Accepting PhD Students

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    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    • Design approaches to socio-technical systems in the development context
    • Sustainable Community Energy Systems
    • Design and deployment of Real-Life Wireless Sensor Networks
    • Internet of Things in the infrastructure-rich and infrastructure-less environments
    • Data driven decision making and data-to-knowledge pipelines
    • AI in complex systems


    Vision Statement

    Conceived as tomorrow’s Smart Dust two decades ago, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are now recognised as one of this century’s most exciting, potentially pervasive technologies: they can enhance the way we interact with environments, buildings and machines. My work is towards enabling WSNs’ real-world usage and extending their applicability away from simple data generators towards intelligent data consumers, knowledge generators and autonomous decision-makers. In particular, my research addresses the issues of WSN systems’ longevity, robustness, information usage and usability in the context of several sensing and actuation applications: i) human safety enhancement through physiological sensing and risk prediction; ii) buildings monitoring and occupant empowerment; iii) distributed energy systems and mini-grids.

    Selected Projects

    For more of Professor Gaura's project please visit her project page



    Elena received her BSc/MSc in Electrical Engineering in 1989/1991 (Technical University of Cluj Na- poca, Romania), and her PhD in Intelligent Sensor Systems in 2000 (Coventry University). She was appointed as inaugural director of the Coventry University’s Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre in 2006 (a position she held until her appointment in 2013 as Associate Dean for Research) and was awarded a Professorship in Pervasive Computing in 2009. Over the course of her career, Elena has accrued a sturdy academic reputation in the area of MEMS based smart sensing systems in general and wireless sensor networks (WSNs)/ Internet of Things (IoT) in particular. She is an active disseminator of research to the academic community, industry and wider technology beneficiaries, has over 140 refereed conference publications, 35 peer reviewed journal publications, and is a suc- cessful editor of journal special issues and books. She continues to be an active researcher in the areas of Sensing, the Internet of Things, and Distributed Energy Systems.

    In her ADR role, she enables, supports and nurtures the continuous development of a sound, rich, faculty wide research culture—with particular focus on the faculty’s 350 early career and postgradu- ate researchers, as well as those researching in the faculty’s international partner institutions. She has set-up structures and processes that promote healthy research growth, root high quality standards in research (from grant proposals writing to output publications) and empower staff to self-assess their work, raise ambition and aspiration as well as benchmark against international peers. Over the past four years, Elena’s researcher and innovation culture development activities and initiatives also ex- tended to her specialist research partners, specifically in Indonesia, India, Oman and the Philippines. She is a keen educator and recently has dedicated considerable effort to researcher skills development activities in the UK, India, Chile, Philippines and Brazil, which were funded through numerous inter- national grants by the British Council and commissioned (within UK) by Innovate UK. In particular, her focus has been the effective translation and embedding of the concepts and standards of rigour, significance and originality into the day to day activities of early career researchers, both at home and abroad. She has worked with the British Council in India, Brazil and the Philippines on the design of various researcher development schemes and has advised the Commission for Higher Education in the Philippines on their postgraduate researcher development strategies.

    Elena is engaged with several national and international advisory and grant awarding bodies in the areas of sensing, microsystems, IoT and distributed energy solutions.

    She chaired (2007–2013) the UK Wireless Intelligent Sensing Interest Group (WiSIG) within the Electronics, Sensors, Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network and is an expert reviewer and assessor for the European Commission (EC), Leverhulme trust, NERC, Finland Academy of Science and other international funders on Wireless Sensing, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and future manufacturing projects/calls. She is a full member of the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council College of Peers ( and serves routinely on the British Council Newton Fund EPSR Panel. She is actively involved with the European Commission and regional government organizations to promote the knowledge transfer from academia to industry and society at large, particularly focusing on the use of sensing technologies for reducing poverty, increasing health, and enabling social mobility and towards the adoption of wireless technologies, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet to tackle global energy challenges.

    Prof. Gaura is an Associate Editor for the IEEE Sensors Journal and a committee member for numerous conferences, including IEEE Sensors and ACM e-Energy. She reviews frequently for a number of journals, including IOP Measurement Science and Technology, IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing and IEEE Industrial Electronics.

    During a research career spanning 25 years, Prof. Gaura has grown considerable awareness of and insight into a number of engineering disciplines neighbouring the domain of her specialism (sensing). This continues to bring her recognition worldwide as a sound academic, with demonstrated ability to judge the quality of academic work at a variety of levels: from publications in conferences and journals to PhD theses, and research proposals.

    A particular strength in Prof. Gaura’s research has been working with application domain specialists, end-users and beneficiaries of IoT systems. She has held and delivered over 30 substantial grants, sponsored by UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK Techno- logy Strategy Board(TSB), Royal Society, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and EC’s FP7 Program, British Council, Singapore- MIT Alliance and benefitted from direct sponsorship from industry (Jaguar Land Rover, Orbit Housing Association, NP Aerospace, Meggitt Ltd, etc). Notably, she received extensive funding from Orbit Housing Association, UK to devise IoT systems that eval- uate the environmental and energy performance of buildings, and consumer energy behaviour. Over 200 homes in the UK and 5 impoverished communities worldwide are currently being monitored and are IoT connected through the systems she produced with her team.

    Presently her research is with the development of deployable IoT solutions for real-life applications with a focus on: i) robust end-to-end multi-sensor cyber-physical systems design and community focused technologies integration processes, ii) real-time, model-based sensor fusion, information ex- traction and predictive modelling from wireless sensor networks, iv) integration of decision engines within resource-constrained WSN systems, v) field phenomena event detection and representation using WSNs and vi) long-lived, resource constrained WSNs. She applies and validates most of her innovations in complex socio-technical energy systems, working across the TRL 1–5 band. She brings together multi-disciplinary international teams, across the cyber-physical, energy engineering and so- cial sciences academic and practice domains. Recently she has become active in the Energy arena, through Humanitarian Engineering projects worldwide, designing sensing based assessment models for energy supply, delivery and usage in off grid settings, towards viable and sustainable end-to-end designs for energy supply systems. She is currently leading 3 international research projects in the IoT/energy arena: EPSRC HELP (EP/P029531/1), DOST- Newton PhD Scholarship (Philippines) (172732595), Institutional Links (Brazil) STAR Energy (261881580). She works with communities in the Amazon, Philippines, Nepal and Rwanda on energy-for-all solutions enabled by sensing and the Internet. Elena has graduated 10 PhD students, 8 of which were focused on the wireless sensing domain. 


    Education/Academic qualification

    Doctorate, Coventry University

    Award Date: 1 Apr 2000

    Applied Electronics, Degree, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca

    Award Date: 1 Jul 1991

    External positions

    Honorary and Adjunct Professor, Macquarie University

    25 Mar 2013 → …

    Honorary Professor, Deakin University

    Full Member, EPSRC Peer Review College

    Member, UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Peer Review College


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