Professor Hamish Cunningham

Professor of Internet Computing
Impact Officer

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 1891

Member of the Natural Language Processing research group
Personal website:

ORCID | Google scholar

Selected publications | All publications

Prof. Hamish Cunningham



Prof. Hamish Cunningham is head of the 15 strong GATE team researching language analysis infrastructure, text mining and textual big data processing. He has published some 150 peer-reviewed articles, cited more than 3000 times (Google Scholar). He sits on a number of editorial boards and reviews project proposals for the EC, EPSRC, BBSRC, ESRC and NWO. Since 1997, he has, singly or jointly, secured and directed 32 research grants worth over £12 million. He was a founding member of the Information Retrieval (IR) Facility along with many of the most influential figures in the IR community world-wide. Prof. Cunningham was recently the coordinator of the AnnoMarket STREP and the ARCOMEM Integrated Project. His team produces the GATE platform for language and knowledge research, whose users are as diverse as WHO cancer research, OntoText, Matrixware, Generic, Garlik, Spock, Solcara, Fizzback, Innovantage, Astra Zeneca, Merck, Eli Lilly, Ontos, OntoPrise, Thompson, Greenstone, ANC, Perseus, NCSA, AT&T, IBM, British Telecom, Hewlett Packard and thousands of others.

Other Professional Activities and Achievements

Research proposal reviewer for:

  • EPSRC (the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK)
  • the European Commission (FP6 IST, FP7 IST, ERC)
  • BBSRC (the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK)
  • ESRC (the Economic and Social Research Council, UK)
  • NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)
  • NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
  • IWT (Belgian Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology)

Schools outreach:

  • Accredited STEM Ambassador (DBS/CRB certified).
  • Sheffield Cutlers’ Ambassador Scheme Raspberry Pi programme.


  • Editorial Board member for the journal of Language Resources and Evaluation23.
  • Area Chair for language processing and Editorial Board member for the Journal of Web Semantics (2005-2009).
  • Editor of special issue of the Journal of Natural Language Engineering on Software Architecture for Language Engineering (2004)24.
  • Reviewer for IBM Systems Journal.
  • Reviewer for ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS).
  • Reviewer for the Special Issue of Lingvisticae Investigationes on Named Entities: Recognition, Classification and Use.

Advisory boards and professional associations:

  • Member of the Council of Professors and Heads of Computer Science (CPHC).
  • Founding Scientific Board member of the Information Retrieval Facility for large-scale IR experimentation.
  • Advisory group member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium.
  • Technical committee of the European Cultural Heritage Online project.

Standardisation activities:

  • Founder member of OASIS/Open standardisation committee on Unstructured Information Management.
  • Principal investigator for Sheffield on LIRICS project for ISO TC37/SC4 standards team.
  • Member of the British Standards Institute committee TS/1 (Language Resources and Terminology).
  • Participant in ISO TC37/SC4 workshop on annotation standards, Pont a Mousson, November 2002.

Conference and workshop organisation:

  • Co-chair of the Dagstuhl workshop Challenges in Document Mining, May 2011.
  • General chair of the first Information Retrieval Facility conference (IRFC 2010), Vienna, May 2010.
  • Co-organiser of the New Challenges for NLP Architectures workshop at LREC 2010, Malta, May 2010.
  • Organising committee of the workshop on Crossing Media for Improved Information Access at LREC, Genoa, May 2006.
  • Scientific committee of CASCON 2006, the 16th Annual International Conference of IBM Centers for Advanced Studies, Dublin, October 2006.
  • Co-proposer of Summer Workshop on Language Engineering (chair: Louise Guthrie), CLSP at Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MA, USA. July 14 to August 22, 2003.
  • Co-chair of workshop on Software Engineering and Architecture of Language Technology Systems (SEALTS) at HLT-NAACL 2003.
  • Co-chair of workshop on Human Language Technology for the Semantic Web and Web Services at International Semantic Web Conference 2003.
  • Programme chair of Workshop on Information Extraction for Slavonic and other Eastern and Central European Languages, RANLP 2003.
  • Organising committee of the LREC-2000 workshop on Meta-Descriptions and Annotation
  • Organising committee of the LREC-2000 workshop on Schemas for Multimodal/Multimedia Language Resources and Data Architectures and Software Support for Large Corpora.
  • Organising committee of the COLING-2000 Workshop on Using Toolsets and Architectures To Build NLP Systems, Centre Universitaire, Luxembourg, 5 August 2000.
  • Co-chair of the EPSRC Workshop on NLP Architectures and Language Resources, Baslow, December 1998.
  • Co-chair of the Distributing and Accessing Language Resources workshop, Granada LREC conference, May 1998.
  • Scholarships, invited lectures and tutorials:
  • ANR Chaire d’Excellence, Internet Memory, Paris, France, 2011-2012.
  • Invited speaker, Text Analytics 2009, Boston, US.
  • Visiting Professor, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, 2009.
  • Invited speaker Discovery Knowledge and Informatics, Amsterdam, April 2007.
  • Panellist on Applications of Memories for Life, British Library symposium, December 2006.
  • Invited speaker at conference on European Digital Cultural Heritage, Salzburg, June 2006.
  • Invited lecturer, EUROLAN 2005, Iasi, Romania.
  • Visiting Scientist, DERI, National University of Ireland at Galway, 2004-2006.
  • Tutorial on Human Language Technology for the Semantic Web at the European Semantic Web Symposium, Heraklion, Crete, May 2004.
  • Invited speaker, ILASH workshop on Human Language Technologies for the Semantic Web: After OWL: Defacto Standards for Semantic Technology, Sheffield, March 2004.
  • Visiting Scholar, Johns Hopkins University Center for Language and Speech Processing, Summer 2003.
  • Invited lecture at IBM TJ Watson laboratory: Software Architecture for Language Engineering. August 2003.
  • Invited tutorial on Named Entity Recognition at RANLP 2003.
  • Invited lecturer on Information Extraction for the EuroLan Summer School, Iasi, Romania, 2001.
  • Invited lecturer for HLT Center of Excellence in Information Society Technologies in 21 century (EC HLT project BIS-21) at the Linguistic Modelling Lab, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Invited presentation at British Classification Society workshop on Computer Text Analysis, Feb 2001, Dept. Probability and Statistics, Univ. Sheffield: GATE, A General Architecture for Text Engineering.

