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Computer Science and Informatics Research (UoA11)

Our Arjuna (now Narayana) transaction system software contributes to international transaction processing standards.

About us

UoA11 at Newcastle University is based in the School of Computing. The school is part of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering. It has over 60 continuous years of computer science and informatics research at NU. Our return consists of 49.8 FTE and of this 32 are new appointees 10 of these new appointees were Early Career Researchers (ECRs).

Our vision for research and innovation is to be a world-leading centre for fundamental and rigorous computing science research. We aspire to produce work that is stimulated, informed and evaluated by application in areas of importance to industry and society.

The basis of our work is built on the pillars of excellence, creativity and impact. We are guided by the principles of working together:

  • visible leadership
  • freedom and opportunity to succeed
  • response to current and future challenges

Research strength and themes

Our research are groups set their own research strategy. They are developed in agreement with and facilitated by the School.

The Advanced Model-Based Engineering and Reasoning (AMBER) group’s research aims to realise the potential of formal models, methods and tools in engineering challenging types of system. This includes those that are concurrent, asynchronous or cyber-physical.

The Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) group is the premier computational biology group within a UK Computer Science department. They are the only ones to have both microbiology and nanotechnology wet labs, including an intelligent biofoundry.

The Networked and Ubiquitous Systems Engineering (NUSE) group was created in 2019 and is building a global reputation for leading research in distributed systems. They are working on emergent paradigms including IoT and Game Engineering.

The Open Lab group is an Interaction Design and Collaborative Technologies research group with specific expertise in Human-Centred Design and Ubiquitous Computing. The group has a world-leading reputation for pioneering and developing the subfield of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). This area is known as Digital Civics.

The Scalable group is renowned for tackling research challenges in High Performance Systems, Data Science, and ML. The Secure and Resilient Systems (SRS) group is recognised internationally for its research contributions to creating:

  • modern information systems
  • networks and infrastructures that are dependable and secure

Projects and funding

Integration into University structures

The School of Computing will lead work to establish two new NU Centres of Research Excellence (NUCoREs). These centres are Autonomous Systems and Cyber Security. They will target the NUAcT scheme with a discipline-oriented recruitment campaign.

To further encourage diversity in our PhD cohort, we will set up a new funding scheme. This will be for the best international students to complement the top-quality UK students recruited via CDTs. This means there will be collaborations crossing established boundaries. This is evidenced by our submitted research outputs which describe:

  • collaborations with other disciplines. These include biology, electronic engineering, social sciences, medicine, and media
  • international collaborations on over 61% of outputs
  • collaborations with industry, e.g., GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Illumina Inc., Dialog Semiconductor, InlecomSystems, Thales E-Security, and Microsoft Research

Focuses of impact, innovation, engagement and knowledge exchange

Our strategic approach to impact aims to integrate impact systematically in all stages of research. The approach is:

  • user-centric in that it encourages the development of deep relationships with key users
  • open by encouraging commitment to open systems, platforms, tool development and standards
  • collaborative using institutional vehicles to foster multidisciplinary research
  • agile in supporting flexibility to pursue opportunities for impact

Infrastructure, facilities and archives


Our Open Lab group pursues the development of theory, methods and technologies which are highly interdisciplinary. This is both within the group and externally. The group work with a broad community of partners (over 30 on the latest funded project). This includes:

  • government authorities
  • NGOs
  • charities (local and international)
  • educational organisations
  • health and social care services (including NHS X/Digital)
  • media companies (BBC R&D)
  • industry (Microsoft, Google, Mozilla)
  • a broad network of international academics

An example of our interdisciplinary internal collaborations includes working with MoveLab (NU Institute of Cellular Medicine). In this project, we collaborated with Oxford University for the UK Biobank Study. OL and MoveLab expertise was employed to develop wrist-worn accelerometers. They were used as part of the largest ever population assessment of physical activity (100,000+ participants).

ICOS has helped to generate outputs in high-quality and highly interdisciplinary areas. These include:

  • stem cells and tissue engineering to computer-driven neurological interventions
  • synthetic biology
  • DNA/RNA nanotechnology

Values and commitments

EDI is fully embedded into the operation of the School of Computing. An EDI committee reports to the School of Computing’s Executive Board and the Faculty EDI Board as standing items. It ensuring consistency with the NU’s Equality Strategy. It has membership covering all academic career stages and major operating committees. Diversity is celebrated throughout the School. Our members are recognised at the university level for their efforts (e.g., the Tech Women team in Open Lab won a NU EDI award). The School has an extensive list of EDI actions. It celebrates social activities such as LGBT history month and International Women’s Day.

The School of Computing is committed to solving societal problems and challenges. It hopes to increase both charity and industry funding to reflect its commitment to the societal impact of our research.

Research case studies