The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

About the CDT

NEXUSS is a Centre for Doctoral Training in the use of Smart and Autonomous Observing Systems (SAOS) to tackle major challenges in the environmental sciences where progress requires real-time, continuous, sustained and high-resolution observations. PhD projects are designed to be at the forefront of SAOS development with application to a topical environmental science problem. NEXUSS projects are distinct from most environmental science PhD projects in that the doctoral research contains a strong ‘smart’ or ‘autonomous’ component, involving the application of novel engineering or Big Data technology or approaches to environmental science, including but not limited to the use of autonomous platforms, integration and validation of novel sensors, application of innovative Big Data analytical techniques. Supervisory teams include both scientists and engineers. 

The CDT is funded by both the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and is a joint venture between the University of Southampton (UoS, lead partner), British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Heriot-Watt University (HWU), National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and University of East Anglia (UEA). Partners and associate partners are also listed on the Partnership page. The NEXUSS Partnership is at the forefront of UK research and training excellence in the development and environmental application of SAOS.

NEXUSS supports a cohort of at least 10 PhD students per year, where research by students is undertaken at one or several of the NEXUSS partners. Unique elements of the NEXUSS CDT include a bespoke training programme centred on SAOS culminating in a Grand Challenge event. There are additionally opportunities for placements at international research organisations and industrial and policy partners.

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