Information Visualization/Visual Analysis of Big Data from Critical Care

Project title: Information Visualization/Visual Analysis of Big Data from Critical Care

Director of Studies: Dr Liz Stuart

Second Supervisor: Dr Marco Palomino

Project description

The focus of this research is the visualization and analysis of big data from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. Our aim is to improve patient recovery in ICU. Long stays in ICU have been shown to be detrimental to long term recovery. Thus, the medical team at Derriford are increasing the use of different techniques of physiotherapy, during ICU stays, in order to speed up recovery and discharge from ICU.

The unique part of this project is the dynamic link between the big data specialists and the medical team. It is anticipated, that insights and breakthroughs derived during analysis and visualization will be rapidly communicated to the medical team, potentially resulting in changes to patient care.

The student will:

  • apply their skills to manipulate and process raw data through relevant analysis pipelines
  • implement known techniques from Information Visualization/Visual Analytics (for example interactive parallel coordinate displays, multiple coordinated views, heatmaps, hyperbolic browsers) to support the analysis of the critical care data
  • derive and implement their own novel techniques for analysis as they become more experienced in the field
  • interpret and translate key findings back to staff and the wider scientific community
  • disseminate their findings at Conferences and publish their research in relevant articles/journal papers.

Alongside an award winning clinical expert in critical care, the work will also be supported by the Data Management team at Derriford Hospital. This research will be performed under the guidance of a senior academic experienced in information visualization with a track record of successful PhD supervision and an experienced academic from the Big Data research group. This studentship is a superb opportunity to carry out valuable research that will significantly impact patient care.

If you are interested/potentially interested, then please do get in touch with the Director of Studies; Liz Stuart.  We can discuss the project in more detail, have a tour around the ICU unit at Derriford and meet the inspiring medical team.


Applicants should have a minimum of a first class or upper second class bachelor degree. Applications from candidates with a relevant masters qualification will be welcomed. Due to the fact that software development is core to this project, it is essential that candidates are proficient in software development.


The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,553 per annum. The studentship will only fund those applicants who are eligible for home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £10,350 per annum). General information about applying for a research degree at the University is available at:

You can apply via the online application form which can be found at: and select ‘Apply’.

Please mark it FAO Mrs Carole Watson and clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics.

For more information on the admissions process contact Carole Watson

Closing date for applications: 12 noon, 6 April 2018.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in April. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by 4 May 2018 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.