Prof Julie McCann

Professor of Computer Systems

+44 (0) 20 7594 8375
Teresa Ng, +44 (0) 20 7594 8300

Computing systems are becoming more spatial and the boundaries between them and their environments are beginning to blur. This has brought many research challenges relating to the ability to get such systems to scale, remain robust when confronted with failure, maximise their usefulness while minimising energy consumption, or better still, be energy neutral. Such systems bring new demands beyond the metrics of throughput and response times. Today we look at behaviours, convergence, or purposeful lack of convergence, anarchical systems, systems that understand and match context etc. To do this McCann aims to bring together models of non-computing systems (e.g. social behaviours, economics etc.) to inform the computing systems’ optimisation process.

To this end, McCann has been mainly researching and publishing work that centres on highly decentralised algorithms, protocols, cross-layered solutions to wireless sensor networks – with a particular focus on low-powered sensing devices. Space, Agri and Infrastructure Engineering challenges lead to her work on the Internet of Things as well as Cyber-physical systems, where her interests lie in harnessing the various interactions between the cyber and physical to improve performance, resilience and make secure. .

She heads up the Adaptive Emergent Systems Engineering (AESE) group in the Dept of Computing where she leads a highly multi-disciplinary group of Post Docs and PhD students. From this she leads the Resilient and Robust Infrastructure challenge part of the Data Centric Engineering theme in the Alan Turing Institute, she is PI for the NRF funded Singapore Smart Sensing project, and the Logistics 4.o project with PeTraS and the Tate Modern. She is Imperial PI for the EPSRC Science of Sensing Systems Software (S4) programme grant, and Co-Director of the Digital Oceans project with the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.  Until recently she was Co-director of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities and Co-PI of the NEC Smart Water Lab.  She is currently Director of the cross-Imperial Smart Connected Futures Network.

he is an active reviewer or programme committee member, or indeed Chair/Associated Editor, for many of the sensor, networking, and self-managing/adaptive computing journals and conferences. She currently delivers the Pervasive Computing Module and in the past she lectured Operating Systems courses.  She is currently the chair of the Department of Computing Equality and Diversity committee and has also been a consultant for TV and Film on occasion.

Videos showing some of our work:

Smart Dust: This video discusses how the subjects of IoT, Wireless sensing and Cyber-Physical Systems could look in 25 years time.

Towards the Diamond Age?: This video questions whether we are working our way to a Diamond Age of Matter Compilers and nano-sensing bots.


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