PhD Studentship in Computer Vision for location based services sponsored by HPLabs Innovation Research Award

*****We are no longer requesting applications for this post*****

Published August 2008


·        Call

·        Background Research

·        Application procedure

·        The HPLabs Innovation Research Award

·         Further Enquiries






We are looking for a motivated, hard working and insightful student to research on methods that use Computer Vision and mobile sensors to enable location based services.


This is a research collaboration between the University of Bristol and Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories UK.


The project aims to develop novel methods for positioning a mobile device using a combination of image based location sensing, inertial sensors and external information such as GPS. The intended application is in enabling location services and virtual augmentations.


The successful candidate will join the Computer Vision Group at the Department of Computer Science, where we have developed a number of real-time visual location and mapping systems that we have applied to augmented reality and robotics. The University of Bristol is one of the very best universities in the UK and Computer Science one of its most successful departments. The selected student will also be eligible to apply for the regular HPLabs internships.


There are no restrictions on nationality as the scholarship can cover overseas university fees and includes a stipend for living expenses. Funding is provided by HP on a yearly basis subject to satisfactory performance for up to three years.


We are looking for the finest candidate from anywhere in the world to join our research team and invite interested students with a good MSc or undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or equivalent to apply. Applicants should have provable excellent C and/or C++ programming ability (ideally in both Windows and Linux OS), as well as strong mathematical skills. Experience with Computer Vision or related methods is highly desirable and awareness of algorithm design in the context of mobile platforms would be a bonus.


The post will be filled when sufficient high quality applications are received. Therefore, applying as soon as possible is advisable.


We expect to start the project in October 2008 or earlier.


The project lead and supervisor will be Dr Walterio Mayol-Cuevas, in close collaboration with a team of experts at the Pervasive Computing Lab at HPLabs Bristol.


Please see the section on Application Procedure for further details.


Background Research


We have developed a number of systems based in computer vision methods for location and mapping.  Below are examples of the relevant work to this project.



Figure 1. This work done by MEng student Robin Hutchings under the supervision of Dr Walterio Mayol-Cuevas, used a mobile computer equipped with a camera, an electronic compass and a GPS to detect buildings’ facades under occlusion and varying distances with a computer vision algorithm made efficient for fast image matching. More details are available in this technical report.





Figure 2. This video shows a real-time system that is able to use a camera to build a 3D map of the environment and at the same time use this map for a virtual reality game. The system uses a single camera and works at frame rate, performing both camera pose estimation and map building simultaneously. A paper about this is available here.

Application Procedure


Interested students that match the requested skills, should send a cover letter containing a paragraph explaining their motivation to do a PhD in this topic, a CV with a research statement and the name and contact details of at least 2 referees willing to comment on the applicant’s academic abilities to wmayol at . Informal enquiries before application should also be sent to this email.


Your CV must include details of your academic qualifications and grades obtained, and ideally a copy of the official transcript of your degree marks with explanation of what the marks mean (i.e. 80 out of 100, or First Class). If relevant, formal indication of your level of English should also be included (e.g. your IELTS/TOEFL score). Note: applications are received via the above email only, and if possible using a single document in PDF format.


After a suitable number of quality applications are received, a short list will be produced and if you are in this group we will contact you to arrange an interview. Interviews could be made in person or via telephone/web conference depending on applicant’s location. Please include an indication on when you are available for interviewing in your cover letter.


The selected candidate will then be invited to complete the normal University of Bristol application procedure, for which full details will be provided upon acceptance of the position.


As indicated above, we are keen to start this project in October 2008, and therefore interested applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible since competition for PhD places is usually intense, and the arrangement of the formal application may take several weeks.


We encourage you to check this page before submission to see if there is any new information.


The HPLabs Innovation Research Award


The University of Bristol was selected as one of 33 universities in the world to receive a 2008 HP Labs Innovation Research Award, which is designed to encourage open collaboration with HP Labs resulting in mutually beneficial, high-impact research. 


HP reviewed more than 450 proposals from 200 universities in 28 countries on a range of topics within the five principal research themes at HP Labs – intelligent infrastructure, sustainability, information explosion, dynamic cloud services and content transformation. A key element of each award will be on-campus support for one graduate student researcher. More information about the HP Labs Innovation Research Program and worldwide award recipients is available at

Further Enquiries


Informal enquiries for this studentship can be made by contacting

Dr Walterio Mayol-Cuevas via {wmayol at} with subject "HP Research award".