developed to capture extremely close-up images of sand grains from a variety of angles. The technology consists of a Raspberry Pi microcontroller controlling both a close-up camera and stepper motors to change the orientation of the sand grain. Pictures can thus be taken of the sand grain from 20+ angles which can be recombined to build a 3D model. The images are recombined using Agisoft Metashape, which calculates both camera orientations and object features by detecting common points between images. This enables an accurate model of both particle geometry and surface morphology to be developed. During the project improvements to the image capture technology optimising magnification, lighting, focus etc. will be made in order to achieve optimal image quality.


  • Project timing is flexible but would ideally be carried out at the start of the summer vacation.
  • This project may be EPSRC funded therefore applicants need to be EU citizens and not in the final year of study.
  • The student is expected to work mainly at the Schofield Centre in close co-operation with Dr. Stuart Haigh and Giulia Viggiani.
  • If interested, please contact Dr. Stuart Haigh.

  • Insertion Date: 22 February 2019


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    A database of fluids

    Lead Supervisor: Prof David Cebon Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Simulation of fluid and gas flows is performed by CFD software like Fluent https://www.ansys.com/en-gb/products/fluids/ansys-fluent. A wide range of problems can be solved – laminar flow, turbulence, heat transfer and reactive flows. Applications range from air flow over an aircraft wing to combustion in a furnace, from bubble columns to oil platforms, from blood flow to semiconductor manufacturing and from clean room design to wastewater treatment plants. All of these problems need information about the properties of the fluids/gases/mixtures involved.

    This project will investigate the range of fluids and attributes typically used in CFD calculations and will develop a database structure and collect some sample data for the most commonly used fluids.

    The student will be working in the Engineers in the Fluids and Materials groups ANSYS.


  • The ideal candidate will have a background in either Engineering, Materials, Chemical Engineering or Physics.
  • If interested, please contact Prof David Cebon.

  • Insertion Date: 22 February 2019


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    Natural Language Processing

    Lead Supervisors: Dr Paula Buttery and Dr Andrew Caines NLIP Group, Computer Science and Technology
    Project Available

    We aim to select a small group of UROP students who will work together on several projects relating to language learning, non-canonical language and dynamic language modelling. The projects will require the application of well-established and novel natural language processing and machine learning techniques. Students will have the opportunity to develop research skills including experiment design, coding, writing and presenting.


  • Skills required: we are open to applications from students of all disciplines; however, a background in computer science and/or linguistics will be an advantage.
  • The project will be 10 weeks in duration, on a full-time basis in the Computer Laboratory, West Cambridge; 17 June to 23 August 2019.
  • If interested, please submit a 1-2 page CV to Dr Paula Buttery and Dr Andrew Caines and explain which aspects of NLP / ML interest you; interviews will be held early in the Easter term.

  • Insertion Date: 21 February 2019


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    Automatic detection of non-verbal signals of psychological distress

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Marwa Mahmoud Department of Computer Science and Technology
    Project Available

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    Mental wellbeing is an increasingly important challenge in our community. Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, are some of the main causes of disease burden worldwide. Several studies address the relation between non-verbal cues and mental health disorders. Recent research has looked into automatic detection of such cues in order to assist physicians in diagnosing by providing quantitative measures after or during face to face sessions or telemedicine sessions or even in systems like a virtual coach. .

    This project will investigate automatic detection of multimodal features that correlate with mental health problems in a dataset that contains videos of individuals with different levels of depression, anxiety and stress. This includes analysing the video data in order to extract relevant facial and body expressions features and using machine learning to build automatic detection models.


  • The ideal candidate will have programming experience in C++ or Java. Knowledge of Matlab or Python is preferable. Basic knowledge of computer vision and/or machine learning is a plus.
  • The project is planned for 8-10 weeks, exact dates are flexible.
  • This project may be EPSRC funded therefore applicants need to be EU students not in the final year of study.
  • The work could lead to final-year projects and even to subsequent research.
  • If interested, please contact Dr. Marwa Mahmoud

  • Insertion Date: 21 February 2019


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    Novel electronic states in quantum materials

    Lead Supervisor: Prof. F. Malte Grosche, Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    By using pressure to control the lattice density and thereby details of the electronic band structure, we can tune correlated electron materials across a wide range of phenomena. For example, crystals of NiS2 are insulating at ambient pressure but become antiferromagnetic metals at a pressure of about 30 kbar.

    The main objective of this project is to apply resonant tank circuit techniques in order to measure the magnetic susceptibility or the electrical resistivity of candidate materials under pressure: by placing the sample inside an inductor, which is part of an LC circuit oscillating in the radio frequency range, we can determine changes of the magnetic response or of the skin depth - which itself is related to the electrical resistivity - from the resonance frequency of the LC circuit.

    This will allow us to map out high pressure phase diagrams conveniently in otherwise challenging materials. Moreover, we can extend the technique to high magnetic fields in order to determine the Fermi surface by quantum oscillation measurements. We have recently used this technique to map out the Fermi surface of the pressure-metallised insulator NiS2 mentioned above.

    A secondary objective is to set up ambient pressure magnetometry experiments, which exploit the torque that is generated when a magnetic moment is not parallel to the applied magnetic field. Most quantum materials are sufficiently anisotropic for this torque to be resolvable. In a suitable setup, the torque causes a thin cantilever, on which the sample is mounted, to bend. The bending of the cantilever can be detected by a capacitance measurement. This highly sensitive technique will be applied to search for quantum oscillations in a new iron-based superconductor, YFe2Ge2.

  • Interest in developing new instrumentation and in learning more about condensed matter physics would be helpful.
  • Timings for the project: It would be best to start the project mid-June, leave out most of August and return a few weeks before the start of Michaelmas to finish it off.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • Please apply to Prof. F. Malte Grosche, as soon as possible.


    Insertion Date: 18 February 2019

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    Experimental design for boundary layer transition experiments

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Sam Grimshaw Department of Engineering
    Project Available

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    Flow past cylinders and spheres is important in many fields of engineering and has been studied recently at the Whittle Laboratory while investigating the aerodynamics of various sports. The behaviour of the boundary layer at different Reynolds Numbers, and with different surface roughness and boundary layer “trips”, is key to understanding the lift and drag on a body.

