CSE Project: Robustness Analysis of Spatially Distributed Wireless Sensor Network

Qualification: PhD

Department: School of Engineering

Application deadline: 20th October 2021

Start date: September 2022



Dr Lanlan Su 
Dr. Andrea Lecchini-Visintini

Project Description:

Wireless sensor network is a group of a spatially distributed and dedicated sensors communicating via a wireless medium and cooperatively monitoring the physical conditions of the environment such as temperature, sound, speed, pressure, humidity, etc. Beyond the sensing task, a modern sensor network is equipped with actuators, so that each individual sensor  can activate the actuator devices to accomplish a specific task when a certain event or fault is detected.  Sensor networks play significant roles in practical applications such as health care monitoring, environmental tracking, monitoring of traffic, threat detection, industrial monitoring and many more.
A conventional sensor network has a centralized architecture, and it typically requires a leader node to gather data from all sensors and make a decision on the actuation task based on the combined information. There exist significant challenges in using a centralized sensor network, as it can only work in a short communication range, yields long response delays, and consumes a lot of power. In contrast, a distributed sensor network requires each node (sensor) to communicate with its immediate neighbours and an individual node can decide on its own if its output has exceeded a specified threshold in an actuation task.  Such decision-making capability brings advantages in terms of ease of re-configuration, high scalability, reduced communication costs, and ability to execute local actuation tasks in response to local phenomena. 
Nevertheless, measurement noise and the involvement of a wireless communication network can complicate the filtering process embedded in the distributed sensor, and therefore degrade the performance and even destroy the reliability of the sensor network. This could lead to detrimental consequences in some scenarios, like the failing of fault detection for aircraft systems. Hence, it is of great importance to obtain a theory for analysing robustness of the sensor network against the uncertainty and disturbance caused by the network-induced factors like data propagation delay, quantization effects, limited channel capacity and environmental noise.  This project aims at developing a theoretical framework that can be used to establish the reliability of the distributed sensor network in the presence of networked imperfections and uncertainties.


Y. Yan, L. Su, V. Gupta and P. Antsaklis,  Analysis of Two-Dimensional Feedback Systems Over Networks Using Dissipativity, in IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, vol. 65, no. 8, pp. 3241-3255, Aug. 2020, doi: 10.1109/TAC.2019.2945038.

Su, L., Li, M., Gupta, V., & Chesi, G. (2019). Distributed resource allocation over time-varying balanced digraphs with discrete-time communication. arXiv preprint arXiv:1907.13003.

Khong, S. Z., & Su, L. (2021). On the necessity and sufficiency of the Zames–Falb multipliers for bounded operators. Automatica, 131, 109787.

Rogers, E., Galkowski, K., Paszke, W., Moore, K. L., Bauer, P. H., Hladowski, L., & Dabkowski, P. (2015). Multidimensional control systems: case studies in design and evaluation. Multidimensional Systems and Signal Processing, 26(4), 895-939.




College of Science and Engineering Studentship.

The studentship will offer 3.5 years funding providing

  • Stipend at UKRI rates (for 2021 this is currently £15,609)
  • Tuition fees at UK rates* (for 2021 this is currently £4,500)
  • RTSG

*Applicants not eligible for UK fee rates can apply but will need to pay the difference between UK and Overseas fee rates. 

As a guide the difference in UK and Overseas fees for 2021 is £16,325 but will be slightly higher for 2022/3 entry.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to hold/or expect to obtain a UK Bachelor Degree 2:1 or better in a relevant subject.  

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project / Funding Enquiries: CSEPGR@leicester.ac.uk 

Application and Fee enquiries to pgradmissions@le.ac.uk 

How to apply

How to apply

To apply please use the Apply button at the bottom of the page and select September 2022

With your application, please include:

  • CV
  • Personal statement explaining your interest in the project, your experience and why we should consider you
  • Degree Certificates and Transcripts of study already completed and if possible transcript to date of study currently being undertaken
  • Evidence of English language proficiency if applicable
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.

In the funding section, please specify CSE SU in the space provided

In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisors and project title (you do not need a research proposal)



Open to UK and non UK applicants.

Applicants not eligible for UK Fees will need to pay the difference between UK and Overseas fees themselves. Please refer to the funding section for details.