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Dr Chunbo Luo

Senior Lecturer in Computer Science


Telephone: 01392 725725

Extension: (Streatham) 5725



  • Research Manager: EU Horizon 2020 project: Intelligent and Sustainable Aerial-Terrestrial IoT Networks
  • Programme director: MSc Data Science Professional
  • Theme lead:  Remote Sensing, Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI)
  • Steering board of NERC NEODAAS (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)


My current research interests are around cooperative autonomous vehicles and their data processing for environment applications (networked UxVs, including drones, ground vehicles, surface vessels etc.). The focus is on intelligent data processing methods (machine learning etc) and networking (wireless networks, 5G and future networks etc.). The scientific discoveries have the following real-world applications including natural disaster relief, marine observation, and NetZero. Some examples include algae-bloom detection, marine carbon flux tracking and marine oil spill detection etc. My work benefits significantly from research collaboration with leading research institutes including the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the Met Office, and National Oceanographic Centre.

Nature has demonstrated the importance of cooperation with evidences from cooperative species out compete selfish species in many ways. One good example is from the study of African wild dogs: Lycaon pictus. Their communal hunting (74% success) is proved to be a success by outperforming lion (32%) which is thought to be the ultimate predator in the world (from my PhD thesis). 

Some industrial projects I have worked on include:

  • To develop Machine Learing models to predict malware trends, funded by EPSRC and BT for a PhD project, Principal Investigator. In collaboration with Selina Wong from BT.
  • Detect very small objects from infrared images, Principal Investigator. In collaboration with UWS and Thales, the outcome of this project won a Knowledge Transfer Award. It developed and successfully demonstrated deep learning models to detect small objects in images with high accuracy. This project is a winner of the 2018 Scottish Knowledge Transfer Award!

Some recent research projects include:

  • UKRI KTN. Automated insurance rebuilds cost estimate for residential and commercial properties, with RCA, £166,793. Ref: 10031767, 10/2022-09/2024, PI
  • Innovate UK. Developing a Decision Support Tool for Mini-Grid Energy Developers, £279,132 (Exeter £80,501), Energy Catalyst, 04/2023 – 03/2024, Exeter PI, with LENKÉ: Space & Water Solutions Ltd.
  • EU H2020. INITIATE: Intelligent and Sustainable Aerial-Terrestrial IoT Networks, 101008297, Euro: 952,200, 01/2022-12/2025, Research manager and CoI
  • NERC. SENSUM: smart SENSing of landscapes Undergoing hazardous hydrogeologic Movement, NE/V003402/1, £1.2M, 10/2020-09/2022, CoI
  • EPSRC Industrial CASE with BT.Multi-stage Cyber Attack detection using Machine Learning Approaches, Project No. 19000043, £130,900, 10/2019-09/2024, PI
  • DeepWater: Remote sensing and DEEP learning for early warning of WATER quality hazards, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and ESA (Dragon 4), £60,869.57, 09/2018-07/2022, PI
  • NERC. BigFoot: BIG data methods for improving windstorm FOOTprint prediction, NE/P017436/1, £1,530,230, 2017-2021, CoI
  • Thales-Challenge Low-pixel Automatic Target Detection and Recognition (ATD/ATR), Scottish Funding Council with CENSIS and Thales, £139K, 2015-2016, PI, (Scottish Funding Council Knowledge Transfer Medal)
  • KTP (Knowledge Transfer). Research on Key Communication Technologies for UAVs to Transmit High-Definition Video, Contract No: H02016050002CG, £54,794, 01/08/2017 – 31/07/2018, PI
  • KTP (Knowledge Transfer). High-Performance Distributed Algorithms and Key Technologies for Processing SDN Big Data, Huawei Technologies, Contract No: YBN2016080110, £223,200, 08/2017 – 10/2021, CoI
  • ESRC IAA. Building Digital Identities: A Scoping Study, Social Policy Network, 2017-2018, CoI. LinkReport
  • Royal Society of Edinburgh. Flood Detection and Monitoring using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, £19,950K, 2016-2018, CoI
  • Feasibility study on a fully deployable resilient flooding predicting, monitoring and response system, Exeter EMPS ADR funding, 2016-2017, PI.
  • China UK Technology Innovation Centre Workshop 2016 (with Prof G Parr, University of East Anglia, and other 7 UK universities, Prof W Chen of Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiaotong University and other 3 China research institutes, as well as Prof N Azarmi BT and other 4 industrial partners). Link
  • EU Horizon 2020. SELFNET Framework for Self-organized Network Management in Virtualized and Software Defined Networks, €6.8M, 2015-2017, Co-I.
  • 2016 Exeter-Tsinghua Outward Mobility Academic Fellowship
  • EPSRC Digital Economy: A Pilot Study on a Fully Deployable Cooperative Unmanned Aerial Vehicles System for Flooding Prediction, Monitoring and Response Services, PI.
  • Royal Society. Research on Multiple UAV Cooperation for Marine Oil Spill Detection, PI. 

Some recent talks

  • 2021 UK-China collaborative workshop: AI for Climate, Environment and Sustainability 
  • 2021 PML-Exeter joint workshop on Change Detection for Very High Resolution (VHR) Remote Sensing 
  • 2020 18th IEEE ISPA Machine Learning empowered Future Network Workshop Keynote Talk: Machine Learning for Communication and Network Data Processing
  • 2019 BT Thought Leadership Talk Forum

PhD and research applicants

Highly motivated postgraduate students are welcome to apply for PhDs. I am offering to supervise self-funded PhD students in the areas of:

  • Machine learning methods (e.g. reinforcement learning, federated learning) for networked autuonomous vehicles in disaster relief
  • Image and data processing for sensing data collected by drones or satellites 
  • Cooperation and swarm intelligence of networked autonomous vehicles in disaster relief

Previous group members

  • Dr James Nightingale - Teaching fellow, University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Huaizhong Zhang - Senior Lecturer, Edge Hill University
  • Dr Qin Zhang - Associate Professor, Qingdao Agricultural University
  • Dr Leonhard Menz - Head of Process, Porsche AG
  • Dr Yang Mi - Postdoc RA, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Mr Stephen Goult - Machine Learning Development Software Engineer, Spirent Communications