My Research Background:

Increasingly over the years, Unmanned Aerials Vehicles (UAVs) are being used to perform missions that are considered “dull, dirty, and dangerous”. As the trend develops toward the increasing use of UAVs, it becomes necessary to allocate and control them effectively. One of the biggest challenges in the area of UAVs is in developing algorithms that not only have good performance but are also adaptive and robust. This is essential for UAVs that need to perform in the real world which is ever changing and hardly certain.

As a result, I am interested in the development and application of intelligent techniques for the safe and effective control of autonomous UAVs and robots in general.

I am currently a Robotics Research Fellow on the £4.8m “Brains on Board” Neuromorphic Control of Flying Robots EPSRC Programme Grant and previously worked on the ‘Green Brain Project’ in Sheffield. My focus is on embodiment of animal behavior and on the development of biomimetic algorithms for navigation and control of UAVs. In the past, my research has been on the topics of task allocation and motion planning for UAVs and has been in collaboration with the Air Force Research Lab in the US. I have also mentored research projects completed by secondary, undergraduate, graduate, and adult students.

Specialties:

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), Navigation and Control, Robotics, Embedded Cognition, Cooperative and Multi-Agent Decision Making, Intelligent Systems, Optimization, Machine Learning, Complex Systems

Research Funding: Over $170k Total

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Programme Grant (December 2016 – December 2021)

Title: ‘Brains on Board’ Neuromorphic Control of Flying Robots

PIs: James Marshall (University of Sheffield), Mikko Juusola (Sheffield), Lars Chittka (Queen Mary), Professor Thomas Nowotny (Sussex), and Dr. Andrew Philippides (Sussex)

Role: Research Fellow; Co-authored grant proposal including significant contributions to specific aims, methodology, paradigm design, and supplemental documents

Award Amount: £4.8 Million Total

Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute Fellowship (September 2011 – February 2013)

Title: Cooperative Control of UAVs under Communication Constraints

Role: Principal Investigator; Supported Ph.D. research; Collaborated with the Control Sciences Division in the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) for 8 weeks; Received follow-up award to support additional year

Award Amount: $93,000 Total

Summer Faculty Fellowship Program (Autumn 2009, Summer 2010, & Summer 2011)

Title: Pickup and Delivery Problem with Cooperative UAVs

Role: Principal Investigator; Supported research collaboration with the AFRL for 12 weeks

Award Amount: $32,400 Total

National Science Foundation Project for Science and Technology Enhancement (July 2009 – June 2011)

Role: Principal Investigator; Supported Ph.D. research; Developed communication and leadership through teaching engineering education in local secondary schools

Award Amount: $60,000 Total

University Research Council Summer Graduate Student Research Fellowship (July August 2008)

Title: Multi-Agent Control of Forest Fires

Role: Principal Investigator; Supported research for one summer

Award Amount: $3,000 Total

Awards:

Kroto Family Science Education Prize (2014) – University of Sheffield

  • A certificate, plaque, and small monetary prize is donated and given by a Nobel prize winner to the researcher who has made the most worthwhile contribution to science education of young people

1st Place Poster Competition Winner (2014) – University of Sheffield Engineering Symposium

  • Monetary prize (£300) was given for joint research poster entitled: “The Green Brain Project – Developing a Neuromimetic Robotic Honeybee”

International Multicopter Girls Camp at TU Ilmenau (2012) – Ilmenau, Germany

  • Fully funded (registration fee, accommodations, and travel) workshop on simulating and programming self-propelled, multi-rotor UAV’s (Multicopters) in ad-hoc networks
  • 1 of 8 accepted for the workshop out of 240 applicants

AIAA Open Topic Graduate Award (2011)

  • Given to support qualified students actively participating in one of the specialty areas of the AIAA Technical Committees as part of their graduate studies
  • “Dynamic Allocation of UAVs with Communication Constraints”

AIAA Open Topic Graduate Award (2010)

  • “Task Allocation of UAVs Subject to Communication Constraints”

AAAS Science-in-a-Minute Video Contest Finalist (2011)

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science-in-a-Minute Video Contest Finalist in the ‘Engineering’ category