Newcastle University in Singapore

Staff Profile

Dr Wai Lok Woo

Director of Singapore Research & Director of Operations



Dr Woo received the BEng degree (1st Class Hons.) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, MSc and the PhD degree from the Newcastle University, UK. He is the recipient of the IEE Prize and the British Commonwealth Scholarship.

Dr Woo is Reader in Intelligent Signal Processing. He is currently the Director of Research for Newcastle Research and Innovation Institute, and Director of Operations. His major research is in the mathematical theory and algorithms for data science and analytics. This includes areas of machine learning, data mining, blind source separation, multidimensional signal processing, signal/image deconvolution and restoration. He have an extensive portfolio of relevant research supported by a variety of funding agencies. He have published 300 papers on these topics on various journals and international conference proceedings. He serves as Associate Editor to several international signal processing journals including IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, IET Signal Processing, ISRN Machine Vision, and Journal of Computers. He actively participate in international conferences and workshops, and serves on their organizing and technical committees. In addition, he is a consultant to a number of industrial companies that involve the use of statistical signal and image processing techniques. Dr Woo is a Member of the Institution Engineering Technology (IET) and Senior Member of Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE).


Roles and Responsibilities

Director of Operations

Director of Research 


Research Interests

  • Mathematical Theory and Methods of Intelligent Signal Processing
  • Machine Learning for Signal and Information Processing
  • D-I-K-I (Data mining, Information Analytics, Knowledge discovery, Intelligence integration

The core value of my research is “excellence with a purpose”. My goals are to develop new theories and demonstrable algorithms that behave with intelligence and to enable user system to yield optimum performance which is not possible without computational intelligence signal processing.

Current Work

  • Signal Processing – source separation, anomaly detection, model estimation, system prediction, image fusion & retrieval, pattern recognition, audio speech and language processing
  • Data Analytics for smart grid, optimization of renewable energy system, energy harvesting from solar, wind and rainwater
  • Smart Sensing – diagnostics, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, non-destructive testing and evaluation
  • Wearable Sensors and IoT for personalized healthcare monitoring and social computing
  • Latent Variable Analysis – ICA, PCA, HMM, NMF, tensor factorization, compressive sensing, sparse low rank decomposition
  • Machine Learning – neural networks, deep learning, computational intelligence
  • Biometrics – palmprint, hand veins, partial face, iris, ear, gait, signature, keystroke, speech, heartwave


Esteem Indicators

Associate Editor
  • IET Signal Processing
  • ISRN Machine Vision
  • Journal of Computers
  • Journal of Open Signal Processing
  • IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks


Guest Editor
  • MDPI Sensors on “Sensor Signal and Information Processing
  • Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing on “Multi-modality Sensing and Pattern Analysis
  • Advanced Science Letter on “Integrated and Sustainable Transportation
  • Signal Processing on “Nonlinear and Non-Gaussian Multi-dimensional Signal Processing
  • Mediterranean Journal of Computers and Networks on “Advances in Biometrics: Theory, Security and Applications


Chairman of International Conference Organisation
  • 1st International Conference on Machine Learning and Signal Processing (MALSIP 2015), Malaysia
  • 1st International Conference on Control Theory and Its Application (CNTIA 2015), Malaysia.
  • 1st International Conference on Integrated and Sustainable Transportation (INTGAST 2015), Malaysia
  • International Conference on Signal and Image Processing (CSIP 2013), Beijing, China
  • 17th International Conference on Information Visualization (iV2013), London, UK, 2013
  • 4th IEE/IEEE International Conference on Communication Systems, Networks and Digital Signal Processing (CSNDSP 2004)


Technical Committee
  • Signal Processing for International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED)
  • Image Processing for International Association of Science and Technology for Development (IASTED)
  • NEWTEST European Satellite-UMTS
  • IEEE Machine Learning for Signal Processing


Funded Projects

  • Wearable Audio Meter and Energy Efficient Smart Watch (with featured in Plastic and Rubber Asia magazine, and Straits Times newspaper)
  • Intelligent Software Tool for independent Airborne and Structure-Borne Noise Modelling and Prediction (with Singapore NRF)
  • Data Mining and Signal Processing in Quantitative Study and Non-destructive Detection using Electromagnetic Thermography (with National Natural Science Foundation of China) 
  • Research Analytics on Multi-resolution and Adaptive Demodulation of Hilbert-Huang Transform (with  National Natural Science Foundation of China)
  • Multi Agent Systems for Decentralised Control of Future Low Voltage Networks (with ARIES)
  • Data Mining and Analytics of Multi-modal Bio-signals
  • Correlation Study and Control of Mechanical Vibration and Psycho-Acoustic Parameters in Hard Disk Drive (with Seagate and Singapore Economy Board of Development)
  • Multidimensional Parameter Extraction and Inference from Single Sensor Captured Image (with ADL Smartcare Ltd)
  • Image Characterisation and Verification for Thermal Printer (with Martel Instrument Ltd)
  • Blind Deconvolution Of Noisy Seismic Trace Using Independent Component Analysis (with ffA Geotric Ltd)
  • A New Statistical Approach To Blind Source Separation (with QinetiQ)
  • Independent Component Analysis For Blind Source Deconvolution Of Multi-Channels (with QinetiQ)
  • Signal Processing For Multimodal Biometrics Smart Card (with The Office of Deputy Prime Minister)
  • Health Monitoring for Wind Farm (EU FP7)
  • Cognitive-Network-Enabled Global Proactive Service for Future Healthcare (EU FP7)
  • Nonlinear Complex Behaviour In Mobile Communication Systems (EPSRC and Whampoa)
  • Blind Subspace Multi-user Detection
  • Robust Nonlinear Image Separation and Analysis
  • Higher Order Cumulant Singular Value Decomposition Algorithms For Interference Cancellation (EPSRC)