    Work by Tani and Achenbach in the 1960s established the angular position at which the boundary layer is laminar, turbulent or separated, over the surface of a cylinder for Reynolds Numbers from 60e3 to 4e6. More recently, CUED researchers have used thermal imaging to identify boundary layer states for a range of applications in turbomachinery and sports aerodynamics.

    This UROP project will develop the experimental techniques required to combine the “traditional” aerodynamic tests with new thermal imaging measurements. A wind tunnel experiment will be designed which integrates a heated cylinder, infra-red cameras, surface static pressure measurements and lift and drag force measurements. The parts required will be manufactured in the Whittle workshop or purchased so that by the end of the UROP commissioning of the rig can begin.


  • Candidates will have studied aerodynamic modules in third year, have an interest in experimental techniques and some experience with CAD modelling.
  • Project will be 8-10 weeks, exact dates are flexible.
  • This project may be EPSRC funded therefore applicants need to be EU students not in the final year of study.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Dr Nick Atkins from the Department of Engineering.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Sam Grimshaw.

  • Insertion Date: 15 February 2019


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    Interferometric measurement of a grating mosaic for the European Extremely Large Telescope

    Lead Supervisor: David Buscher, Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    High-resolution spectroscopy on the next generation of astronomical telescopes such as the 39-m diameter European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) requires spectrographs with very large gratings. We are involved with the design of gratings for the E-ELT HIRES spectrograph, which is envisaged to have gratings up to 1.6m in size, cooled to cryogenic temperatures.

    The aim of this project is to test a concept for building such large gratings, where the grating is a mosaic of up to 4 elements. These elements need to remain stable to sub-micron tolerances when cooled from room temperature to liquid nitrogen temperature. We aim to test the stability of a prototype grating as it is cooled using a novel laser interferometer arrangement.

    The student involved in this project will be involved in the performance of the interferometric tests and the analysis of the data to yield measurements with sub-wavelength precision.


  • This project requires an interest in optical laboratory work and an ability to write custom data analysis programs. A good understanding of basic optics (e.g. lenses, interference) would be an asset to making the most of this project.
  • Projects will be 9-10 weeks, timing to be negotiated.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Martin Fisher and David Sun.
  • Please apply to David Buscher, as soon as possible.


    Insertion Date: 12 February 2019

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    A Bluetooth dongle for measuring vehicle performance and emissions

    Lead Supervisor: Prof David Cebon Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight needs a reliable device for reading messages from the CAN-bus of a lorry and broadcasting them to a data-logger via Bluetooth. The student will design, build and test suitable electronics and package them into a compact device. Some key components are available commercially.

    The student will be working in the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight.


  • The ideal candidate will have a background in either Electrical engineering or computer science, with practical skills in electronics and data transmission
  • If interested, please contact Prof David Cebon

  • Insertion Date: 11 February 2019


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    Powertrain simulation and design for electric lorries

    Lead Supervisor: Prof David Cebon Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Many British companies, such as Waitrose, Tesco and Wincanton, would like to replace their diesel trucks with electric trucks. However, there is a gap between what is available in the electric vehicle market and what is required, i.e. the vehicle specifications do not meet the service requirements. In this internship, the student will design the power train based on the requirements. The main activities include:

  • Understand the vehicle requirements from the in-service data, collected from an industrial partner.
  • Based on the requirements, design and simulate an electric truck power train using AVL Cruise and MATLAB software packages.
  • Study the charging requirements.
  • Evaluate the design against the electric vehicle, which the industrial partner already operates, for performance, capital cost and running cost.
  • Write a report and share it with the industrial partner.
  • The student will be working in the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight.


  • The ideal candidate will have a background in either Engineering, Computer Science or Physics.
  • If interested, please contact Prof David Cebon

  • Insertion Date: 11 February 2019


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    Computational displays

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Rafal Mantiuk Computer Laboratory
    Project Available

    This project will involve work on a novel display (VR / HDR / 3D), which can produce images that are in certain aspect superior to existing display technologies. The work will involve either hardware aspects (optics, electronics) or software rendering (OpenGL + shaders), depending on the strengths of the candidate.


  • The ideal candidate will have both software and hardware skills; basic knowledge of OpenGL, good knowledge of C and C++; and experience with microcontrollers and basic knowledge of optics.
  • The project is planned for 8-10 weeks.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Rafal Mantiuk.

  • Insertion Date: 11 February 2019


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    Computational photography and light fields

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Rafal Mantiuk Computer Laboratory
    Project Available

    This project will involve work with on the system to capture a 3D representation of the scene (light field) with standard cameras (DSLR). A camera mounted on a robot arm or a camera slider will be remotely controlled from a computer to take multiple images of the scene from different viewpoints. These images will be combined into a representation for image-based rendering on a hyper-realistic display. This internship will involve mostly work on the capture side of the problem: programming microcontrollers, camera calibration, automation of the capture process.


  • The ideal candidate will have basic knowledge of computer vision (camera calibration) and good programming skills.
  • The project is planned for 8-10 weeks.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Rafal Mantiuk.

  • Insertion Date: 11 February 2019


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    Rendering for a hyper-realistic display

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Rafal Mantiuk Computer Laboratory
    Project Available

    The goal of the project is to experiment with computer graphics rendering techniques on a prototype of a novel display that combines high dynamic range, stereoscopic presentation, multiple focal planes, and head-tracking. The project will involve adapting existing rendering techniques (e.g. ray-tracing, rasterization, image-based rendering) for the novel display, exploring possible optimizations, and methods that improve both efficiency and quality.


  • The ideal candidate will have basic knowledge of computer graphics and good programming skills.
  • The project is planned for 8-10 weeks.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Rafal Mantiuk.

  • Insertion Date: 11 February 2019


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    Adsorption-desorption spectroscopy in optofluidic waveguides

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Tijmen G. Euser, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Our lab uses optofluidic hollow-core photonic crystal fibres (HC-PCF) that uniquely allow light to be guided at the centre of a microfluidic channel. These fibres maximize the interaction of light with infiltrated chemicals and nanoparticles, offering unique opportunities to study photochemical processes by in-operando (during the reaction) spectroscopy [1].

