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An ambitious programme geared to create a radically new architecture for the UK’s internet and telecommunications infrastructure

Professor Nicholas Race.

Network Systems, University of Lancaster. Academic Principal Investigator for NG-CDI.

Nicholas Race is Professor of Networked Systems at Lancaster University.  His research focuses on developing future networking services built upon Software Defined Networks and Network Functions Virtualisation.  This includes new techniques to enhance the Quality of Experience of media streaming and support for the detection and remediation of network anomalies. 


Nick's research area is focused on the use of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) for a range of new networking services, with a particular emphasis on the benefits to security, monitoring and media distribution.

The application of SDN for security builds upon his previous work in developing lightweight intrusion detection mechanisms and security monitoring for Wireless Mesh Networks. In particular, recent research considers new approaches to security detection and remediation that have been made possible through the introduction of Software Defined Networking. Nick's current work investigates how the combination of multi-stage monitoring techniques alongside SDN allows for the dynamic provisioning of resources in response to evolving monitoring conditions. Notably, his work in this area has led to the TENNISON framework which has recently been published and released as open-source software for the benefit of the security community.

Nick is the principal investigator of NG-CDI, an EPSRC/BT funded Prosperity Partnership. He is also the principal investigator at Lancaster of 5GRIT & INITIATE, and co-investigator of the EPSRC TOUCAN Programme Grant. Previously Nick was the principal investigator at Lancaster of the MPAT, FI-CONTENT2, STEER, GN3plus, Fed4FIRE, OFELIA and P2P-Next EU projects. 

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Stephen Cassidy MA MInstP CEng FIET

System Science, BT Applied Research. Industry Principle Investigator for NG-CDI.

Stephen Cassidy is Chief Researcher in System Science at BT, with a particular interest in the relationship between people, information technology and organisational structure in determining enterprise culture and effectiveness. This multi-disciplinary programme combines research into AI, data-driven decision tools, self-learning systems, human behaviour and culture. The work feeds into operational areas across BT Group.


He returned to research to build this programme after a number of roles in different areas of BT including computer controlled networks, platform strategy, technical marketing, proposition development and programme management. He had originally started his career in optical communications research during which he published around 60 papers and 4 book chapters on optical technology, generating nearly 60 patents and winning the Queen’s Award for Industry.


He lectures on the MBA programme at the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, Beijing, on the Information Systems and Digital Innovation course at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and on the Executive Education programme of the Cambridge Judge Business School. He is an Advisory Board Member of the Oxford/OU/Cambridge Universities Arts and Humanities Doctoral Training Partnership; the Leeds University Business School MSc programme on Information Management and Information System; and the Human Capital Analytics Center of the Conference Board. He is a Member of the Institute of Physics and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology.

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Research Challenge Leads

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Dr Charalampos Rotsos

Lecturer in Computer Networks and Networked Systems, Lancaster University.

Charalampos is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Networks and Networked Systems at Lancaster University. He holds a Ph.D. from the Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University. His research focus is in network service management and orchestration, network programmability and monitoring and cloud operating systems. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, including highly-cited survey papers on SDN and network service orchestration. He has been involved in national (EPSRC: MASTS, HOMEWORK, NaaS, INTERNET, TOUCAN, INITIATE), European (OFELIA) and international (DARPA: (MRC)2) research projects. He is an active contributor to many popular open-source projects relevant to SDN experimentation (OFLOPS, SELENA), open hardware (Blueswitch) and cloud OS (Mirage Unikernel).

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Professor Ning Wang

Professor in Networks, University of Surrey, 5G innovation Centre.

Ning Wang received his PhD degree at University of Surrey in 2004 and he is currently a full-professor at the Institute for Communication Systems (ICS) at the University of Surrey. Ning is currently the Work Area leader of the Intelligent and High-performance Networking & Service Delivery at the 5G Innovation Centre hosted at Surrey. Ning's general research interests include 5G and beyond networking, Future Internet, network autonomics, multimedia content delivery, as well as Quality of Services (QoS) and Quality of Experiences (QoE). 

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Professor Rob Piechocki

Professor of Wireless Systems, University of Bristol.

Robert J Piechocki is Professor in the School of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Engineering Maths. His research interests span all areas of connected intelligent systems. His domain expertise is Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV), and wireless sensing for eHealth.  

He has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and conferences and holds 13 patents in these areas. Robert is leading wireless connectivity and sensing research activities for the IRC SPHERE project (winner of 2016 World Technology Award).

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Professor Idris Eckley

Professor of Statistics, Lancaster University.

Idris Eckley is Professor of Statistics at Lancaster University, where he leads the Changepoints and Time Series group. His current research interests focus on the development of novel inference methods for streaming data, including the detection of changes and anomalies. Much of this work is inspired by, and feeds back into, real-world challenges faced by an array of industrial partners including BT, DSTL, Shell, the Office for National Statistics and Unilever. In addition to his work leading the Statistical activity within the NG-CDI Prosperity Partnership, he is Co-Director of the EPSRC-funded STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training and PI on the £2.75M EPSRC Programme Grant `StatScale’.

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Professor Ajith Parlikad

Professor in Asset Management, University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacture.

Ajith Kumar Parlikad is Professor of Asset Management at Cambridge University Engineering Department. He is based at the Institute for Manufacturing, where he is the Head of the Asset Management Research group. He is a Fellow and Tutor at Hughes Hall.


Ajith leads research activities on engineering asset management and maintenance. His particular focus is examining how asset information can be used to improve asset performance through effective decision-making. He actively engages with industry through research and consulting projects. He is currently the Scientific Secretary of the IFAC TC5.1 Working Group on "Advanced Maintenance Engineering, Services and Technology" and sits on the steering committee of the UK Digital Twin Hub. Ajith's current research focusses on the development and exploitation of digital twins of complex asset systems bringing together data from disparate sources to improve asset management. 

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