Our School's vibrant research community encompasses a wide network of visitors made up of visiting scholars, visiting students, research collaborators, industrial contacts, and ex-staff who are still actively collaborating with the School.
In the previous 5 years, we have hosted over two hundred visiting researchers from all over the world. The international collaborations and projects pursued during these visits are aligned with key areas of activity within the School and aim to support these as well as expand on nascent areas.
Members of our school have engaged in extensive collaborative activities with national and international partners in academia, research institutions, and industry. Our staff have collaborated with several UK universities (including Cambridge, Imperial College, Oxford, UCL, Birmingham, and Edinburgh) and numerous overseas universities and research institutes (including University of California Berkeley, Princeton, Karolinska Institute, ETH Zürich, Harvard, Italian Institute of Technology Genoa, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Queensland University of Technology).
We have been involved in a range of international research projects, many of which involve collaboration with colleagues across multiple countries.
Brain-Computer Interfaces and Neural Engineering
In the BCI-NE group, Professor Riccardo Poli is the Coordinator of a prestigious 3-year grant under the US Department of Defence’s inaugural Bilateral Academic Research Initiative (BARI), for a project in partnership with the University of Southern California, the University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the University of Oxford. The project, “Adaptive joint cognitive systems for complex and strategic decision making: building trust in human-machine teams through brain-computer-interface augmentation, social interaction and mutual learning” studies methods to enhance complex decision making following artificial intelligence approaches.
Professor Poli is also UK co-ordinator of the prestigious 5-year grant from the US Department of Defence Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), for a project in partnership with the University of Southern California, the University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, New York University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Imperial College London, and University College London.
The project is entitled “Closed-Loop Multisensory Brain-Computer Interface for Enhanced Decision Accuracy” and it falls within the MURI theme “Modeling and Analysis of Multisensory Neural Information Processing for Direct Brain-Computer Communications”. Professor Luca Citi and Dr Caterina Cinel are Co-Investigators in these projects.
Robotics and Embedded Systems
In the Robotics and Embedded Systems group, Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier and Dr Shoaib Ehsan are key Co-Investigators in the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics.
This collaborative project involves international experts from eight UK universities and over thirty partners from the nuclear industry and the research base, including NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, BAE Systems, EDF Energy, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, National Nuclear and Physical Laboratories, Rolls-Royce, Thales, and Toshiba. The project aims at researching and developing cutting-edge technology to solve problems related to nuclear waste.
Professor McDonald-Maier leads the research strand on the development of resilient electronic systems that can function in areas of high radioactivity where robots are prone to failure.
In the Artificial Intelligence group, we are joining forces with the University of Essex Human Rights Centre to work together on the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project. The project considers the challenges and opportunities presented by AI, big data, and associated technology from a human rights perspective.
In this project, a team of CSEE academics (led by Prof. McDonald-Maier) collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of professionals in criminology, economy, law, philosophy, political science, and sociology to tackle a range of challenges. These include algorithmic accountability to protect human rights, understanding how AI can also threaten the right to equality and privacy, exploring the use of natural language processing to detect mis- and dis-information and investigating how these affect human rights, and the use of modern computer vision technology to empower human rights organisations and the United Nations.
In the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (ESRC BLG), the CSEE team led by Prof. Maria Fasli collaborates with private sector, public sector, and non-profit organisations who can wield the transformative power of data to benefit their communities. By supporting them in implementing best practice, we create real-world impact, influencing policy and informing practice. The Centre’s aim is to be the UK’s centre of choice for data research.
Dr Spyros Samothrakis is part of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC), a multidisciplinary centre, promoting collaboration between economists, sociologists and other social scientists, and using quantitative social science to provide evidence with which to address key societal challenges. MiSoC has been based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex since 1989, but it is a collaboration with specialists from universities around the world. The current research programme is run jointly with researchers at the University of Bristol.
Communications and Networks
In the Communications and Networks group, Prof. Stuart Walker and Prof. Kun Yang were Essex Principal Investigators for the European Commission-funded project iCIRRUS, in partnership with ORANGE SA (France), PRIMETEL PLC (Cyprus), WELLNESS TELECOM SL (Spain), Fraunhoffer (Germany), and Interdigital Ltd (UK), among others.
Prof. Martin Reed, Dr Nikolaos Thomos, and Prof. Kun Yang were Essex Principal Investigators of the European Commission-funded project POINT, in partnership with Interdigital Ldt (UK), Primetel (Cyprus), RTWH Aachen (Germany), and Aalto University (Finland), among others.
Dr Martin Reed and Dr Nikolaos Thomos were also Essex Principal Investigators in a project involving DT-sys (Germany), DT (Germany), ATOS (Spain), and CERTH/ITI (Greece), among others.
Additionally, academics in the School participate in EU-funded actions aiming at building and strengthening collaborations between EU and Chinese research institutions. This includes CROWN (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES - Marie Curie Action "International Research Staff Exchange Scheme") and CLIMBER (FP7-PEOPLE - Specific programme "People" implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities) and across Europe such as RECENT H2020 MCSA-RISE, which involves partners from UK, Portugal, Finland, and Turkey.