Dr Xiaojun Zhai

Portrait

Position: Lecturer in Real-Time Software Engineering

College: College of Engineering and Technology

Department: Computing and Mathematics

Subject area: Computing, Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Research Centre: Distributed and Intelligent Systems Centre for Research and Technology Transfer

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About

I am a Lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics at the University of Derby. Before this I worked at the University of Leicester and University of Essex as a Research Associate and Senior Research Officer respectively, where I've been working on various The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and EU funded (FP7) collaborative projects in the last three years.

I am an active researcher and have collaborated with several research groups, for instance, Embedded and Intelligent Systems research group at the University of Essex, Embedded Systems and communications research group at the University of Leicester, Department of Electrical Engineering at Qatar University. I have more than 20 peer reviewed publications generated in these collaborative works.

I have been part of the EPSRC or EU funded projects for developing Embedded System and System-on-Chip (SoC) to increase security, power, performance and reliability for automotive, robotics, image processing, sensor network nodes and other real-time critical applications including:

  • SYSIASS – Autonomous and Intelligent Healthcare System funded by the European Regional Development Fund, ERDF Interreg IVA 2 Mers Seas Zeeën Programme.
  • RoBoSAS: Gobal engagement with NASA JPL and ESA in Robotics, Brain Computer Interfaces, and Secure Adaptive Systems for Space Applications” funded by EPSRC.
  • SWIPE: Space Wireless Sensor Networks for Planetary Exploration, funded by EU FP7.

Please get in touch with me if you're interested in a research or development project in embedded system, FPGA or implementation of real-time data/image processing algorithms on hardware.

Teaching responsibilities

  • Networks and Security
  • Computer Systems and Software Engineering
  • Mobile and Wireless Networking
  • Advances in Wireless Networks

Research interests

  • Embedded Systems and System-on-Chip (SoC) design, for increasing security, power, performance and reliability
  • Advanced embedded processor architectures targeted for automotive/industrial, robotics, image processing, sensor network nodes and other real-time critical applications
  • High-performance data and image processing in embedded systems
  • Hardware acceleration of computationally intensive DSP algorithms using FPGAs

Membership of professional bodies

Member of the British Computer Society (BCS) (Since November 2015)

Qualifications

Undergraduate qualifications

  • BSc Communication Engineering, North China University of Technology, China

Postgraduate qualifications

  • MSc in Embedded Intelligent Systems, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Research qualifications

  • PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Hertfordshire, UK

Recent publications

Journal Articles:

  • X. Zhai and Tanya Vladimirova, "Efficient Data Processing Algorithms for Wireless Sensor Networks based Planetary Exploration", AIAA Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, Vol.13, No. 1, 2016, pp.46-66. DOI: 10.2514/1.I010373
  • X. Zhai, K. Appiah, S. Ehsan, G. Howells, H, Hu, D. Gu and K.D. McDonald-Maier, "A Method for Detecting Abnormal Program Behavior on Embedded Devices," IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, vol.10, no.8, pp.1692-1704, Aug. 2015. DOI: 10.1109/TIFS.2015.2422674
  • X. Zhai, K. Appiah, S. Ehsan, G. Howells, W. M Cheung, H. Hu, D. Gu, and K. McDonald-Maier, “Exploring ICMetrics to Detect Abnormal Program Behaviour on Embedded Devices”, Journal of Systems Architecture, Vol. 61, Issue 8, 2015. DOI:10.1016/j.sysarc.2015.07.007
  • X. Zhai, F. Jaber, F. Bensaali and A. Mishra, “Hardware Acceleration of a Dielectrophoresis System for Achieving a Single-Neuron-Per-Electrode Arrangement in Microelectrode Arrays”, International Journal of Simulation Systems, Science & Technology, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2016.
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali and R. Sotudeh, “Real-Time Optical Character Recognition on FPGA for ANPR”, in IET Circuits, Devices & Systems, vol. 7, issue 6, pp. 337-344, August, 2013. DOI: 10.1049/iet-cds.2012.0339.
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali and R. Sotudeh, “FPGA-based Number Plate Binarisation and Adjustment for ANPR Systems”, SPIE Journal of Electronic Imaging, vol. 22, issue 1, pp. 1-11, Jan, 2013. DOI: 10.1117/1.JEI.22.1.013009
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali and S. Ramalingam, “Improved Number Plate Localisation Algorithm and its Efficient FPGA Implementation”, in IET Circuits, Devices & Systems, vol.7, issue 2, pp. 93-103, March, 2013. DOI: 10.1049/iet-cds.2012.0064
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali, “Improved Number Plate Character Segmentation Algorithm and Its Efficient FPGA Implementation”, Journal of Real-time Image Processing, Springer, DOI: 10.1007/s11554-012-0258-5, pp. 1-13, June, 2012. DOI: 10.1007/s11554-012-0258-5

