Our Team


Our innovative research is driven by leaders with expertise spanning the fields of data science and AI, optimisation and machine learning, digital twins and simulation, machine vision and remote sensing, techno-economic modelling, smart materials and manufacturing, robotics, renewable energy systems and decarbonisation, marine ecosystems and sustainable environment modelling.


The work our researchers do is only made possible with the support of our dedicated Business Support team which includes Administration, Marketing & Communications and Business Development.

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Professor John McCall Director

Professor John McCall


John has research expertise in data science and artificial intelligence (AI), which has applications in solving the challenges of energy transition and industrial revolution driven by climate change and technological advances. He has over 25 years of research experience in nature-inspired computing and has founded two spinout companies delivering real world optimisation to industry. John joined the NSC from Robert Gordon University’s School of Computing, where he was Head of School. In his role as Director, he is leading the National Subsea Centre in its aim to accelerate the energy transition through smart technologies applied to industrial and environmental challenges in subsea and related marine sectors. John is passionate about working with industry to find transformative solutions to challenges and in building the next generation smart workforce for the subsea sector. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, music, travelling and culture. 

Lynne Brien Centre Manager

Lynne Brien

Centre Manager

Lynne joined the National Subsea Centre in June 2022 from RGU, where she was the Research Development Administrator in Research Strategy and Policy (VP Research Office). Lynne is a key member of the Centre’s Senior Management Team, leading the Administration team and acting as an interface between the Centre’s academic and commercial functions to internal and external stakeholders, to ensure the efficient running of the Centre and delivery of key strategic priorities. Lynne’s responsibilities include the development of the operational plan to support the research and business of the Centre and building industrial relationships. Lynne has over 30 years of administrative experience in both higher education and local authority settings. Outside of work, Lynne enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, going for woodland walks and supporting the Scotland international rugby team. 

Ryan Gordon Business Development Manager

Ryan Gordon

Business Development Manager

Ryan joined the National Subsea Centre after a diverse career in the energy sector. Having been born and bred in the North-East of Scotland, Ryan has always had a passion for the energy sector and has held a variety of roles, including working offshore as an ROV pilot, Customer Support Engineer, Workshop Management, Project Management, Sales Management and Business Development. Prior to his career in the energy sector, Ryan served with the military for over a decade with the Royal and Electrical Mechanical Engineers. Having such a varied skillset allows Ryan to understand how businesses operate across all departments, from the initial sales enquiry and concept at the design stage to the final completion and installation offshore. In his spare time, Ryan likes to be away in his campervan exploring new places and challenging himself running in the mountains. 

Federica Monacelli-Ashton CMktr Marketing & Communications Manager

Federica Monacelli-Ashton CMktr

Marketing & Communications Manager

Federica is a Chartered Marketer with extensive international work experience in the Marketing and Communications fields of higher education, research, financial services, fashion and retail organisations. Heading up the Marketing & Communications team at the NSC, she is responsible for developing, implementing and leading all marketing and communications activities to build the centre’s profile nationally and internationally. As a recognised STEM Ambassador, Federica volunteers to inspire and assist young people in exploring future career pathways in STEM fields. In her spare time, she enjoys nature walks, travelling and remaining close to her Southern Italian roots by tirelessly working to perfect her pizza dough and traditional desserts. 

Kumudu Gamage

Senior Research Engineer

Kumudu is a Senior Research Engineer with vast experience in a range of industry and research environments. His expertise lies in automation, robotics systems, manufacturing, mechanical design and the Internet of Things (IoT). Kumudu manages the NSC’s research lab and equipment and helps set up and run the technical processes. In his previous role as a KTP Associate, he worked on an IoT-based preventive maintenance programme for the manufacturing industry. His previous work experience includes technical management of industrial automation, robotic research for the medical robotics industry and an engineering role in industrial gas manufacturing. Outside of work, Kumudu is fond of classical literature and enjoys watching movies.  