  • 61 PhD students
  • 112 MSc project students
  • 117 Undergraduate BEng/MEng project students


Research Scholarship Opportunities

MPhil or PhD candidates interested to carry out research in above research areas are welcome to contact me. More details about the scholarships can be found here. 


Special Research Scholarship Opportunities for Polytechnic Staff

PhD Scholarships are available for Polytechnic staff (Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic). More details can be found here. 




Being an active researcher has helped me keep ahead of developments and understand different subjects. I have the opportunities to introduce new modules, which are influenced by my research in the areas of signal processing and its applications. At the MSc level, I present lectures which incorporate some of my results in research into the advanced modules. This enables students to be well-informed and up-to-date of new developments and future trends.

Modules which I have designed and delivered the contents

Linear Systems and Signals I (Stage I level)

The aim of this module is to present the most fundamental knowledge in understanding signals and systems. There is also an element of technical programming to ensure students have a basic working knowledge of MATLAB and its application to systems and signals.

Engineering Mathematics (Stage I level)

The aim of this module is to provide the Stage 1 students with mathematical knowledge and skills base for the various modules in Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering.

Circuit Theory (Stage I level)

The aim of this module is to develop students' abilities to analyse and understand the operation of passive electric circuit supplied by dc, switched dc or steady-state sinusoidal ac sources, and the operational amplifier as a circuit component.

Information Theory and Coding (Stage II level)

The aim of this module is to present the fundamental concepts of information theory in relation to communication systems and demonstrate the usefulness of coding schemes for improved performance in communications.

Linear Systems and Signals II (Stage II level)

This module is a continuation of its predecessor in Stage 1. The module aims to equip students with the essential mathematical tools to undertake analysis of systems and signals. Both continuous- and discrete-time systems and signals will be studied at depth.

Random Signals and Processes (Stage II level)

The aim of this module is to present a broad understanding of the concepts of random processes, to ensure students are familiar with quantitative signal measurements required in defining the operation and quality of performance of such systems, and to ensure students have a basic working knowledge of MATLAB and its application to the above systems and signals.

Renewable Energy Systems (final year BEng/MEng level)

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamentals of available sources of renewable energy and give detailed analysis of its conversion into electricity. Students will gain a deeper overview of the engineering challenges of renewable energy production and a wider understanding of renewable energy in a societal context.

Digital Signal Processing (final year BEng/MEng level)

The aim of this module is to provide students with a sound understanding of the theory and practical aspect of signal processing within the platform of digitally sampled signals and systems.

Image Processing and Computer Vision (final year BEng/MEng level)

The aim of this module is to introduce the students to the fundamentals of image processing and provide them with the essential knowledge about the main themes, so that, in the future, the students will be able to readily apply their knowledge in industry or research or further enhance it by self-study.

Data Communications and Signal (final year BEng/MEng level)

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of recent developments in cellular mobile systems and access technology by considering the main international standards and multiple access systems currently in service world-wide.

Telecommunication Networks (final year BEng/MEng level)

The aim of this module is to provide a broad coverage of both conventional telephony and modern communications networks concepts, with knowledge of the issues relating to modern communications systems and technologies, and to introduce the concepts of circuit and packet switching technologies, flow and error control as applied to communications networks.

Signal Processing and Estimation (MSc, PhD and EngD level)

The aim of this module is to provide students with a sound knowledge of the advanced concepts of digital signal processing, advantages and limitations of linear and nonlinear signal processing, have an awareness of the physical significance of the algorithms and, through coursework, have a detailed knowledge of a selected area.

Mobile and Cellular Communications (MSc and PhD level)

The aim of this module is to provide students with the ability to design cellular mobile phones from the systemic point of view, ability to mathematically analyse the performance of a cellular mobile system, and cultivating the skills of harnessing fundamental principles found in basic communications to a more advanced level.

Biometrics and Recognition (MSc and PhD level)

The aim is to provide an advanced level of learning in the important and emerging field of biometrics and security. The module provides students with a thorough understanding of the theory; requirement and technology of biometrics, including concepts and techniques for design; development and effective use of secure systems, and analytical problem solving.