Research

In the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, through our staff's personal commitment to research, we aim at achieving excellence in science and engineering that contributes to the well-being of society. Via our inter-disciplinary approach to research, our Department provides a creative and supportive academic environment in which new ideas are created and flourish.

Our students benefit from high-quality, up-to-date scientific knowledge offered to them by our specialist, research-active lecturers. All our undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as any short courses offered by the University of Chester are linked to research informed and industry engaged teaching.

A range of research areas and topics within the department are listed below. Many of these are inter-disciplinary and in collaboration with academic/industrial partners in the UK and overseas.

Embedded Digital Signal Processing Technologies

One of the aspects of the research was concerned with the Monte Carlo simulation of large complex integrated circuits using the computational resources provided by parallel and distributed computing. The use of statistical simulation techniques for dealing with the ‘atomistic’ variability of nano-scale technology was at the heart of the research. The main contribution was in reducing the computational complexity of the analyses through the use of statistical techniques such as ‘extreme value theory’ and ‘quasi-Monte-Carlo’ techniques.

The research also concerned with pattern recognition, machine learning, statistics and high performance computing. A fine-grained parallel algorithm was designed to work with MPI library for adapting data-intensive bioinformatics workflows to a distributed system (cluster) and the Cloud. The research adapted the concept of a ‘Petri Net’ to model ‘concurrency’ and ‘cost’ for automatically optimising the use of intermediate data storage and thus making more efficient use of Cloud resources.

 

 

 

>‘Petri Net’ for the biomedical data classifier training task.

 

 

Currently the research is working on efficient parallel computing, big data related issues and the use of web-based mobile digital signal processing (DSP) for biomedical applications.   I am working with Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) on a project concerned with monitoring the voice characteristics of patients suffering from ‘spasmodic disphonia’ (SD). I am also working on theanalysis of voice characteristics over mobile devices

 

Terahertz Measurement Centre at Thornton [TMTC]

Terahertz (THz) band, loosely defined in the electromagnetic frequency range from 0.1 to 10 THz, has demonstrated extraordinary prospects in the past ten years due to its attractive applications in material, chemical, communication and life sciences. TMCT supplies a sustainable commercial measurement and analytical service to academic and industrial customers from both domestic and international markets. The centre focuses on many THz cross-disciplinary themes, especially those higher priority research strategies listed by EPSRC and BBSRC: 1) Functional material characterisation for example multiferroics and graphenes; 2) Time–resolved spectrometry for example curing dental cement mixtures in a research for phasing out of mercury-based treatments ; 3) Molecular vibrations and proteins folding/misfolding, offering major advances in bioscience including the grand challenge of healthy ageing for example Alzheimer’s disease; 4) The control of crystallisation and polymorphism which is of utmost importance to the pharmaceutical and food industry where a drug or ingredient candidate’s success is not only determined by its chemical properties but also crucially by its physical properties.

 

Wireless Communications

Wireless communications has dramatically changed the way we live, work, and learn.  During the last decade, very promising technologies and new cooperative networking approaches emerged to respond to these demands, e.g., the configuration of multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and the concept of cognitive radio. 

The main aim of our current research is to develop advanced signal processing techniques, while building a unified framework for the modelling and analysis of energy-efficient aware ad-hoc networks.

 

Thornton Simulation and Modelling for Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering Research Group (TSMPE)

A Numerical Electromagnetics Code (NEC) simulation for a multiple probe array with the aim to take a ‘snapshot’ measurement for a gird of test points concurrently. The source antenna is visible at the top of the plot, with the cross-section through the generated E field clearly showing the toroidal pattern of intensity for a radiating electric dipole. Individual antennas comprising the receive array are visible at the bottom of the plot, parallel to the y axis. Those antennas in the plane of the plot clearly show interaction with the E field as a localised disturbance in the field intensity.


This research group has Simulation and Modelling capability in the areas of:

  • Applied Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Physics
  • Applied Electromagnetism
  • Applied Heat and Mass Transfer

The group has access to a High Performance Cluster with 17 nodes and 312 cores.

The group has a track record in

  • Applied Quantum Mechanics – k.p theory based calculations for the optical properties/bandstructure of wide bandgap semiconductors
  • Applied Electromagnetism – Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Power Integrity Calculations employing the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method.
  • Applied Heat and Mass Transfer - Henderson model calculations for solving the coupled heat conduction/chemical kinetics/mass transfer Partial Differential Equations using the Finite Element Method (FEM), for the combustion of composite materials.

The group is pursuing these research fronts and is looking to recruit a PhD student to initiate a new project, taking a molecular dynamics approach to modelling laser processing in collaboration with Prof J. Lawrence and Dr D. Waugh in the University of Chester Laser Engineering and Manufacturing Research Centre.