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MPhil and PhD Research Degrees



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What Our Students Say:

"The research community in the department is also very welcoming and there's always opportunities and events happening to engage with other people's research or gain skills in a huge range of areas from statistics to paper writing to presenting." Naomi Gildert

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Programme Overview

The MPhil and PhD degree programmes enable students to study a chosen area of research with leading researchers in the Department. These degrees are awarded in either Electronic Engineering or Music Technology following the successful submission of a thesis and subsequent oral examination. The PhD degree is a three year full-time or six year part-time programme. The MPhil is a two-year full-time (or four-year part-time) research programme that is undertaken and examined in a similar way to the PhD, but of a smaller body of work.

All PhD and MPhil students are subject to formal reviews of progress. The purpose of formal reviews of progress is to ensure that students are making satisfactory progress with their research project and other elements of their PhD or MPhil programme.  The progress of all research students is continually guided by a supervisor and a thesis advisory panel.

All PhD students take part in the Departmental PhD Conference held each year.  The two day conference includes a first year presentation session, second year poster competition and third year seminars. These sessions are designed to give students experience in presenting their research - it gives the opportunity to prepare a talk, face an audience, and answer questions. The overall intention is to give research students the opportunity to develop both oral and written communications skills which are essential in a modern engineering environment.

Students often have the opportunity to present their work at UK and overseas conferences and their work is frequently published in international journals. The department provides a conference travel fund to enable each PhD student to attend an international conference to present their work, during their period of registration with us. Students apply to the fund with their supervisor. (In exceptional circumstances the department reserves the right to change or amend the travel fund arrangements as and when necessary.)

Research Projects

As part of any application for a research degree you have to name one or more academic staff who could supervise your research. Have a look through the staff list which gives a brief description of staff research interests and use this along with the example projects to identify a potential supervisor(s).

Research students are also encouraged to take advanced taught courses in Electronic Engineering to help fill any gaps in the background knowledge required for the research project. The choice of courses taken will be made together with the supervisor, at the beginning of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

Electronic engineering is a wide-ranging subject and enquiries are welcomed from well-qualified graduates and final-year undergraduates in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Music Technology or a closely related subject. Applicants are normally expected to hold (or expected to gain) the equivalent of a 2:1 honours degree or above in a relevant subject. Please contact us if you need any advice on the suitability of your qualifications.

For applicants whose native language is not English, the minimum University English language requirements of IELTS 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each of the four language components) or the equivalent are expected.



All full-time postgraduate research students are allocated a desk space in the department with a PC for the duration of their full-time programme. Dependent on their project, students might also use some of the department's other facilities, including NAMAS-accredited EMC measurement facilities, Clean Room, well-equipped music and media technology suites, anechoic chambers, BioWall, Robot Lab and specialised software for FPGA design.

Staff Research Interests

Staff Research Interests

As part of any application for a research degree you have to name one or more academic staff who could supervise your research. This list gives a brief description of staff research interests, which you can use along with the research group pages and example projects to identify a potential supervisor(s).

Hamed Ahmadi, PhD (NUS, Singapore), Senior MIEEE
Next generation of Mobile networks (6G); machine learning in wireless networks; airborne and UAV networks; Digital twins; Internet-of-Things (IoT); self-organizing networks; Blockchain and Smart Contracts.

Eugene Avrutin, PhD (Ioffe), MIET, MIEEE
Theory and numerical modelling and design of photonic devices and subsystems

Alister Burr, PhD (Bristol), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
Wireless communications; turbo codes; MIMO; wireless network coding new waveforms

Manish Chauhan, PhD (Italy)
Biomedical Engineering, Medical robotics; Minimally invasive surgery; medical devices; Soft robotics; medical biology, Bioinformatics analysis.

