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PhD in Engineering: Quantitative evaluation of creativity using computational semantics

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 2 July 2019
Start date October 2018, January 2019, April 2019 or July 2019.
Duration 4 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships One

Creativity is regarded as one of the most desirable qualities; it involves divergent and convergent thinking.

Divergent thinking is particularly important in early stages of product design. It refers to associative and intuitive thought, and thinking that requires flexibility. It is the ability to develop many possible solutions to a problem, some of them unique and novel, which may, though, differ in their quality. Divergent thinking is measured using various models.

For example, the Guilford model uses fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration to measure how creative a person is. On the other hand, the taxonomy of creative design assesses how creative a work is. It classifies creative work as an imitation of another work, a variation on a single work, a combination of two or more works, a transformation of a work into a completely new form, or a creation that is previously unrecognisable.

Project aims and methods

The aim of this project is to develop computational methods based on semantics to measure how creative a person is in the context of the Guilford model and how creative a work is in the context of the taxonomy of creative design.The main innovation is in using computer vision and computational semantics to measure the semantic distance between concepts used in the creative output.

You will be expected to produce high quality journal articles for scientific publication during the course of your PhD and would be expected to participate and present your research in international conferences.

You will benefit from an excellent research training environment provided by the High-Value Manufacturing group led by Professor Rossi Setchi.


Funding details

Tuition fee support Other
Maintenance stipend The PhD studentship is self-funded for a period of 4 years. Some funding might be made available for attending international conferences, travel and research consumables.

Eligibility criteria

Residency Open to all students of any nationality without restrictions (UK/EU and International)
Academic criteria

You are expected to fulfil the following criteria in order to be considered for this position:

  1. A four year bachelor degree or a master degree in Engineering or Computer Science. You should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a Master’s degree.
  2. Excellent programming skills.
  3. Strong interest in AI and applying AI to practical engineering problems of industrial relevance.
  4. Excellent academic track record and communication skills. Relevant evidence includes a conference presentation or journal publication.

Please apply to the PhD in Engineering with a start date of October 2018, January 2019, April 2019 or July 2019.

In the “Research Proposal and Funding” section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Please include a CV as a supporting document with your application.

Applications will be accepted all year round until a suitable candidate is found.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Eligible research programmes

Eligible research areas