Next start date: 20 September 2021

Location: Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration: 36 months

The project is jointly funded by Bournemouth University and a Siemens’ company, Mentor Graphics. Siemens is a leader in this field globally. The successful candidate will be working closely with the company.

Vehicle electrical wire harness system design has increasingly become an essential and valuable part of the automotive industry. It is even more significant for electric vehicles and autonomous self-driving cars. Currently, the wiring harness is the third highest cost component in a car and the third heaviest component. The automotive wiring harness market, by value, is projected to grow to USD 55.4 billion by 2027 from USD 43.3 billion in 2019. Apart from sophisticated vehicle intelligent control and driver assistant system, the rising adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is another significant trend proliferating market growth.

Traditionally the design of vehicle electrical systems has been done using classic 2D CAD applications and the manual or semi-manual authoring of wiring schematic diagrams. However, designing a vehicle electrical system has become extremely complicated, time-consuming and expensive, and in some cases, impossible to do it manually. Some modern vehicles contain close to 40 different harnesses, over 3000 wires and 700 connectors. If put into a continuous line, those wires would surpass a length of 4km and weigh approximately 60kg. In addition, there can be more than 70 different specific types of cables, such as high-speed data cables, coax cables, and USB cables. In addition, there are other factors that can affect the performance of the system to be considered, e.g. electromagnetic interference, crosstalk, and signal attenuation. It is difficult or even impossible for the task to be done manually.

Methods are required to augment or automate the design process to consistently produce optimal solutions. However, despite numerous technological advancements in the field of the automotive industry, there is still limited progress in this particular subject. Existing techniques have not been adopted widely in the industry due to many drawbacks. Normally, the search spaces required are too large, and they do not use information from existing workable wiring systems to make the process more efficient and to narrow down the search space to find the optimal solution.

Therefore, to address the problem, the aim of the project is to develop a new artificial intelligent technique for the automatic and optimal design of vehicle electrical systems.

The candidate will be based at Mentor Graphics in Newbury, UK.

This is a fully-funded PhD studentship which includes a stipend of £15, 450 each year to support your living costs.

This project is conditional upon the funding being secured.

Project details

Academic Impact

This research project and its underlying publications will lead to a REF case study. This research falls under the REF UoA11 area and will help develop a practical system. The work done as part of this PhD can lead to a prototype system to be used and further developed in the industry, especially at Siemens. We foresee that this PhD project will open a new research direction and increase BU’s and Montor/Siemens’ presence in this emerging research area. The project will be part of Dr Prakoonwit’s team of applied AI which currently has four funded projects.

Societal Impact

Vehicle electrical wire harness system design has increasingly become an essential and valuable part of the automotive industry. It is even more significant for electric vehicles an autonomous self-driving cars. Currently, the wiring harness is the third highest cost component in a car and the third heaviest component. Apart from sophisticated vehicle intelligent control and driver assistant system, rising adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is another significant trend proliferating market growth (Hoff and Scott, 2019). Judging from the statistics, it is predicted that there is a high demand for such a system/method proposed to be developed in this project. The partner company in this project will directly benefit from the proposed system. The method can be used in many other industries.

View full project description or make an application

Entry Requirements

Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA), or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent. If English is not your first language you’ll need IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent). For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you’ll need IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent).

Funding Notes

A fully-funded Studentship includes a maintenance grant of £15,450 per year to contribute towards living expenses during the course of your research, as well as a fee waiver for 36 months.

Associated costs, such as for fieldwork and conference attendance, will also be met under the Studentship.

Funding Information

Funding applies to:

UK/EU and International students

Application Deadline:

25 May 2021

Please see our website for how to apply:
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