Kanapathippillai Cumanan, PhD (Loughborough), MIEE, MIET
5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT); Physical layer security; non-orthogonal multiple access; cognitive radio networks; MIMO

Helena Daffern, PhD (York)
Singing science and pedagogy; voice and musical performance analysis and perception

John Dawson, DPhil (York), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
Electromagnetic compatibility; shielding; reverberation chambers; computational modelling; circuit effects; antennas

Mahmoud Dhimish, PhD (Huddersfield), PGCert, FHEA, MIET, MIEEE
Renewable Energy; Solar photovoltaic technologies; Artificial intelligence; power electronics

Jeremy Everard, PhD (Cambridge), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
RF/microwaves; compact atomic clocks; low phase noise oscillators;ultra-fast opto-electronics

David Grace, DPhil (York), MIET, Senior MIEEE
Cognitive radio; radio resource management; communications from high altitude platforms

David Halliday, PhD (Glasgow)
Computational neuroscience; spiking neural networks; neural signal processing

Atsufumi Hirohata, PhD (Cambridge), Senior MIEEE
Spintronics; nano-scale and quantum magnetism; nanoelectronics

Steven Johnson, DPhil (York)
Molecular and biomolecular electronics; nanoelectronic devices; nanofabrication

Gavin Kearney, PhD (Trinity College Dublin), FHEA, MAES
Spatial audio; music technology; interactive audio systems; audio for virtual reality

Youngwook Ko, PhD (Arizona), Senior MIEEE
Machine type communications; new waveform designs for 5G and beyond; machine learning-driven communications

Paul Mitchell, PhD (York), MIET, Senior MIEEE, FHEA
Wireless communications; resource management; terrestrial radio systems; underwater acoustic networks

Damian Murphy, DPhil (York), FHEA
Virtual acoustic modelling; auralisation; spatial audio; music technology

Adar Pelah, ScMEE, PhD (Cambridge)
Biomedical engineering; virtual environments; human vision and locomotion; 3D displays

Mark Post, PhD (York, Canada)
Robotics and mechatronics; autonomous systems; sensing and control

Stuart Porter, DPhil (York), AMIET, MIEEE
Computational electromagnetics; antenna design; RF MEMS bioelectromagnetics

John Robinson, PhD (Essex), FIET, Senior MIEEE
Image and video processing; pattern analysis

Martin Robinson, PhD (Bristol), MIPEM, MInstP
Medical applications of electromagnetic waves; dielectrics; interference; shielding

Stephen Smith, PhD (Kent), CEng, FBCS, MIEEE
Evolutionary computation; medical applications; rich media technologies

Gianluca Tempesti, MSE, PhD (EPFL), MIEEE
Bio-inspired hardware; fault tolerance; adaptive and reconfigurable systems; many-core systems

Zion Tse, PhD (Imperial)
Medical robotics; computer-aided surgery; medical devices; image-guided therapy; mobile health; Internet of Things; medical imaging

Martin Trefzer, PhD (Heidelberg), Senior MIEEE
Bio-inspired hardware; fault tolerance; nanodevices; autonomous adaptive systems

Andy Tyrrell, PhD (Aston), CEng, FIET, Senior MIEEE
Evolvable hardware; FPGA/reconfigurable systems; artificial immune systems; microelectronics design

Tony Ward, MBA (OU), CEng, MIET, MIEEE
Engineering education; virtual learning; workforce planning;education and enterprise

Yongbing Xu, PhD (Leeds), MIET, MIoNanotech
Nanotechnology; spintronics; magnetic nanomaterials; nanodevice and nanofabrication

Yuriy Zakharov, PhD (Moscow), Senior MIEEE
Signal processing for communications and acoustics

Chun Zhao, PhD (Southampton), MInstP, Senior MIEEE
MEMS/NEMS; sensors; resonators; energy harvesters; micro-/nano-fabrication; analogue and digital circuits

Xing Zhao, PhD (HKPolyU), BEng, MIEEE
Electric Vehicles; Electrical Machines; Wireless Charging; Artificial Intelligence

Careers & Destinations

Careers and Graduate Destinations

Being a research student in the department isn't just about producing a piece of academic work. It's also about developing skills that will help you succeed in your chosen career whether you choose to stay in academia or move into industry. To find out more visit our Careers and Destinations page and read some of our graduate profiles.

Any questions?

Postgraduate Admissions Enquiries
Kate Bate and Liz Richardson - 

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
Professor Stephen Smith - 

+44 (0)1904 324485