I am an emeritus professor of computer science at Essex University, deputy director of the Immersive Education Lab, member of the Intelligent Environments Group, a director of the Creative Science Foundation and President of the Association for the Advancement of Intelligent Environments. I was awarded a B.Eng in Electronics and a PhD Computing from Sheffield University.
In addition, I am one of the founders of the international annual IEEE sponsored conference Intelligent Environments (and was the Program Chair for the first 8 years) and have served as program chair, on an occasional basis, to several other conferences and workshops such as Active Media Technology, Pervasive Computing and Applications, Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing and Immersive Environments. I am also a member of the editorial teams of the Intelligent Buildings International, Pervasive Computing & Communication, Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments the EAI Endorsed Transactions on Future Intelligent Educational Environments (published by ICST) journals and the Springer Science & Fiction book series.
I began my working life by undertaking an apprenticeship in the avionics industry at the UK government funded Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) providing electronics expertise to support research and development of the electronic systems that comprise aircraft and aerodrome facilities. My B.Eng studies (in electronics) at Sheffield University was financed by the A&AEE establishment with my subsequent PhD (in Software Engineering) being funded by an Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) scholarship. Following my -under and -post graduate studies I lectured in Electronics at Sheffield University and University College Cardiff before becoming a lecturer in Computer Science at Essex University where I used my expertise in working across the intersection of electronics and software to establish two world leading research groups. First I founded and ran the Essex University mobile robotics group before founding the Intelligent Environments group. Both research areas now boast world-class teams and facilities such as the robot arena (a purpose-built space for mobile and flying robots), the iSpace (a full size digital home), the iCampus (a Living Lab based on an instrumented campus) and the iWorld (on online simulation of the Essex intelligent environments).
Together with colleagues, I have made many contributions to research, some notable examples including a methodology to determine the real-time dynamic complexity of embedded software (SAS – Software Analysis System), the first application of microprocessors to social science research (The Ferranti MRT – Market Research Terminal & earlier Questronic), the development of a novel real-time self-programming fuzzy-logic based genetic algorithm for robot control, the development of the world’s first network camera (NetCam – a spinoff of robotics work), the first application of behaviour-based architecture (and defining the default behaviours) to Intelligent Environments, facilitating the UK to have the first town in Europe on the World-Wide-Web, the development of a programming-by-example paradigm for the Internet-of-Things, the development of novel physiological sensing and analysis algorithms to augment embedded agent efficiency in intelligent environments, the establishment of an architecture for adjustable autonomy in embedded agents and, finally, the development of a novel immerse education desk (and mixed reality architecture) derived from Science Fiction Prototyping (history) that I helped pioneer in association with Intel (see Creative Science Foundation).
In completing this research I authored over 300 papers in international journals, conferences and books plus I have acted as principal investigator on numerous international research projects attracting over 6 million pounds in funding.