Our Research Leaders

Professor Máire O'Neill - Acting ECIT Director

Professor O’Neill (FIAE, MRIA) has a strong international reputation for her research in hardware security and applied cryptography. She is currently Acting Director of ECIT, Principal Investigator of CSIT, Director of the £5M EPSRC/NCSC-funded Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE), Member of UK AI Council, and recently led the €3.8m EU H2020 SAFEcrypto project (2014–2018).

She held a UK EPSRC Leadership Fellowship and was a former holder of a UK Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowship (2003–2008). She has received numerous awards, which include a Blavatnik Engineering and Physical Sciences medal, 2019, a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, 2014 and British Female Inventor of the Year 2007. She has authored two research books, and over 150 peer-reviewed international conference/journal publications.

Professor Maire O'Neill

Professor Simon Cotton - CWI Director

Professor Cotton is the Director of the Centre for Wireless Innovation (CWI) and a world leading expert in the areas of wireless channel characterisation and modelling.

Among his other areas of expertise are 5G, device-to-device, vehicular, and wearable communications. Simon received the 2010 IEEE H. A. Wheeler Prize Paper Award. He was awarded the Sir George Macfarlane Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Philip Leverhulme Prize from the Leverhulme Trust both in 2011. From 2010-2015, Simon held a highly prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship.

Professor Simon Cotton

Professor Neil Robertson - DSSC Director

Professor Robertson researches new underpinning machine learning methods for visual analytics and his principal research focus is face/activity recognition in real video. He started his career in the UK Scientific Civil Service with DERA (2000-2002) and QinetiQ (2002-2007) and was the 1851 Royal Commission Fellow at Oxford University (2003–2006).

His autonomous systems, defence and security research is extensive. Highlights include 5-year EPSRC Programmes UDRC Phase 2 (2012-2017) and 3 (2018-2023), and the EPSRC RAS CDT (2013-2018). Neil is a leader in the commercialisation of computer vision research. He is the co-founder of AnyVision. Created in 2015, AnyVision is now an international business based on world-class AI research with major offices in the USA, UK, Singapore and Israel.

Professor Neil Robertson

Dr Godfrey Gaston - Executive Director

Dr Gaston is responsible for the operational management of ECIT and commercialisation and knowledge transfer within an open innovation research environment. Godfrey graduated with a MEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the Queen’s University Belfast, UK followed by a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in the field of Microelectronics and Semiconductors.

He then spent a number of years working for GEC Plessey Semiconductors. Following this role he was recruited as Engineering Manager for a technology start-up, BCO Technologies in Belfast, where he led the development of a new Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) processing technology, which resulted in the acquisition of BCO by Analog Devices for $153m in 2000. For the next three years Godfrey led the Analog Devices Belfast engineering team. Godfrey has completed an MBA from Henley Management College, London and is cofounder of start-up company, Titan IC. Titan IC is a spinout from Queen’s University Belfast. He is also user lead for the Global Innovation Institute as part of City Deal.

Professor Sir John McCanny

John was founding ECIT Director and following retirement in December 2017 holds the position of Honorary Professor and Regius Professor Emeritus, Electronics and Computer Engineering at QUB.

Within Queen’s he was responsible for the vision that led to the creation of the Northern Ireland Science Park, with ECIT and its £37m CSIT research flagship. Professor McCanny is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Professor Sir John McCanny

Professor Vince Fusco

Professor Fusco holds a personal chair at the Queens University of Belfast in High Frequency Electronics where he is currently the CTO of the QUB Global Research Institute ECIT.

His research interests include active and passive antenna techniques. Professor Fusco has published over 450 scientific papers and holds several patents. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Irish Academy of Engineering, IET, IEEE, and IAE. In 2012 he was awarded the IET senior achievement award the Mountbatten medal.

Professor Vince Fusco

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