Professor Daniel Coca

Head of Department
Professor of Nonlinear & Complex Systems

Professor Daniel Coca, MEng, PhD, CEng, MIEE
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
University of Sheffield
Sheffield, S1 3JD
Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 5619
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222 5683
Email:  PA:  Rebecca Fieldsend,

Research interests

My research work spans the broad area of nonlinear and complex dynamical systems. I am interested in developing novel mathematical, computational and analytical methods to analyse, model and control complex dynamical systems as well as apply the tools developed to complex systems in physics, engineering, life sciences and finance.

Complex systems modelling, identification and control:
Stem cell population dynamics; Crystal growth; Brain activity; Solar wind - magnetosphere interaction; Financial markets.

Bioimaging & biological data analysis:
Diffuse Optical Tomography; Protein Identification/Protein Mass Fingerprinting; Cell imaging data analysis.

Nonlinear Control Theory:
Controller design for nonlinear PDEs; Nonlinear predictive control.

Reconfigurable computers:
FPGA hardware acceleration of protein identification algorithms; FPGA implementation of computationally intensive control & optimization algorithms.

See the Centre for Signal Processing and Complex Systems Research and the Centre for Signal Processing in Neuroimaging and Systems Neuroscience websites for more details:

Centre for Signal Processing and Complex Systems Research

Centre for Signal Processing in Neuroimaging and Systems Neuroscience


Centre for Digital Built Britain, 'Analysing Systems Interdependencies using a Digital Twin', 01/04/2019, £48,864 (24,432 apportioned)
'CORONA', 09/07/2018, £208,411 (£62,523 apportioned)
EPSRC, 'UKRIC - Urban Flows Observatories', 18/01/2018, £2.1M (£634,076 apportioned)
'Digital Fly Brain', 21/05/2015, £530,873 (£504,329 apportioned)
, D. Coca, M. Juusola, S.A. Billings, `Reverse Engineering Drosophila´s Retinal Networks´, 15.08.10 to 14.08.13, £648,008
EPSRC, S.A. Billings, D. Coca, `Spatio-temporal systems estimation modelling and analysis´, 04.01.10 to 03.01.14, £566,226
EPSRC, S.A. Billings, M. Balikhin, D. Coca, V.Kadirkamanathan, Z.Lang, H. Wei, `System Identification and Information Processing for Complex Systems´, 02.01.10 to 01.01.15, £1,442,972
MRC Fellowship, D. Coca, `Stem Cell Dynamics: Exploration of the Stem Cell Attractor Landscape´, 1.10.09-30.09.10, £109,000
BBSRC, D Coca and R Beynon, `FPGA Supercomputing Technology for High-throughput Identification and Quantification in Proteomics´, 15.03.08 to 14.03.11, £515,001
BBSRC, D Coca, R Beynon, 'Hardware Accelerated Data Processing Pipeline For Proteomics', 15.03.08 to 14.03.09, £98,559
The University of Sheffield, D. Coca, R. Beynon, S. Smith, V. Hughues. Proof Of Concept Fund Award, `Hardware acceleration of data processing in proteomics´, 01.11.07 to 01.05.08, £10,000
EPSRC, Q Zhong, A Zolotas, D Coca, K Li and S Evangelou. `New-ACE: A Network for New Academics in Control Engineering´, 01.10.07 to 30.09.10, £87,800
EPSRC, S A Billings, D Coca, `System Identification and Model validation for Spatio-Temporal Dynamical Systems´, 01.08.06 to 31.07.09, £292,797
EPSRC, S A Billings, Y Zheng, J Martingdale, D Coca and J E W Mayhew, `System Identification and Signal Processing for Neuro-Imaging data Analysis´, 02.01.06 to 01.01.09, £264,277
EPSRC Platform Grant, S A Billings, V Kadirkamanathan, Z Q Lang, D Coca, M Balikhin, `System Identification and Signal Processing for Complex Systems´, 03.01.05 to 02.01.10, £422,571
EPSRC, D Coca, ` Adaptive Control of Infinite Dimensional Systems using Reconfigurable Computers´, 15.11.04 to 14.11.07, £132,014
BBSRC, R. Beynon and D Coca, ` Application of Field Programmable Gate Arrays to Eliminate Bottlenecks in Near-instrument Proteomics´, 15.11.04 to 14.11.07, £230,130
Royal Society, D. Coca and V. Barbu, `Optimal Control and Stabilization of Parabolic-like Equations´, 01.11.04 to 15.11.04, £1,400

Full list of research publications

Selected Publications:

Journal articles


  • Coca D, Bogdan IA & Benyon R (2013) FPGA Co-processing solution for real-time protein identification using tandem mass spectrometry In Iniewski K (Ed.), Embedded Systems: Hardware, Design, and Implementation Wiley RIS download Bibtex download
  • Coca D, Bogdan IA & Beynon R (2010) Parallel FPGA search engine for protein identification In Schmidt B (Ed.), Bioinformatics: High Performance Parallel Computer Architectures (pp. 313-336). Taylor and Francis RIS download Bibtex download