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Digital Innovation Research Group

Unit(s) of assessment: General Engineering

School: School of Science and Technology


The Digital Innovation Research Group is on the development of smart technologies by connecting interdisciplinary research in robotics, digital twins, cyber physical systems, intelligent vehicles and drones, smart logistics, digital manufacturing, renewable energy and 5G communication.

Key Research Areas:

  • High-performance flexible electronics
  • Bio-mimetic electronic systems
  • Industry 4.0 based smart factories
  • Robotics
  • Industrial Digital Twins
  • Design of Energy Efficient systems for 5G and beyond
  • Video coding, processing, adaptation, error resilience, quality, and interaction

Our current research projects include:

Mental stress factors in occupational safety in the context of smart factory and COVID-19
Use of collaborative robots (COBOTs) in the industrial setting has grown globally, especially in the context of the smart factory. Humans and COBOTs are increasingly expected to share their workspace and associated issues related to workplace health and safety are expected to rise. This project seeks to understand the impact on the workers' mental health in relation to the task variables (complexity, production speed, duration, payload etc.) whilst working alongside the COBOT. Funded by EPSRC, Connected Everything, industrial systems in the digital age, feasibility study and PepsiCo as an industrial partner.

Bio-mimetic electronic systems and Smart sensors
High-performance flexible electronics and bio-mimetic electronic systems are pursued for applications in smart sensors, intelligent systems and soft robotics. The interfaces like electronic skin are envisaged for applications in assistive, soft, safe and dexterous robots, wearables and rehab. Key demonstrators for projects are developed under funding from EPSRC, EU and CSIR.

Industry 4.0 based smart factories and Digital Twins
Industry 4.0 based smart factories are characterised through networked, cooperating modules named cyber-physical production systems. Digital twin is the key technology area developed for design, simulation and optimization of manufacturing processes. Other applications are smart maintenance, reliability, metrology and safe and secure human-robot collaboration.

5G and beyond: Technology & Services
Design of energy efficient systems for 5G and beyond, green wireless systems for simultaneous wireless information and power transfer (SWIPT), energy harvesting systems and capacity enhancement and coverage for LEO satellite. The projects funded by EPSRC, Horizon 2020 project ATOM and NASA, CASC and European satellite. The services-based research include video coding, processing, adaptation, error resilience, quality and interaction, funded by sources like EC, Innovate UK, ADB. Major projects are ACTION-TV, DIOMEDES, MUSCADE, and VISNET-II.

Related staff

Azfar Khalid - Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Hemantha Kodikara Arachchi - Principal Lecturer in Electronic Engineering

William Navaraj - Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering

Shukri Afazov - Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Arooj Siddiqui - Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer in Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Vahid Vahidinasab - Senior Lecturer in Electrical (Power) Engineering

Mehdi Zenali