Dr Sanjay Sharma
Associate Professor (Reader) in Intelligent Autonomous Control Systems
School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
- Marine renewable energy
- Unmanned marine vehicles
- Artificial intelligent techniques
- Engineering – design processes
- Engineering – industrial control systems
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- PGR coordinator, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics (SECAM), 2020 - present
- Head of Autonomous Marine Systems (AMS) Research Group formerly known as Marine and Industrial Dynamic Analysis (MIDAS) Research Group, SMSE, University of Plymouth (2010–present)
- BEng Mechanical Engineering Year 2 tutor (2009–present)
- Programme Manager for the MSc Mechanical Engineering, University of Plymouth (2004–2010)
- Member of SoE Diversity and Inclusion Committee, University of Plymouth (2015–present)
- Member of International Recruitment Committee, University of Plymouth (2006–present)
- Member of Faculty of Science and Engineering Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, University of Plymouth (2013–present)
- Hindu faith advisor to University’s Multi-Faith Chaplaincy (2010–present)
- Elected member of Equality and Diversity Committee, University of Plymouth (2006–2009)
- Successfully completed Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHET) course, Queen’s University Belfast, 2004.
- PhD degree in Systems and Control Engineering, University of Sheffield, 2000 (Thesis title: Soft Computing for Modelling and Control of Dynamical Systems with Application to Flexible Manipulators).
- Master of Technology degree with distinction in Control Systems (Electrical Engineering), Institute of Technology- BHU (IT-BHU), India, 1992, ranked 1st.
- Bachelor of Technology (Hons.) degree with distinction in Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), India, 1990, ranked 4th.
Roles on external bodies
- Member of the IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) Mechatronics, Informatics & Control Group Board (2009–present)
- IMechE representative to UKACC (United Kingdom Automatic Control Council) (2011–present)
- Member of IFAC TC 7.5 on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (2011–present) – International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) being the premier organisation serving the control engineering community globally.
Advancing marine autonomy through AI
Sanjay is one of the UK’s foremost innovators in applying autonomous technology in the marine environment
"The biggest challenge we face is not just to develop autonomous technology but to convince people it is safe"
Marine autonomy does not have as many constraints as there are on land but there are still challenges that need to be overcome to make the most of current and future opportunities
Robot ships are ready, but are we?
Can a robotic ship really achieve full autonomy? Are we ready to remove humans from the equation and use a robotic ship to travel fully autonomously, complete with several drone boats and submarines?
Includes subjects in the areas of mechanical, robotics, electrical and civil engineering. Modules taught in previous years:
- Instrumentation and Control – Measurement principles, sensors and classical control techniques
- Robotics and Control – Neural network training on practical data to model the robotic system and then design a fuzzy logic controller using Matlab/Simulink software packages
- Design and CAD – Solidworks for design and analysis of mechanical components
- Advanced Information Technology – wavelet techniques for data mining and error analysis on GPS data using wavelet toolbox in Matlab
- Marine System Engineering – Torsional and vibrational analysis of marine systems
- Electrical Principles – Basic electrical circuit theorems for DC and AC circuits
- Simulation of dynamic systems – Simulation study of the acceleration of a real car system using Matlab/Simulink
- Wave energy Converters and Power Take off - Optimum condition for power transfer and electrical analogy of the mechanical system, impedance matching conditions for maximum power transfer
- Intelligent systems control – Theory of neural networks and backpropagation training algorithm and application for modelling and control
Staff serving as external examiners
- External Examiner for MSc in Control Systems, Coventry University, Oct 2015 - Sep 2019.
- External Examiner for CV Marine/ Electronics South Tyneside Programmes in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University, Oct 2014 - Jan 2019.
- External Examiner for system engineering courses from foundation to master level at University of Wales, Newport, May 2012 – Nov 2017.
- External Examiner for FdEng Marine systems engineering at University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, April 2014 – Sep 2017.
Current research activities include use of AI techniques such as genetic algorithms, fuzzy logic and neural networks for modelling and the design of novel control systems for industrial and marine plant particularly for wave energy devices, robotics, automobiles and uninhabited marine vehicles for both surface and underwater operations.
