Professor Elena Gaura
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Professor Elena Gaura

Professor of Pervasive Computing and Associate Dean for Research

My Research Vision

Conceived as tomorrow’s Smart Dust two decades ago, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are now recognised as one of this century’s most exciting, potentially pervasive technologies: they can enhance the way we interact with environments, buildings and machines. My work is towards enabling WSNs’ real-world usage and extending their applicability away from simple data generators towards intelligent data consumers, knowledge generators and autonomous decision-makers. In particular, my research addresses the issues of WSN systems’ longevity, robustness, information usage and usability in the context of several sensing and actuation applications: i) human safety enhancement through physiological sensing and risk prediction; ii) buildings monitoring and occupant empowerment; iii) energy efficient air and road transportation.

BIOGRAPHY

Elena received her BSc/MSc in Electrical Engineering in 1989/1991 (Technical University of Cluj Napoca, Romania), and her PhD in Intelligent Sensor Systems in 2000 (Coventry University). She was appointed as inaugural director of the Coventry University’s Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre in 2006 (which position she held until her appointment in 2013 as Associate Dean for Research) and was awarded a Professorship in Pervasive Computing in 2009. Over the course of her career, Elena has accrued a sturdy academic reputation in the area of MEMS based smart sensing systems in general and wireless sensor networks (WSNs) in particular. She is a very active disseminator of research both to the academic community and industry, has over 140 refereed conference publications, 35 peer reviewed journal publications, is a frequent organiser of Smart Sensing and Wireless Sensor Networks events (stand alone conferences and tracks/sessions within larger events) and a successful editor of journal special issues and books (see list below). Elena is a member of several national and international advisory bodies in the areas of sensing and microsystems, including the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council College of Peers (www.epsrc.gov.uk) and the USA’s Nano Science and Technology Institute (www.nsti.org). She chairs the UK Wireless Intelligent Sensing Interest Group (WiSIG) within the Electronics, Sensors, Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network and an expert reviewer for the European Commission on Wireless Sensing and the Internet of Things activities.

Presently her research is with the development of deployable WSNs for real-life applications with a focus on: i) robust end-to-end system design and technologies integration, ii) MEMS technology integration in multi-sensor systems, iii) real-time, model based sensor fusion and information extraction from wireless sensor networks, iv) integration of decision engines within poorly resourced WSN systems v) field phenomena event detection and representation using WSNs and vi) long lived, resource constrained WSNs. A particular strength in Prof. Gaura’s research over the past years has been working with application area specialists and end-users of WSN systems. She is currently leading a number of WSN driven research projects, all of which have a strong industrial pull and sponsorship. She is actively involved with the European Commission and regional government organizations to promote the knowledge transfer from academia to industry and society at large, particularly focusing on the use of sensing technologies for improving people’s life and towards the adoption of wireless technologies for fulfilling UK’s carbon footprint reduction targets in Transportation and the Built Environment.

Prof. Gaura is a reviewer for a number of journals, including IOP Measurement Science and Technology, IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing, IEEE Sensors Journal and IEEE Industrial Electronics. She is a Committee Member for 6 annual conferences, including IEEE Sensors and an Editorial Board member for 2 journals. During her research career spanning 20 years, Prof. Gaura has grown considerable awareness of and insight into a number of engineering disciplines neighbouring the domain of her specialism (sensing). This brings her continuous recognition worldwide as a sound academic, with demonstrated ability to judge the quality of academic work at a variety of levels: from publications in conferences and journals to PhD thesis and research proposals.

Her work draws sponsorship from the UK Research Councils, the UK Technology Strategy Board and directly from industry, supporting a number of research staff and graduate students.

SELECTED OUTPUTS

SELECTED PROJECTS

  • SAFE - SmArt Fall dEtection: Research proposes machine-learning algorithms for fall detection using wearable sensors. Focus is on geriatric usability, low false positives and negatives, and thorough analysis of factors influencing fall detection.
Research breakout image

Professor of Pervasive Computing and Associate Dean for Research

Building: Futures Institute
Room: IV10.1.03
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