Advanced autonomy for unmanned vehicles - PhD scholarship


Enrolment status New students
Student type Domestic students, International students
Level of study Higher Degree by Research
Study area Engineering and Computing
HDR funding type Living stipend scholarship, Tuition Scholarship
Scholarship value $28,092 per annum tax free (2020 rate), indexed annually.
Scholarship duration Three years with the possibility of two 6-month extensions in approved circumstances.
Opening date 27 August 2019
Closing date 28 October 2019

Scholarship description

Nowadays, the complexity in the design of robotic systems increases enormously since human beings desire a higher level of intelligence and autonomy. The developed systems must be capable of autonomously adapting to the variations in the operating environment while maintaining the overall objective to accomplish tasks even in highly uncertain and unstructured environments. Such robotic systems must display the ability to learn from experience, adapt themselves to the changing environment, and seamlessly integrate information to-and-from humans.

The doctoral student will work in the intersection of the areas of robotics and automatic control. We are looking for a qualified and enthusiastic PhD student who wishes to investigate the embedded guidance, control, and navigation algorithms (e.g., model predictive control, adaptive control, and concurrent learning) for unmanned ground vehicles.  We aim to leverage the current state-of-the-art autonomy level towards smarter robots, which can learn and interact with their environment, collaborate with people and other robots, plan their future actions, and execute the given task accurately.


To be eligible, you must meet the entry requirements for a higher degree by research.

Applications are closed.

Before you apply

If this scholarship has rules, download and read them before applying.

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow the link on the upper right hand side of this page. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will be given the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Prior to applying, check your eligibility and prepare your documentation.

You should also contact Dr Erkan Kayacan ( to discuss your suitability for this scholarship prior to submitting an application.

Applications should contain the following documents:

  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • A motivation letter, including a brief description of past experience
  • Copies of diploma and transcripts of Bachelor and Master degrees.
  • At least three references available to contact.

Please ensure that you

  1. select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'
  2. enter in the free-text field ‘AAUV’
  3. list the enrolling unit as the School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering
  4. enter Dr Erkan Kayacan as your supervisor

Selection criteria


  • Hold a Master degree in Mechanical, Mechatronics, Electrical Engineering or related fields.
  • Strong background on control theory and robotics
  • Excellent verbal and writing skills in English with very good communication skills


  • Experience in model-based control theory
  • Hands-on experience on robotic systems
  • Experience in Robot Operating System (ROS)
  • Concrete knowledge in C/C++ or Pyton
  • Demonstration of research activities (conference or journal papers)
Applications are closed.


Dr Erkan Kayacan
+61 7 3365 4673
Applications are closed.

Terms and conditions

Read the policy on UQ Research Scholarships.

A domestic part-time student with carer’s responsibilities, a medical condition or a disability, which prevents them from studying full time may be eligible for scholarship consideration, on a case by case basis.

Applications are closed.