Professor Tony Dodd

Professor of Autonomous Systems Engineering

Dr Tony DoddAddress:
Professor Tony Dodd
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
University of Sheffield
S1 3JD
Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 5636
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222 5683
Room: C6b, Amy Johnson Building


I am a graduate of the University of Southampton where I obtained a first class BEng in Aerospace Systems Engineering and a PhD from the Department of Electronics and Computer Science in the area of machine learning.

After postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Southampton and Sheffield I became a Lecturer in Aerospace Systems Engineering in 2002. I became the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Aerospace Engineering in 2009 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2010. I led the development of the new cross-faculty MSc in Computational Intelligence jointly with Psychology and Computer Science which started in 2011. In 2015 I was appointed Professor of Autonomous Systems Engineering in ACSE and became Director of the MEng Engineering degree program in the Faculty.

I have diverse research interests in the areas of autonomous systems and robotics and regularly publish in international journals and conferences.  I am, or have been, involved in research grants totalling in excess of £2.5M. My work is funded by various government bodies and I collaborate with a wide variety of companies and national and international universities and research agencies. I am a founding member of the Sheffield Centre for Robotics (SCentRo), a joint collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. I am also a member of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Control and Systems Engineering.


My teaching interests are in the broad areas of control and systems engineering with a focus on robotics, autonomous systems, aerospace and data fusion. I am the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Aerospace Engineering and course director for the newly developed MSc in Computational Intelligence. I am a member of the Faculty of Engineering Learning & Teaching Committee and Programme Quality and Scrutiny Sub-Committee. More generally I have interests in embedding professional skills into curricula as part of developing students into professional engineers.

I currently teach the following modules:

  • ACS324/410 Aircraft/Flight Dynamics and Control
  • ACS424 Multi-Sensor Data Fusion
  • ACS6118 Robotics and Multi-Sensor Systems
  • MEC385 Aerospace Group Design Project

In addition I am involved in teaching the module, Flight Control Systems on the MSc in Gas Turbine Control at the University of York.

Research interests

I have diverse research interests in the general areas of control, machine learning, autonomous systems and robotics. I have particular interests in autonomous control for ground and air vehicles (UAVs), co-operative control, mission planning, navigation, task allocation and simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM). My interests span everything from physical robot development through to algorithms with a particular focus on applications in dynamic, uncertain and confined spaces and Bayesian and biologically inspired approaches.

I have strong collaborations with industry and government agencies as research collaborators and potential end users including QinetiQ, Siemens, KUKA Automation, RURobots, Rolls-Royce, The Home Office, UK Border Agency, DEFRA, Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, Italian Institute of Technology. Within the University of Sheffield I have collaborations with Computer Science, Physics and Psychology.

My work has been published in over 55 refereed journals and conferences.

PhD Projects

I am currently supervising the following projects:

  • Ross Walker, Robot Navigation in Dynamic Crowded Environments, October 2011 – present
  • Uriel Martinez, Novel Approaches to Tactile Sensing and Scene Exploration, January 2011 – present
  • Tom Forster, SLAM for Multiple Heterogeneous Autonomous Ground Vehicles, October 2010 – present
  • Dejanira Araiza Illan, Biologically Inspired Approaches to Prey Behaviour in Predator-Prey Systems, October 2008 – present
  • Mohd Ismail, Design and Control of a Variable Geometry Tracked Vehicle, October 2008 – present
  • Panos Kotsas, Novel Approaches to Binary Image Registration, October 2006 – present (part-time, remote location)

If you are interested in undertaking a PhD with me please visit our PhD Programme website to find information about PhD projects, our research training and how to apply.


  • EPSRC, Novel Sensing Networks for Intellignet Monitoring (Newton, EP/J012343/1) (CI), Mar 2012 – Feb 2016, £1,175,282
  • EU FP7, Experimental Functional Android Assistant (CI), Jan 2011 – Dec 2013, €520,000
  • DEFRA, GRAIL food handling robot (PI), July 2009 – June 2011, £300,600
  • EPSRC, Cargo Screening Ferret (EP/G004307/1) (PI), Oct 2008 – Feb 2012, £731,774
  • EU FP6, RobotCub (PI), Aug 2008 – Aug 2009, £198,759
  • EU FP6, NovelQ (PI), May 2008 – Feb 2011, €33,335
  • EPSRC, Mathematics for Engineers Winter School: Mathematics for Data Modelling (EP/E504930/1) (PI), Sept 2007 – Mar 2008, £36,000

Professional activities

I am actively involved in a number of professional activities including journal editorship and reviewing, conference organisation, grant reviewing and IET and IFAC committees. My work has featured in both print and radio media and I have been interviewed for articles on autonomous systems.

Key professional activities include:

  • Member, IET Transport Sector Team and Aerospace Executive Team
  • Member, IFAC Technical Committees on Robotics and Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Systems Science
  • Member, Organising and Program Committees for various international conferences
  • Reviewer, various journals
  • Referee for EPSRC and STFC

Key Publications

Journal articles