Conference Articles and Book Chapters:

  • O. Hommos, A. Al-Qahtani, A. Farhat, A. Al-Zawqari, F. Bensaali, A. Amira and X. Zhai, “HD Qatari ANPR system”, 2016 International Conference on Industrial Informatics and Computer Systems (CIICS), Sharjah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2016, pp. 1-5.
  • A. Farhat, A. Al-Zawqari, A. Al-Qahtani, O. Hommos, F. Bensaali, A. Amira and X. Zhai, “OCR Based Feature Extraction and Template Matching Algorithms for Qatari Number Plate”, 2016 International Conference on Industrial Informatics and Computer Systems (CIICS), Sharjah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2016, pp. 1-5.
  • P. Rodrigues, A. Oliveira, P. Sinogas, G. Oddi, F. Lisi, F. Alvarez, R. Cabas, T. Vladimirova, X. Zhai, M. Crosnier. “Testing of a Routing Algorithm for Wireless Sensor Networks with Applications to Planetary Exploration”, Proc. of the 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), 12-16 October 2015, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • F. Alvarez, P. Rodrigues, P. Sinogas, A. Oliveira, T. Vladimirova, X. Zhai, F. Liberati, G. Oddi, A. Pietrabissa, M. Crosnier, C. Rivera, D. Millen, L. Moreno. “Low Power Lightweight Micro-Meteorological Station for Wireless Sensor Network Based Space Exploration”, Proc. of the 66th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), 12-16 October 2015, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • F. Bensaali, A. Amira, X. Zhai and Tao Huang, "A Stand-Alone Application for Automatic Bulk Returning of Students’ Reports", Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on E-Learning and E-Technologies in Education (ICEEE2015), Indonesia, 2015
  • X. Zhai, A. Amira and F. Bensaali, “ECG Security Identification System on the Zynq SoC Platform”, the 14th IEEE International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Communications (IUCC-2015), pp.1164-1169, 2015.
  • X. Zhai and T. Valdimirova, "Data Aggregation in Wireless Sensor Networks for Lunar Exploration," in The sixth Emerging  Security  Technologies  (EST), Germany, pp. 30 - 37, 2015. 
  • X. Zhai, F. Jaber, F. Bensaali and A. Mishra, “Hardware Acceleration of an Image Processing System for Dielectrophoretic Loading of Single Neurons Inside Micro-Wells of Microelectrode Arrays”, UKSim-AMSS 17th International Conference on Modelling and Simulation, pp.571-576, March, 2015 (Best paper awards).
  • X. Zhai, H. Jing, and T. Vladimirova, “Multi-Sensor Data Fusion in Wireless Sensor Networks for Planetary Exploration”, accepted for publication in the proceedings of the 9th NASA/ESA Conference on Adaptive Hardware and Systems (AHS-2014), pp. 188 – 195, July, 2014.
  • P. Rodrigues, A. Oliveira, F. Alvarez, R. Cabas, G. Oddi, F. Liberati, T. Vladimirova, X. Zhai, H. Jing, and M. Crosnier, “Space Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) for planetary exploration: node and network architectures”, accepted for publication in the proceedings of the 9th NASA/ESA Conference on Adaptive Hardware and Systems (AHS-2014), pp. 180 – 187, July, 2014.
  • X. Zhai, K. Appiah, S. Ehsan, G. Howells, W. M Cheung, H. Hu, D. Gu, and K. McDonald-Maier, “Detecting Compromised Programs for Embedded System Applications”, in Architecture of Computing Systems – ARCS 2014, Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series, vol. 8350, pp. 221-232, Feb, 2014.
