ACAIRA was created to bring together complementary expertise and engagement with end-users to enable the full potential of trustworthy, ethical and sustainable Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions for the future. Our core objectives can be summarised as:

  1. Undertake innovative, impactful, and cross-disciplinary research in AI.
  2. Consolidate existing AI research activities at Aston and facilitate new interdisciplinary research initiatives and collaborations.
  3. Develop new and reinforce existing collaborations with national and international institutions to expand Aston’s external reach in AI research and application.
  4. Promote and develop transparent, ethical, sustainable, and trustworthy AI methodologies.
  5. Provide high-quality training for the next generation of AI users and researchers.

The centre addresses core research questions in theory, translation and application of AI by:

  1. Understanding the theoretical foundations of Machine Learning (ML) and AI, their potential and limitations. 
  2. Establishing a framework for explainability and interpretability of results obtained by AI/ML, especially in critical applications.
  3. Exploring emergent properties in large-scale adaptive systems, through nonlinear interactions between and within systems of agents and components and how gained insights can be used to improve AI systems.
  4. Using AI as a catalyst for a fairer society, particularly in the five key areas of interest: health, justice, education, transport and energy.
  5. Investigating sustainable AI solutions.

ICAIRA logo

 

 

 

Our people 

ACAIRA Management Team

Prof. Anikó Ekárt, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Director of ACAIRA
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Email: a.ekart@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Ulysses Bernardet, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics; Deputy Director of ACAIRA
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Email: u.bernardet@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Felipe Campelo, Senior Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: f.campelo@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Alina Patelli, Senior Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: a.patelli2@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Hassan Aqeel Khan, Senior Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: h.khan54@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Shereen Fouad, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: s.fouad@aston.ac.uk

Dr. James Borg, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: j.borg@aston.ac.uk

EPS College Office Research Support

Dr. Emma Estevez, Research Support Team Leader
Email: m.estevezgarcia@aston.ac.uk

ACAIRA Members

Prof. David Saad, Professor, Applied Mathematics and Data Science
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Email: d.saad@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Elizabeth Wanner, Reader, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: e.wanner1@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Maria Chli, Reader, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: m.chli@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Lucy Bastin, Reader, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: l.bastin@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Amit Chattopadhyay, Reader, Applied Mathematics and Data Science
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Email: a.k.chattopadhyay@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Juan Neirotti, Senior Lecturer, Applied Mathematics and Data Science
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Email: j.p.neirotti@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Harry Goldingay, Senior Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: h.j.goldingay1@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Luis Manso, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: l.manso@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Hai Wang, Senior Lecturer, Software Engineering and Cybersecurity
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Email: h.wang10@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Chloe Barnes, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: c.barnes1@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Philip Weber, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: p.weber1@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Roberto Alamino, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: r.c.alamino@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Martin Rudorfer, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: m.rudorfer@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Amal Htait, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: a.htait@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Zhuangzhuang Dai, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: z.dai1@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Zuoyin Tang, Lecturer, Electronics and Computer Engineering
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Email: z.tang1@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Alexandros Giagkos, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: a.giagkos@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Farzaneh Farhadi, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: f.farhadi@aston.ac.uk

Dr. James Pickering, Lecturer, Mechanical, Biomedical and Design Engineering
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Email: j.pickering1@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Christopher Buckingham, Visiting Research Fellow, Applied AI and Robotics
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Email: c.d.buckingham@aston.ac.uk

ACAIRA Associate Members

Dr. Mohammed Hadi, Teaching Fellow, Applied AI and Robotics
Email: m.hadi2@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Joe Yuen, Teaching Fellow, Applied AI and Robotics
Email: j.yuen@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Victoria Lush, Research Associate, Applied AI and Robotics
Email: v.lush1@aston.ac.uk

Mrs. Abinaya Sowriraghavan, Teaching Fellow, Computer Science and Digital Technologies
Email: a.sowriraghavan@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Ho Fai Po, Research Associate, Mathematics
Email: h.po@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Felippe Alves Pereira, Research Associate, Mathematics
Email: f.alvespereira@aston.ac.uk

Dr. Mansoor Sheikh, Research Associate, Mathematics
Email: m.sheikh6@aston.ac.uk

Our events

Join us for the official launch of ACAIRA – for a full day of exciting talks and plenty of networking opportunities. Find out more.

