PhD Scholarship Opportunities at WiSAR under TU RISE

The WiSAR Lab at ATU are seeking applications for 2 fully funded PhD scholarships as part of the Innovation in Digital Manufacturing and Design (IDMD) Postgraduate research Training Programme (PRTP) collaboration with our industry partners:

(1) Integration of Body Worn Sensors and 5G/6G in Human Interfacing with Industry 4.0/5.0 Actuator Systems and Control

Supervised by: Nick Timmons, Sahar Saleh, and David Tormey

Campus Location: ATU Donegal

Proposed enterprise partner(s) and placement provider(s): Taoglas are a mid-sized global company with Irish roots that specializes in designing and manufacturing advanced RF components and solving complex connectivity problems in an array of IoT industries. Headquartered in Ireland with 9 locations worldwide, their diverse network of professionals is united by their passion for innovation.

Project Description: While industry automation increases there is still a need for high-level interaction by skilled operators. Standard interfaces are not available in all contexts, particularly in hazardous environments. In these situations, operators may need to wear specialised clothing which could be designed to incorporate wireless user interface systems. Safety and security may also necessitate tracking of individuals. Key topics: on-body communications, off-body communications, sensor-actuator integration, flexible antennae.

Objectives of the research project: Understand the development of wireless Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) network to track objects and humans in a large factory setting, in particular network topology, bandwidth, range, mobility, RF coverage, propagation issues.Investigate how the existing and emerging low power wireless narrow and ultra wideband technologies, such as 5G/6G, LPWAN, BLE, 802.15.4, 802.15.4a (UWB), IEEE 802.15.6 can be best adapted for efficient and reliable Human 2 Machine, Human 2 Human, and Machine 2 Machine connectivity. Show how ubiquitous wearable wireless connectivity will enhance security, safety and efficiency for the human operative in industrial environments. Develop comfortable low profile wearable devices with conformal, flexible and efficient antenna technology.

For informal enquires please contact Lead Supervisor – Dr. Nick Timmons Email: 

(2) 5G Indoor Positioning Utilizing Self-Morphing Wallpatch and Circular Polarization MIMO Transceiver for Smart Factories

Supervised by: Tale Saeidi, Nick Timmons, Sahar Saleh, and Saritha Unnikrishnan

Campus Location: ATU Donegal

Proposed enterprise partner(s) and placement provider(s): Zinkworks is a global leader in innovation, headquartered in Athlone, Ireland, with three offices locations worldwide. They utilise the latest cutting-edge technologies to bring industry-leading expertise to range of industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing and ICT.

Project Description: The smart factory epitomizes the pinnacle of digitization in manufacturing, featuring a highly digitized shop floor where data is continuously collected and shared among interconnected machines, devices, and production systems. This data is harnessed to optimize operations, improve production processes, boost productivity, and enhance responsiveness, aligning with the principles of Industry 4.0. Various IoT-related technologies, including telecommunication and transceiver systems like Bluetooth beacons and RFID readers, have been employed for decades in factories worldwide. These technologies assist localize manufacturing staff and products using wristbands, cards, pockets, cardholders, and safety helmets. However, they also have some drawbacks and challenges such as accuracy and reliability, real-time tracking, integration with automation systems, variability in product sizes and shapes, and collision avoidance, and environmental Conditions. Therefore, a robust communication system employing a lower 5G frequency band, special antennas, and self-morphing wall patches is required to address these challenges.  The following objectives and expected outcomes from this proposed project will align perfectly with the National Smart Specialisation Strategy for Innovation (S3) in North-West region, strengthening the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector to link national and regional enterprise and innovation policy, improve research and innovation capacity, encourage more regionally dispersed RD&I, and improve industry-academic collaboration.

Objectives of the research project:

  • Investigate factory or company challenges and requirements.
  • Design and build a compact multiband circular/dual-polarization MIMO Leaky Wave antenna for our communication system to increase coverage, data rate transmission in the workplace, and beam steering.
  • Design,3D print novel stick-on wall plates using polypropylene (PP), test them and measure their electrical and magnetic properties.
  • Apply PP, magnetic, and electrically responsive materials on patches. Use special solvers to make them factory-resistant to humidity and scratches.
  • Test the antenna’s performance and the wall patches in a real environment, considering path loss, blind spot coverage, and the localization of targets such as personnel or products. 

For informal enquires please contact Lead Supervisor – Dr. Tale Saeidi Email:

Further details on both scholarships can be found here

The project awards will include:

– An enterprise placement of minimum 12 weeks duration.
– A student stipend valued at €22,000 per annum
– Annual waivers of postgraduate tuition fee
– Extensive research training programme
– Support for travel, consumables and dissemination expenses

Applications must be made here by 5pm (Irish time) 29th April.

* Please select Innovation in Digital Manufacturing and Design under project selection. *

“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) Technological University Research and Innovation Supporting Enterprise, Scheme (TU RISE) is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021- 27 and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.”