I am a Professor in AI, Computer Vision and Machine Learning in the Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University. I am a key member of Centre for Sensing and Imaging Science, and Vision, AI, Autonomous and Human Centred Systems Research Group. I received a PhD degree in Computer Science from Aberystwyth University, and MSc and BSc degrees in Electronic Engineering from Tianjin University, China (one of the top 15 universities in China).
I have over 15-year research track record in AI, computer vision, machine learning, pattern recognition and signal/image processing. Primary research topics include:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Computer vision and pattern recognition
- Machine learning and deep learning
- Image and signal processing
- Human-computer interaction
- Computer graphics, virtual reality and visualization technology
More than 90 papers have been published in high impact journals and conferences. such as publications in recent years in the most prestigious scientific journals in my research area: IEEE Trans. on Cybernetics, IEEE Trans. Industrial Informatics, IEEE Trans. Image Processing, IEEE Trans. System, Man, Cybernetics, IEEE Trans. Biomed Eng., Pattern Recognition, Information Sciences, and IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics. Selected publications
Enterprise, Knowledge Transfer & Impact
My research emphasizes innovations and novel applications of AI, computer vision, machine learning, pattern recognition and deep learning techniques for human motion analysis, robotics, HCI, surveillance, ambient assisted living, machine vision, intelligent systems, big data, IoT and sensor data fusion. I work with industry on a number of projects funded by Innovate UK, Newton Fund and KTP etc.
My expertise in human motion tracking and activity recognition leads to the commercial product "Dance UK", and reported by BBC, S4C on TV evening news, Independent, Western Mail, Cambrian News, Dailypost and websites). The current football project funded by the Innovate UK leads to prestigious MSDUK Innovation Challenge Award under category Industry 4.0 in 2019. The research has generated and will continually produce social and economic impact.
I have a proven track record of attracting external funding. I contributed to a number of projects funded by EPSRC, Innovate UK, Newton, NHS, TSB and industry. In the last 3 years, I have successfully secured over £1.4M external funding in total (to Loughborough Univ.). These grants are mainly from Innovate UK, Newton Fund, EPSRC, KTP, NHS and a wide range of industry. Ongoing external grants are over £1.2M (PI & CoI). I lead the research team of 6 PDRAs and 7+ PhDs.
Recent funding obtained includes AI and bio-sensors for sleep breathing disorder diagnosis and rehabilitation (£540k), food manufacturing automation (£204K), AI for risk modelling in commodity supply chain (£206k), Automated Football Action Event Detection (IUK, total £359K), Air Quality Monitoring (Newton, total £470K), Agricultural Robot (IUK, £388K; Total £500k), Biofeedback for Amputee Gait" (EPSRC National Productivity Investment Fund, £78K), four EPSRC PhD CDT-EI projects sponsored by industry(£450K), Upper Limb MSK Rehabilitation funded NHS England Regional Innovation Fund (total £130K). These projects aim to develop novel algorithms and technology in AI, computer vision, machine learning, deep learning, robotics and intelligent systems. The developed technology will help to solve a number of theoretical and industrial challenges in real-world applications, e.g. machine understanding of human activity and behaviours, human movement analysis in sports, manufacturing automation, autonomous underwater vehicles, HCI, AI-assisted diagnosis and rehabilitation in healthcare, biofeedback and myoelectric control, agricultural robots, ambient intelligence, surveillance, sentiment analysis, business analysis, assistive living and digital document analysis etc.
- Human motion analysis
- Vision-based human and object detection and tracking
- Gesture and activity recognition
- Visual and wearable sensors
- Machine understanding of human behaviours
- Autonomous underwater robots
- Movement intention and musculoskeletal function analysis
- Driverless vehicles
- Embedded AI systems
- Machine vision and applications
- Robotics and autonomous systems
- Medical image processing
- Data-driven computer-aided disease diagnosis
- Data science, big data and data mining
- Intelligent systems
- Multi-modal sensor data fusion and IoT
- Sports science
- Industry 4.0
- Environmental protection
- Food manufacturing industry
- Self-Learning Digital Twins for Sustainable Land Management. UKRI/EPSRC, £2.5M, CoI/LU PI, 2023~ 2025. Press release
- AI-embedded railway passenger counting and information system. IUK, £487K. 2023~2026.
- Autonomous building environment mapping. PhD studentship sponsored by Willis Towers Watson, 2022~2025.
- Trustworthiness of AI by Improving Adversarial Robustness for Autonomous Systems. Industry-sponsored PhD studentship. 2023~2026
- Quality assurance system for real-time monitoring of food processing quality on automated production lines. IUK/KTP,£250K. 2022~2025.
