The Institute for Safe Autonomy will bring together expertise from across the University of York to capitalise on our exceptional research strengths.

Director: Professor Miles Elsden

Professor Elsden completed a PhD in applied mathematics before working in academia, industry and government. He has worked in multiple government departments advising on a wide range of issues across science and technology. His last role in government was as Chief Scientist at the Department for Transport where he worked on issues ranging from air quality to electric and autonomous cars. He left the Civil Service in 2015 to work for a US spin-out company in Artificial Intelligence and set up his own consultancy firm.

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Academic leadership

Dean of Faculty for the Sciences

As Dean of Faculty for the Sciences, Andy works with the University Executive Board to coordinate significant strategic initiatives such as this one. Andy is an applied environmental change researcher with achievements that transcend and integrate a range of disciplines including soil science, ecology, climate services and environmental social sciences. He has extensive expertise in leading the design and implementation of transdisciplinary solutions-focused research projects.

Email: andy.dougill@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 322217

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Research Lead for Design and Verification 

Ana Cavalcanti

Ana Cavalcanti is a Professor of Software Verification at the University of York and holds a ten-year Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies to work on Software Engineering for Robotics.

Previously, she held a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award, and a Royal Society Industry Fellowship to work with QinetiQ. Her research interest is the theory and practice of formal methods, with application to industry-strength techniques.

Email: ana.cavalcanti@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 325478

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Research Lead for Assurance

Professor John MCDermid

John McDermid became Professor of Software Engineering at the University of York in 1987. His research covers a broad range of issues in systems, software and safety engineering. He became Director of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation funded Assuring Autonomy International Programme in January 2018, focusing on the safety of robotics and autonomous systems.
He acts as an advisor to government and industry, for example on ethical governance for autonomous vehicles, and is engaged in international activities on governance for artificial intelligence and autonomy. He has been published widely, including on ethics and governance of autonomous systems.
Phone: +44 (0)1904 325345

Research Lead for Society and Ethics

Philip Garnett is an Associate Professor in Systems and Organisation in the School for Business and Society, University of York. He is also on the management board of the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) in York. Philip’s research focuses on the impact of advanced technology on organisations and society. He is interested in how algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence influence decision making processes and information security within organisations. In particular, how humans, machines and computers work together and the consequences of that collaboration.
Phone: +44 (0)1904 325027

Research Lead for Communications

David Grace

David Grace is Professor and Head of the Communication Technologies research group in the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology at York and Director of York's Centre for High Altitude Platform Applications.

David's current research interests include high altitude platform based communications; cognitive green radio; 5G system architectures; dynamic spectrum access and interference management.

Email: david.grace@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 322396

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Director of Research at the York Centre for Quantum Technologies

Professor Marco Lucamarini

Professor Marco Lucamarini is Chair of Experimental Quantum Communications in the Department of Physics at York and Director of Research at the York Centre for Quantum Technologies.

Previously, he held a senior position in Toshiba’s Cambridge Research Laboratory, where he conducted research into optical physics and quantum key distribution.

Marco’s research interest is in quantum technology, including quantum communications, quantum networks and long-range communications at the single photon level through satellites and optical fibres.

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Professor of Quantum Information Technologies

Tim Spiller, MA PhD CPhys FInstP, is Professor of Quantum Information Technologies at the University of York, founding Director of the York Centre for Quantum Technologies and Director of the Quantum Communications Hub.

Prior to this appointment, he was at the University of Leeds in the roles of Head of the Quantum Information Group and Director of Research for the School of Physics and Astronomy. Prior to 2009, Tim was Director of Quantum Information Processing Research at HP Labs Bristol – an activity that he established in 1995 – and a Hewlett-Packard Distinguished Scientist. He has spent 35 years researching quantum theory, superconducting systems and quantum hardware and technologies. He led HP’s strategy on the commercialisation of QIP research, and is an inventor on 25 patents linked to quantum technologies and applications.

Email: timothy.spiller@york.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)1904 32 2254

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