Contact Dr Yifan Zhao

Areas of expertise

  • Computing, Simulation & Modelling
  • Human Factors
  • Industrial Automation
  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Systems Engineering
  • Throughlife Engineering Services


Dr Yifan Zhao received his PhD degree from the University of Sheffield in 2007. He also has MSc and BEng degrees from the Beijing Institute of Technology, China. Before joining Cranfield in 2013, Yifan worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, where his research activities focused on nonlinear signal processing and analysis for complex system and their cross-disciplinary applications in medical, climatic and industry areas.

Research opportunities

The Complex Systems and Intelligence Data Processing research group currently has 2 academia, 6 research staff,10 PhD students and 10 MSc students. It has the following open PhD opportunities:
1. Development of a thermography-based Intelligent materials characterisation system
2. Early diagnosis of dementia based on EEG data using artificial intelligence approaches
3. Correlation and causality detection using nonlinear system identification methods
4. Development of driver behaviour monitoring system for future autonomous vehicles
5. Digital Twin for predictive active thermography
6. Brain-Machine Interface for manufacturing
7. Medical image analysis using artificial intelligence approaches
8. Image quality improvement using Artificial intelligence
9. Artificial intelligence for construction sites for safety enhancement
10. Image fusion using Generative Adversarial network

Current activities

Dr Zhao has over 15 years’ experience on theory development of nonlinear system identification of Complex Systems, correlation and causality, spatio-temporal systems, computer vision, and general image and signal processing. Currently, he is leading a research group focusing on Complex Systems and Intelligence Data Processing, including both theoretical development and applications across  Digital Manufacturing, Transport, Healthcare, Construction and Communication sectors. 
His key research areas are: 
  • Health monitoring of complex systems
  • Human behaviour analysis
  • Non-destructive Testing (e.g. Active Thermography)
  • Computer vision in automated vehicles 
  • EEG/EMG/fMRI signal analysis 
  • Correlation and causality 
  • Image and video Super Resolution 
  • Medical image processing
Current Research Grants:

  • PI, Innovate UK, "One Source of Truth: Using AI & Computer vision to reduce contract disputes, manage warranties in MMC building and measure productivity & safety" (Ref: 44190), £650K, 2020-2021
  • PI, EPSRC IAA, "Development of driver behaviour tracking technology for semi-autonomous and human-driving vehicles", £40K, 2020-2021
  • Co-I, EPSRC, “Distributed Intelligent Ultrasound Imaging System for Secure in-community Diagnostics (SecureUltrasound)”, EP/R013950/1, £1 M, 2018-2021

Completed Research Grants:

  • PI, HEIF, "Exploration of The Learning Camera in construction sector", £20K, 2019-2020
  • PI, Lloyd Registration Foundation, “Prototype development of a Real-time Electronic Counterfeit Batch Inspection Technique (RECBIT)”, GA 100113, £250 K, 2018-2020
  • Co-I, Jaguar Land Rover and EPSRC, "TASCC: Driver-Cognition-Oriented Optimal Control Authority Shifting for Adaptive Automated Driving (CogShift)", EP/N012089/1, £2 M, 2015-2019
  • PI, Innovate UK, "The Learning Camera" (Ref: 22994), £274 K, 2018-2019
  • Academic Supervisor, KTP with iDirect, “Anomaly detection of satellite architectures”, £130 K, 2017-2019
  • Co-I, BAE Systems, PhD project “Process monitoring and control for Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture”, £100 K, 2016-2019


  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • BAE Systems 
  • NHS
  • BAM Nuttall Ltd
  • ITA Labs 
  • Anti Counterfeiting Forum
  • iDirect


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers