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Professor Dhaval Thakker

Contact: D.Thakker@hull.ac.uk
 

Professor Thakker is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) at the University of Hull. He is the Director of Research (DoR) in the school of computer science. At Hull, he also leads groups on Responsible Artificial Intelligence (RAI-Hull) and the Internet of Things (IoT-Hull). Dhaval is the Turing Academic Lead at the University of Hull collaborating with the Alan Turing Institute. 

 

Dhaval has nearly twenty years of experience in researching and delivering innovative solutions through funded projects. List of funded projects in below. He is a research leader with a proven track record in establishing research groups, setting research agendas, securing significant grant funding, mentoring and supporting early and mid-career academics, and postgraduate research (PGR) students, and establishing extensive collaborations that lead to impactful research. 

 

His interdisciplinary research interests and expertise offer a balanced focus on advancing Artificial Intelligence (AI), with particular attention to Generative AI and the applications of Edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. He aims to enhance AI's contribution to societal benefits under the 'AI for Social Good' initiative, embodying a commitment to developing AI technologies that are not only responsible but also prioritize explainability, safety, and fairness. Through this approach, he seeks to ensure that AI systems are transparent, secure, and equitable, thereby maximizing their positive impact on society. He has secured extensive funding (£5M total; £1.3M as PI) and has a proven track record in applying AI for Social Good in areas such as Smart Cities, Digital Health, and the Circular Economy.Some of the notable funders have been the European Commission, EPSRC, UKRI, Innovate UK, HFCE, and GCRF focusing on projects addressing societal challenges surrounding themes such as Immigration and Planning Laws, Smart Cities, Energy Security, Circular Economy of E-devies, Air Quality Monitoring, Flood Monitoring,  Children's Health, Industry 4.0(Smart Factories), and Archeological & Drone-based surveys in Worn-torn areas. ​

He regularly reviews for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). His research has been rewarded with multiple best paper awards (2019 at the 10th IEEE conference on IoT, Big Data and AI for a Smart and Safe Future; 2015 at 12th the European Semantic Web Conference). 

 

Prior to Hull, he was an Associate Professor with the University of Bradford. At Bradford, he was the Director of Postgraduate Research (DPGR) in the faculty and led the Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Lab. At Bradford, he was also part of the University’s Research Practice Innovation Group led by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer) to help shape the university’s research and innovation (R&I) strategy.  He was awarded Ph.D. in computer science by the Nottingham Trent University in 2008 for his work on 'An intelligent framework for dynamic web services composition in the semantic web'. He has completed his MSc in Data Communication Systems from Brunel University, London.  Prior to joining Bradford, he worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Leeds from 2011 to 2015 and was leading semantic web/AI related research in several EU projects. Before Leeds, he worked in the industry with UK's national news agency (Press Association, now PA media group) as a Research & Development Consultant to provide strategic and technical leadership in implementing Semantic Web/AI and Linked data related projects to improve access to their media repositories.

Dhaval's publications are on Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=kR4WUwEAAAAJ&hl=en). 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Responsible Artificial Intelligence

Techniques, methodologies including Natural Language Processing, Large Language Models (Foundational Models), Neuro-Symbolic AI for explainability (Knowledge Graphs/Semantic Web in conjunction with Deep/Machine Learning to make the models/AI explainable); Trustworthy/Safe AI, Ethics/Legal aspects and Fairness

Internet of Things (IoT) & Edge AI

Edge Artificial Intelligence/TinyML, Citizen Science, Real-time stream processing(Complex Event Processing) and analytics, Early Warning Systems (flooding, landslides)

Smart Cities

Focus on the use of IoT/AI in terms of technologies, and Environmental Solutions for Smart Cities including Air Quality Monitoring, Flood Monitoring. 

Digital Health

Use of Artificial Intelligence and IoT for supporting health issues in particular effect of pollution on Children's health, and self-management of multimorbidity

Funded Research Projects as PI/Co-I

EPSRC funded National Hub on Artificial Intelligence -  EdgeAI (2024-2029)


Role: Principal Investigator for Hull
Funder: EPSRC (£12M)

Lead by: Newcastle University (Prof Rajiv Ranjan) with partners from Imperial, Hull, Durham, Lancaster, Southampton, Queer's University, Warwick, St Andrew's, Cardiff, Swansea and UWS.  See Hub Website

EPSRC funded Assuring AI (Large Language Models) based Systems Using Neuro-Symbolic AI (2024-2028)
Role: Principal Investigator

Funder: EPSRC (£140k)
Partners: QinetiQ (Naimuri)

UKRI funded AKT TRUST-LLM: Tailored Responsible Use of Safe and Trustworthy LLM for Planning Law Institutional Memory Management (2024)
Role: Co-Investigaror (PI: Koorosh)

Funder: Innovate UK AKT (£33.5k)

UKRI funded predictive Manufacturing Optimization using Neural Networks (PROMINN) (2024)
Role: Co-Investigaror (PI: Bhupesh Mishra)

Funder: Innovate UK AKT (£33k)
 

 

Innovate UK funded 'Adopting a Circular Economy Business Model for Resource Efficiency in ICT industry (ACE4ICT) using AI' (2023-2025)

Role: Principal Investigator
Funder: Innovate UK (£178k)