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali and K. McDonald-Maier, “Automatic Number Plate Recognition on FPGA”, in the proceedings of the 20th IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits, and Systems (ICECS), pp. 325-328 Oct. 2013.
  • Z. Jeffrey, X. Zhai, F. Bensaali, R. Sotudeh and A. Ariyaeeinia. (2013). “Automatic Number Plate Recognition System on an ARM-DSP and FPGA Heterogeneous SoC Platforms”, Hot Chips: A Symposium on High Performance Chips, California, USA, August 2013.
  • X. Zhai and F. Bensaali, “Standard Definition ANPR System on FPGA and an Approach to Extend it to HD”, in the proceedings of the 7th IEEE GCC Conference and Exhibition (GCC), pp. 214-219, Nov, 2013.
  • X. Zhai, K. Appiah, S. Ehsan, G. Howells, W. M Cheung, H. Hu, D. Gu, and K. McDonald-Maier, “A Self-Organising Map Based Algorithm for Analysis of ICmetrics Features”, in the proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Emerging Security Technologies (EST), pp. 93-97, Sep, 2013.
  • X. Zhai, K. Appiah, S. Ehsan, G. Howells, K. McDonald-Maier, H. Hu, D. Gu, and W. M Cheung, “Application of ICmetrics for Embedded System Security”, in the proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Emerging Security Technologies (EST), pp. 89 – 92, Sep, 2013.
  • K. Appiah, X. Zhai, S. Ehsan, W. M Cheung, H. Hu, D. Gu, K. McDonald-Maier and G. Howells,Program Counter as an Integrated Circuit Metrics for Secured Program Identification”, in the proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Emerging Security Technologies (EST), pp. 98-101, Sep, 2013.
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali and R. Sotudeh, “OCR-Based Neural Network for ANPR”, in the proceedings of the 2012 IEEE international Conference on Imaging Systems and Techniques, pp. 393-397, Manchester, UK, July 2012.
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali and S. Ramalingam, “Real-Time License Plate Localisation on FPGA”, in the proceedings of the 2011 IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops (CVPRW), pp. 14-19, Colorado Springs, CO, USA, June 2011.
  • X. Zhai, F. Bensaali and S. Ramalingam, “License Plate Localisation based on Morphological Operations”, the 11th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, pp. 1128-1132, Singapore, Dec, 2010.

Full list of publications is available at Google Scholar.

Recent conferences

  • Session chair, UKSim-AMSS 17th International Conference on Modelling and Simulation, Emmanuel College, the University of Cambridge, 2015
  • Local chair, The 9th NASA/ESA Conference on Adaptive Hardware and Systems (AHS-2014), the University of Leicester, 2014
  • Local chair, the 2013 International Conference on Emerging Security Technologies (EST), the University of Cambridge, 2013
  • The 2014 international Conference on Architecture of Computing Systems, Luebeck, Germany, 2014
  • 2012 IEEE international Conference on Imaging Systems and Techniques, the University of Manchester, 2012
  • The 2011 IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Workshops (CVPRW), Colorado Springs, USA, 2011
  • The 11th International Conference on Control, Automation, Robotics and Vision, Singapore, 2010.

Additional interests and activities

  • Reviewer for SPIE Journal of Electronic Imaging
  • Reviewer for IEEE Embedded Systems Letters
  • Reviewer for a number of international conferences
  • PC member for Interactive Technologies and Games Conference
  • Guest editor for the special issue for IEEE SOSE 2016 in Elsevier Journal of Future Generation Computer Systems (FGCS)

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