Meet the Directors

Professors René Doursat and Liangxiu Han

Professor René Doursat

How do cells assemble together so precisely to form a living organism? How do social insects build intricate nests on their own? These two major examples of architectures without an architect, or ‘morphogenetic self-organisation’, constitute a great source of inspiration toward innovative technologies based on collective intelligence. In this context, Professor René Doursat’s research aims to establish two-way bridges between computer models of biology and biological models of computing. Potentially impacting many domains, it fosters the development of virtual biomedical experiments, swarm robotics, synthetic biology, and socio-technical networks such as the Internet of Things. All these complex systems demand a new type of engineering attitude, one that only facilitates the emergence and evolution of functional structures, not directly specifies them.

Tel: 0161 247 3589


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Professor Liangxiu Han

Professor Liangxiu Han is leading Data Science Research. Her research interests include novel big data analytics/Machine Learning/Artificial intelligence, and novel intelligent architectures facilitating big data analytics. Having worked in both industry and academia, Professor Han has over 14 years’ research and practical experience in developing intelligent information and communication technology (ICT) solutions with applications in many domains.

As a primary investigator or co-primary investigator, Professor Han has been conducting research in relation to big data processing and analysis, parallel and distributed computing/cloud computing. Her projects have been funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) / Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Innovate UK, Horizon 2020, Industry, Charity, and the Newton Fund. Professor Han is EPSRC Peer Review College member, an independent expert for Horizon 2020, a guest editor for a number of reputable international journals and a chair (or Co-Chair) of a number of international conferences/workshops in the field.

Tel: 0161 247 1225


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