Dr Andrei Petrovski

Cyber-Physical Systems Lead

Andrei’s expertise combines the fields of both computing and engineering. On the computing side, his expertise lies in data analytics, computational modelling and optimisation, computational intelligence and machine learning, decision support and digital transformation. From an engineering perspective, he has vast experience in computer-assisted measurements, fault diagnosis, predictive control and maintenance, cybersecurity and system resilience and sensor and computer networks. Andrei has led several projects where these technologies have been used for remote monitoring, improving versatility and capabilities of instrumentation and automation systems and protecting operational technologies. Andrei leads the NSC’s Cyber-Physical Systems research programme, aimed at accelerating digital transformation and the protection of physical systems through their virtualisation and cybersecurity. Throughout his career, Andrei has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers in leading AI, cybersecurity and industrial cyber-physical systems journals and conferences. In his spare time, Andrei enjoys playing football, tennis, travelling and reading. 

Dr Wei Zhang

Chancellor's Fellow

Wei’s research interests include Systems Analysis and Design for Sustainability, Computational Mechanics and Digital Twining. Prior to joining the NSC, he held several research posts at some of the UK’s most prestigious universities, including Oxford, Bath and Queen’s Belfast. He obtained his PhD in Mechanical Engineering, with a particular focus on understanding inverse problems under uncertainty for modelling and designing complex engineering systems. Following this, he investigated the uncertainty modelling of fuel cell stacks with the aid of a fast global sensitivity analysis and explored the concept of “design gene” for developing a novel bio-inspired generative design system integrated with additive manufacturing. Wei has also developed data-driven computational strategies for the modelling and design of material efficiency to address challenges in systems sustainability. In his spare time, he enjoys music, reading, traveling and running. He is a marathon finisher and regularly takes part in full or half-marathon events around the globe. 

Professor Jinchang Ren Transparent Ocean Lead

Professor Jinchang Ren

Transparent Ocean Lead

Jinchang’s expertise lies in image processing, computer vision, big data analytics and machine learning. His research focuses on extracting patterns from image, video and sensor data and applying machine learning to derive useful information for smart decision-making. Applications of his research include non-intrusive testing in condition monitoring, smart manufacturing and asset management, quality grading and assessment in food and drink, pharmaceutical, forensics and the energy sector, big data driven precision agriculture and smart cities, geoscience and remote sensing, and medical imaging. Jinchang joined the NSC from the University of Strathclyde, he is now the Transparent Ocean Lead at the NSC and acts as Director of the NSC International Academy and Hyperspectral Imaging Lab. He supports the delivery of NSC objectives in enabling a digital and smart subsea, monitoring subsea energy installations and data validation of digital twins as well as environmental sensing. Jinchang is passionate about hyperspectral imaging, computer vision and deep learning, especially in supervising junior researchers for success. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, travelling, movies and music.    

Dr Yijun Yan Transparent Ocean Research Fellow

Dr Yijun Yan

Transparent Ocean Research Fellow

Yijun is an expert in spectroscopy, image processing and artificial intelligence (AI). His research focuses on the application of optical-based, non-destructive inspection and monitoring in various industrial sectors. Yijun is a key member of the Transparent Ocean team and supports the team's growth by attracting funding, establishing the Hyperspectral Imaging Lab and recruiting. He also contributes to increasing the NSC’s influence by actively attending international events, making impactful publications on international journals and conferences and hosting special issues on prestigious journals. Outside of work, he spends his spare time doing sports and raising pets.  

Dr Junayed Hasan Transparent Ocean Research Fellow

Dr Junayed Hasan

Transparent Ocean Research Fellow

Junayed specialises in signal and image processing, computer vision, big data analytics, machine learning and explainable AI (XAI). His research focuses on analysing feature space, pattern extraction and multimodal information fusion from sensor data (image, vibration and acoustic), as well as using machine learning and XAI to make smart decisions. Applications of his research include non-destructive testing in condition-based monitoring, smart built-environment, big-data-driven sleep analysis and medical imaging. In 2021, Junayed earned his doctorate in Computer Engineering from the University of Ulsan in the Republic of Korea. During his PhD, he was awarded the prestigious Brain Korea fellowship from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea, as well as multiple research awards for his outstanding scientific contributions. Junayed joined the NSC as a Researcher and contributes to the accomplishment of NSC goals in digital and smart subsea, Scottish house energy systems and smart energy-efficient built environment projects. Outside of work, he enjoys poetry, travel and graphic design.  

