VC International Scholarship in Effective and Secure Traffic Monitoring for Air Quality Control and Situational Awareness for Well-being

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    Cardiff University
    United Kingdom
    Formal sciences
    Natural sciences


Many people living in developing countries face serious problems of poor air quality (AQ) due to vehicle traffic. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 97% of cities in low-and-middle income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality standards (WHO Global Ambient Air Quality Database, update 2018). As per the Sustainable Mobility for All initiative (SuM4All), low and middle-income countries pay the highest price, countries with a relatively low GDP per capita tend to see higher concentrations of PM2.5, a type of particulate matter generated primarily by road traffic. As a consequence, a majority experience health issues and their life expectancy decreases drastically. This work aims to tackle poor AQ through improved real-time vehicle traffic management in a secure manner while keeping privacy intact, improve health and well-being, and boost infrastructure development for sustainable cities.

The School of Computer Science & Informatics has a strong emphasis on cyber security research due to recent grants, and also supports the "Airbus Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security". Students attend research workshops and conferences, skills training through the Doctoral Academy, and have an opportunity to work with industry. A healthy research environment promotes research ideas and collaborations, and opportunities for networking through interdisciplinary work with the School of Engineering (Energy group). The project directly contributes to UN sustainable goal #11– sustainable cities and communities (major), goal #3- good health and well-being (minor), and goal #13- climate action (minor).

Research questions to address: (i) how to better analyse and evaluate the effect of real-time vehicle monitoring over the air quality in a secure and privacy-preserved manner?, (ii) what are the effective measures and controls (such as securely adjusting traffic signals) to take for regulating traffic under a safe state and also making people aware (with feedback loop) about these measures in a secure manner?, and (iii) how to evaluate the impact of monitored air quality on the people’s health in a safe and secure way to understand situational awareness?

This work will develop “new” security monitoring and data processing techniques and an awareness tool/guide for the people and maintaining data privacy all times. It aims to develop security techniques to receive real-time vehicle data and measure the air quality. The innovation plans on reducing and managing emissions at the source by adjusting traffic signals in real-time based upon real-time traffic and real-time AQ sensors in a secure manner. This project will entail qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, involving understanding of vehicle traffic data, its connection with air quality index over time and developing secure solutions to provide safe and secure access to the data and the processes. The work aims to build capabilities for understanding the current situational awareness at any point of time and can create advance alert for forecasted situations.

Indicative Deliverable:

• Surveys on risk, impact and state of the art: vehicle traffic monitoring and air quality situational awareness, public survey on current situations.

• Develop threat modelling and improve communication security for receiving real-time traffic data and sense the air quality.

• Building capability: develop advanced authentication and access control techniques for the vehicle traffic monitoring system and sending relevant information (measures, etc.) to the vehicle owners, an algorithm for dynamically adjusting the traffic signals and also creating advance alert situations.

• Incorporating the developed techniques and capabilities into a tool that offers a situational awareness alerting platform.

• Academic technical publications

What is funded

Scholarship covers:

- overseas tuition fees;

- annual stipend (£15,285 for 2020/21);

- research consumables, training, conference travel.


3 years, subject to satisfactory progress.


Applicants must:

- be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) the world’s Least Developed and Other Low Income Countries based on the DAC list of ODA Recipients 2020. See


A 2:1 or above Honours undergraduate degree or a master’s degree, in computing or a related subject. Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate their proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component.

How to Apply

Visit the website to apply for qualification Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science & Informatics, mode of study Full-time, with start date 1 October 2020. In the research proposal section of your application, specify the project title and supervisors of this project. In the funding section, enter " VC International Scholarship".



The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.