- AI technology and automated inspector for the discovery of new generation safe and effective herbicides. £186K, 2022~2024.
- Improving Livestock Welfare and Reducing Carbon Emissions. National Bovine Data Centre and Cattle Information Service, £67K, 2022~2025.
- Sensory and vision systems for food manufacturing automation. £204K, IUK Knowledge Transfer. 2020-2022. Project website Engineering & Technology
- Towards an Automated Sports Performance Improvement. High Education Innovation Fund, £84k, 2021.
- AI-based capability to automate the extraction of data from documents processed by the financial services community. £146K. KTP. 2020 ~ 2021. Project website Robotics & Automation
- InkTracer PPR – Closing The Gap Between Analogue/Digital Handwriting Through Pen-Path Recovery. High Education Innovation Fund EPG. £31K, 2021~2022.
- Connected and intelligent device for personalised diagnostic, treatment and management of sleep breathing disorders. SnooZeal-Connect. £540k. Innovate UK. 2019~2021.
- AI and machine learning technology for credit modelling in commodity supply chain. Innovate UK, £205K, 2019 ~ 2021.
- Automated football action event detection. Innovate UK, £359K. 2019~2020. Project website AI Business
- "InkTracer - Closing the Gap Between Analog and Digital Handwriting to Enable New Products". Innovate UK, £223K. 2019 ~ 2020.
- "Triple-Network Air Quality Monitoring and Carbon Credit Trading Platform for Sustainable Urban Environments". Newton Fund £349K. 2018 ~2020. Project website NewScientist
- "Building embedded intelligence for autonomous underwater vehicle", £40k, EPSRC CDT-EI. Sept. 2018 ~ Aug. 2022.
- "Deep Learning for vision-based football player performance analysis”, EPSRC and industry-sponsored PhD project. Sept. 2018 ~ Aug. 2022.
- "Remote Monitoring and Shared Decision Making for Upper Limb MSK Conditions Using MS Kinect", NHS England Regional Innovation Fund, £130k. 2015 ~ 2017.
- "Hand-drawn Document Cognitive Systems", EPSRC and industry-sponsored PhD studentship. April 2018 ~ March 2022.
- "AgriRobot: Autonomous Agricultural Robot System for Precision Spraying", Innovate UK, £500k. 2018 ~ 2020. Project website
- "InkTracer - Closing the Gap Between Analog and Digital Handwriting to Enable New Products". Innovate UK £223K. 2018 ~ 2020.
- "EMG-based Biofeedback to Improve Amputee Gait", EPSRC National Productivity Investment Fund. CoI, £78,434. Oct. 2017 ~Sept. 2021.
- "Supper Resolution Videos from High Resolution", £40K, EPSRC and ARM sponsored PhD project. July 2016 ~ June 2020.
- "Developing Intelligent and Interactive HVAC Pipe Network", Tata sponsored (£13k) PhD studentship, 2017~ 2021.
- "Virtual Reality Gaming to Improve Motor Control in Autism", MIMIT-Manchester Integrating Medicine and Innovative Technology. Co-I, £24k. 2014 ~2015.
- "A Face Mask for Real-time Facial Motion Capture", Technology Strategy Board, £20k. 2009 ~2010.
- "Automatic Detection of Features in Retinal Images to Improve Diagnosis of Eye Diseases", EPSRC, Co-supervision, £90k. Sept. 2012 ~ Aug. 2015.
- "Dance: UK"- a commercial game product was developed by this knowledge transfer project, Baihua Li (RA), Funder: Broadsword Interactive Ltd. The project has been widely reported by media, e.g. BBC, Independent, S4C, etc. 2003 ~ 2004.
- Self-Learning Digital Twins for Sustainable Land Management (£2.5M, CoI), £406K (LU PI). We collaborate with our partners focusing on GHG emission reduction from livestock farming and land use by developing AI and digital twin technology. 2023~ 2025.
- AI-embedded railway passenger counting and information system. IUK, £487K. 2023~2026. Patterner with TrainFX
- Autonomous building environment mapping. PhD studentship sponsored by Willis Towers Watson , 2022~2025.
- Trustworthiness of AI by Improving Adversarial Robustness for Autonomous Systems. PhD studentship sponsored by Willis Towers Watson. 2023~2026.
Please contact me for available PDRA and PhD opportunities
We are looking for postdoctoral Research Associates and PhD students in AI, computer vision, robotics, machine learning and deep learning with applications in industry automation, intelligent systems, healthcare, agriculture, environment, human motion analysis, sports, driverless vehicles, surveillance, finance and AAL. Please contact Dr. Li (email@example.com) me if you are interested.
