Project code



School of Energy and Electronic Engineering

Start dates

February and October

Closing date

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part-time PhD project, to commence in February or October. 

 The PhD will be based in the School of Energy and Electronics and will be supervised by Branislav Vuksanovic, Dr Mohamed Al-Mosawi (ECR) and Dr Maria Machimbarrena (University of Valladolid, Spain).

Levels of acoustic noise in intensive care units (ICUs) in hospitals are excessively high, in many cases far above the levels recommended by WHO (World Health Organisations). This situation negatively affects both staff and patients in the units.

The initial aim of this project is to perform extensive set of acoustical measurements in order to accurately measure and assess the levels and even more importantly for this project, characteristics of acoustic noise in ICUs in hospitals. Following this, a second aim of the project is to design, develop and implement strategies and techniques to tackle and reduce the noise in ICUs in order to maintain it below the recommended levels.

The project is multidisciplinary in nature. The methods to be implemented and tested include creating awareness and triggering changes in staff behaviour and operation of equipment in the units as well as designing, implementing and assessing passive means of noise control. Finally, project will focus on development and evaluation of novel, state of the art, active noise control systems designed, and custom built for this particular problem.

Proposed project will build on the work done over the spring-summer 2018 period, under the University of Portsmouth TRIF grant award. During this time, preliminary acoustic measurements in the Queen Alexandra and Valladolid hospitals have been completed. In addition to that basic acoustic simulations as well as a single channel active noise control system have been developed and partially tested and evaluated. Results have been reported in the journal paper recently submitted and accepted for the publication. Continuation of this work would fit perfectly into a scope of a PhD project described in the rest of this application.

In the final stage of the project, the objective is to assess the impact of the implemented methods and to evaluate the effects on patients and staff in the ICUs.

Fees and funding

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

2022/2023 fees (applicable for October 2022, February and April 2023 start) 

PhD and MPhil

UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students 

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

EU students
(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £4,596 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £2,298 (may be subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Full-time: £18,300 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • Part-time and part-time distance learning: £9,150 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2022/23 please visit this page.

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an Civil Engineering or related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

A good degree in Electronic Engineering is essential. A MSc in the same subject would be preferred, including knowledge and skills in digital signal processing and real-time microprocessor programming.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Brainslav Vuksanovic to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code ENGN4550219.

When you're ready to apply, you can use our online application form and select ‘Energy and Electronic Engineering’ as the subject area. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  

Our How to Apply page also offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

October start

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February start

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