Dr Charith Abhayaratne


Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Senior Lecturer

EEE Foundation year tutor

EEE accreditation team lead

Communications Research Group

Headshot of Charith Abhayaratne
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+44 114 222 5893

Full contact details

Dr Charith Abhayaratne
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

I received the B.E. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from The University of Adelaide, Australia, in 1998, and the PhD. degree in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Bath, U.K., in 2002. I am a recipient of the Alain Bensoussan Fellowship awarded by the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) to carry out postdoctoral research at the Centre of Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI), The Netherlands (2002), and the National Research Institute for Computer Science and Control (INRIA), Sophia Antipolis, France (2003). During the fellowship, my research was on adaptive wavelet transforms for image and video coding and analysis. After the fellowship, I was a postdoctoral research associate at Queen Mary, University of London, where I worked on wavelet based scalable video coding research. In 2005, I joined the University of Sheffield as a lecturer.

My research is focused on signal processing and machine learning for multimedia security, automated understanding of visual content (computer vision) and video coding. I lead a group of researchers working on these topics. In terms of multimedia security, I am working on methodologies for robust and imperceptible data hiding and exploring block-chain technology for multimedia content tracking and protection. In terms of visual content understanding, my current work is on understanding and modelling of visual salience in the context of robotic and UAV applications, automated recognition of human activities of daily living in the context of assisted living and modelling of complex 2D and 3D shapes leading to real time number and object recognition. In terms of video coding, current research includes coding of high dynamic range (HDR) video, ultra high definition (UHD) video and 360 degrees video. Current and recently concluded research has been funded by Innovate UK, EPSRC and Industry sponsors.

Currently, I serve as an associate editor for IEEE Transactions in Image Processing, IEEE Access and Elsevier Journal of Information Security and Applications (JISA) and I have served as a guest editor for Signal Processing: Image Communication (in 2009). At present, I am serving as a member of the EPSRC peer review college, a committee member of the British Standards Institution (BSI) group IST/037 coding of picture, audio, multimedia and hypermedia information and a member of Multimedia Security and Forensics Technical Committee of Asia-Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association (APSIPA). I have served as the UK Liaison for the European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP) and a member of the IEEE Multimedia Communications technical committee from 2010-2019. In 2004-2006, I have contributed to the development of the scalable video standardisation and wavelet video exploration activities within the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Expert Group (MPEG).

  • PhD (Electronic and Electrical Engineering), The University of Bath, UK 2002
  • BE Class 1 Hons. (Electrical and Electronic Engineering), The University of Adelaide, Australia, 1998
  • PGCertHE, The University of Sheffield, UK, 2008
Research interests
  • AI and machine learning for computer vision.
  • AI and machine learning for multimedia security and forensics.
  • Multi-modal sensing, data analysis and machine learning.
  • Signal, image, video and graph processing and analysis. 
  • Video and image coding, streaming and visual quality metrics.
  • Applications in robotics, creative industries, security and surveillance, assisted living, healthcare, remote sensing, sports visual analysis, computational imaging, digital manufacturing and international standards (JPEG and MPEG).

Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers


Research students
Student Degree Status Primary /Secondary
Alwaely B PhD Graduated Primary
Pal S PhD Graduated


Bhowmik D PhD  Graduated Primary
Feng T PhD Graduated Primary
Hotrakool W PhD Graduated


Majid M PhD Graduated


Oakes  M PhD Graduated Primary
Wang Y PhD Graduated Primary
Dai X MPhil Graduated


Yu Z MPhil Graduated


Angadi V PhD Graduated Secondary