School of Computer Science
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Short Biography

Since 2005 I have been a senior lecturer here at Birmingham, and more recently co-head of the Intelligent Robotics Lab. I currently hold three significant research grants, and am involved in three smaller grants. For more information on those, see my research pages.

B.Sc. 1990 Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Computer Science.
B.Sc.(Hons.) 1991Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, Computer Science.
M.Sc. 1994 University of British Columbia, Computer Science.

  • My masters thesis was on structured representations of Markov Decision Process planning problems and efficient ways to generate approximate solutions.

Ph.D. 2000 University of British Columbia, Computer Science.

  • My doctoral thesis was on the uses of structure in planning and reinforcement learning, again concentrating on Markov Decision Processes as representations of the problems, and looking at how optimal policies could be discovered when the model of the problem is known (planning) and unknown (learning). I also worked on the exploration-exploitation problem in reinforcement learning.

2000-2004: NASA Ames Research Center

Shadow of a Mars rover and a person
K-9 and I, taken by the panoramic camera of NASA's K-9 rover.
  • Acting Group Lead, Model-Based Diagnosis and Recovery group, NASA Ames Research Center (approx. 15 people in group) (2002-2004)

  • PI for Intelligent Systems seed project Investigating Fault Detection, Identification and Recovery for Drilling.   

  • PI for Intelligent Systems project Probabilistic Fault Detection for Hybrid Discrete/Continuous Systems.   

  • PI for Mars Technology Program project Real-time Fault Detection and Situation Awareness for Rovers.   

  • Member of the team that proposed an autonomy demonstration mission to the Space Technology 7 mission selection process.   

  • PI for Directors Discretionary Fund project Measuring the Resilience of Advanced Life Support Systems.   

  • Co-I for Intelligent Systems project Contingency Planning.   

  • Co-I for Mars Instrument Development Program project Drilling Autonomy for Mars Exploration.   

  • Member of the Preliminary Design Review panel for the Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets project Mars Analog Research and Technology Experiment.