Fri 5 Mar 21
Brain computer interface (BCI) expert Dr Sebastian Halder has been awarded the BCI Society’s first Early Career Research Award.
Along with his colleagues in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE), Dr Halder’s goal is to position Essex as one of the world’s leading institutions in BCI research.
“The BCI-NE laboratory in Essex is one of the largest in Europe, providing everything needed to conduct internationally recognised BCI research and also offers ample opportunities for collaboration,” explained Dr Halder, who joined Essex in 2019. “The close links to the Department of Psychology complement the technical expertise at CSEE. Essex is also the only university currently offering a bachelor’s degree in Neural Engineering so I can apply my expertise both in research and teaching.”
His particular field of research involves developing methods to interpret signals from the brain that can then be used to control applications or devices such as web browsers or wheelchairs or to determine the mental state of the user – for example if a person is conscious.
“The combination of neuro and computer science makes the field of BCI research very interdisciplinary, involving researchers from engineering, psychological, medical and neuroscience backgrounds,” said Dr Halder. “I also like the fact it is very applied and in all the labs I have worked in we brought our research from the labs to the people who could benefit from it.”
“I feel very privileged to have such a diverse group of colleagues at Essex with expertise ranging from prosthesis control, sensor development to mental state detection,” added Dr Halder. “There has been substantial support from the University to build new laboratories and acquire new equipment. I believe that BCI research and neural engineering will have a substantial impact on many areas of society in the coming decades.”