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The Factory of the Future

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Starting: 2023
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


The technologies required in the The Factory of the Future (FoF) revolve around identifying and exploiting the appropriate technologies to enable new products to provide a competitive advantage. The FoF will make better use of digital technologies, whilst the supporting software and hardware systems that will make the appropriate technologies easier to access, monitor and control.

Potential research areas will include:

  • The physical FoF arrangements for our global food and beverage partner,
  • How the demand for personalisation of products affects the viability of the current model of a centralised factories relying on economies of scale,
    • Technological trends or emerging technologies most likely to have a significant impact on the factory of the future and the role the workforce will play in the FoF,
    • How our global partners product innovation is shaping the FoF,
    • Trends shaping the FoF (including sustainability, communications infrastructure, digital tools including cloud-based systems and digital twins, bespoke customer snack food products, resources & transport networks),
    • The consequences of environmental pressures and zero waste approaches on the recycling of materials and products within the supply chain.

The factory is seen as digital, having increasing intelligence and or exploiting the opportunities of big data. Software tools are increasingly being seen as much simpler and easier to use, in addition to being more intuitive. The influence and use of automation & robotics is also a key consideration, i.e., are ‘new robotics’ including collaborative robotics seen as important with an emphasis on how to integrate these technologies in the best way.

Entry qualifications

Entrants must have either an undergraduate honours degree (1st) or MSc (Merit or Distinction) in a relevant science, design or engineering discipline. Prospective candidates for this project should have a background in manufacturing, robotics, engineering or Industry 4.0.

How to apply

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

Application deadline: Friday 7 July 2023.

Interviews will take place on the following date: Tuesday 18 July 2023.

Fees and funding

This project is match funded by Nottingham Trent University and our global food and beverage partner. Find out about fees and funding for PhD projects.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Professor Philip Breedon