Ping Ma

Transparent Ocean Research Fellow

Ping Ma is a researcher in the fields of image processing, computer vision, AI, multimodal data fusion and machine learning. Her research focuses on using machine learning and AI to extract patterns from multimodal image and sensor data for smart decision-making in various applications, including geoscience and remote sensing, precision agriculture and smart cities, wetland mapping and offshore energy installation monitoring. Ping Ma is a vital part of the Transparent Ocean team and helps drive its growth through funding acquisition and the establishment of the Hyperspectral Imaging Lab. She is dedicated to achieving the goals of the NSC in the fields of digital and smart subsea and energy-efficient built environments. Ping Ma also boosts the NSC's reputation by regularly attending international events, publishing in international journals and conferences and making meaningful contributions. Outside of work, she has personal interests in reading, travelling and sports.

Dr Ali Rohan

Transparent Ocean Research Fellow

Ali is a Research Fellow in the Transparent Ocean team, developing automated tools for subsea inspection. He has a strong research background in developing autonomous solutions for applications such as ecosystem monitoring, behavioural analysis, disease detection and prognosis, condition monitoring and smart manufacturing.  His research interests and expertise are in robotics, AI, computer vision, image and signal processing, machine learning, control and automation. He has several years of research experience in various engineering domains, including biomedical, electrical, and electronics. He earned his doctorate from Kunsan National University in South Korea where his PhD focused on creating autonomous drone systems with abilities to hear and see for tasks such as surveillance, search and rescue. During his studies, Ali was awarded a postgraduate research scholarship. Outside of work, Ali likes to travel, explore new places, read, spend time in nature, work out and watch movies.  

Yinhe Li

Transparent Ocean PhD Student

Yinhe Li received his BE degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Northeast Electric Power University in Jilin, China and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK in 2020. He is currently a Transparent Ocean PhD student at the National Subsea Centre. His research interests include hyperspectral imagery, multi-modal remote sensing and deep learning. He is a key member of the Transparent Ocean research programme and is working alongside the team to establish the Hyperspectral Imaging Lab. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, watching live sports and travelling. 

Hamidreza Farhadi Tolie

Transparent Ocean PhD Student

Hamidreza is a Transparent Ocean PhD student at the National Subsea Centre and his research focuses on optical and acoustic image quality assessment and enhancement towards multimodal data fusion for condition monitoring in subsea applications. Hamidreza gained his BEng degree in Information Technology in 2018 and his MSc degree in Computer Science with a focus on data mining in 2021, both from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS) in Iran. His research interests include image quality assessment, image enhancement, deep learning and computer vision. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, reading and travelling.

Professor James Njuguna Integrated Energy Lead

Professor James Njuguna

Integrated Energy Lead

James is an internationally recognised researcher in materials engineering and specialises in composite materials. He is intrigued by the way things are made, how they fail, materials used, improvement options and the decisions made in developing a specific product. James enjoys working with industry on real life challenges in materials applications, products design and development. His innovative research into lightweight structures and polymer nanocomposites underpins advances in materials tailoring, structural-property relationships, thermo-mechanical performance, structural design and optimisation strategies in the design and manufacture of components. Prior to joining the NSC, James worked at Cranfield University, University of London and Cracow University of Technology. At the NSC, he oversees the Integrated Energy programme and is also a Research Strategic Lead at RGU’s School of Engineering. In his spare time, James volunteers for charitable causes that deal with child education support and animal welfare groups. He also enjoys football, gardening, writing and culture.  