- Machine Vision AI Scientist/Engineer for food manufacturing industry automation. January 2022.
- PhD Studentship: AI and Machine Learning for Improving Livestock Welfare and Reducing Carbon Emissions, January 2022.
- AI Research Engineer. 21st January 2020
- Machine Vision Scientist for food manufacturing automation. Nov. 2019.
- Research Associate in machine learning. Project: Developing AI and machine learning technology for credit modelling in commodity supply chain. Funded by Innovate UK (KTP). (deadline 14 Aug 2019)
- Research Associate in computer vision and deep learning. Project: Automated football action event detection. Funded by Innovate UK (deadline 5th July 2019).
- Research Associate in Computer Science for off-line handwritten text regonition. Funded by Innovate UK (deadline 9th June 2019).
- Research Associate in machine learning. Project: Connected and intelligent device for personalised diagnostic, treatment and management of sleep breathing disorders. Funded by Innovate UK. (deadline 17nd May 2019)
- Research Associate in machine learning. Project: Triple-Network Air Quality Monitoring and Carbon Credit Trading Platform for Sustainable Urban Environments. Funded by Newton Fund. (deadline 2nd May 2019)
- Research Associate in Robotics and computer vision. Project: AgriRobot: Autonomous Agricultural Robot System for Precision Spraying. Funded by Innovate UK. (deadline 2nd May 2019)
- Automated football event detection. We are recruting a PDRA in computer vision and deep learning. Deadline 15th Jan. 2019
- Computer vision and deep learning for underwater vehicle navigation and control (Deadline 1st March 2018)
- AI/machine learning based algorithm and software development for action event detection and football player analytics: Funded PhD studentship with StatMetrix (Deadline 31st Jan. 2018)
PhD online application:
PhD/MSc IELTS English requirement: 6.5 overall and at least 6.0 in each individual element https://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/apply/english-language-requirements/
Oversea tuition fees https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/fees-funding/tuition-fees/
CSC (China Scholarship Council) funding: Loughborough University will support CSC applications and provide full tuition fee scholarships to students who are in receipt of CSC funding. Please contact me for details.
Tire 2 visa for international PDRA and Tire 4 for PhD https://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/hr/immigration/
English Language requirement for Tier 2:https://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/hr/immigration/tier2sponsorship/guidanceforrecruitingmanagersandadministrators/
- Dr. Chao Zhang, AI-based automated document analysis. 2020 ~ 2022.
- Dr Mohamad Saada, sensory and vision systems for food manufacturing automation. 2019 ~ 2021.
- Dr. Sadegh Salesi, KTP project, AI and machine learning technology for credit modelling in commodity supply chain, 2019 ~ 2021.
- Dr. Shreedhar Rangappa, IUK project Football Action Detection. 2019 ~ 2020.
- Dr. Yuanlin Gu. Newton Fund project, Air Quality Monitoring and Carbon Credit Trading Platform. 2018 ~ 2021.
- Dr. Gary Storey, Innovate UK project AgriRobot. 2018 ~ 2021.
- Dr. John Darby. human motion analysis. 2010~ 2013.
Current PhD Students
- Baao Xie. Movement intension recognition and prediction.
- Jiangtao Wang. Deep Learning. Funded by China Scholarship Council.
- Yang Zhou. Building embedded intelligence for autonomous underwater vehicle. Funded by EPSRC CDT-EI.
- Jake O'Connell. Deep Learning for vision-based football player performance analysis. Funded by EPSRCCDT-EI.
- Jingzhi Gong. funded by China Scholarship Council. (Co-Supervisor)
- Anthony Adole. Text recognition. Funded by EPSRC CDT. (Co-Supervisor)
- Ye Lie. Medical image processing (MRI, DTI) and statistical data mining. (Co-Supervisor)
- Vijay Srikandarajah. Developing intelligent and interactive HVAC pipe network. Sponsored by Tata. Co-Supervisor.
- Natalie Egginton. Biofeedback for rehabilitation of lower-limb amputees. Funded by EPSRC. Co-Supervisor. (Co-Supervisor)
- Changzhao Jiang, Funded by School of Science, 2020 ~2023. Co-Supervisor.
Successful PhD Completions
- Carl Robinson. Pattern classification and predictive model for sEMG myoelectric control for upper limb amputees.
- Rua Aburasain. Deep Learning. Funded by Saudi Arabian Government.
- Zhao Gao. Supper resolution videos from high resolution. Funded by EPSRC CDT_EI sponsored by ARM.
- Hanna Mahmood. Text recognition from natural images. Principle Supervisor. 2013 – 2018.
