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A Ph.D. studentship opportunity for doing research on immersive technology, AI and digital twins for BT’s network, working with Dr. Michael Gardner and Dr. Anasol Pena-Rios as part of BT’s collaboration with the University of Essex.

Application deadline: 9 August 2019
Start date: October 2019
Duration: 3 years (full time)
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering


A digital twin is a digital representation of a real-world entity or system that mirrors a unique physical object. Data from multiple digital twins can be aggregated for a composite view across a number of real world. Digital twins could enhance data insights and improve decision making by their ability of collecting and visualising real-time data, enabling smart analytics and customised rules to effectively achieve business objectives.

Digital twins could consolidate massive amounts of information on individual assets and groups of assets, providing monitoring and control of those assets. For example, operations managers could use them for real-time monitoring, for advances simulation, or for cost-benefit analysis of risks; developing new business models.

Furthermore, twins could be able to communicate with one another to create digital models of multiple linked digital twins. Digital twins are built on the concept that virtual asset models coexist and are connected to real assets; however, this concept isn’t limited to assets (or things). It could be possible to include digital analogies of real-world elements based on metadata structures, connecting these digital representations/models to their real-world counterparts.

Therefore, digital twins of assets could be linked to other digital entities for people (digital personas), processes (law enforcement) and spaces (digital cities). Understanding the links across these digital entities, isolating elements where needed and tracking interactions will be vital to support a secure digital environment. Using AI-based models could create mixed reality environments for advanced simulation, operations and analysis.

The project

The Ph.D. project aims to investigate the applications of digital twins to support BT business operating models, focusing on advanced simulation (e.g. smart building/assets simulation), operation and data analysis.

The studentship will be part of the Intelligent Embedded Systems and Environments (IESE) research group in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) at the University of Essex. However, the successful candidate will be expected to split their time between the University of Essex campus and also work at BT’s research and development site at Adastral Park, Ipswich.


The award consists of a full Home/EU or overseas fee waiver (further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email the supervisor, Dr. Michael Gardner (

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Campus/Location: University Park Campus
Date Announced: 27 June 2019
Date Closing: open until filled
Job Number: 88810
Work Unit: Information Technology
Department: Teaching and Learning with Technology (for the Center for Immersive Experiences)


The Center for Immersive Experiences at The Pennsylvania State University (, in collaboration with other units at Penn State (such as ChoroPhronesis,, and Teaching and Learning with Technology), is hiring up to three Post-Doctoral Researchers focusing on areas such as immersive analytics, immersive learning, immersive decision-making, or serious games. The postdocs will be working in vibrant multidisciplinary teams that are addressing a range of topics that see transformative changes due to the paradigm shifting nature of immersive technologies. Example topics may include empirically validating immersive technologies across the academic spectrum; designing Immersive technologies for environmental decision making; exploring scientific foundations of immersive technologies. The Postdocs will be coordinated through the Center for Immersive Experiences at Penn State (Director: Dr. Alexander Klippel) but will work across projects at The Pennsylvania State University. Ongoing projects include: The Science of Being There – Immersive Virtual Field Trips for Geospatial Sciences; Visualizing Forest Futures – VIFF; Visualization and Access to Informal Settlements through Immersive Experiences; Transforming Education through Immersive Technologies; Immersive Storytelling for General Education Across the Academic Spectrum; Digital Innovation through Immersive Technologies: Establishing New Paradigms for Environmental Decision Support. Postdocs can have a range of qualifications and can come from several different backgrounds such as computer science, engineering, GIScience, landscape architecture/architecture, education, or psychology. Any subset of the list below is possible, but a strong focus is placed on technical skills as well as skill related to the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of immersive technologies. The ideal candidate must be adaptable, capable of thriving in a rapidly changing environment, where new approaches and technologies may change quickly. Qualifications include: 3D modeling and visualization skills (modeling for real time rendering a plus); programming skills (in particular C#); experience in the development of software for commercial or open source applications; code management system such as git; application development with game engines such as Unity3D and Unreal Engine; experience in learning assessment; experience in the design of experimental evaluations of (immersive) learning; communication skills for interacting with academics, instructional designers and others across the academic spectrum. The initial appointment is intended for 12 months but excellent options for an annual renewal exist depending on performance. The start date is envisioned for the fall 2019 and can be as early as September 1, 2019. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The positions are full-time, benefits-eligible academic professional on a 12-month service basis. Eligibility for benefits are contingent on your citizenship or work authorization. The following documents are required for the application: Cover letter (no more than 2 pages), CV/Resume, link to a portfolio of projects/experiences (if applicable), up to three scientific publications, three academic references (letter writers). For questions about the positions please contact Dr. Klippel ( Application materials should be uploaded through

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Campus/Location: University Park Campus
Date Announced: 21 may 2019
Date Closing: 30 July 2019
Job Number: 87979
Work Unit: Information Technology
Department: Teaching and Learning with Technology
Full/Part Time: Full–Time


The Center for Immersive Experiences (CIE) is seeking an experienced software developer to complement our team to create the next generation of cutting edge immersive experiences (xR) for academic applications. Day-to-day, the successful candidate will be expected to rapidly prototype and test new ideas, interfaces and interaction mechanics, as well as create fully realized production quality applications for deployment in academic environments. This job will be filled as a level 2 or level 3, depending upon the successful candidate’s competencies, education, and experience. Typically requires an Associate’s degree or higher plus two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience for a level 2. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. Strong preference will be given to candidates who have experience crafting media assets to support their unity development efforts. A familiarity with and excitement for the latest generation of consumer virtual reality technology (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Valve Index, HoloLens 2, etc.) is highly desirable. Applicants should have experience developing custom content in the Unity or Unreal game engines, as well as familiarity with used platforms such a Blender. The successful candidate will need to be a versatile performer, capable of independent problem solving and creative thinking, while being equally comfortable working as a part of a multidisciplinary team. The successful candidate will be comfortable working in a rapidly evolving environment where tools and technologies may change quickly and problems rarely have clearly defined solutions. All candidates for this position should be prepared to submit a portfolio of relevant work along with their application materials. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.

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