1. Internal Examiner for PhD at Plymouth University, Mar 2021 (Lewis Sampson – Estimating the background error for variational data assimilation of an ocean model using a binless analysis of innovations)
2. Internal Examiner for PhD at Plymouth University, Dec 2020 (Ulysse Vautier – Model Identification, Navigation, Guidance and Control of Autonomous Sailboats)
3. External Examiner for PhD at Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (Deemed To Be University), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, Oct 2020 (Siddharth Sahany – Selection of Optimal Operation Regime for Resonant Wireless Power Transfer System)
4. Chair for internal PhD at the University of Plymouth, July 2020 (Christopher Wallbridge – Dynamic Generation of Spatial Referring Expressions for Social Robots)
5. Chair for internal PhD at University of Plymouth, Apr 2020 (Faisal Shaman – User Profiling Based on Network Application Traffic Monitoring)
6. External Examiner for PhD at SASTRA Deemed to be University, India, Apr 2020 (V. Gomathi – Design of Sensor Fault Diagnosis Technique and Fault-Tolerant Controller for Pyro Process in Cement Industry)
7. External Examiner for MPhil at University of Southampton, Nov 2019 (Thomas Lowndes – AUV Swarms for Monitoring Rapidly Evolving Ocean Phenomena)
8. External Examiner for PhD at Delhi Technological University, India, Aug 2019 (Rahul Bansal – State Estimation in Systems Modelled by Ode’s and PDE’s)
9. Chair for internal PhD at University of Plymouth, May 2019 (Sahar Sahib Elaiwi – Analysis and design of castellated beams)
10. External Examiner for PhD at London’s South Bank University, April 2019 (N’Zebo Richard Anvo – Internal in-service inspection of petrochemical storage tank floors to detect underside corrosion with Non-destructive Testing Robot)
11. External Examiner for PhD at the Queen’s University of Belfast, August 2018 (David Johnathan McIntyre – Cooperative Control Strategies for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles using Artificial Potential Fields)
12. External Examiner for PhD at the University of Bath, July 2018 (Dhruv Chandel – Modelling, Control and Optimisation of an Array of Non-Linear Oscillating Wave Surge Converters)
13. External Examiner for PhD at University of South Wales, October 2017 (Xiao Guo – Modelling and validation of retrofit HGV hybrid system)
14. External Examiner for PhD at Southampton University, May 2017 (Kantapon Tanakitkorn – Guidance, Control and Path Planning for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles)
15. External Examiner for PhD at Coventry University, May 2016 (Abdulazeez Dauda El-ladan – Energy Management in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
16. External Examiner for PhD at Sheffield University, Feb 2016 (Omar Khalil Sayidmarie – Design and Real-time control of a new structure two-wheeled robot)
17. Internal Examiner for PhD at Plymouth University, July 2014 (Kate Freeman – Numerical modelling and control of an oscillating water column wave energy converter)
18. External Examiner for PhD at Newcastle University, Nov 2009 (Jones Emrys – Adaptive roll stabilisation of fishing vessels)
19. Internal Examiner for PhD at Plymouth University, Feb 2006 (Chiew Seon Tan - An intelligent collision avoidance system for autonomous underwater vehicles)
1. Benjamin Green, Human-Robot Teaming for Long-Term Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of Offshore Renewable Energy Devices , PhD, EPSRC DTP Theme: ORE Studentship (Oct 2020- till date), Third Supervisor.
2. Ihor Hromov, The numerical modelling of small-scale ocean processes by integrating deterministic and artificial intelligence techniques, PhD, University of Plymouth Studentship (Oct 2019- till date), Second Supervisor.
3. Mohammed, Rabiu, All electric subsea production control system: qualification analysis of all electric control systems & electric surface control subsurface safety valve (ESCSSV), PhD self-funded (Jan 2017- till date), Second Supervisor.
Research degrees awarded to supervised students
A list of completed graduate students is shown below.
1. Polvara, R, Autonomous Drone landings on an unmanned marine vehicle using Deep Reinforcement Learning, PhD, 2015-18, Director of Studies (funded by faculty’s research scholarship), Postdoc at Lincoln University, UK.
2. Singh, Y, Cooperative Swarm Optimisation of Unmanned Surface Vehicles, PhD, 2015-2018, Director of Studies (Funded by Commonwealth scholarship), Postdoc at Purdue University, USA.
3. Szyrowksi T, An intelligent, fast-acquisition remote sensing system for locating and measuring burial of subsea power and telecommunication cables, PhD, 2011 – 2017, Director of Studies (Funded by an ESF grant).
4. Terzakis G, Intelligent Integrated autopilot design using visual SLAM, PhD, 2011 – 2016, Third Supervisor (Completed), (Funded by an EPSRC grant), Postdoc at Portsmouth University.
5. Zaynab Abdullah – Mphil Mechanical Engineering, Oct 2014 – Sep 2015, Second Supervisor.
6. Abed W, Robust and intelligent fault diagnosis techniques for DC motors, PhD, 2012 – 2015, Director of Studies (Completed), (Funded by Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Iraq).
