MPhil LIH161 User-centred Design and Prototyping of a Personalised Logistics System

Qualification: MPhil

Department: School of Informatics

Application deadline: 30 October 2021

Start date: As soon as possible

Overview

Supervisors

MPhil Project

European Regional Development Fund

This studentship is funded by the Leicester Innovation Hub (through the European Development Fund), and the industrial partner Speedel Ltd.

Based in Leicester and started in 2017, Speedel Ltd offer B2B same-day dedicated courier services to companies within the UK. They also provide dedicated delivery to and from Europe and global on-board courier services for the safe and efficient delivery of high value consignment around the world. 

Since inception, the company has relied on third- party and externally created software packages for their operations because there is no ‘one system’ that meets their business needs.

This project will provide the foundations to allow Speedel Ltd to change radically the way the company operates by implementing a new internal process that will simplify and make more efficient the current operations. Support will consist in putting together a detailed project map and strategy that will inform Speedel on how to merge all or some of the current 3 key elements which the operations are based on:

  • Transport journey software (Operations and customer facing) 
  • Driver allocation software (Operations and driver facing) 
  • Speedel’s website (Operations and customer facing) 

The successful applicant will conduct research to investigate novel ways and methods to engineer software employing User-Centred Design (UCD) approaches and work with stakeholders to propose innovative personalised visualisation approaches to enhance logistics and User Experience (UX). 

Traditionally in SW development, technical aspects have dominated both resources allocated (e.g. what sort of person to hire) and development strategies. We are planning to use recently emerging low-code development tools to de-emphasize that aspect and focus on business and end-user needs instead.  

If successful, this will provide important insights into development methodologies for low-code tools, including their limitations and pitfalls, in complex real-world projects. User-centred design and software development processes more generally are active areas of research because they continuously evolve with the technologies and tools available. 

During the project you will develop the following skills and knowledge: 

  • understand, document and structure complex business requirements and processes Midlands Engine
  • end user-centred participatory software design methods and evaluation methods 
  • low-code  development platforms and frameworks

Funding

Funding

This Industrial MPhil is funded by the University of Leicester’s Innovation Hub within the Leicester Innovation Accelerator Programme. It is part-funded through European Regional Development Fund and Speedel Ltd. working together in partnership. The studentship provides:

  • Stipend of £1,166.67 per month for 12 months (total stipend award £14,000)
  • Tuition Fees at UK/EU rates for 12 months

UK/EU or international* applicants can apply.  
*international applicants must be able to pay the difference between UK and International fees themselves. The difference in fees for 2021/2 entry will be £16,325.

Conditions of funding

  • adhere to project confidentiality; at the start of the project 
  • assign any arising IP from the project
  • base their MPhil degree thesis on the research outcomes of the project
  • work closely with the SME company to undertake the research project
  • deliver monthly progress reports and a comprehensive project report to the University and sponsoring SME in addition to the MPhil thesis.  

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 or overseas equivalent.

The University of Leicester English language requirements apply where applicable.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project/funding Enquiries

Application enquiries

How to apply

How to apply

Please use the Apply button at the bottom of the page and select January 2022 entry.

The MPhil start date is flexible so we will manually amend this if a different start date is agreed.

In the funding section of the application please indicate you wish to be considered for the LIH161 MPhil Studentship in the space provided.

In the proposal section please provide the name of the supervisors and project title (a proposal is not required).

With the 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 referees in the text boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.

Eligibility

Eligibility

The Leicester Innovation Hub is part-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).    

UK/EU or international* applicants can apply.

*international applicants must be able to pay the difference between UK and International fees themselves. The difference in fees for 2021/2 entry will be £16,325.

The MPhil student:

  • have graduated within the last 3 years in a related discipline
  • adhere to project confidentiality; at the start of the project
  • assign any arising IP from the project
  • base their MPhil degree thesis on the research outcomes of the project
  • work closely with the SME company to undertake the research project
  • deliver monthly progress reports and a comprehensive project report to the University and sponsoring SME in addition to the MPhil thesis.