Research in the EIS lab focuses on key areas of embedded systems and intelligent systems, including:

  • Embedded Systems and System-on-Chip (SoC) design, development support /debug and technology to increase security, power, performance and reliability
  • Advanced embedded systems and processor architectures targeted for Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), automotive/industrial, robotics, image processing, sensor network nodes, Internet of Things (IoT) and other real-time critical applications
  • Games hardware and software systems
  • Low-Power Architectures
  • Big Data Analytics, computer vision and embedded AI for real world problems, robot control and embedded systems


Start-up companies

In the last few years, two companies have been spun-out from Essex.

UltraSoc Technologies

UltraSoC Technologies Ltd was spun-out from the universities of Essex and Kent in 2008 after being founded by Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, Head of EIS Laboratory at the University of Essex’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, and Cambridge entrepreneur Dr Karl Heeks.

UltraSoC is a pioneering technology start-up with products that put intelligent self-analytic capabilities in the systems-on-chip (SoCs) at the heart of today’s consumer electronic, computing and communications products. Embedded analytics technology helps solve the most pressing problems faced by the high-tech industries today – including cybersecurity, functional safety, and the management of complexity.

Solutions also allow designers to develop SoCs – the driving force behind both performance improvement and cost reduction in the electronics business – more quickly and cost-effectively.


Metrarc is also a spin-out from the University of Essex and the University of Kent, co-founded by Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier at Essex, Professor Gareth Howells at Kent, and Dr Karl Heeks.

Metrarc uses novel and promising technology for deriving secure encryption keys from the properties of digital systems, addressing a major area in the security domain, which is currently recognised as inhibiting the economic expansion of online services. It has developed novel solutions for increasing security which is relevant to many sectors including e-commerce, m-commerce, on-line and banking and Internet of Things (IoT).


Our research has been funded by bodies such as UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the European Union.

Project Partners

Most of our projects are collaborative and include key academic, industrial and NGO stakeholders and partners. For example our work with the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics is in partnership with 7 UK Universities including the University of Birmingham and is in collaboration with NASA, BAE Systems, National Nuclear Laboratory, EDF Energy, Kuka Robotics, Rolls-Royce, Sellafield and Toshiba.

Essex hosts the Human Rights and Big Data and Technology Project, which works with a number of partners including several UN Agency, the Geneva Academy for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and the World Health Organisation. We partner with the University of Kent the University of La Rochelle and the University of Geneva for the SPIRIT Project.

Current funded research projects

Recent funded research projects

  • TFCloud – TFCloud, assuring the provenance of Cloud based Web Services funded by TSB / Innovate UK.
  • COALAS – Cognitive Assisted Living Ambient Systems projected funded by European Regional Development Fund, ERDF Interreg IVA Channel Programme.
  • SYSIASS – Autonomous and Intelligent Healthcare System funded by European Regional Development Fund, ERDF Interreg IVA 2 Mers Seas Zeeën Programme.
  • RoBoSAS: Global engagement with NASA JPL and ESA in Robotics, Brain Computer Interfaces, and Secure Adaptive Systems for Space Applications” funded by EPSRC.
  • ADS-SoC - Adaptive Development Support for Future Systems-on-Chip funded by EPSRC (EP/I500952/1).
  • ReSIP - Reconfigurable System-on-Chip based Networks of Integrated and Distributed Sensor Platform Nodes for Environmental Diagnostic and Sensing funded by EPSRC (EP/C005686/1).
  • Networking of Distributed Sensors for Proactive Condition Monitoring of Wind Turbines funded by EPSRC (EP/C014790/1).
  • ESPACENET: Evolvable Networks of Intelligent and Secure Integrated and Distributed Reconfigurable System-On-Chip Sensor Nodes for Aerospace Based Monitoring and Diagnostics funded by EPSRC (EP/C54630X/1).
  • ACOS – Automated Control and guidance System funded by European Regional Development Fund, Interreg IIIA Programme.
  • OMNIVISS – Embedded Omnidirectional Vision System for Environment Reconstruction and Analysis funded by European Regional Development Fund, Interreg IIIA Programme.
  • ModEasy – Model Driven design for Automotive Safety embedded system funded by European Regional Development Fund, Interreg IIIA Programme.
  • Debug Support Strategy for Systems-on-Chips with Multiple Processor Cores funded by EPSRC (GR/S13361/01).
Get in touch
Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier Head of Laboratory