Research Degrees

Doctoral Training Awards

Home/EU Fees + £13,300 maintenance (with increments for a maximum of 3 years), Average 4 awards per year, available to UK & EU Students only.

Criteria: Open to UK nationals (fees and maintenance) and EU residents (fees only). Applicants will need to hold, or be expecting to be awarded a first class honours degree or distinction level MSc in Electrical / Electronic Engineering or related subject.

For a more comprehensive list of criteria or other information, please contact the Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Glynn Atkinson (

If you are interested in applying for a DTA to finance your PhD studies, you should apply through the University online application system, which can be found at

On your application you will need to indicate that you wish to apply for a DTA scholarship, as well as indicate the research area and research group you wish to join. Applications will be judged in terms of your qualifications and the quality of the available projects in your chosen area.

List of current DTA projects - May 2012

Prof A G O'Neill - Energy Harvesting for Nanoelectronics

The project will investigate the use of ferroelectrics with carefully engineered contacts onto flexible surfaces to assess their potential as a means of generating energy for ultra low power electronic circuits. The project includes deposition of thin ferroelectric films with extensive material and electrical characterisation.

Prof N G Wright - Nanowire gas sensors

The project aims to develop highly sensitive gas sensors using a novel technology - conductive nanowires. In a collaboration between Electrical Engineering, Chemistry and Alphasense UK (a leading gas sensor manufacturer) - the nanowires are prepared by a templating reaction on DNA molecules and aligned between contact electrodes. The nanowire conductance responds to adsorption of gas because of their large specific surface area - the project will investigate how different gases affect the electrical properties of these nanowire devices.

Dr P Degenaar - Optoelectronic retinal prosthesis

This project involves developing new electronic processing architecture for optoelectronics retinal prosthesis. This exciting interdisciplinary project will utilise advanced CMOS and Gallium Nitride architectures for optical neural stimulation mixed with multi-core GPU programmable systems for retinal processing. It will link with the optoneuro EU project

J A Neasham - Environmentally friendly subsea acoustic communication devices

Wireless communication subsea relies on acoustic signal transmission but there is increasing concern about the impact of high power acoustic emissions on marine life. We have a PhD opportunity to study the design of subsea acoustic communication devices which emit very low power (~100mW) but use high ratio spread spectrum modulation to allow data to be extracted from signals hidden well below the background noise at ranges of several km. The project will build on successful pilot experiments in the North Sea to investigate advanced receiver designs and power efficient hardware implementation of computationally complex algorithms.

Prof G Y Tian - Sensors and their applications

The School of EEE, Newcastle University, has an excellent reputation for sensor devices, sensor systems and their application to non-invasive measurement, non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring. Current projects involve collaboration with major companies in industries such as airspace, oil & gas, railway, renewable energy, nuclear, manufacture, defence and medicine. Candidates, joining our team, are expected to contribute intelligent monitoring systems comprising of novel RFID sensors, waveguides, energy harvesting, modelling and simulation, communication schemes and protocols etc.

Prof B C Mecrow - Electrical Power

We are leading research in electrical power generation and utilisation, with one of the UKs largest academic teams. There are opportunities for PhD studentships on topics ranging from power electronics, through control to electrical machines, in the following areas: renewable power generation; electric vehicle traction systems; high reliability actuation systems for future more electric aircraft; leading edge consumer products. In all these areas we are working in close collaboration with world leading companies, who may become closely involved with your research studies.

Prof A Yakovlev - Concurrent system synthesis for future many-core architectures.

The outcome of this project will be novel theories, algorithms and prototypes for concurrent system synthesis for future compilers of concurrent programs for multi-core systems, intimately aware of the processing and storage resources, various environmental conditions such as power and thermal, reliability factors such as failure rates and redundancy techniques.

Dr G Russell - Ultra low power and high resilience system design on MEMS devices

The project will investigate a novel approach to the implementation of low leakage robust electronic circuits. The design approach will use switching networks based on nanorelays and recent CMOS MEMS processes. The overall outcome will be a library of basic components to be used to implement an ALU and microcontroller.