Dr Toby Whitley

Dr Toby Whitley

Lecturer in Analogue and Digital Electronics (Education)

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Dr Toby Whitley is a lecturer at the University of Plymouth, specializing in Analogue and Digital Electronics for wireless communications. He completed his doctorate at the University of Bristol and has been involved in several significant research projects. He worked on the SIBIS (Secure Interactive Broadcast Infotainment System) project, which focused on delivering encrypted content using a micro-payment model.

Later, he joined the OSIRIS (Open Infotainment Services In Radio Interconnected Systems) project as a Senior Research Fellow, where he developed a WIFI testbed using MIMO technology. OSIRIS, a multi-million-pound collaboration between the University of Bristol, Toshiba, and Qinetiq, aimed to provide universal access to high-quality broadband internet via handheld devices connected to public hotspots. The fruits of this project form part of the wireless technology we use today.

He then joined the University of Bath as a teaching and research fellow and worked on a project investigating Sprites and global lightning. He set up a network of data loggers at various locations around the world to record the Extremely Low Frequency signatures from sprites and their associated lightning strikes.

He continued at the University of Bath as a teaching fellow until joining Plymouth University in May 2012 where he has held roles including admission tutor and associate head of school for Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Robotics.


BEng (Hons). Electronics and Communications (1993-1996).
PhD. Handover in Wireless ATM (1996-2000).

Professional membership

Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


Teaching interests

With a solid foundation in wireless communications, I lead several modules at the university. These include Analogue Electronics (ELEC141), High Speed Communications (ELEC345), and Distributed and Interactive Communications Systems (ELEC520). Additionally, I contribute to the first-year project module (Proj100), focusing on instrumentation and measurement.
My teaching covers a variety of topics, including the continuing relevance of analogue (in our digital world), communications systems, and the intricacies of radio frequency design, which includes antennas, propagation, and channel access.
Over the course of my career, I have won numerous awards, the most recent being the SSTAR award for inspirational teaching. This recognition serves as a testament to my commitment to delivering quality education. 

Staff serving as external examiners

University of Bedfordshire, PhD Examiner, April 2021 (Design of Implantable Antennas for Biomedical Applications)
Internal Examiner of 5 PhD students


Research interests

My research interests are focused around high speed wired and wireless communications, distributed systems, robotics, and sensors. 

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Benjamin O'Driscoll, Supervisor  "Aptamer Functionalisation of Back-gated Graphene" 2018 - 2022 (Funded by the University of Plymouth)
Carrie Haslam, Co-Supervisor " DC and Impedance Sensors based on Graphene for the Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Protein Biomarkers",Director of Studies, 2016 - 2020 (Funded by the University of Plymouth).


Li, C., Bulman, H., Whitley, T. and Li, S., 2022. Ultra-Wideband Communication and Sensor Fusion Platform for the Purpose of Multi-Perspective Localization. Sensors, 22(18), p.6880. 
O’Driscoll, B., 2021. SCRAMBLE: Sweep Comparison Research Application for Multiple Back-Gated Field Effect measurements of graphene field effect transistors. SoftwareX, 15, p.100757.
Bungon, T., Haslam, C., Damiati, S., O’Driscoll, B., Whitley, T., Davey, P., Siligardi, G., Charmet, J. and Awan, S.A., 2021. Graphene FET Sensors for Alzheimer’s Disease Protein Biomarker Clusterin Detection. Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, 8, p.651232.
Damiati, S., Haslam, C., Søpstad, S., Peacock, M., Whitley, T., Davey, P., Awan, S.A. “Sensitivity Comparison of Macro- and Micro-electrochemical Biosensors for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Biomarker Detection”. IEEE Access, 2019, Vol. 7, pp. 94048-94058, DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2928132. 
Haslam, C., Damiati, S., Whitley, T., Davey, P., Ifeachor, E., Awan, S.A. “Chemical Vapour Deposition Graphene Field-Effect Transistors for the Detection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Cancer Risk Biomarker”. Diagnostics 2018, 8, 5; DOI: 10.3390/diagnostics8010005.
Whitley, T., et al. (2011), Worldwide extremely low frequency magnetic field sensor network for sprite studies, Radio Sci., 46, RS4007, doi:10.1029/2010RS004523.
Waller, A.O.; Jones, G.; Whitley, T.; Edwards, J.; Kaleshi, D.; Munro, A.; MacFarlane, B.; Wood, A.; Securing the delivery of digital content over the Internet. Electronics & Communication Engineering JournalVolume 14, Issue 5, Oct. 2002 Page(s):239 – 248
Mitchell (Contributing author); Security for Mobility. IEE Telecommunications Series 51. ISBN 0-86341-337-4
Conference Papers
Haslam, C., Whitley, T., Ifeachor, E., Awan, S.A. “Graphene FET Immunosensors for Label-Free Detection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Cancer Risk Biomarker”. Presented at Graphene Week. 2018. Spain. 
Damiati, S., Haslam, C., Peacock, M., Awan, S.A., “A Modified Electrochemical Biosensor for Sensitive Detection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Biomarker. Presented at the European Association for Cancer Research. PO-088, 2018. Amsterdam. Presented by Damiati, S.
Haslam C., Islam K., Suhail, A., Whitley T., Ifeachor E. and Awan S. A. “Non-Covalently Functionalized Back-Gated Graphene Field-Effect Transistor for Ultrasensitive and Reproducible Immunosensing”. Presented at Biodetection and Biosensors Conference. University of Cambridge, 2016. United Kingdom.
Haslam, C., Whitley, T., Ifeachor, E., Awan, S. A. “Graphene Field-Effect Transistors for Early Detection of Alzheimer's Biomarkers in Blood”. Presented at the International Workshop on Biosensors for Dementia. 2017. University of Plymouth, June 2017, United Kingdom.
Benjamin O’Driscoll, Theodore Bungon, Paul Davey, Toby Whitley and Shakil Awan, “Raman Spectroscopy of Graphene Biosensors”. Bath University C3Bio Conference - September 2019.
Benjamin O’Driscoll, Theodore Bungon, Paul Davey, Toby Whitley and Shakil Awan, “Raman Spectroscopy of Graphene Biosensors”. Plymouth University School of Engineering Computing and Mathematics Launch Event - December 2019. 
Benjamin O’Driscoll, Theodore Bungon, Paul Davey, Toby Whitley and Shakil Awan, “Raman Spectroscopy of Graphene Biosensors”. Plymouth University Research Showcase - December 2019.
Fullekrug, M.; Roussel-Dupre, R.; Symbalisty, E.; Chanrion, O.; Van Der Velde, O.; Whitley, T.; Neubert, T; Broadband Electromagnetic Pulses Coinciding with Sprite Luminosity, AGU Fall Meeting, December 2009
Fullekrug, M.; Roussel-Dupre, R.; Symbalisty ,E.; Chanrion, O.; Van der Velde, O.; Soula, S.; Odzimek, A.; Bennett, A.; Whitley, T.; and Neubert, T.; Relativistic Electron Beams Above Thunderclouds, EGU2010-11461, 2010
Whitley, T.; Fullekrug, M.; Rycroft, M.; Friedrichs, B.; A Summary and Evaluation of Initial ELF Sprite Measurements, Eskdalemuir, Scotland, NAM08 (MIST meeting)
Whitley, T.; Fullekrug, M.; Rycroft, M.; Combined Electric and Magnetic field measurements in the Medium and Extremely Low freqeuncy bands, MIST meeting at European Week of Astronomy and Space Science 2009
Xi, W.H.; Whitley, T.; Munro, A.; Barton, M.; Kaleshi, D.; Heide, G.; Modelling and Simulation of MAC for QoS in IEEE 802.11e Using OPNET Modeler, OPNET Work 2004
Xi, W.H.; Whitley, T.; Munro, A.; Barton, M.; Kaleshi, D.; Heide, G.; Effectiveness of qos provided by ieee 802.11e for different traffic types, Vehicular Technology Conference, 2005. VTC-2005-Fall. 2005 IEEE 62nd Volume 2,  25-28 Sept., 2005 Page(s):1132 - 1136 Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/VETECF.2005.1558103
Waller, A.O.; Jones, G.; Whitley, T.; Edwards, J.; Kaleshi, D.; Munro, A.; MacFarlane, B.; Wood, A.; Secure GSM and Beyond: End to End Security for Mobile Communications, IEE Seminar on (Digest No. 2003/10059) 11 Feb. 2003 Page(s):11/1 - 11/4
T.M Whitley and M.A. Beach, Quality of Service Parameters for Handover in Wireless ATM, Proc 16th IEE Teletraffic Symposium on Management of Quality of Service, May 2000 pp 9/1-9/6.
T.M. Whitley and M.A. Beach, The Effect of Handover Quality on Buffering Requirements in WATM, IEEE-VTC SCVT-2000 Symposium, 19 October 2000 pp 30-35


Reports & invited lectures

I enjoy delivering lectures to schools, most recently on turning science fiction into science fact!

Additional information

I took a year off to go mountaineering and then cycled down the east coast of Australia from Cairns to Cooktown then on to Sydney and have also completed a number of Ironman races, multi stage cycle races and other interesting events, most recently completing the Plymouth Breakwater Swim.