We use functional cookies for a number of reasons, such as keeping the Costain website reliable and secure and to analyse how our site is being used.
Will you accept our use of non-essential cookies?

Yes No Privacy Notice

Support For Young Talent

Team Seeks Low-Carbon Supply Chain

14 July 2015

Costain is looking for new talent to strengthen its research capability and help solve the challenges facing its customers.

The Company is sponsoring a PhD student at two important research projects: Managing Innovation in Major Projects and Programmes at University College London (UCL), and Shared Autonomy for Kinesthetic Tools at the University of Edinburgh.

“These are exciting opportunities for two talented, enthusiastic individuals”, said Tim Embley, Group Innovation and Knowledge Manager at Costain. “Both projects give the students the chance to work with industry leading teams to find solutions to some of our customers’ most pressing needs.”

The UCL project aims to develop a framework for successful innovation in major projects and programmes. In collaboration with Constructing Excellence, it will explore the management of innovation, and focus on how clients and contractors identify, develop and successfully implement innovation. The successful applicant will also be part of the Costain Innovation Team.

Natalya Sergeeva, Lecturer in the Management of Projects in the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management at UCL, said: “The studentship is an excellent opportunity to explore a novel research area and to develop and extend relationships between academia and business. The student will also have a great opportunity to develop a range of valuable skills and significantly enhance his or her future employability. In return, Costain and Constructing Excellence will benefit from cutting-edge research on the management of innovation, by developing a framework for sustaining successful innovations in the sector. By engaging with innovation champions across major projects and programmes, this research will add value by providing insights into the future vision and strategy for innovation in the sector as a whole.”

The University of Edinburgh project will look at how semi-autonomous robotics systems can help operate machinery used to carry out repetitive industrial tasks, thereby reducing operator fatigue and improving safety.

Leading the project is Sethu Vijayakumar, Professor of Robotics and the Director of the Institute for Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB) at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He explained: “With equipment such as cement spraying machines or excavators there is a significant dependence on the expertise of the operator to ensure the machine keeps within the correct margins of error. By using smart guidance systems that use real-time sensing, we aim to close the loop between the sensing systems and the actuation systems so that the operator cannot move the machine to areas where it should not be, and so is prevented from making a mistake.”

The PhD student will spend time at Costain sites and work with site staff to see how the technology can be applied to real-life cases.

The UCL studentship is for three-and-a-half years, the University of Edinburgh studentship for four years. For both posts, only UK students may apply.

To find out more and apply for the PhD studentships, go to:

Constructing Excellence

Edinburgh Centre for Robotics






Media Enquiries
Costain Communications Department
01628 842585
[email protected]