PhD Studentship in AI Hardware Accelerators

University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science

PhD Studentship in AI Hardware Accelerators

Agents, Interactions & Complexity

Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date: Friday 05 June 2020

Reference: 1263220FP

Supervisor: Themis Prodromakis, Geoff Merret and Alexander Serb

Project description

The aim of this PhD studentship is to develop ultra-low power AI hardware accelerators that can be used for delivering advanced computing capabilities at the edge. Opportunities exist for working collaboratively with world-leading industry for benchmarking such systems in practical applications. The project covers a wide spectrum of experimental research, including mixed-signal IC and/or embedded design, machine learning and neuromorphic engineering. These novel AI hardware accelerators can be used in a variety of applications ranging from IoT, robotics, autonomous vehicles, biomedical devices and data centres. The PhD student will have the opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary team and to be trained and work in the world-class facilities of the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics. 


  • Prof Themis Prodromakis – expert in AI Hardware.

  • Prof Geoff Merret – expert in low-power design.

  • Dr Alexander Serb – expert in Nanoelectronics.

This project is funded through the UKRI MINDS Centre for Doctoral Training ( This is one of 16 PhD training centres in the UK with a unique focus on advancing AI techniques in the context of real-world engineered systems with a remit that spans novel hardware for AI, AI and machine learning, pervasive systems and IoT, and human-AI collaboration. We provide enhanced cross-disciplinary training in electronics and AI, entrepreneurship, responsible research and innovation, communication strategies, outreach and impact development as part of an integrated 4-year iPhD programme. 

The MINDS CDT is based in a dedicated laboratory on Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton. The lab provides a supportive environment for individual research, ideas sharing and collaboration, and the wider campus provides access to substantial high-performance computing (including dedicated GPU servers), maker and cleanroom facilities. You will take part in our annual, student-designed innovation camps, be able to work with industry and government partners through our internship scheme and be able to take part in exchanges with international university partners.

Funding: full tuition for EU/UK Students plus, for UK and EU students resident in the UK for previous 3 years, an enhanced stipend of £18,285, tax-free per annum for 4 years. years. 

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: no later than 5 June 2020 for entry in October 2020. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, select the academic session 2020-21 “PhD MINDS” as the programme. Enter AI hardware accelerators under the Topic or Field of Research.

Applications should include: 

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: