Dr Nick Hawes

Reader in Autonomous Intelligent Robotics

School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Email: n.a.hawes@cs.bham.ac.uk
Twitter: @hawesie
Phone: +44 (0) 121 41 43739
Office: 133 (first floor, back right)
Office Hours: Mon 12:00, Tues 11:00 (term-time only)
Availability: Doodle MeetMe

My research interests lie in the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to create intelligent, autonomous robots that can work with or for humans. I have worked on long-term autonomy for mobile robots, information-processing architectures for intelligent systems, the integration of AI planning techniques into a variety of robot systems, and the use of qualitative spatial representations to enable robots to reason about the possibilities for action in their worlds. My research is performed as part of the Intelligent Robotics Lab.

For my publications see my publications page or my Google Scholar profile.

I am the coordinator of the the STRANDS project (Spatio-Temporal Representations and Activities for Cognitive Control in Long-Term Scenarios), a 4-year EU FP7 Integrating Project. Please see the project's website for more information, or read our overview paper.

Current Projects

  • EU FP7 IP: STRANDS, Spatio-Temporal Representations and Activities for Cognitive Control in Long-Term Scenarios (#600623)
  • CHIST-ERA: ALOOF: Autonomous Learning of the Meaning of Objects (EP/M015777/1)

Past Projects

  • EPSRC First Grant: Learning the structure and dynamics of human environments to support intelligent mobile robot behaviour (EP/K014293/1)
  • EPSRC Autonomous and Intelligent Systems: Sustained Autonomy through Plan-based Control and World Modelling with Uncertainty (EP/J012548/1)

Current PhD students

  • Fatma Faruq, co-supervised with David Parker
  • Marco Becerra
  • Ferdian Jovan, co-supervised with Jeremy Wyatt.
  • Lenka Mudrova
  • Jack Hargreaves, co-supervised with Jeremy Baxter and Rustam Stolkin


Past PhD students

  • Manolis Chiou, heading off to Greek military service co-supervised with Jeremy Baxter, Kimron Shapiro and Rustam Stolkin
  • Jay Young, now an RF in the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
  • Catherine Harris, now an RF in the National Oceanographic Centre, co-supervised with Richard Dearden
  • Kat Samperi, now Principal Technologist - DevOps at QA Ltd, co-supervised with Russell Beale

I currently teach the following modules:

Previously I taught:

I record all of my lectures and make them available online. This means if you want to sit one of these modules remotely, you can watch the videos and play along at home.

I am also the Head of Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for the School of Computer Science.

I had the honour to receive the Head of School's Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 academic years (voted for by students), and the Head of College's Award in the 2010/11 academic year.

I am a passionate and energetic believer in public engagement about AI and Robotics, and science more generally. I have made a number of appearances on TV and radio discussing both the ideas behind my research, and the potential impact of robotics on society. I have also visited schools and education fairs to present robots and related research.

I was selected to give the Lord Kelvin Award Lecture at the 2013 British Science Festival. This honour is given to an active researcher who has demonstrated outstanding communication skills to a general audience.

In June 2012 I was the runner-up in the Sheffield DocFest Specialist Factual New Talent Pitch (the winner was Ami Banerjee, another University of Birmingham lecturer). In 2011 I won a place on a RAEng training scheme at the Cheltenham Science Festival, where I participated in two shows.

A showreel of some recent TV appearances is available here.

I am always looking for appropriate public engagement opportunities, so feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss something.

Recent Media and Events

Appearances in University Media