    In this interdisciplinary project you will investigate temperature- and light-triggered adsorption and desorption processes of molecules in optofluidic HC-PCF. The combination of a high surface- to-volume-ratio and the ability to guide light in well-defined optical modes make HC-PCF an excellent platform to study such microscale diffusive transport and surface effects. Experimentally, you will use a recently developed spatial light modulation setup to excite higher-order spatial modes in the HC-PCF [2-3]. Such optical modes enable selective probing of the surface and central regions of the fibre core. You will carry out proof-of-principle experiments on either:

  • Optical thermal desorption spectroscopy of dye-molecules on silica surfaces (collaboration with Prof Anita Jones, Univ. Edinburgh).
  • Surface-adhesion of flavin-polydopamine biocatalysts [4] (collaboration with Bionano Engineering Group, Dept. Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology).
  • References:

    [1] A. M. Cubillas et al., “Photonic crystal fibres for chemical sensing and photochemistry,” Chem. Soc. Rev. 42, pp. 8629 (2013).

    [2] A. Ruskuc et al., “Excitation of higher-order modes in optofluidic waveguides,” Opt. Express, Vol. 26, pp. 30245-30254 (2018).

    [3] T. G. Euser et al., “Dynamic control of higher-order modes in hollow-core photonic crystal fibers,” Opt. Express 16, pp. 17972 (2008).

    [4] L. Haeshin et al., “Mussel-Inspired Surface Chemistry for Multifunctional Coatings.” Science 318, pp. 426 (2007).

    Visit the Optofluidics page for more information.


  • Experience with computer programming (ideally in Python) and previous work in an optics lab would be an advantage but is not a requirement.
  • The ideal student will have a strong interest in experimental optics research. Experience with (optics) experiments and/or basic chemical preparation would be helpful.
  • The proposed length of the project is 10 weeks.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Takashi Lawson and Philipp Koehler.
  • Please apply to Dr. Tijmen G. Euser as soon as possible.


    Insertion Date: 5 February 2019

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    Evolutionary dynamics of viral populations with density-dependent dispersal

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Diana Fusco, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Bacteriophages are the viruses that infect bacteria: they represent the most numerous entity on the planet, they are responsible for most of the exchange of genetic material across bacteria in the wild, and they are even used as aid to antibiotics when fighting infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria. In addition to their importance in nature, they constitute an excellent laboratory model system to investigate host-virus interactions, since we can easily manipulate both them and their host.

    Some work has been done to study the evolution of these systems in “well-mixed” environments, where each host and virus feels the same conditions. However, little is known on how the system evolves when the two populations grow in space and might feel distinct conditions depending on their location, as it is often the case in natural environment, e.g., the soil or our gut.

    Spatial growth of a population is often modeled as a traveling wave generated by a Fisher-Kolmogorov reaction-diffusion equation, and previous work on phage growth has indeed used this method to model the population dynamics of the virus. Our experimental results, however, show that the dispersal rate of phage depends on the underlying host density, which varies in time and space, breaking one of the main assumptions of previous theoretical studies. When accommodating for a density-dependent dispersal, the resulting equation can be mathematically mapped to a different model, which is routinely used to describe the spatial growth of cooperative individuals. Whether the evolutionary dynamic, i.e., the rate at which mutations accumulate in the population, is also the same as in cooperative populations is unknown.

    The proposed project aims to build Monte Carlo simulations to characterize the genetic diversity in phage populations undergoing spatial range expansion. The simulations will start by first explicitly modeling the host density-dependent dispersal with the goal of obtaining a dispersal function for the virus that implicitly accommodates the host dynamic. Comparing the results with models used for cooperative populations will allow to highlight similarities and differences between the two systems and identify the key ingredients that are necessary to generate a given evolutionary dynamic. The results will either reveal a new kind of traveling wave or a novel indirect way to generate cooperation in a population. Both findings are of great importance when considering spatial range expansions for a wide range of viral and parasite populations. Identifying the minimal ingredients of the model will allow to define the necessary and sufficient conditions that a natural population has to satisfy to exhibit a similar dynamic.

    Visit the Fusco Lab for more information.


  • Programming experience is essential (preferably C or C++).
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • Please apply to Dr. Diana Fusco as soon as possible.


    Insertion Date: 5 February 2019

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    Quantitative applications of optoacoustic imaging in cancer

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Sarah Bohndiek Department of Physics and Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
    Project Available

    Optoacoustic imaging is a novel modality that combines the high contrast of optical imaging with the high spatial resolution and penetration depth of ultrasound imaging. Based on the excitation of tissue with pulsed laser light, OAI provides high contrast for measuring optically absorbing species in the body, such as haemoglobin, and is currently in clinical trials in Cambridge for breast cancer diagnosis. A significant challenge in this regard is the unwanted absorption of light by melanin pigments in the skin. This project will use a combination of computational modelling and experimental imaging to evaluate the impact of melanin pigmentation on the ability of OAI to measure haemoglobin signatures and hence measure tissue oxygenation in cancer. The student will be expected to be fully immersed in the research of the VISIONLab, participating in lab meetings and group discussions, and will have the opportunity to present their research to the team.

    To learn more about the team, visit VISION Laboratory for more information.


  • Previous experience in the use of Matlab and/or Python is essential. Training will be given in experimental research skills in the relevant areas.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by James Joseph and Lina Hacker.
  • Please apply to Dr. Sarah Bohndiek as soon as possible.


    Insertion Date: 5 February 2019

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    Spin-vibronic coupling for next generation OLEDs

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Dan Credgington Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Organic LED (OLED) technology will change the way we think about lighting and displays, with highly-efficient pure-colour OLEDs already entering the market as smart-phone screens and prototype TVs.

    They promise the creation of cheap, large-area devices fabricated as easily as inkjet printing. However, the challenge lies in achieving stable emission in the blue, and at its heart is a problem of spin. In this project, you will take on the challenge of studying a new class of molecular semiconductors with a twist – a rotational degree of freedom which allows remarkably easy interconversion of spin states via coupling to vibrational modes. You will study the photophysics of novel emitters using steady-state and time-resolved luminescence, with the potential to conduct in-depth analyses of their behaviour in devices and device-like thin films. Your work will help direct the synthesis of the next generation of OLED compounds, and train new computational models of emission from such materials.

    This project will be working within the Optoelectronics group with Dr Dan Credgington.