7. Motwani A, Interval Kalman filtering techniques for uninhabited surface vehicle navigation, PhD, 2011 – 2014, Director of Studies (Completed), Employed at SAAB SEAEYE LIMITED, Fareham, UK.
8. Kayode O, Nonlinear model predictive control strategies for process plant using soft computing approaches, PhD, 2010 – 2014, Director of Studies (Completed), Postdoc position at Loughborough University.
9. Stewart F, Tribological Characterisation and Modelling of Premium Tubular Connections, PhD, 2010 – 2014 (Completed), Second Supervisor, Project Engineer DNV Aberdeen, United Kingdom.
10. Roper D, Design and Optimisation of a Biomimetic Marine Propulsion System, PhD, 2010 – 2013, Director of Studies (Completed), Employed by NOC, Southampton.
11. XU Tao, An Intelligent Navigation System for an Unmanned Surface Vehicle, PhD 2004-2007, Second Supervisor (Completed), Lecturer at Tianjin University China.
Grants & contracts
· Principal Investigator - Marine Business Technology Centre (MBTC), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £4.75M (£974K to UoP), 2018 – 2021.
· Academic contributor -Marine-i, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £9.3M (£1.14M to UoP), 2018-2020.
· Academic Supervisor for ‘Marine-i Industrial Research Fellow – AI, Autonomy, Control Systems and Robotics’ - Marine-i Phase 2, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £5.51M (UoP Value £1.04M), 2020-2022.
· Academic Supervisor for Industrial Research Fellow post - Cornwall FLOW Accelerator, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £6M (UoP Value £1.68M), 2021-2022.
· Principal Investigator – Internal Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) for Capacity building for the development of a novel Marine Monitoring and Forecasting System (MaMoFS) to support the sustainability of deep-sea fisheries in the Indian Ocean, £77,000 (2020-2021).
· Academic Supervisor – Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant (KTP011575) between the University of Plymouth and AB Precision (Poole) Limited to develop enhanced automation, mobile navigation, and situational awareness for remotely operated vehicles for the Defence, Security, Emergency Services (ES), and Nuclear markets, £183,217 (2019-2021).
· Principal Investigator - The Royal Society Grant for international exchanges in conjunction with Zhejiang University, China on the following project: Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Path Planning for Energy Conservation in an Uncertain and Changing Ocean Environment, £12K (2018-2020)
· Co-investigator – Modifying an Existing Electric-Car with Wireless Connectivity for Safe and Autonomous Driving (School of Engineering Small Research Grant) at Plymouth University, £2.5K (2017-2018)
· Co-investigator – The effect of biomaterial surface microtopography on bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation (School of Engineering Small Research Grant) at Plymouth University, £2.5K (2017-2018)
· Co-investigator – Development, establishment, and operation of a UAE oceanographic centre (UAE-Ocean Project) at Plymouth University, c£4m (2014-2020)
· Principal Investigator - The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) Newton Research Collaboration award with NIT, Rourkela, India for Dynamic path planning for the swarm of unmanned marine vehicles
, £11.9K (2015-2016 - 18 months)
· Principal Investigator - The China Scholarship Council (CSC) Postdoctoral Research award for Zhuang Yufei from Harbin Institute of technology to work in AMS research group at PU, £15K (2015-2016- 15 months)
· Principal Investigator - The China Scholarship Council (CSC) Postdoctoral Research award for Huang Haibin from Harbin Institute of technology to work in AMS research group at PU, £18K (2014-2016- 18 months)
· Principal Investigator - The Royal Society Grant for international exchanges in conjunction with Northwestern Polytechnical University, China for Cooperative Path Planning and Control of Multiple UUVs for Ocean Observation, £12K (2013-2015)
· Principal Investigator - TSB grant for Offshore Wave Energy Limited Marine Demonstrator (Optimal control strategy for IT Power’ OWEL WEC) £2.5M (£47K to Plymouth University, 2010-2013)
· Principal Investigator - ESF-CUC PhD studentship for the design of an intelligent and fast-acquisition remote sensing system for locating and measuring burial depth of subsea cables, £60K (2011-2014)
· Co-investigator - EPSRC Grant EP/I012923/1 for an intelligent integrated navigation and autopilot system for uninhabited surface vehicles, £354K (2011-2014)
· Principal Investigator - Graduate research scholarship funding for design and optimisation of a biomimetic marine propulsion system, £60K, (2010-2013)
· Principal Investigator – PhD funding for fault diagnosis of electrical motors in aircraft using intelligent systems techniques, £65K, (2012-2015)
· Principal Investigator – PhD funding for an adaptive control system for oil refinery applications, £60K, (2010-2013)
· Principal Investigator - KTP - Sharma SK and Summerscales J, To design and manufacture a state of the art resin processing control and delivery system to manufacture composite materials predominantly for the aerospace industry, KTP grant with Composite Integration Ltd., £111,672, (2007-2009)
· Recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Research and Innovation Fellowship Award, 2007, Plymouth University, £4000.
