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Smart Systems Research Group

To promote sustainability and create resilience in systems, organisations, networks and societies

Mark's biography will be available soon. Mark can be contated via email.

RobuV PhotoDr Valentin Robu's research interests include artificial intelligence, game theory and machine learning and their application to automation of real-life systems. In recent years, he has focused on applying these methods to address challenges in the smart grid area, ranging from coordination of large-scale EV charging, monitoring of storage devices performing energy demand response, or managing curtailment in distributed generation settings.

He is a Co-Investigator in the EPSRC National Center for Energy Systems Integration (CESI), and a Principal Investigator in a number of Innovate UK projects with a range of companies, including Upside Energy (Manchester), Gaia Wind (Glasgow) or Denchi Power (Thurso).

Dr. Robu has over 60 publications in top international conferences and journals in both the areas of artificial intelligence and energy systems, and has collaborated with researchers from a number of top international institutions including, for example, Harvard University (US); University of Southampton (UK); CWI Amsterdam and TU Delft (The Netherlands); Nagoya Institute of Technology (Japan); and, IBM Research (India) etc.

A full research profile can be viewed on Dr Robu's Heriot-Watt University's Research Gateway 

swinglerJonathan Swingler is Senior Lecturer in Energy at Heriot-Watt University within the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences (Electrical Engineering). Over the last twenty years he has developed an extensive expertise in the reliability of electrical systems following positions at Loughborough University and the University of Southampton. His work has particularly focused on electrical contacts and interconnecting in automotive and aerospace systems. He has more than 60 publications, is a reviewer for many leading journal publications, acts as an Expert Witness concerning failure of components and patent disputes, and is a proposal evaluator and project reviewer for the European Commission. He is a chartered physicist and Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He is Chair for the 28th International Conference on Electrical Contacts.

A full research profile can be viewed on Dr Jonathan Swingler's Heriot-Watt University Home Page and the Research Gateway


FlynnProf. David Flynn is the founder of the Smart Systems Group (SSG) at Heriot-Watt University. The activities of the SSG involve multidisciplinary expertise in sensor technologies, manufacturing and embedded intelligence to create Smart Systems. In the area of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), the SSG investigate solutions in partnership with colleagues within the Edinburgh Centre of Robotics to create the next generation solutions for intelligent asset management. This research relates to applications within challenging and remote environments, for example, offshore wind turbine asset management and subsea power cable inspection, where we take advantage of hybrid (human-machine) remote inspection and repair to deliver a new paradigm in asset management of critical and complex systems. Prof. Flynn is a founder and Associate Director of the new EPSRC National Centre for Energy System Integration (£25,000,000). His research strategy within this programme is the integration of prognostics and health management principles to support enhanced system level asset management and planning of the energy network. He is also the deputy director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence (£13,000,000). Within the CDT programme Prof. Flynn has acquired industrial supported studentships from MacTaggart Scott Ltd, Baker Hughes and MacPhie, representing different high value engineering sectors all based on integrated sensor technologies with front end intelligence to support optimised asset management of systems.

Prof. Flynn's expertise is in the research and development of novel sensors and intelligent sensor systems. He has applied his expertise to broad field of applications including energy, medical, offshore assets and environmental monitoring. Prof. Flynn has published over 50 papers and currently holds a UK patent for High Frequency Piezoelectric Ultrasound Transducer Arrays, for medical imaging applications. In 2006 he developed the highest power density magnetic components to-date in the field of DC-DC converters. Prof.Flynn is currently leading work in robust and intelligent, as in Prognostic and Diagnostic, sensor system projects with Scottish and Southern Energy, Siemens Transmission Distribution Limited, and MacTaggart Scott limited.

For a list of Prof.Flynn's publications please refer to the Research Gateway.

Dr W Fruh rdax 135x180Dr Wolf Früh is a Physics graduate from the University of Freiburg, DPhil in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Oxford and specialises in the application of chaos theory and low-dimensional modelling of geophysical fluid dynamic experiments.  He joined Heriot-Watt University as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering in 1997, primarily teaching fluid dynamics and thermodynamics.  Since 2000 he has been a Senior Lecturer in Energy Engineering.  In this capacity, Dr Fruh has been teaching Energy Technology and Renewable Energy and has developed a portfolio of postgraduate taught Masters Programmes.

Recent consultancies include a contribution to the design of small wind turbines, a combined heat and power energy storage system (which involved the construction and testing of a proof-of-concept device), and the techno-economic analysis of a planned hybrid wind-pumped hydro storage installation.

Dr Fruh's research continues to contribute to fundamental research in the transition to geophysical turbulence. This research has been developed alongside the more recent focus on wind turbine and wind farm aerodynamics, wind energy resource assessment, as well as the integration of variable power generation into the grid. An example of the wind turbine and wind farm aerodynamics is the development of a high-resolution computational fluid dynamics model of a wind turbine in its domain used for evaluating the effect of turbulence on the decay of the wake behind the rotor.  This is currently being extended to modelling a full operational offshore wind farm in collaboration with that wind farm’s operator. The work on wind resource assessment has recently addressed the long-term stability of the wind resource in Scotland, and a current PhD student with industrial funding is developing a novel type of MCP wind resource assessment. Most recently, Dr Fruh has developed an interest in the dynamics of an entire grid be it the national grid or a micro-grid, when supplied with a substantial contribution from variable renewable generation.

Publications: For a complete list of Dr. Früh's publications, please visit his research profile.