  • No previous experience will be assumed, but the successful student will work with steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence and electroluminescence spectroscopy, so experience or an interest in these will be an advantage, as will a good understanding of semiconductor diodes. A significant part of this project will be hands-on sample fabrication and measurement, so an enthusiasm for experimental physics is a must.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Saul Jones Department of Physics.
  • Please apply to Dr Dan Credgington as soon as possible.


    Insertion Date: 5 February 2019

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    Build a fast 3-channel pyrometer for time resolved temperature measurements

    Lead Supervisor: Dr David Williamson Department of Physics
    Project Available

    The research group operates a gated high-resolution optical spectrometer which can be used to record a single visible light spectrum emitted by a hot body at a particular instant in time. Typically it is used to study subjects of interest which have colour temperatures of 4000 to 9000 K, and are transient in nature, being of duration nanoseconds to microseconds. It would be highly advantageous to simultaneously deploy a three channel visible-light pyrometer to additionally have an instrument with continuous recording ability and good time resolution. The objective of this project is to design and build such a bench-top pyrometer, calibrate, and use it in conjunction with the optical spectrometer to record and characterise the aforementioned temperature excursions.


  • Candidates must have strong interest in conducting experimental physics.
  • A project of duration 8 to 10 weeks is envisioned.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • Please apply to Dr David Williamson as soon as possible.


    Insertion Date: 1 February 2019

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    Optimisation of optical detection of bacterial contamination from drinking water using different imaging modes

    Lead Supervisor: Professor Jeremy Baumberg Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Currently over 780 million people do not have access to clean drinking water, with the majority living in low-resource areas. Globally diarrhoeal diseases from bacteria contamination result in around 2000 deaths each day. Testing methods are expensive, slow and complex, leaving testing to be performed by experts from Governments and NGOs.

    Using low-cost optics and a refined protocol using a disposable cartridge, we have created a method that permits a simple, faster detection of E. coli and other bacteria from a liquid solution. To enable specific bacterial detection, we use reflection brightfield microscopy and colorimetric substrates which allows for an earlier detection than conventional field methods.

    The project will optimise bacterial detection using a range of imaging modes, including fluorescence, reflection brightfield, reflection darkfield and phase contrast to enhance detection of bacterial colonies, whilst still retaining low-cost and portability. This project will span both Department of Physics and Department of Veterinary medicine.

    Further details to support the aim can be seen at WaterScope.


  • Candidates should have microscopy/optics experience and some basic programming experience, using Arduinos and Raspberry Pi.
  • The project start date is flexible, with a duration of 10 weeks.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Dr Alexander Patto, Department of Physics.
  • Please apply to Professor Jeremy Baumberg.


    Insertion Date: 1 February 2019

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    Automated malaria detection with an intelligent microscope

    Lead Supervisor: Professor Pietro Cicuta Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Malaria affects 200 million people per year, causing over 400 thousand deaths, primarily children in developing world countries. Good diagnosis can alleviate this problem, but as identified by WHO (World Health Organisation), trained microscopists are in short supply.

    The project is based around the use of a low-cost automated microscopy that has being developed with collaborators in University of Bath and being evaluated in Tanzania at Ifakara Health Institute. The microscope is 3D printed and uses Raspberry Pi microprocessor with integrated computer vision to provide an easy-to-use affordable solution to malaria testing.

    The aim of the summer project will be to understand the variability and optimise the malaria staining and image collection with the low cost automated microscope. The project will be based in the Biological and Soft System group, also working remotely with partners in Tanzania who routinely collect malaria samples and University of Bath where the image processing will be performed.

    This project is linked to two projects that have partners at University of Bath and Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzani, which can be found at this link.


  • Candidate should have good analytical skills and basic programming in Python. Experience in a biological laboratory and optics/microscopy is preferably, but not essential as basic training will be available.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Dr Nalin Patel, Department of Physics.
  • Please apply to Professor Pietro Cicuta.


    Insertion Date: 1 February 2019

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    Many-body physics of tuneable Bose gases

    Lead Supervisor: Prof. Zoran Hadzibabic Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Broadly speaking, we understand many-body quantum systems if they are both weakly interacting and in equilibrium, but things get tricky if either of those things is not true. Ultracold atomic gases offer unique possibilities for studies of collective quantum phenomena, because in these system the strength of the interactions can be tuned, exploiting the so-called Feshbach scattering resonances, and the characteristic timescales of out-of-equilibrium dynamics (typically microseconds to seconds) are experimentally resolvable. We are particularly interested in exploring extreme situations such as tuning interactions to be as strong as theoretically possible (in the so-called unitary regime) or driving a gas so that it becomes turbulent and cannot reach thermodynamic equilibrium. An ambitious student could be involved in modifying the experiment (optics and/or electronics setups) to implement measurement ideas and/or in the data analysis and interpretation.

    The project will be based with the Hadzibabic Group, who are part of the Atomic, Mesoscopic and Optical Physics (AMOP) group.


  • Very good 1B-level knowledge of quantum mechanics is required.
  • The internship should last at least 8 weeks.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project. LI>Please apply to Prof. Zoran Hadzibabic


    Insertion Date: 31 January 2019

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    The History of the Cavendish Laboratory - PhotoArchives and Instruments

    Lead Supervisor: Professor Malcolm Longair Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    The project is two-fold and the student may select one or a bit of both. One part is to continue to document and put on line historical images of the Laboratory. This part of the project involves surveying, in collaboration with Prof. Malcolm Longair and Dr. Isobel Falconer, the photographic archives of the Laboratory and selecting the most important for potential inclusion in the on-line PhotoArchive of the Laboratory. This part of the project will involve researching the images and understanding the physics importance of the images.

    The second part concerns investigating the contents of the old store room of scientific instruments and cataloguing those of special interest and importance. It will also involve surveying historical materials stored in filing cabinets. Many important large instrument need cataloguing and storage. The work will involve understanding the physics and physics importance of these items.

    For the first project, see The Cavendish Laboratory at the Cambridge Ditgital Library. For the second project, please visit the Cavendish Collection of Scientific Instruments in the Bragg Building, Cavendish Laboratory.


  • We would expect the student to be studying physics, to have good organisational skills and to pay close attention to detail. A demonstrable interest in history of science would be desirable, but not essential.
  • Preferably, the project should begin in late June/early July 2019 and run for about 8 weeks. There is some flexibility about the exact timing.
  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Dr. Isobel Falconer, University of St. Andrews and long-term visitor at Cavendish Laboratory.
  • Please apply to Professor Malcolm Longair.