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Reports & invited lectures
Invited Speaker to the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) talk on Marine Technologies, on 13th April 2018, NOC, Southampton.
Invited Speaker to the Society for Underwater Technology (SUT) talk on South West - The Rise of the (Integrated) Machines, on 12th April 2018, Met office, Exeter.
Invited Speaker to the EPSRC Robotics, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence (RAAI) Theme Day on the 31st January 2017, London.
Invited speaker on “Control System Applications in Wave Energy Conversion” in Renewable Energy Group, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, 8th May 2013.
Invited speaker of the Aerospace, Aviation and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network (AAD KTN) one-day workshop designed to bring together programme leaders from the EPSRC-supported programmes on autonomous systems, vehicles and robotics, 31st May 2011, America Square Conference Centre, London.
Media coverage in the Herald, Cornish and Devon post, Journal Gazette and Western Morning News for research on visual simultaneous localisation and mapping techniques for uninhabited marine vehicle. News articles in the Maritime Journal, a respected source of business information is dedicated to the European Commercial Marine Business – inshore, offshore, coastal zone and short sea. Regular short articles in Marine Institute, Plymouth Newsletter.
International Programme Committee member of the 2019 IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles, IAV 2019, Gdansk, Poland.
Associate Editor and Member of the International Programme Committee for the 20th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR2017) and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines, School of Engineering of the Porto Polytechnic, Portugal, during 11 – 13 September 2017.
International Advisory Committee of First International Symposium on Flutter and its Application (ISFA2016), May 2016, Tokyo, JAPAN.
Associate Editor and Member of the International Programme Committee for the 18th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR2015), Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 6-9, 2015.
IPC Technical Associated Editors of the 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC’14), Cape Town, South Africa, 24-29 August 2014.
Member of the International Programme Committee for the 14th Mechatronics Forum International Conference “Mechatronics 2014” to be held June 16-18, 2014, Karlstad, Sweden. Sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineer (IMechE).
Associate editor and Member of the International Programme Committee for the 2014 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium June 8 - 11, 2014, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA Sponsored by the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Council.
Associate editor and Member of the International Programme Committee for the 8th IFAC Symposium on Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles IAV 2013, Gold Coast, Australia, 26-28 June 2013.
Associate Editor and Member of the International Programme Committee for the 15th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR2012), July 23 – 26, 2012, Johns Hopkins University, USA.
Co-chair of IMechE mini-symposium on Unmanned Marine Vehicles – The Benefits of using Control Algorithms at 2012 UKACC International Conference on Control, Cardiff
Chaired special session on Biologically inspired systems and solutions and Member of the International Programme Committee for the 14th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR2011), Paris, September 6-8, 2011 at UPMC University
Member of the International Programme Committee for the International Conference on Software, Knowledge, Information Management and Applications (SKIMA), Kathmandu, Nepal, 18-21 March 2008
Member of the International Programme Committee for the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Computing (ICIC 2006), August 16–19, 2006 in Kunming Yunnan Province, China
Member of the Organising Committee for the Irish Signals and Systems Conference 2004, Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, 30th June- 2nd July 2004.
Member of the International Programme Committee for the IFAC International Conference on Intelligent Control Systems and Signal Processing (ICONS 2003), University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal, 2003.
Organised and chaired two special sessions on Advances in Learning for Soft Computing Systems I & II at IFAC International Conference on Intelligent Control and Signal Processing (ICONS 2003), University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal, 2003.
National Research Council (NRC) Fellowships, USA, 2001
Received the NRC fellowship award from Air Force Research Laboratory (Eglin, Florida) for suggested project on Dynamic path planning in a co-operative munitions and Evolutionary approach to optimum combination of formation satellites.
IEEE Student Travel award, 2000
Received IEEE Travel award to attend the IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems, Texas, USA.
Overseas Research Scholarships (ORS) awards, UK, 1997
Awarded ORS from Committee of Vice-chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom for studying PhD course at University of Sheffield.
State Merit Scholarships, 1984
Presented with a State Merit Scholarships award for coming within 20 best students in Secondary School Examination, India. This award covers the cost of university education after secondary school.
- IT Power, Bristol (TSB)
- Subsea Cable Tracking Ltd, Truro, Cornwall (ESF-CUC)
- Composite Integration Ltd, Saltash, Cornwall (KTP)