Please contact Professor Whyte for opportunities. Currently, PhD positions are available through the Imperial College PhD Scholarship Scheme. Often PhD's are self funded through PhD scholarship programmes with their home country and the UK.
There are PhD opportunities related to the areas of research discussed under our research page. To apply for a PhD as part of this programme of research please articulate how your proposed research contributes to the overall programme. Suggested topics include:
1) Identifying interdependencies in complex engineering systems by visualizing relationships
This PhD research develops a decision-support tool for engineers and managers that are involved in the late design and production stages, helping them to visualize and understand the systemic consequences of proposed changes across engineering disciplines. It uses graph theory methods (such as the Design Structure Matrix and/or social network analysis) to map the interdependencies between the assets represented within a BIM model in relation to physical connections, mass flow, energy flow and information flow; and then predictive data analytics, drawing on evidence from previous cases, to explore the potential interactions and consequences of change in order to develop an ex-ante decision support tool for change management.
2) Construction engineering and the general theory of systems integration
This PhD research takes the mathematical formulae developed in the general theory of systems integration (GTSI) and tests their validity in relation to the civil engineering context. The work will include evaluating the logic of the general theory; and empirically testing it against real-world data from complex engineering projects.
3) Safety in the delivery and operation of complex systems
This PhD research applies the system theoretic accident model (STAMP) to analyse the chains of events that occur across built infrastructure systems rather than seeking root causes, and sees reliability and safety as different properties of systems. The novelty lies in extending this existing theory to consider the particular nature of built infrastructure systems as complex cyber-physical systems.
4) Verification and validation of digital engineering models
This PhD research develops an approach for rapidly verifying and validating digital engineering models, using models that are created using open standards such as Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs). It develops new techniques to ensure their verification and validation against requirements; design intent; and built infrastructure. The research aims to improve the verification of model data using a systems engineering approach. The first step will be to collate data from previous projects on verification challenges. The second step will be to work with IFC and XML data and seek to automate the verification of models that have been developed in different software packages. This work will build on existing tools and approaches, but seek to develop new techniques to systematically analyse differences between models; and predict where such differences may occur.