    Insertion Date: 31 January 2019

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    Automatic editing of 360-degree videos

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Quentin Stafford-Fraser Department of Computer Science & Technology
    Project Available

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    Given recordings of meetings made using a 360-degree (spherical) camera in the middle of the meeting room table, produce standard 2D movies capturing the meeting with the key contributions of everybody there. This might use directional audio, lip movements and other heuristics to emulate the role of a cameraman and producer.


  • Substantial programming experience, familiarity with Jupyter notebooks for Python, audio and video processing is needed for this project
  • This project may be EPSRC funded therefore applicatants need to be EU students not in the final year of study.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Professor Peter Robinson, from the Department of Computer Science & Technology.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Quentin Stafford-Fraser.

  • Insertion Date: 30 January 2019


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    Automatic Spoken Language Learning and Assessment

    Lead Supervisor: Prof Mark Gales Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    There is a high demand for learning English, and many students require official qualifications to demonstrate language proficiency. To cope with this demand, computer aided learning and automatic assessment could help. The ALTA Institute at the University works on this. For computers, spoken English is much harder to assess and teach than written text. Instead of scripted tests and formulaic training interactions, systems have to handle spontaneous speech, however thick the accent is. They must then give a grade and/or provide feedback on how to improve. Building on research within the Speech Group, the goal of this project is to develop novel techniques to extract information from the speech recognition (ASR) output of the learner’s speech.

    One area of particular interest is deep learning for confidence score estimation and feature extraction from ASR output lattices. Deep learning is typically applied to the 1-best recognition output to determine how confident the system is in the hypothesised recognition output. More recently lattice recurrent neural networks (RNNs) have been applied by the CUED ALTA team to extract the confidence scores from ASR lattices (Ragni et al, 2018, Li et al 2019). The overall aim is to achieve more precise and richer information extraction. This project will a) further investigate the use of lattice RNNs to extract information for assessment and feedback, and b) examine the relationship of lattice RNNs to other deep learning approaches such as Graph Neural Networks (e.g. Zhou et al, 2018).

    References

  • (Ragni et al, 2018) A. Ragni, Q. Li, M.J.F. Gales, Y. Wang. Confidence Estimation and Deletion Prediction Using Bidirectional Recurrent Neural Networks. Proc. IEEE SLT Workshop, 2018
  • (Li et al, 2019) Q. Li, P. M. Ness, A. Ragni, M.J.F. Gales. Bi-directional lattice recurrent neural networks for confidence estimation, submitted to ICASSP 2019 https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.13024
  • (Zhou et al, 2018) J. Zhou, G. Cui, Z. Zhang, C. Yang, Z. Liu, M. Sun. Graph Neural Networks: A Review of Methods and Applications. arXiv https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.08434


  • The work will build on the existing infrastructure for assessing spontaneous spoken language in the ALTA team at CUED.
  • This project is most suited to a third year student with an interest in information engineering, who has some programming skills.
  • This UROP could lead to a 4th year project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Dr Kate Knill and Dr Anton Ragni
  • Limited funding is available for this project if no other sources available from the ALTA Institute.
  • If interested, please contact Prof Mark Gales

  • Insertion Date: 29 January 2019


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    Tuning the properties of Dy3Mg2Sb3O14: a two-dimensional Kagome Ising Magnet

    Lead Supervisor: Siân Dutton, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Recent work in the Cavendish [1] and elsewhere [2-4] has demonstrated that ordered pyrochlores, Ln3Mg2Sb3O14, form perfect Kagome magnetic lattices. It has been shown that for Ln = Dy, Nd the magnetic moments have Ising spins [1-3]. In the case of Dy3Mg2Sb3O14 the ferromagnetic interactions between spins results in a novel magnetic phase diagram which can be probed using a combination of bulk measurement such as heat capacity and magnetic susceptibility and local diffuse magnetic scattering [1]. Experimental results will be compared with Monte Carlo simulations carried out by our theoretical collaborators.

    This project will investigate ways to tune the properties of Dy3Mg2Sb3O14 by i) changing the orientation of the Dy3+ magnetic moments through chemical doping and ii) introducing itinerant electrons on the Sb5+ lattice. Polycrystalline samples will be prepared using a variety of solid state techniques and the structural properties explored using powder X-ray diffraction. The magnetic and electronic properties will be evaluated through in-house measurements of the magnetic susceptibility, isothermal magnetisation, electrical conductivity, and heat capacity.

    References

  • [1] Paddison et al., Emergent Order in the Kagome Ising Magnet Dy3Mg2Sb3O14, Nature Comm., 7, 13842 (2016)
  • [2] Scheie et al., Effective spin-12 scalar chiral order on kagome lattices in Nd3Sb3Mg2O14, Phys. Rev. B 93, 180407(R)
  • [3] Dun et al., Magnetic Ground States of the Rare-Earth Tripod Kagome Lattice Mg2RE3Sb3O14 (RE=Gd,Dy,Er), Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 157201
  • [4] Sanders et al., RE3Sb3Zn2O14 (RE = La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd): a new family of pyrochlore derivatives with rare earth ions on a 2D Kagome lattice, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2016,4, 541-550

  • Knowledge of Part 1A Materials, and Chemistry highly desirable for this project.

  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • Please apply to Siân Dutton as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 29 January 2019


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    Reliability of Radiation Hard High-Voltage GaN Transistors

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. B. Hommels, HEP, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    For use in the foreseen upgrade of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC at CERN, Geneva, we are studying candidate devices that could withstand the harsh radiation environment in the inner detector for the experiment lifetime.

    A candidate device has been identified, and a programme to study its radiation hardness is ongoing. Devices have been irradiated using proton and pion beams as well as reactor neutrons.

    The summer project main goal is to investigate the reliability of the devices. This is done by extending the tests available with a fast pulse test, expand the capabilities of the long term test setup, and use the accumulated data to perform a Weibull analysis to extract reliability limits.

  • Experience with LabView and MatLab is required for this project.
  • The project is expected to run for 10 weeks, timing in agreement between student and supervisor.

