£4m grant for cutting-edge sensor systems research

Published: 12 January 2016

Work is beginning on a new research project led by four UK universities that aims to deliver smarter, more reliable sensor based systems.

Work is beginning on a new research project led by four UK universities that aims to deliver smarter, more reliable sensor based systems.  These are the systems that will determine the future success of smart cities, the internet of things, big data and self-driving vehicles.Professor Muffy Calder

The Science of Sensor Systems Software (S4) project brings together researchers from the Universities of Glasgow, Liverpool, St Andrews and Imperial College London with expertise across computing, engineering, and mathematics, together with a range of private and public sector partners.

S4 aims to develop new principles and techniques for sensor system software that will allow scientists and policymakers to ask deeper questions and be confident in obtaining reliable answers from the ever-expanding networks of sensors.

The project’s outcomes could lead to more robust water networks, more responsive air quality monitoring, reliable autonomous driving and precision manufacturing and more.

The project, supported by a grant of nearly £4.2m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will run until 2021.

Professor Muffy Calder, head of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Glasgow and Professor of Formal Methods in Computing Science, will lead the project, working with Professor Simon Dobson at St. Andrews, Professor Michael Fisher at Liverpool and Professor Julie McCann at Imperial College.

The investigators bring world-leading research expertise in sensor software, formal modelling and verification, network deployment, autonomy, uncertainty and programming.  A number of companies and scientific organisations are also involved, including ABB, British Geological Survey, CENSIS, Freescale, Rolls-Royce, Thales and Transport Scotland.

Professor Calder said: “We’re pleased and proud to have won the backing of EPSRC through their Programme Grant scheme for this very exciting project.

“Although sensors are becoming ever more commonplace in all kinds of devices around us and in our everyday lives, sensors themselves and the environments in which they operate are very uncertain: we don’t have a unifying science to ensure that the systems and the information they provide is resilient, responsive, reliable and robust.

“By the end of the project the team will have answered a number of fundamental questions about how to design, deploy and reason about sensor based systems, developing new principles, techniques and tools, alongside simulations and physical sensor testbeds for experimentation. They will also demonstrate the applicability and effectiveness of the new techniques across a range of applications”.


First published: 12 January 2016

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