See How They Run: Agent Based Models for Evacuation, Pandemic, and Archeology.

Aston Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research and Application
Research Seminar (11 November 2023):See How They Run: Agent Based Models for Evacuation, Pandemic, and Archeology.

Dr Claus Aranha (University of Tsukuba, Japan) delivered a talk entitled "See How They Run: Agent Based Models for Evacuation, Pandemic, and Archeology" on the 11th November. Dr Aranha described the recent work of his group on Agent Based Models that focus on modeling human behavior and mobility at the community scale. He presented the general ideas and motivations of mobility focused ABMs and talked about design and validation issues, focusing on models that they have worked on recently, including a natural disaster simulation that studies how information spreads when agents move to evacuation centers after a large-scale earthquake or tsunami, and a pandemic simulator that studies the effects of non-medical interventions on a local community as a disease such as COVID spread among its members. Dr. Aranha also mentioned a third is a simulator of hunter-gatherer hominid society that aims at using biomarker evidence to evaluate hypothesis about these communities.
This online seminar was attended by academics from ACAIRA and undergraduate, MSc and PhD students from Aston’s Computer Science and AI degrees.

 

Image of academic delivering

Getting Comfortable around Humans: A Path for Human-Robot Collaboration

Aston Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research and Application
Research Seminar (25 October 2023): “Getting Comfortable around Humans: A Path for Human-Robot Collaboration”

Dr Luis Figueredo (University of Nottingham, Technical University of Munich) delivered a talk entitled "Getting Comfortable around Humans: A Path for Human-Robot Collaboration" on the 25 October. In this talk, Dr. Figueredo discussed recent advances in robotics technologies that are closing the gap between humans and robots. Nonetheless, robots are still rarely thought of being physically engaging with humans, and human-like human-robot collaboration (HFRC) is still one of the key open challenges in robotics research. Collaboration and teamwork are better achieved when members communicate and understand each other capabilities and preferences. When it comes to HRC, that means robots need to communicate with humans and to have better reasoning of human's physical capabilities, ergonomics, and sense of embodiment. Robots need to have intrinsic knowledge of humans' intents and quantitative measures of physical comfort, which needs to be integrated into layers of human safety, and robot's safety and real-time reactive response to geometric and forceful constraints.

Dr Figueredo presented a holistic overview of the required features for human-robot collaboration from safety to natural language communication and biomechanics embodiment. He also presented tools to ground robot decision-making capabilities based on such human safety and comfort-based features. The event was attended by academics from ACAIRA and undergraduate, MSc and PhD students from Aston’s Computer Science and AI degrees.

ACAIRA Seminar image

Our projects 

ACAIRA is developing projects on both theoretical and applied aspects of artificial intelligence and related technologies, with a variety of academic and industry partners.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Legrand Care (2023-2026)

Academics involved:

Dr. Luis Manso, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
Dr. Martin Rudorfer, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
Dr. Zhuangzhuang Dai, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics
Dr. Felipe Campelo, Senior Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics

Aston University and Legrand Care aim to extend and improve independent living conditions by analysing data collected through home sensors and using AI to flag declines in wellbeing, allowing care professionals to plan and execute early interventions whenever needed.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Lanemark Combustion Engineering

Academics involved: Dr. Martin Rudorfer, Lecturer, Applied AI and Robotics

Development of a mathematical modelling software tool to simulate various types of gas burners, allowing the company to explore novel and more sustainable fuel mixes.

Cooperative Connected Intelligent Vehicles for Safe and Efficient Road Transport

Academics involved: Dr. Zuoyin Tan, Lecturer, Electronic and Computer Engineering

EU Horizon2020 MSCA-RISE project COSAFE, project title: Cooperative Connected Intelligent Vehicles for Safe and Efficient Road Transport. 

COSAFE is an international collaborative applied AI research project, using AI methodologies and optimisation to improve road safety, environment, and cities. Aston is partnering with Goetingen University (Germany), University of Oslo (Norway), Ranplan Wireless (UK), Birmingham City Council (UK), University of Essex (UK), Tsinghua University (China), University of Electronics of Science and Technology (China), and Forward Innovation (China). 

Find out more here.

ACAIRA project diagram infographic