  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Dr. P. Garsed.
  • Please apply to Dr. B. Hommels as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 29 January 2019


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    Upgrading the Data Acquisition software for the High-Luminosity LHC

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. B. Hommels, HEP, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    The HEP group at the University of Cambridge are building the next-generation tracking system, the Inner Tracker (ITk), which will be installed as part of the upgraded ATLAS detector at CERN in 2024. As the silicon detectors are built and tested, we need to upgrade the Data Acquisition (DAQ) software, which serves as the interface between the detectors and the development environments (e.g. LabVIEW). A student would create a lightweight replacement to the currently used NI-VISA software, in particular, improving the interface at the user end. There is scope to extend the project to make additional improvements to the DAQ itself and/or contribute to the building of the silicon detectors.

  • Knowledge of linux and programming (C/C++) is highly desirable, but not essential, for this project.

  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • This project is being co-supervised by Will Fawcett and Tina Potter.
  • Please apply to Dr. B. Hommels as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 28 January 2019


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    Learning Wavelet Representations

    Lead Supervisor: Austen Lamacraft, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    Wavelets offer a multiscale representation of data (audio, images, etc.) that combines the merits of the real space and Fourier representations. Many naturally occurring signals are sparse in the wavelet basis, which therefore provides a natural starting point for a host of tasks including compression and classification. The goal of this project is to use recently developed deep learning architectures to learn wavelet representations that are adapted to particular datasets, and in this way improve upon our current handcrafted bases.

  • Python coding experience is essential for this project.
  • The projects would ideally start on 24th June 2019.

  • The Cavendish Lab has agreed to secure the funds for a Long Vacation Bursary of up to 10 weeks' standard stipend and up to 500 pounds to cover consumables directly connected to the student's research activities.
  • This UROP project may NOT be submitted as a Long Vacation Project in lieu of one Part II item of Further Work or one Part III Minor Topic.
  • The Department of Physics does not allow long vacation work to be used as the basis of a Part III Project.
  • Please apply to Austen Lamacraft as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 28 January 2019


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    Functional actuators from liquid crystalline elastomers

    Lead Supervisor: Professor Eugene M. Terentjev, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    This project is designed to run off our significant organic-chemistry effort, where a PhD student and a postdoc are actively designing and making conceptually new polymeric materials. Liquid crystalline elastomers (LCE) are an amazing class of such materials that show spontaneous and reversible shape changes of up to 500%, produced on heating, or light exposure. They also have the unique property of ‘soft elasticity’ when some shear deformations occur without elastic resistance, which in turn leads to their remarkable properties in damping and dissipation of mechanical energy.

    Our group have been the world leaders in the field for over 20 years; recently, we’ve made a breakthrough in the material design utilising the concept of ‘vitrimers’ (you may need to Google some of these keywords to get a better grasp).

    We also have an ambition to produce new shape-memory plastics based on hydrogen bonding of aligned semi-crystalline chains that could make an impact in e.g. textile or automotive industry (see the longer description at this link.).

  • This project is suitable for a candidate with interest and a good set of laboratory skills in physics/materials or (micro)mechanical engineering.
  • The amount of work we have under this project is almost infinite, so the summer project could easily be continued into a Part III research project (if all goes well).
  • This project is being co-supervised with Dr Mohand Saed Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Physics.
  • Please apply to Professor Eugene M. Terentjev as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 21 January 2019


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    Bonkers for Conkers

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Christelle N. Abadie Department of Engineering
    Project Available

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    Mature conker (horse chestnut) trees grow to a height of around 40m, from which horse chestnut burs fall, crash on the floor and release their seed - undamaged!

    This simple observation raises a challenging question: what mechanical properties does the bur have that enables it to protect the conker so well? What if we could pin-point these properties and use them to devise better protective gears, such as helmets?

    The objectives of this project will be to provide the fundamental mechanical characterisations of the horse chestnut bur, explaining how the seed is successfully protected during the crash. This will be achieved experimentally and will involve tensile tests, compressive tests and drop tests.

    The project will ask the student to (i) decide on the test programme, (ii) prepare the experimental test equipment and (iii) start testing. Testing of the burs can only happen in September-October when the burs are ready to fall from trees.


  • This project may be continued as a 4th year student project.
  • This project may be EPSRC funded therefore certain eligibility criteria must be met. Please check the details before you apply.
  • If interested, please contact Dr. Christelle N. Abadie

  • Insertion Date: 18 January 2019


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    Chemistry of liquid crystalline vitrimers

    Lead Supervisor: Professor Eugene M. Terentjev, Department of Physics
    Project Available

    This project is held in the Department of Physics, but its essence is the organic synthesis of new polymeric materials, to work in a large and well-equipped chemistry lab alongside a PhD student and a postdoc.

    Our aim is to design new liquid-crystalline vitrimer for renewable functional actuators. Liquid crystalline elastomers (LCE) are an amazing class of materials that show spontaneous and reversible shape changes of up to 500%, produced on heating, or light exposure. They also have the unique property of ‘soft elasticity’ when some shear deformations occur without elastic resistance, which in turn leads to their remarkable properties in damping and dissipation of mechanical energy. Our group have been the world leaders in the field for over 20 years; recently, we’ve made a breakthrough in the material design utilising the concept of ‘vitrimers’ (you may need to Google some of these keywords to get a better grasp), and expand it to new kinds of bond-exchange reactions.

    We also have an ambition to produce new shape-memory plastics based on hydrogen bonding of aligned semi-crystalline chains that could make an impact in e.g. textile or automotive industry (see the longer description at this link.).

  • This project is suitable for a candidate with interest and a good set of skills in organic chemistry.
  • The amount of work we have under this project is almost infinite, so the summer project could easily be continued into a Part III research project (if all goes well).
  • This project is being co-supervised with Dr Mohand Saed Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Physics.
  • Please apply to Professor Eugene M. Terentjev as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 11 January 2019


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    Developing an Intellectual Property (IP) model typology for studying sustainability transitions and supporting case studies

    Lead Supervisor: Dr. Frank Tietze, Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

    Effective transitions to sustainability are urgent global challenges, however require innovation with complex diffusion and adoption processes. The role of Intellectual Property (IP) and IP rights (IPR) in sustainability transitions remain insufficiently understood. The objective of a recently granted project on ‘Intellectual Property Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions (IPACST)’ is to bring together the fields of sustainability, IP and innovation management aiming to transform our understanding of the role played by different Intellectual Property (IP) models in accelerating sustainability transitions. IPACST is a major international and interdisciplinary research project with partners from India, Germany and Sweden.

