Website Coventry University


This PhD project is in collaboration with Conigital, who have embarked on a mission to disrupt the transport industry through a vision of greener, more efficient mobility for all, and to create democratised autonomy and AI, in order to empower society by accelerating the introduction of seamless clean travel, providing accessible and integrated automated transport services for all.

Project details

This PhD research aims to develop a new multi-objective optimisation framework supporting complex transport operations, with a focus on responsive optimisation for multi-modal MaaS based solutions that include demand-responsive transport. The framework will evolve from Conigital’s existing meta-heuristic algorithm currently applied to the ConOP™ asset management platform.

The research investigates the current and expected future MaaS parameters that will affect the efficiency of MaaS operations. With AI-based optimisation how can we achieve an explainable AI that allows a relatively easy understanding of why decisions are made? How do we reduce the optimisation execution time for highly complex systems in an affordable manner whilst providing relevant timely recommendations that can be applied to the system being optimised? How can we establish an optimisation solution that is scalable and applicable to different locales with varying parameters without having to create separate models for each locale? What advantages does the proposed optimisation solution provide over existing and evolving optimisation solutions?


This is a fully-funded studentship, including:

  • £15,000 bursary plus tuition fees – UK/International
  • A stipend for up to 3.5 years subject to satisfactory progress
  • Additional allowances


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry requirements

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree (second class honours upper division) in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 70% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 70% overall module average, and/or
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at 70%. In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at 70%.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).
  • Strong industrial experience is desirable.
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study.

How to apply

To find out more about the project, please contact Professor Siraj Shaikh.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.