PhD opportunities

Asset Management is an area that has vast opportunities for PhD research.

PhD Studentship in Distributed Intelligence and Asset Management


A PhD studentship is available to work on the Next Generation Converged Digital Infrastructure project funded by EPSRC and BT. The student will work with the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) at the Institute for Manufacturing. One of the key areas of focus for the project is the development of autonomic system in which software agents mirror or twin with physical nodes. This focusses on the development of the 'knowledge layer' - an architecture for control of the network of service and communications nodes. Drawing from knowledge and experience in the domains of cyber-physical systems and industrial internet of things, a blueprint of the autonomic system in which software agents mirror or twin with physical nodes will be developed. Another aspect of this research is to examine how to bring these capabilities together to improve organisational performance through improved service assurance and enhancing organisational capabilities. Specifically, research will be carried out to develop and apply techniques to enable autonomous decision-making for improving service performance through condition-monitoring, predictive maintenance and spares management.


Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in Engineering or Physical Sciences.


This studentship will cover UK/EU-level University fees and a maintenance allowance of at least £14,777 per year.


Applications should be submitted via the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions web pages, with Dr Ajith Parlikad identified as the potential supervisor.




Other areas for research


We are open to exciting new ideas from our potential applicants. A list of suggested (not exhaustive) topics is shown below:  


Management of complex systems

  • Prognostics and health management of systems
  • Development of a system health index
  • Maintenance optimisation of diverse asset portfolios
  • Optimising value realisation from asset fleets

Asset Information

  • The role of Big Data in asset management
  • Exploiting IoT and social media for asset management
  • BIM and Asset Management 
  • Digital twins for asset management

Funding in these areas may be available at EPSRC levels for UK students. For overseas students, funding might be available through the Cambridge International Scholarship Scheme. Potential applicants are also encouraged to visit the Cambridge Trust website and the university's website on graduate funding for more information regarding funding opportunities. 




Initial inquiries should be directed to Ajith Parlikad E:



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