Programme committee memberships:

  • LREC 2014.
  • 24th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2012), Mumbai, India, December 2012.
  • 16th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2007), Banff, Canada, May 2007.
  • 10th biannual international Congress of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AI*IA), 2007
  • WWW 2006, the World-Wide Web conference, Edinburgh, UK, May 2006.
  • EACL 2006, the 11th Meeting of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, April 3-7 2006, Italy.
  • Senior Programme Committee of ISWC2006, the Fifth International Semantic Web Conference, Athens, USA, November 5-9, 2006.
  • Web Content Mining with Human Language Technologies workshop at the International Semantic Web Conference, November 2006.
  • The Semantic Desktop and Social Semantic Collaboration Workshop at the International Semantic Web Conference, 6 November 2006, Athens, GA, USA.
  • OntoLex 2006, workshop at LREC 2006, Genoa, Italy.
  • European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC), Budva, Montenegro, June 2006.
  • Workshop on Multi-dimensional Markup in NLP at EACL 2006.
  • Natural Language Processing for Metadata Extraction (NLP4ME 2006), AIMSA, Varna, Bulgaria, September 13-15, 2006.
  • Workshop on Web Content Mining with Human Language Technologies, ISWC, Athens, GA, U.S.A. November 5-9 2006.
  • IJCAI Edinburgh, UK, July/August 2005.
  • Workshop on Multimedia and the Semantic Web, 2nd European Semantic Web Conference, Crete, May / June 2005.
  • RANLP 2005 (Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing), Borovetz, Bulgaria, 2005.
  • Workshop on Text Mining Research, Practice and Opportunities, RANLP 2005.
  • Workshop on End-User Semantic Web Interaction, ISWC 2005, Galway, Ireland.
  • IJCAI workshop on Natural Language Generation and the Semantic Web: Perspective and Challenges, Edinburgh, UK, July/August 2005.
  • EUROLAN 2005, Multilingual Aligned Resources and their use in the context of Knowledge Web, July/August 2005, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
  • Second European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC), Heraklion, Crete, Greece, May 29 to 1 June, 2005.
  • First International Workshop on Representation and Analysis of Web Space (RAWS-05), Prague-Tocna, September 15-16, 2005.
  • Senior Programme Committee of ISWC2004, the Third International Semantic Web Conference, Hiroshima, Japan, November 7-11, 2004.
  • ACL 2004: 42nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Barcelona, Spain, July 21-26, 2004.
  • Workshop on the Semantic Web at SIGIR 2004, Sheffield, UK, July 2004.
  • IJCNLP-04 (International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing), Hainan Island, China, March 22-24, 2004.
  • ESWS (First European Semantic Web Symposium), Heraklion, Greece, May 10-12, 2004.
  • Additional reviewer for COLING 2004.
  • BIS 2004: 7th International Conference on Business Information Systems, Poznan, Poland, April 21-23 2004.
  • ECAI 2004 workshop on Application of Semantic Web Technologies to Web Communities, Valencia, Spain, August 23rd, 2004.
  • ECAI 2004 workshop on Ontology Learning and Population from Text, Valencia, Spain, August, 2004.
  • RDF/RDFS and OWL in Language Technology: 4th Workshop on NLP and XML, ACL-2004, Barcelona, 2004.
  • Workshop on NLP for Multimedia Applications, 16th ESSLI, 16-20 August, Nancy 2004.
  • Workshop on the Semantic Web at SIGIR 2003, Toronto, Canada, July 2003.
  • RANLP 2003 (Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing), Borovetz, Bulgaria, 2003.
  • EACL 2003 workshop on Evaluation Initiatives in Natural Language Processing.
  • EACL 2003 workshop on Language Technology and the Semantic Web (the 3rd Workshop on NLP and XML).
  • Second Workshop on NLP and XML (NLPXML-2002).
  • RANLP 2001 (Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing), Tzigov Chark, Bulgaria, 2003.


Language analysis infrastructure, text mining and textual big data processing. Physical computing; micro-manufacturing; maker culture; Raspberry Pi. Privacy-preserving social media. Crowdfunding.


Current grants

  • Resilient Campus, Resilient City (RC²), HEIF, 02/2019 to 07/2019, £54,000, as PI
  • Project 2, MRC, 10/2018 to 02/2019, £22,744, as PI
  • IRF II, Matrixware Information Services GMBH, 03/2008 to 12/2020, £110,687, as PI
  • IRF IIII, Matrixware Information Services GMBH, 10/2009 to 12/2020, £133,857, as PI
  • IRF V, Matrixware Information Services GMBH, 10/2009 to 12/2020, £36,506, as PI
  • SoBigData Research Infrastructure, EC - H2020, 09/2015 to 08/2019, £649,690, as PI

Previous grants