Case study

PhD student — Andreea Radulescu

Andreea Radulescu studied MSc Artificial Intelligence at The University of Edinburgh and has now embarked on a PhD

Why did you choose this institution and course?

Studying BSc Systems Engineering (Automatic Control and Applied Informatics) at the Politehnica University of Bucharest steered me towards a career in artificial intelligence (AI). I was attracted to robotics research, so I investigated postgraduate programmes at institutions across Europe. The University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics has a great reputation and its AI course best suited my interests.

What does the programme involve?

While studying the MSc, I was encouraged by my supervisor to apply for a PhD. My research focuses on using variable impedance actuators for systems in domains with contacts for planning movements under the optimal control framework. This has allowed me to gain knowledge of new and interesting areas, such as designing and building a robotic platform.

My undergraduate degree was mostly theoretical, but postgraduate study focuses on applying knowledge to real-life, practical problems in an industrial setting.

How are you funding postgraduate study?

I received my PhD funding from the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). I have also worked for the school as an ambassador, teacher and demonstrator.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I am currently focusing on enjoying my studies. There are many opportunities for informatics graduates, both in industry and academia. I'll keep my options open until I've finished my thesis.

What advice would you give to those considering the programme?

Research the group that you'll work with before you apply and ask plenty of questions at the start of the programme — this will save you time in the long-term. Also, choose a research topic that you feel passionate about, as you'll be studying it for a long time.

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