Dr Sanjay Sharma, Associate Professor in Intelligent Autonomous Control Systems, is one of the UK’s foremost innovators in applying autonomous technology in the marine environment. He leads the University’s Autonomous Marine Systems Research Group, which focuses on application of AI techniques to the navigation, guidance and control of autonomous vehicles, wave energy devices and marine propulsion systems.
Applying artificial intelligence to marine environments
For the last 15 years Sanjay has been instrumental in adapting emerging technologies, particularly sensors and optimisation technology, for marine and maritime purposes. In response to the need for unmanned surface vessels in areas without satellite coverage, he has applied concepts such as digital twinning, simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM), swarm robotics, and human teaming to marine environments.
Robot ships are ready, but are we?
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Autonomy in the deep sea, offshore wind farm and global platforms
Sanjay is co-ordinating training for Meteorological and Oceanographic officers as part of the £4 million project UAE Ocean, which delivers ocean forecasting capability to the United Arab Emirates. This work will empower the UAE with scientific capacity that is not currently available there.
He has prominent roles on a number of bodies including in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the UK Automatic Control Council and a member of the Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles group within the International Federation of Automatic Control.
The person behind the pioneer
“The biggest challenge we face is not just to develop autonomous technology but to convince people it is safe.”
To enquire about future collaborations, please contact Dr Sanjay Sharma
Marine autonomy does not have as many constraints as there are on land, however there are still challenges to overcome to make the most of current and future opportunities.
One of the key factors in all autonomous technology is that it can operate for long periods without the need for pausing. Through the application of machine learning and fuzzy logic, we are generating a host of new and more reliable opportunities.
Dr Sanjay Sharma
Plymouth Pioneers: marine researchers
- A Professor Jason Hall-Spencer
- A Professor Awadhesh Jha
- A Dr Sanjay Sharma
- A Professor Kerry Howell
- A Professor Deborah Greaves, OBE FREng
- A Professor Kevin Jones
- A Professor Gerd Masselink
- A Professor Alison Raby
- A Professor Richard Thompson, OBE FRS
- A Professor Mat Upton
- A Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop
- A Professor Mel Austen
Home of marine
Our marine and maritime excellence in world-leading research informs policy agendas for the sustainable management of ocean resources. Our work has significantly improved how to forecast extreme coastal events and their impact on communities. We were the first to study the ecological effects of ocean acidification, and now lead the UK agenda for offshore renewable energy. On national and international levels, we have influenced key policies, conservation practices, responses to climate change, public perception of marine issues, and are defining the pathways toward tangible solutions.
The culture of close collaboration across the city with researchers, policymakers, and local businesses has resulted in Plymouth’s nomination for the UK’s first National Marine Park – an initiative underpinned by research at the University.