Jemma Reynolds Integrated Energy Research Assistant

Jemma Reynolds

Integrated Energy Research Assistant

Jemma has experience in feasibility study, techno-economic analysis and social and environmental impact assessment in renewable energy development. She holds a MSc in Renewable Energy Management from Robert Gordon University, with a further background in social sciences. Jemma began her PhD journey in 2022, focusing on subsea hydrogen storage solutions with an integrated energy prospective. Jemma also runs the North-East of Scotland Manufacturing Forum and has recently been involved in techno-economic and environmental impact assessment of renewable energy initiatives in Orkney Islands, being published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2022. Outside of work, Jemma enjoys surfing, sailing and all things outdoors. 

Alexander Oburoh

Integrated Energy PhD Student

Alexander is an Integrated Energy PhD student carrying out research on blue hydrogen and its policy and environmental impacts on the UK's net zero goals. With a master's degree in Oil and Gas Engineering from Robert Gordon University and five years of work experience in the oil and gas industry, Alexander hopes to develop a sustainable bridge between the current oil and gas industry and future renewable energy systems. Alexander works collaboratively with the Integrated Energy team at the National Subsea Centre through research and project development. When he’s not conducting his PhD research, he enjoys travelling, reading and writing.

Chukwudubem Idoko

Integrated Energy PhD Student

Chukwudubem has over 8 years’ experience in the oil and gas sector and has occupied various roles throughout his career. He has vast industry knowledge of complex logistical functions in offshore and onshore oil and gas operations with technical abilities in managing process safety equipment in the industry. Chukwudubem holds an MSc in Oil and Gas Management where he assessed the potential in exploring various bioremediation techniques in the proposed clean-up of oil spill sites in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. His post-graduate study at Coventry University also exposed him to the application of petroleum economics tools in simulating cradle-to-grave economic outputs of oil well development. As part of the Integrated Energy team at the NSC, Chukwudubem investigates the causative factors of failures in renewable energy projects. His study is intended to develop a sustainable management framework for investment in renewable energy projects. Outside of work, he spends time with family, cooking, watching football, playing board games and indulging in outdoor activities.

Mariah Ichakpa

Integrated Energy PhD Student

Mariah is a research student in the School of Engineering at Robert Gordon University and part of the Integrated Energy team at the NSC. She has an MEng in Mechanical and Offshore Engineering, and her current research specialises in additive manufacturing of polymer composites. Her doctorate research is an Investigation on the structural performance of additive manufactured polyamide 6 and fibre/nanocomposite reinforcement. Her research interest is related to additive manufacturing, material science and polymer composite materials. In her spare time, Mariah enjoys cooking, travelling and learning about different cultures. 

NSC Team Member Xiaojing Gao KTP Associate

Dr Xiaojing Gao

KTP Associate

Xiaojing is a KTP Associate in the School of Engineering at RGU and holds a PhD in Maintenance for Developing a Health Ready Subsea Production Systems and their Through-Life Support Solutions, an MSc in Mechanical Engineering and a BEng in Mechanical Manufacture and Automation. Her main research interests are related to the subsea/offshore industry, system engineering, risk assessment and reliability and safety analysis. At present, Xiaojing is working on the design of a novel Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) system for the decommissioning of concrete mats from the seabed. The system will eliminate the need for divers, improving health & safety outcomes and standardising operational costs. 

Dr Ciprian Zavoianu

Net Zero Operations Lead

For the past 10+ years, Ciprian’s research interests have included theoretical and practical concepts of artificial intelligence (AI). His research is primarily concerned with evolutionary computation algorithms and their application on complex real-world problems that have solutions predicated on combining simulation, optimisation and data-driven modelling. Ciprian was awarded a PhD in Computer Science in 2015 from the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU) in Austria with a thesis focused on developing and enhancing multi-objective evolutionary algorithms used for solving computationally intensive optimisation problems. Over the years, Ciprian’s research has been applied internationally for improving hi-tech manufacturing processes, discovering optimal trade-offs in the design of various electrical and mechanical assemblies, modelling and optimising multi-modal transport networks. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles in leading AI conferences and journals including: GECCO, PPSN, CEC, Knowledge-Based Systems, Applied Soft Computing, Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Information Sciences. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing and basketball.  

