Joint PhD Scholarship Between The University Of Adelaide And The University Of Nottingham (EU/UK/...

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Nottingham, SCOTLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 Aug 2020

Are you planning to embark on a PhD? Have you heard of the Joint PhD program between the University of Adelaide and the University of Nottingham? The Universities work closely together on many of the world's most pressing challenges such as food security, climate change and health and medicine. By joining the program, you will gain an international outlook and build an international network, essential in today’s globalised job market. You will also spend time and have access to the research strengths of two globally leading research-intensive universities, the University of Adelaide and the University of Nottingham, UK. This program is run in the UK by Professor Ian Fisk at the University of Nottingham, and at the University of Adelaide by A.P Christopher Ford.

Please note that due to current travel restrictions for all projects you are also able to start your PhD at either University. Click here for further information:

How does it work?

The University of Adelaide (UofA) will be your home institution and the University of Nottingham (UofN) will be your host. During your time overseas, you will be based at a Nottingham campus in the UK, China (near Shanghai), or Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Typically, you will begin your PhD at UofA, however due to current travel restrictions you can also start your project at the University of Nottingham, UK. Your project will be co-supervised by both UofA and UofN academics. After your first year you will spend a minimum of 12 months at the partner university (in one or several blocks). Importantly, you will be eligible for training courses and additional travel grants from both institutions. You’ll undertake your examination, including an oral defence at UofA. Graduates of the program receive a single doctoral degree jointly awarded by both institutions.

What’s on offer?

Fully funded PhD scholarships for up to 4 years and some travel support to start in 2020 in the area of Sustainable Agri-Food Systems for Global Nutrition.

Digital flavour assessment systems offer predictive models for explaining associations between a food’s chemical characteristics and its perceived flavour. Next generation digital sensing will measure a boarder range of “senses” simultaneously, and when incorporated with Machine Learning (ML), these tools will truly digitise multiple, complementary sensory modalities: sight (machine vision), smell (chemical fingerprinting of volatile aroma compounds), taste and mouthfeel (electronic sensing of non-volatile flavour compounds).

We will use hyperspectral imaging, MS-MS-Nose, E-tongue, ultrasonic sensors and Ab-Fl-Aqualog to predict flavour profiles and consumer perception and preference. Cutting-edge ML (AIML-UA) based on new-generation deep techniques and built upon artificial neural networks, will process data from multiple modalities, e.g. measured and perceived flavour attributes, 2D and 3D images, free text. Multiple training strategies, such as supervised, unsupervised and semi-supervised learning, to train the network under different data formats will advance a true understanding of the chemistry-sensory nexus.

This unique synergy of technologies will open new opportunities for a range of food and beverage industries (e.g. wine, spirits, tea, coffee, fruits, vegetables, and snacks). Ultimately, the resultant technologies will be reverse engineered for real time manufacture and models utilised for product optimisation.

The result of this work will give companies a greater understanding of their product and competitors; increased insight into consumer behaviour, enhanced consumer engagement and satisfaction through social media platforms; more rapid product development and lower cost product formulation. Furthermore, the tool will increase consistency between seasons and be used to enhance traceability and authentication of provenance across the supply chain.

Year 1 UA- Literature review; Development of Machine Learning tools; Data scraping of existing internal and external data sets; implementation and validation of model

Year 2 UA-Case Study 1-3: (1) Wine, (2) tea and (3) spirits - basic chemistry, polyphenolic chemistry, CieLab, Aqualog, flavour chemistry; sensory and consumer trials and initial insights into social media applications.

Year 3 UN - A wider range of materials will be tested, Case Study 3-5: (3) coffee, (4) seasonal fruits (e.g. apples), (5) soft gummy sweets and sensors (hyperspectral imaging, ultrasonic, E-tongue) will be tested using machine learning capabilities developed in year 1 and integrated with affiliated industrial partners and social media engagement platforms

Year 4 UN/UA - Extension work focussing on truly hyphenating sensing technologies and identifying novel external routes for application; thesis preparation and viva

This unique synergy of expertise and techniques is available only through the University of Nottingham and University of Adelaide. Joint PhD partnerships enable true collaboration between multiple world leading research groups and academics: Food Chemistry and Engineering (UN) [Professor Ian Fisk, Dr Nicholas Watson], Wine and Food Sensory and Consumer Science (UA) [Associate Professor Sue Bastian] and Machine Learning (Australian Institute for Machine Learning-UA) [Dr Lingqaio Liu, Prof Javen Shi].

The successful student will be trained in flavour chemistry, food engineering, wine science, sensory and consumer science, cutting-edge machine learning and a wide range of complex data management tools. Furthermore, they will be strongly mentored and develop unique skills in managing complex research projects across multiple countries, enhanced communication skills and delivering research impact through affiliated food companies. Ultimately, the findings from this research project are expected to reshape the food and beverage sector and develop new business opportunities.


Please include details of the project(s) that you are interested in applying for, a copy of your CV and academic transcript; if international, also the relevant English Language qualifications and contact: Christopher Ford at the University of Adelaide

Assoc. Prof. Christopher M Ford

Deputy Head of School (International) School of Agriculture Food and Wine, University of Adelaide Tel: +618 8313 7386

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