Dear All,

I am offering an exciting PhD studentship at UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering, London, UK. If you have an interest in bioinspired robotics, body’s morphology and its mechanical properties and know about design, biomechanics, programming microcontrollers and MATLAB and have an excellent degree in a related field as well as a passion for a PhD, please send an email including your CV, cover letter (explaining why you are interested in this studentship), and a maximum 2-page research proposal (aligned with bioinspired robotics and embodied intelligence) to Dr Sara Adela Abad(

University: University College London
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Duration: 4 years
Closing Date: Open until filled

Due to the increasing global food demand, increasing natural and man-made disasters, and the significant amount of repetitive and hazardous tasks performed by humans, there is an increasing demand for robots for outdoor applications such as monitoring, rescue, farming, and space exploration. Nevertheless, there is a high variability of the environmental conditions and terrain type in tasks such as monitoring natural habitats, searching for victims after disasters, monitoring and removing weeds, monitoring nuclear facilities, and so on. This high variability limits the applicability of robotics for these tasks. Computing technologies and AI research have developed significantly in the last decades to improve the adaptability of robots to these changing conditions. Recent research in bioinspired robotics shows that the passive dynamics of the robot’s body and the body-environment interaction can also improve the robot’s adaptability to terrain conditions. Therefore, further development regarding the embodiment of robots is critical for achieving higher adaptability to environmental conditions.

Animals and plants show remarkable adaptability to their environment. Consequently, using a bioinspired approach, the candidate will investigate to what extent the body dynamics can contribute to the robot's adaptability to the environment. To achieve this aim, the candidate will use a multidisciplinary approach. The candidate is expected to work jointly with collaborators from other areas, such as biologists, veterinarians, and other relevant areas. During this project, the candidate will conduct the research employing a range of advanced computational, design and experimental approaches.

Person specification

Applicants should have a strong background (first-class undergraduate and master’s degrees or predicted) in an appropriate engineering discipline (e.g., Mechanical). Previous experience in programming, design, experimental techniques, and use of MATLAB, SOLIDWORKS. The candidate must be self-motivated, interested in multidisciplinary research, and take the lead in running the project. You must meet UCL English language requirements.

Financial support

Full tuition fees and maintenance stipend of £19,668/year (4 years).


The position is open to UK, EU and International students.
Please refer to the following website for full eligibility criteria: Mechanical Engineering MPhil/PhD(

Application and enquires

Any queries related to the position should be addressed to Dr Sara Adela Abad ( To apply for this position, please submit:
- CV (including at least two referees),
- cover letter (explaining why you are interested in this studentship), and
- a maximum 2-page research proposal (aligned with bioinspired robotics and embodied intelligence)
to Dr Sara Adela Abad ( ) by 15 December 2022. The position may be re-opened if we do not identify a suitable candidate in the first round. The studentship preferred start date is February 2023 or soon after.

Best wishes,

Dr Sara Adela Abad Guaman
Lecturer in Robotics, Control and Autonomous Systems
Policy Engagement and Impact Fellow
UCL IHE Impact Fellow

Mechanical Engineering Department
University College London,
504A Roberts Building, London WC1E 7JE
Email :
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