    The objective of this UROP project is to support the IPACST project team during the first year of this three year project. Particularly, you would help in developing a framework that typologizes IP models that are of relevance for sustainability transitions (e.g. from closed to completely open IP models). You would also support the preparation of case studies through secondary data collection and analysis as well as with a literature review.

  • The project is suitable for a student with background knowledge and interest in IP and innovation management, IP law and/or sustainability.
  • The project is to run for 8-10 weeks and requires the student to conduct a literature review, help with the preparation of case studies through collection and analysis of secondary data and support the development of an IP model typology relevant for studying sustainable transitions.
  • This project is being co-supervised with Dr. Pratheeba Vimalnath Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering.
  • Please apply to Dr. Frank Tietze as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 21 December 2018


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    Visualising Sensor Data at the New Civil Engineering Building

    Lead Supervisor: Dr John Orr, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    The new Civil Engineering Building for the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, currently nearing construction completion, includes within it six sensor packages, from the roof to the foundations. The sensors are an integral part of research being undertaken in Civil Engineering at Cambridge. This UROP project will help to develop the underlying database technology and display system required to store, interpret, and visualise these data streams, some of them in real time.

    The novelty here is in the assimilation of diverse data sources, parsed and represented on the construction BIM model. The sensing being installed, designed largely with CSIC, is explorative in nature. Very few large buildings are sensed in the same way as this, and it therefore presents a unique opportunity to trial new data handling methods. This real-time information will be used to understand the performance of the new research facility and assess this performance against the predictions made during design. By examining any differences, we aim to understand performance, and help improve future design.

    You will work closely with Paul Fidler (computer officer, CSIC) on both the back end databases and the front end visualisation of the data. We currently plan to install touch-screen interfaces in the foyer of the new building. You will be able to input on the design of the whole system.

    The student will be required to work closely with the CSIC team who designed and installed most of the sensors, along with the academics within Division D who will be making use of them.

  • For this project you must have an interest in sensing for civil engineering applications. Your ability in coding is essential.
  • Project timing is flexible but would ideally be completed towards the start of the summer vacation.
  • Once a student has been selected, an application will be made to the EPSRC Vacation Bursary for funding. This will cover 8 weeks of student time. The remaining 2 weeks will come from Division D.
  • The successful student will be required to work at varying levels with colleagues in CSIC: Nicky de Battista, Paul Fidler, Cedric Kechavarzi, and with academics in Division D: Mohammed Elshafie, Dongfang Liang, Mauro Overend, James Talbot, and Giulia Viggiani. All of the above have been involved in various ways with the design and installation of the sensing to date and will provide input to the UROP project.
  • Please apply to Contact/Lead Supervisor.

  • Insertion Date: 28 November 2018


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    Inflatable Biogas domes for Nepal

    Lead Supervisor: Dr John Orr, Department of Engineering
    Project Available

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    Fixed spherical dome biogas reactors are popular in Nepal and are used to generate gas for cooking. They are a crucial source of energy. Currently they limited in size to about 3 metres total in diameter at the base. To add to this, the method of construction involves using soil as formwork for the unreinforced concrete dome, which is a very time consuming process.

    Dr Orr has worked with Dr Fulford to produce a new design that uses an inflatable mould for the concrete dome - potentially greatly simplifying the process of construction and allowing larger domes to be made. This would increase capacity, and expand the potential for this energy source across Nepal.

    This UROP project will work with the team to finalise the design based on feedback from contractors in Nepal. We hope to fabricate a mould in the UK, and take it to Nepal as a training exercise. Once we have skilled local workers, they will be able to fabricate dome formwork without our assistance. If funding and timing can be arranged, this project will coincide with a trip to Nepal.

    A paper on the topic, written by a 4th year student, was published in 2015. Please see PDF here

  • For this project you must have an understanding of concrete technology. Experience in shell analysis would be advantageous. Knowledge of fabric membrane analysis would be advantageous.
  • The project timing is currently flexible, but should funding be received from DfID (Department for International Development) we will be required to move quickly.
  • Once a student has been selected, an application will be made for the EPSRC Vacation Bursary for funding. This will cover 8 weeks of student time. The remaining 2 weeks will come from DfID funding (see above) or from Dr Orr.
  • The UROP may be suitable to continue as a 4th Year Project.
  • The project is being co-supervised by David Fulford from Kingdom Bioenergy and Anh Tranh from University of Coventry.
  • Please apply to Contact/Lead Supervisor.

  • Insertion Date: 29 October 2018


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    Robotic Cooking Assistance

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

    THE STUDENT FOR THIS ROLE HAS NOW BEEN APPOINTED

    Manipulation of a large variety of objects are still significant challenges for robots. This project aims to develop an integrated robotic manipulator to demonstrate and benchmark the degrees of flexibility for assisting human cooking of simple dishes. By using a co-working robotic arm platform, the student is expected to integrate mechanical, electrical and software components to demonstrate tasks in the kitchen, such as washing, chopping, cleaning, and cooking. As the result of this project we assess the feasibility of low-cost robotic assistance for elderly care.

  • The student working on this project needs to be able to program python and learn how to use physical robot platforms.
  • It could can be continued as a 4th year student project.
  • This project is being co-supervised with Natasha Conway of BEKO PLC R&D Centre.
  • This project is made possible through a donation from BEKO PLC R&D Centre.
  • Please apply to Dr. Fumiya Iida as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 19 December 2018


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    Open source modular robot development

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

    THE STUDENT FOR THIS ROLE HAS NOW BEEN APPOINTED

    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.

    This project will be working with the Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory.

  • 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.
  • It could also lead on to a potential 4th year project.
  • This project is being co-supervised with Rick Hyde of Mathworks.
  • This project is made possible through a donation from Mathworks.
  • Please apply to Dr. Fumiya Iida as early as possible.