- Dar'ya Guarnera. Image-based surface reflectance remapping for consistent and tool independent material appearance. PI. Oct. 2013 -Sept. 2017.
- Yahya Al-Fadhili. Intelligent Computational Techniques and Virtual Environment for Understanding Cerebral Visual Impairment Patients. Oct. 2014 - Sept. 2017.
- Muhammad Salman Haleem. Automatic detection of features in retinal images to improve diagnosis of eye disease. Co-I. Sept. 2011- May 2015.
- Daniel Leightley, 3D Human Action Recognition and Motion Analysis using Selective Representations. PI. Sept. 2012~Dec. 2015 MMU.
- Choon-Ching Ng. Face Age Estimation using Wrinkles Patterns. Co-I. Sept 2012 - Oct. 2015.
- John Darby. 3D Human Motion Tracking and Pose Estimation using Probabilistic Activity Models. PI. Sept 2006 – June 2010.
PhD projects in areas of
- Computer vision and pattern recognition
- Deep learning
- Machine learning
- Driverless vehicles
- Face/gesture/activity recognition and behaviour understanding
- Robot vision
- Autonomous underwater vehicle
- Movement performance analysis in sports
- Movement intention recognition
- Quantitative assessment of motor control functions and diagnosis of diseases
- Medical image processing
- Data-driven disease diagnosis
- Big data, data mining
- sensor data fusion and IoT
- Intelligent systems
- Advanced computer graphics, virtual reality and visualization technology
- Computer Vision
- Machine Learning
- Artificial Intelligence
- Deep Learning
- Data Mining
- Human-computer Interaction
- Image and signal processing
- Advanced Computer Graphics
- Computer Games Programming and Design
- Advanced 3D Modelling and Animation
- Virtual 3D Environment
- Multimedia Development
Recent Teaching Modules
- COP508 Machine Learning (MSc, Module Leader, 2020~)
- COP327 AI Project (MSc, Module Leader, 2020 ~ )
- COP325 Advanced MSc Project (MSc, Module Leader, 2018 ~ )
- COP324 Project Preparation (MSc, Module Leader, 2018 ~ )
- COA123 Web Programming (BSc, 160+ students, Module Leader, 2018 ~ )
- COB295 Team Project (BSc, Module Leader, 2015 ~ )
- COA123 Server-side Programming (BSc, Module Leader)
- COA122 Programming for WWW (BSc, Module Leader)
- Postgraduate Coordinator for AI MSc programme and Advanced MSc in Computer Science
- Director of Research Degree Programme of Computer Science (2016 ~ 2018)
Press and external activities
Press and Media
My research addresses a variety of real-world challenges, and the impact and successful applications have been reported by media, including BBC, NewScientist, Robotics & Automation, Independent, AI Business, and Robotics & Innovation, as well as university Research and Innovation, Newsletter from our Vice-Chancellor, School of Science Research News etc.
My research and its impact have been widely reported by media:
- UK’s AI ‘twin’ will use big data to show the way to net zero, 2023
- Robotics & Automation: New AI model speeds up document analysis for financial industries, 2022
- NewScientist: AI pollution monitor could forecast harmful particles in the air. March 2020
- AI Business: Deep Learning can automate, enhance soccer analysis. June 2020.
- Interesting Engineering: Want to Know Who the Next Footballer May Be? This AI Will Tell You. June 2020.
- Engineering & Technology: Robots could harness AI to master sandwich making. January 2020.
- Nanova: https://nanova.org/noticias/2020/06/puede-una-ia-predecir-quien-sera-el-mejor-jugador-de-futbol-del-mundo (Spanish Tech News)
- Tech Xplore: AI technology takes football player performance analysis to a new dimension. 2020
- Computer scientists develop novel artificial intelligence system that predicts air pollution levels
- Researchers to teach robots how to differentiate between sandwich ingredients so they can make your favourite BLT
- The current football project funded by the Innovate leads to prestigious MSDUK Innovation Challenge Award under category Industry 4.0 in 2019. The research has generated and will continually produce social and economic impact.
- My expertise in human motion tracking and activity recognition leads to the commercial product "Dance UK", and reported by BBC, S4C on TV evening news, Independent, Western Mail, Cambrian News, Dailypost and online websites).
Panel Member and Grant Peer Reviewer
- UKRI EPSRC Panel member for ICT Fellowship, 2022.
- UKRI Panel Member of CDT-AI (Centres for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence).
- AI Steering Group member at Loughborough University
- Grant Peer Reviewer for UKRI research Councils, e.g. EPSRC, MRC, BBSRC and STFC, Action Medical Research.
