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Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy

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The GeoInformation Doctorate

The doctoral program in GeoInformation aims at providing students with deep competence and experience in the generation, manipulation and application of bio-geo-physical, environmental and positional data and in related disciplines. The doctor's degree in GeoInformation is awarded in recognition of the candidate's command of a wide range of subjects and his/her ability to pursue original research leading to a contribution of significant ideas. The course of study, organized research and training experience intend to prepare for a wide variety of non-traditional careers, mainly in the aerospace, ICT and environmental fields, for which innovative multidisciplinary scientific and technical expertise is crucial.

Education in the following broad range of future employment options is envisaged:

  • Remote sensing, with emphasis on satellite Earth observation, bio-geo-physical information retrieval, image processing and computational intelligence.
  • Surveillance, communication, positioning and navigation, particularly in airport and air traffic.
  • Acquisition, processing and management of environmental and geographic data.
  • Architecture and elements of remote sensing, positioning, communication and medical imaging systems, and effects of the operational environment on their performance.

Off-campus internships with international academic and research organizations or companies, and in particular with ESA/ESRIN, are encouraged: the exposure to diverse cultural surroundings and the expected additional skills prepare the geoinformation graduates for possible continuous innovation, which has become a central feature of contemporary professional life in advanced technology.

In this frame, specific skills will be supplied in the rapidly growing and evolving fields of:

The envisaged applications include:

Given the multi-disciplinary educational environment, also including both basic research and applications, the experience gained by the GeoInformation PhD students will contribute to their ability to adapt to changing employment scenarios, to communicate complex ideas to non specialists and to work well in teams at end-to-end projects. The partially nonacademic education will foster in the PhD recipients the aptitude to disseminate advanced knowledge to manufacturing and service companies and will hopefully stimulate some of them to start a hi-tech new company.

The members of the GeoInformation PhD faculty have connections with many Italian and foreign organizations with which a number of international projects have been and are being carried out. The agreement between Tor Vergata University and the European Space Agency provides the PhD students with opportunities of interaction with a quite advanced scientific and operational international environment. Further agreements have been stipulated with several European and U.S. organizations, thus broadening the range of opportunities to visit laboratories where cutting edge research is conducted.

The GeoInformation doctorate has been established in 2000. Each year, an average of 7 students enroll, 4 PhD degrees are obtained and 21 student are globally active. About half of the scholarships have been contributed by external organizations.

A brief outline of the program schedule by semester is:
Semester One: Graduate courses and geoinformation seminars, supervised research, mid-term exam
Semester Two: Graduate courses and geoinformation seminars, supervised research, first-year exam
Semester Three: Geoinformation seminars, supervised research, mid-term exam
Semester Four: Off-campus internship, independent research, second-year exam
Semester Five: Off-campus internship, independent research, pre-dissertation exam
Semester Six: Independent research, presentation of dissertation, final exam

GeoInformation Research projects

A description of projects carried out within GeoInformation and of scientific and technical achievements reported in dissertations and published papers can be suggestive of the research opportunities the PhD students encounter and of the variety of careers they are being prepared for.

• Innovative SAR processing in earth surface and moving objects imaging by Synthetic Aperture Radar.
Radar polarimetry for land cover, land use, change detection and parameter estimation in urban environments, forests, agricultural areas and humid zones.
SAR interferometry for DEM generation, landslide surveillance, tectonic faults characterization and seismic risk assessment, glacier monitoring.
• Advanced computational tools for very-high resolution radar and optical images and for hyperspectral images in precision farming, urban dynamics and building characterization.
Modelling microwave backscattering, bistatic scattering, and emissivity, with applications to soil moisture, crop and forest monitoring, also in support to the SMOS mission.
New computational tools based on computational intelligence to detect and monitor oil spills and for ship detection.
Monitoring atmospheric and tropospheric ozone and other pollutants.
• Satellite precipitation monitoring (in cooperation with the National Research Council).
• Submarine instability phenomena on the flanks of volcanic islands.
• Airport surface movements guidance and control by multilateration.
• Ultra-wideband antennas, naval antennas and their interaction with the ship environment.

GeoInformation Courses and seminars.

Graduate courses are offered on: Remote Sensing, Satellite Monitoring, Topography, Urban Analysis, Neural Networks, Scattering from Soil and Vegetation, Sea Surface Observation, Remote Sensing Instrumentation, Advanced Image Processing and Information Mining.

Cycles of GeoInformation seminars are given by Italian and international experts, especially from the European Space Agency and in cooperation with the IEEE Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society.

GeoInformation Alumni Placement Record:

5 with ESA/ESRIN

5 with ICT industries in Italy, 1 with ICT industry in Portugal

3 with with Italian public research organizations

2 with Tor Vergata University, 1 with Technical University of Denmark

Some Recent GeoInformation Student Publications


For further details please visit the web pages of the laboratories supporting the GeoInformation Doctorate: the Earth Observation Laboratory, the Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory, and the Geographical and Environmental Data Systems Laboratory.

Prospective GeoInformation applicants.

Prospective GeoInformation applicants are kindly invited to tilmely contact the Dean, Prof. Domenico Solimini (solimini@disp.uniroma2.it) or any member of the the faculty board to discuss and plan possible research projects to pursue towards the PhD.




Last update: 2014-06-04 3:36 PM
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