  • Insertion Date: 18 December 2018


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    3D Printing Buildings Using Cellulose

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

    THE STUDENT FOR THIS ROLE HAS NOW BEEN APPOINTED

    3D printing of buildings could enable the direct and automated realisation of digital representations of a building in the physical world, leading to significantly enhanced productivity in construction while also opening up diverse opportunities to design and manufacture customized and novel architectures. An important challenge facing 3D printed buildings, however, is that unreinforced cement (the primary material used in existing work in this area) is relatively weak in tension, brittle, dense, and environmentally unfriendly (with cement accounting for an estimated 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions).

    Wood-based products such as cross-laminated timber are increasingly recognized as high-performance building materials due to their robust mechanics, thermal insulation characteristics, relatively low density, and favourable environmental footprint. 3D printing buildings using wood-derived materials would transform the construction industry by enabling the automated, onsite manufacture of complex and customized buildings using an abundant, biorenewable, and inexpensive raw material. There have been significant recent developments in 3D printing of cellulose, which is the primary structural component of wood, and also the most abundant organic polymer in the world. Using these processes in construction is, however, currently not possible for reasons including low manufacturing rate, expense of treatments required to make cellulose printable, as well as the degradation of the mechanical properties of purified cellulose in the presence of water.

    Building on the PI’s recent work in demonstrating the first 3D printing process for manufacturing full-density and robust cellulosic materials, this project will seek to develop an inexpensive and environmentally sustainable process for 3D printing wood-derived cellulose for the construction industry.

    Relevant prior work: S.W. Pattinson, A.J. Hart, Additive Manufacturing of Cellulosic Materials with Robust Mechanics and Antimicrobial Functionality, Advanced Materials Technologies, 2, 1600084.

  • The project would be suitable for a student with a background in Natural Sciences or Engineering. Previous experience or interest in 3D printing and/or construction is helpful but not necessary.
  • It could also lead on to a potential 4th year project.
  • This project is made possible through a grant from the Trimble Fund.
  • Please apply to Contact/Lead Supervisor.

  • Insertion Date: 28 November 2018


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    CNT research for prototype development of an aerospace component

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Adam Boies Department of Engineering
    Project Taken

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    A STUDENT FOR THIS ROLE HAS NOW BEEN APPOINTED

    Carbon nanotubes represent a wide array of new material properties that are unique for the aerospace industry. Their high thermal and electrical conductivity allow for composite manufacture that surpasses traditional carbon fibers, and has the potential for sensing applications embedded within the material.

    This project will seek to apply CNT materials from a University of Cambridge spin out technology in a large aerospace company. The work will coordinate research for prototype development of an aerospace component for testing of mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. Additional work may examine the ability of the material to shield electro-magnetic interference (EMI).

    The student will have the ability to work with a new technology and apply it to an emerging new field with an exciting industry. The student must interface with industrial partners and coordinate activities throughout the project. Opportunities for summer studentships exist in conjunction with the project (please talk to Adam Boies).


  • This project may be EPSRC funded therefore certain eligibility criteria must be met. Please check the details before you apply.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Adam Boies

  • Insertion Date: 15 January 2019


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    Simulation of the agglomeration of CNTs

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Adam Boies Department of Engineering
    Project Taken

    A STUDENT FOR THIS ROLE HAS NOW BEEN APPOINTED

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being created in large quantities within CUED reactors which results in aerogel formation. The CNTs have been shown to be among the strongest, most conductive and highest surface area materials known, which has led to industrial interest from collaborating aerospace and automotive industries for batteries, structural panels, self-sensing materials, etc. The aerogel formation is critical in allowing for the assembly of the CNTs on the bulk scale - we just don't know how it happens.

    This project will combine fluid dynamic and molecular modelling platforms to simulate the agglomeration of CNTs to determine the critical CNT number density that is required for aerogel formation. These results will then be compared to CNT reactor conditions.


  • If interested, please contact Dr Adam Boies

  • Insertion Date: 15 January 2019


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    Development a novel nanoparticle sensor for particles

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Adam Boies Department of Engineering
    Project Taken

    A STUDENT FOR THIS ROLE HAS NOW BEEN APPOINTED

    Air-borne particles represent one of the top ten causes of death world-wide and top three in many developing countries. Nanoparticles in particular are thought to be among the most toxic constituents of air-borne particles, but the chemistry among different forms of nanoparticles has not been well tested. Typical air-borne particles consist of a variety of chemistries, including soot, semi-volatile hydrocarbons, sulfur species, ash, and naturally occurring species (e.g. pollen, dust, and salts). Regulations based on current sensor technology requires that solid (typically soot) particles be measured and reduced in automotive and industrial applications, thus creating over a $100 million dollar industry in solid particle emissions monitoring and measurement.

    While large particle measurements are now routine, there is a growing need to detect particle parameters that are more closely associated with human health. In particular knowledge of the particle structure is key in understanding the dynamics of the particles in our own lungs, as well as formation mechanisms of the particles. This project aims to continue development a novel nanoparticle sensor for particles that was developed last year. The challenge for this project will be to test the sensor in a number of different environments and measure the response to a variety of different chemistries. This work will allow for the determination of response to chemistry, size and background environment.


  • If interested, please contact Dr Adam Boies

  • Insertion Date: 15 January 2019


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    Mobilised strength based design of shallow foundations

    Lead Supervisor: Dr Sam Stanier Department of Engineering
    Project Taken

     European Union citizens ONLY EPSRC criteria may apply CLICK HERE for criteria

    Recent work has shown that shallow foundation bearing capacity is governed almost completely by the average soil strength mobilised in the mechanism at failure, and not by the actual form of the mechanism itself (link). However, this finding was based on highly idealised simulations, where the soil was assumed to vary spatially in a smooth manner. Real soil is rather more random. This project would extend the work referred to above by developing finite element simulations with "random" fields of soil strength distribution, to see if the finding above holds for more realistic and practical situations. Should the average mobilised strength prove to dominate the bearing capacity response for "random" fields, mobilised strength based design methodologies that might leverage this finding will be explored.


  • The ideal candidate will have some geotechnical knowledge (thus most suitable for third year Division D students); an appetite for numerical modelling (and debugging); some confidence in programming (e.g. Fortran, Python); and perseverance…
  • The proposed length of the project is 10 weeks.
  • This UROP could lead to a 4th year project.
  • This project may be EPSRC funded therefore applicatants need to be EU students not in the final year of study.
  • If interested, please contact Dr Sam Stanier

  • Insertion Date: 6 February 2019


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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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