Editors and Reviewers
- Guest Editor: Sustainability (journal IF:2.8): AI and Machine Learning Research for Sustainability, 2020.
- Reviewer for IEEE Transactions Cybernetics
- Reviewer for IEEE Transactions Industrial Informatics
- Reviewer for IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
- Reviewer for IEEE Transactions on System, Man, and Cybernetics
- Reviewer for Pattern Recognition
- Reviewer for a number of international conferences, e.g. IEEE SMC, IEEE ICPICS, IEEE ICAICA
Conference Organisation and TPC (recent)
- General Chair, IEEE Int. Conf. on Artificial Intelligence and Computer Applications (ICAICA), 2021.
- Co-Chairs, IEEE 3rd Int. Conf. on Safe Production and Informatization (IICSPI), 2020.
- TPC: 16th Int. Conf. on Computer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics Theory and Applications (VISIGRAPP), Feb. 2021. Austria.
- TPC: 13th Int. Conf. Machine vision, Nov. 02-06, ICMV 2020, Rome, Italy.
- TPC: 7th Int. Conf. Foundations of Computer Science & Technology, Nov. CST2020, Zurich, Switzerland.
- TPC: 6th Int. Conf. Artificial Intelligence and Fuzzy Logic Systems (AIFZ 2020), Oct. 24 ~ 25, 2020, Sydney, Australia
- TPC: 2nd Int Conf. Machine Learning & Applications (CMLA 2020), Sept. 26 ~ 27, 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- TPC: 3rd International Conference on Control and Computer Vision. ICCCV Macau, August 25-28, 2020
- TPC: 6th Int. Conf. Artificial Intelligence and Applications (AIFU 2020), July, 2020, London, UK.
- TPC: IEEE Int. Conference on Power, Intelligent Computing and Systems, ICPICS, July 2020.
- TPC: IEEE Int. Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Computer Applications, ICAICA, June 2020.
- TPC: Int. Conference Intelligence Technology & Applications, iRobot, June 2020.
- Technical Program Chair, UK RAS (Robotics and Autonomous Systems) Conference, Jan. 2019.
- Technical Program Chair:UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Conf. Loughborough, UK. 2019.
Keynotes and Invited Talks (Recent)
- Keynote: 6th Int. Conf. on Artificial Intelligence and Fuzzy Logic Systems (AIFZ) 2020. Sydney, Australia.
- Keynote: 33rd Int. Conf. Computer Applications in Industry and Engineering, 2020. Flamingo, Las Vegas, USA.
- Keynote: 2nd Int. Conf. on Machine Learning & Applications (CMLA), 2020. Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Keynote: IEEE Int. Conf. on Power, Intelligent Computing and Systems (ICPICS), 2020. Shenyang, China.
- Keynote: Int. Conf. Advanced Computer Science & Information Technology, ACSIT 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Keynote: IEEE Int. Conf. Artificial Intelligence and Computer Applications, ICAICA 2020.
- Keynote: Robot Intelligence Technology & Applications, iRobot-2020. Europe.
- Invited Talk: ACM SIGGRAPH, 2018, “Perceptually validated analytical BRDFs parameters remapping”, Vancouver, Canada. (delivered by my PhD student).
- UK universities: Manchester, Oxford, UCL, Reading, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, etc.
- Carnegie Mellon University, US
- Harvard Medical School, Boston University, US
- Diagnostics and Metrology Laboratory, Italy
- National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Italy
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
- Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
- Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Tianjin University, Jiangsu University, Xidian University etc. in China
- Central Manchester University Hospitals
- Bolton National Health Service Foundation Trust
- NHS Lothian
- Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
- East Midlands Academic Health Science Network
I also host academic visitors to further develop my international research profile, also helping increase University’s global reputation.
I have established a wide range of industry collaborations through research, knowledge transfer and impact generation. Recent industry collaborators include ARM, Witted Srl. (autonomous underwater robots, Italy), Statmetrix (sports tech.), Millitec Food Systems (UK leading machinery & automation in food industry), Tata Steel Ltd, Satoshi Systems (commodity supply chain industry), Signifier Medical Technologies (healthcare and medical devices), Innova Integra (robotics), Software Imaging (IoT), Xceptor (financial software), Nantong Guangyi Ltd (national leading in agriculture machinery, China), EEGSmart (high-tech, China), Consard, MIRA Rehab, Optos Plc. and Broadsword Interactive Ltd. etc.
- Senior Member of IEEE
- EPSRC Full College Member
- Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (HEA)
- Member of IEEE Computer Society
- Member of British Machine Vision Association