Partners: TechBuyer UK

Office for Students PG Conversion Course in Artificial Intelligence(AI) Funding (2023-2026)

Role: Co-Investigator
Funder: Office for Students (£600k)

 

STFC funded Blockchain-enabled Cloud Computing based integrated Carbon Calculator (Be4C) (2023-2024)

Role: Co-Investigator
Funder: STFC Science & Technology Facilities Council (£25k)

 

Innovate UK funded project on 'Conversational AI using Neuro-symbolic AI for Improving Efficiency of UK Immigration Case Management'

Role: Principal Investigator
Funder: Innovate UK (£170k)

Partners: AYJ Solicitors, UK

2023

A dynamic machine learning systems for standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for UK Immigration Law Industry

Role: Co-Investigator
Funder: UKRI (£30k)

Partners: AYJ Solicitors, UK

2018 - 2022

EU Funded Smart Cities and Open Data REuse (SCORE)

Funder: European Commission (€2.8M)
Role: Uni of Bradford (Principle Investigator)
Co-ordinator: Amsterdam City Council

Partners: Amsterdam Data Science, Aarhus University, Hamburg, Aarhus, Bergen, Bradford, Aberdeen, Ghent, Dordrecht

Innovate UK Smart Manufacturing funded '

Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing for Baking Industry (2022-2025)
Funder: Innovate UK (£618k)
My Role: Co-Investigator
Co-ordinator/PI: Dr Savas Konur

March 2020 - July 2020

UrbaN Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Observatory (UNIAQ)

Funder: CCIP (£25k)

Role: PI/Co-ordinator
Partners: Born In Bradford, Bradford City Council, Uni of Leeds, Well Bradford.

March 2020 - July 2020

UrbaN Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Observatory (UNIAQ)

Funder: CCIP (£25k)

Role: PI/Co-ordinator
Partners: Born In Bradford, Bradford City Council, Uni of Leeds, Well Bradford.

2020 - 2022

AI-based Service Management Suite 

Funder: Innovate UK (£194k)
My Role: Co-Investigator
Co-ordinator/PI: Dr Savas Konur

2020 - 2021

Digital Catapult funded project on 'Horizon Scanning for Urban Planning with Net Zero Targets'

Funder: Digital Catapult (£15k)
My Role: Principal Investigator

 

2018 - 2022

Deep Learning/AI and Drones for supporting measures for understanding hazardous terrain/ contaminated land. 

Funder: Global Challenges Research Fund  (£73.3k)

My Role: Co-Investigator
Co-ordinator/PI: Dr Andrew Wison

2017-2019

Big Data and IoT based smart digital vouchering solutions 

Funder: Innovate UK (£136k)

My Role: Co-Investigator
Co-ordinator/PI: Dr Savas Konur

2017-2019

Automatic Asset Recognition using Drones and Deep Learning

Funder: Innovate UK (£139.5k)

My Role:  Principal Investigator
Co-ordinator : Prof. Rami Qahwaji

PhD Students/Research Staff

List of PhD students Prof Thakker supervises/supervised, and line manages/managed. 

Jevon Westcarr

PhD in Responsible Evaluation of Clean Air Zones
My role: Principal Supervisor 
Status: 2nd Year (2024)

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Omondi Makalliwa 

PhD in AI Safety for Autonomous Systems 
My role: Principal Supervisor 
Status: 1st Year (2024)

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Maneeha Rani

PhD in Medical LLM Systems 
My role: Second Supervisor 
Status: 1st Year (2024)

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Tooba Zahed

PhD in Medical LLM Systems 
My role: Second Supervisor 
Status: 1st Year (2024)

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Kuniko Paxton

PhD in Fairness in AI 
My role: Second Supervisor 
Status: 2nd Year (2024)

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Hari Neupane 

PhD student in 'Responsible AI for Low Resource Countries (Healthcare)'. 
My role: Second Supervisor 
Status: 2nd Year (2024)

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Julius Mboli

PhD In AI and Circular Economy My role: Principal Supervisor Status: Completed in 2023 (now Lecturer with University of Hull)

Rameez Kureshi

PhD In AI and IoT for Indoor/Outdoor Air pollution My role: Principal Supervisor Status: Completed in 2024 (now Lecturer with University of Hull)

PhD in IoT and Blockchain My role: Principal Supervisor Status: Completed in 2022 (now Research Associate at Uni of East Anglia)

Ebtesam Taktek

PhD In XML Databases and Semantics My role: Principal Supervisor Status: Completed in 2018 ( Now Lecturer in computer science, AlShumukh, Tripoli, Libya.)

Arjmand Naveed

PhD In AI and Healthcare - Semantic Similarity and Analogy My role: Principal Supervisor Status: Completed in 2022 ( Now Research Associate at the University of Bradford)

PhD In AI and Early Warning SystemsMy role: Associate Supervisor (PS in Newcastle University)Status: Completed in 2021 (Now Research Team member at the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center)

Dimoklis Depotakis

PhD in AI and Data browsers using Knowledge Graphs;
My role: second supervisor
Status: Completed in 2017; Now working as a Associate Professor at the University of Jordan

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Reena John

MPhil in Indoor Air Pollution and Asthma; My role: Principal Supervisor; Completed: 2023

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Marwan Al-Tawil

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