Academic Staff

Professor Simon Lucas PhD, SMIEEE

Position in departmentDirector of Education
Staff positionProfessor
Telephone01206 872048

Simon Lucas is a Professor in CSEE where he leads the Game Intelligence Group.  His main research interests are in artificial intelligence and games, evolutionary computation and reinforcement learning.  He is the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and Games which launched in 2009 and had its first impact factor in 2012 of 1.62, which is excellent for a new journal. 

Professor Lucas co-founded the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games and is the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and Games.  He plays an active role in organising AI competitions, and together with members of the game intelligence group has organised competitions on Ms Pac-Man and the Physical Travelling Salesman Problem (PTSP), and now General Video Game AI. He has been an invited keynote or tutorial speaker at many international conferences including PPSN, IEEE CEC, IEEE CIG and IEEE SSCI. He is the Essex lead on the EPSRC funded IGGI Centre for Doctoral Training.

He has been head of CSEE since January 2015.


BSc Computer Systems Engineering, University of Kent (1986)

PhD Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (1991)

Current research

My current research is on general intelligence in games, and its applications: how can we design agents that can be dropped into new situations and yet behave in intelligent human-like ways.  When we have such agents (and we already do, to some extent), they can be used to provide richer more immersive experiences for human players, and also to automatically play-test games.

Research interests
  • Games
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • Reinforcement Learning

(See also: staff research interests by category)

Teaching responsibilities

Recently taught: CE318, Games Console Programming and CE152, Object-Oriented Programming, CE881 Mobile Application Programming.

Currently co-teaching CE810 Games Design.


List of Publications

Additional information

 Recent awards:  

  • Best Paper prize, IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, Granada 2012 (more details).
  • Winner of British Computer Society Machine Intelligence Competition, 2012 (more details).

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