Research Environment

Our research strategy

Our strategy is to expand the theoretical foundations and develop practical frameworks and algorithms, enabling the development of intelligent monitoring, control and decision support systems which exploit ‘Big Data’. We aim to do this in partnership with industry by addressing challenging problems and making impact through the solutions we develop.

The group is active in three of the University’s major research centres and institutes:

Rolls-Royce UTC

Intelligent Systems, Decision and Control group leader, Professor Kadirkamanathan, is also Director of the flagship Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Control and Monitoring Systems Engineering. The Centre was formed in 1993 and has supported Rolls-Royce in advanced modelling and control, health management technologies and systems architecture decision support.


IMMPETUS (the Institute of Microstructural and Mechanical Process Engineering: The University of Sheffield), of which Professor Mahfouf is Co-Director, is an EPSRC funded institute formed in 1996 with strong collaborations with industrial members. IMMPETUS is a tri-departmental institute involving this Department along with Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, devoted to develop models for process planning and control to achieve target microstructures and product properties.

Rail Innovation & Technology Centre

Professor Harrison led the formation of the strategic partnership with Network Rail and the creation of the Rail Innovation & Technology Centre, which has a focus on intelligent systems engineering for the railways and involves collaborations across the Faculty of Engineering.

Useful Links:
Rolls-Royce UTC
Rail Innovation & Technology Centre


In addition to the Research Centres, we have the Complex Optimisation and Decision-Making Laboratory (CODeM), where our experience in solving real world strongly influences our optimization research. Applications cover a broad sweep of sectors such as engineering, medicine, pharma and social issues. Our Intelligent Systems research laboratory activities take place within IMMPETUS.

Find out more about CODeM


We promote a vibrant research culture, which stimulates our staff to broaden and deepen their skills and experience, seek out multi-disciplinary opportunities, and develop their research careers in promising directions.

Meet the core academic members


Professor Kadirkamanathan won the 2012 PNAS Cozzarelli Prize in Engineering and Applied Sciences; Professor Mahfouf received the Medipex Innovation Award (2010), Dr Purshouse and Professor Fleming (along with Dr Giagkiozis) won the Franklin V. Taylor Memorial Award for the best paper at the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics (SMC 2013); and Professor Fleming was elected Fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (2009).

Future directions

In collaboration with Rolls Royce, Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors we will expand our funding portfolio in systems health monitoring, through-life system optimisation and design.