NSC Team Member Thanh Nguyen Net Zero Operations Senior Research Fellow

Dr Thanh Nguyen

Net Zero Operations Senior Research Fellow

Thanh received his PhD degree in Computer Science with the Academic Excellence Award from the School of Information & Communication Technology, Griffith University, Australia in 2017. He has research experience in machine learning, pattern recognition, computer vision and optimisation, making novel contributions to a range of predictive machine learning methods, including ensemble learning, multi-label learning, deep learning and incremental learning. Thanh has published 40+ peer-reviewed publications in high-quality journals and conferences. He has won several prestigious awards such as DICTA 2017 DSTG Best Technical Paper Award, ICMLC 2014 Certificate of Merit Award and Endeavour Fellowship from the Australian government. Thanh and his research team at the NSC specialise in industrially applied machine learning and decision support, working with a diverse range of SMEs. Major application areas for this research are hydrocarbon allocation, predictive modelling and maintenance in energy systems, medical images, flow metering systems, subsea monitoring and diagnostic analytics for ocean energy industries, and object detection and collision avoidance. In his spare time, Thanh enjoys reading and watching live sport. 

NSC Team Member Lee Christie Net Zero Operations Research Fellow

Dr Lee Christie

Net Zero Operations Research Fellow

Lee has worked as a Research Fellow on themes of optimisation and AI at Robert Gordon University and University of Stirling. He has been working in this area of research since completing his PhD in 2016 on the topic of pseudo-Boolean optimisation. Recent work with industrial partners includes various projects building efficient transport models and optimising transport networks. He has interests in decentralised computing, machine learning, functional programming and API design. He also teaches Python for business analytics and is part of the steering group for the Aberdeen Python User Group. In his spare time, he studies Japanese as a second language and enjoys retro gaming. 

Dr Atakan Sahin

Net Zero Operations Research Fellow

Atakan’s research areas include the fields of Computational Intelligence, Statistical Process Control, Machine Learning and Control Theory with a special interest in Fuzzy Logic Theory, Numerical Optimisation, Intelligent Systems and their applications in industrial processes, as well as supply-demand systems. He brings a different perspective to the Net Zero Operations team with his background in fuzzy modelling and control theory. Atakan was awarded his PhD in Pure and Applied Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde in 2020 as part of the European Union Horizon 2020 Innovative Training Network Project, ModLife. Prior to joining the NSC, he worked on process monitoring in additive manufacturing at the University of Sheffield, funded by Innovate UK. In his spare time, Atakan enjoys discovering new music ranging from classical to indie, CrossFit and weightlifting.

Dr Akinola Ogunsemi

Net Zero Operations Research Fellow

Akinola is a Research Fellow in the Net Zero Operations team, applying AI and optimisation algorithms to tackle decision support problems. Akinola’s research interests include computational intelligence, machine learning, process mining and graph theory applied to complex network systems, linked optimisation systems, energy systems and predictive modelling. Akinola joined the NSC after completing his PhD in 2023 on ‘Holistic, Data-Driven Service and Supply Chain Optimisation’ at RGU. Akinola has publications in AI conferences including GECCO and SGAI, has won a prestigious award for the SGAI Best Application Paper and his contribution to research has led to a patent publication on ‘Database Relationship Discovery’. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the piano and football

Ellie MacLeod

Net Zero Operations Research Fellow

Ellie is originally from Perthshire and received her BSc in Marine Biology from the University of St Andrews in 2017. Following this, she has worked for both the UK and Scottish Governments as a Fisheries Scientist where she developed fisheries stock assessment models and participated in international working groups, growing her expertise in different aspects of fisheries science and management. As part of this, she has co-authored several publications relating to fisheries science. Ellie joined the Net Zero Operations team at the National Subsea Centre in 2023 and her research currently focuses on the spatial distribution of fisheries and potential areas of conflict with other marine developments. In her spare time, she enjoys playing hockey, reading and hillwalking.

