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Smart Systems and Device Design

Research in Smart Systems and Device Design theme within the University of Cambridge's energy initiative is designing solutions for the use of data and computation to reduce energy use. It brings together research undertaken in the Computer Laboratory and Departments of Engineering, Physics and Materials Science and Metallurgy.

Key areas of expertise at the University of Cambridge include:

  • Energy efficient computing lowering the energy consumption of computing infrastructure through low-power chip architectures, programming for multi-core, virtualisation, and power analysis of mobile devices
  • Photonics and electronics including novel solutions for backlighting displays, low-energy luminescent materials, and the design of large area electronics for the built environment
  • Networks and communication increasing the efficiency and utility of moving information by reducing energy consumption, increasing bandwidth, lowering latency and designing low energy network protocols
  • Sensing to effectively monitor the physical environment. This information can be used to optimise usage and utilisation, pre-emptively detect physical faults or defects, or to provide the basis of feedback for inspiring behaviour change
  • Energy demand management through the use of mobile or embedded devices for control and reporting, developing applications and managing personal information
  • Security and dependability to improve the trustworthiness of computers running our energy networks and systems

Example projects include: Computing for the Future of the PlanetIntelligent Energy Aware NetworksWINES Smart Infrastructure, and Transport Information Management Environment.

Please visit individual faculty profiles to learn more about their research in the Smart Systems and Device Design theme.  The Energy Lead for Smart Systems and Device Design is .

People specializing in this area

Principal Investigators

Professor Ross Anderson

Security and resilience

Dr Alan Blackwell

User interfaces of energy monitoring systems, energy controls, and feedback for behaviour change.

Professor Daping Chu

We focus on active privacy and solar control glazing, large area reflective colour displays, photovoltaic technology, optical and radio communications in metropolitan and municipal areas, sub-wavelength and tuneable radio and microwave antennae.

Dr. Andrew Flewitt

Transparent electronic systems

Energy harvesting systems

Solar cell systems

Professor Bartlomiej Andrzej Glowacki

Integration of the Smart grid with decentralised hydrogen infrastructures (generation, liquefaction storage, use)

Dr Teng Long

Internet of Energy (Smart Grid): design and development of its essential building blocks (Energy Routers).

Professor Richard Penty

Low energy photonic components, including data sources and optical switches

Professor Kenichi Soga

Smart infrastructure (innovative sensors and data management for monitoring and assessing infrastructure)

Dr Phillip Stanley-Marbell

By enabling sensor-driven systems to operate off scavenged energy, the results of my group allow larger more power-hungry systems (e.g., buildings, aircraft) to be made smarter and more efficient in their use of energy and other resources.

Visiting Researchers

Prof. Marga Jann

Specific interest in how shelter and infrastructure can adapt to accommodate mass migration, through building on big data, smart systems and analyzing satellite imagery, while considering the socio-cultural implications of displacement, homelessness, and natural as well as man-made disaster. Additionally, I am exploring and testing smart systems (e.g. CEDIA) for energy use and regulation in buildings and architectural design--for example, to automatically open and close shutter systems to regulate light and direct solar rays, as well as investigating lightning as a possible energy generator (in Bolivia) and related smart detection systems.