NSC Team Member Joan Santos Net Zero Research Assistant

Joan Santos

Net Zero Operations Research Assistant

Joan's research interest lies primarily in evolutionary computing. His research is mainly based on the study of dynamic optimisation problems, with special interest in permutation problems and online evolutionary algorithms. Joan joined Robert Gordon University in 2018 from the University of the Basque Country and has been involved in his doctoral research ever since. He has several publications in high-quality conferences, including ‘IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC)’ and ‘Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO)’. In his free time, Joan enjoys cooking, music and sports. 

NSC Team Member Truong Dang Net Zero Research Assistant

Truong Dang

Net Zero Operations Research Assistant

Truong received his honours degree in Information Systems from the School of Information and Communication Technology at Hanoi University of Science and Technology in 2018, where he was also awarded the Academic Excellence Award. Since 2019, Truong has been working as a Research Assistant at the NSC as part of the Net Zero Operations Research Team. Truong’s research focuses on topics in Machine Learning and Computational Intelligence. He has been participating in fundamental research relating to deep learning, ensemble learning and evolutionary computation. A natural application for this work is in medical images and videos segmentation, subsea monitoring and diagnostic analytics for ocean energy industries. Outside of work, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. 

Tiwonge Msulira Banda

Net Zero Operations PhD Student

Tiwonge’s research is focused on the use of computational intelligence techniques in modelling the dynamic thermal behaviour of electrical machines under different operational scenarios. His study also extends to developing efficient and accurate surrogate models that can be used in speeding up optimisation runs in computationally intensive multi-objective optimisation problems. Prior to joining the NSC, Tiwonge worked in developing the internet infrastructure that connects research and education institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa. In 2020, Tiwonge received his MSc in Information Technology with Business Intelligence from Robert Gordon University and a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Malawi in 2005. In his spare time, he enjoys baking. 

Martin Fyvie

Net Zero Operations PhD Student

Martin’s research focuses on Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) and applying its principles to evolutionary optimisation algorithms. This has led him to work in fields including Staff Rostering and Workforce Planning for the net zero transition as part of the Net Zero Operations Research team. In 2020, Martin earned his master’s degree with Distinction in Data Science from Robert Gordon University’s School of Computing. Before joining the NSC, he had a career as a Data Scientist, specialising in IoT, Data Streaming, Digital Twinning and 3D Modelling for the oil and gas and manufacturing industries. Outside of work, he is a keen amateur cook and also enjoys camping and motorbikes. 

NSC Team Member Daniel Dobos KTP Associate

Daniel Dobos

KTP Associate

Daniel received his BSc degree in Mechatronics from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 2018. In 2019, Daniel graduated from Cranfield University with an MSc degree in Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics and Control. Daniel has previously worked as a Research and Development Engineer, developing software for unmanned aerial vehicles in Switzerland. At present, Daniel is a Software Engineer and PhD student. Recently, he successfully completed a joint Knowledge Transfer Project (KTP) with RGU and Accord Energy Solutions Limited. Daniel's research areas include fault detection for hydrocarbon processes, machine learning and deep learning topics. In his free time, he likes to play tennis and work with drones. 

NSC Team Member Joseph Collins KTP Associate

Joseph Collins

KTP Associate

Joseph’s expertise lies in materials science and engineering, with nine years working in the energy sector in Aberdeen. His research focuses on applying computational algorithms to real-world problems at the Port of Aberdeen. At present, he is working towards building a digital twin that can assist harbour staff in their daily operations. Joseph has previously worked on designing high pressure subsea tools for maintaining pipelines using 3D modelling tools and computer aided design. Joseph has previously worked in R&D environments, writing calculations for determining the effectiveness of prototype thermal insulation and working with client facing teams to explain company products. In his personal name, he likes reading and hillwalking in the Aberdeenshire countryside.