Elena Gaura


    Accepting PhD Students

    Willing to speak to media

    Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
    1996 …2024

    Research activity per year

    Personal profile

    Research Interests

    • Design approaches to socio-technical systems in the development context
    • Sustainable Community Energy Systems
    • Design and deployment of Real-Life Cyber Physical Systems
    • Internet of Things in the infrastructure-rich and infrastructure-less environments
    • Data driven decision making and data-to-knowledge pipelines
    • Ethical AI design in practice: complex social-technical systems


    Vision Statement

    Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) are now recognised as one of this century’s most exciting, potentially pervasive technologies: they redefine the way we interact with environments, buildings, machines as well as society at large and global geographies. My work is towards enabling real-world usage of sophisticated AI-enhanced-CPS and extending their applicability away from simple interfaces and data generators towards systematic intelligent data consumers, knowledge producers and autonomous decision-makers. In particular, my research addresses the design of whole system CPS architectures and digital data highways, CPS robustness, ethical AI design and AI usability in the context of humanitarian energy access, as well as clean energy generation and consumption.

    Selected Projects

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



    Elena is a Professor and a Senior Research Leader at Coventry University.

    She is a full member of the UK’s EPSRC College of Peers and the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Peer Review College and serves routinely on the British Council EPSRC funding panels. In 2020 she has been appointed to the UoA12 (General Engineering) REF Sub-panel. She is an EPSRC champion with the Women’s Engineering Society (WES). She is a Board of Directors/Trustees Member at the Women’s Engineering Society and an External Advisory Board Member at the Sensors Centre for Doctoral Training, Cambridge University.

    Elena has been appointed in 2021 as a National Co-Director for the UK’s Doctoral Training Alliance. At Coventry, working with the DVC Research, she leads the development of strategies for Excellence (Engineering, Mathematics and Computing), High Quality Income, Post Graduate Research and Researcher Capability Development, within the Senior Research Leadership Team. She is an Honorary and Adjunct Professor at Deakin and Macquarie Universities, Australia.

    In 2021, Elena was awarded recognition from the Women’s Engineering Society as one of the Top50 Engineering Heroes - for her contribution towards combating structural gender inequality in engineering across sectors and specifically in academia and the energy sector.

    Sponsored by the British Council and the UK Research Councils, Elena designed and delivered global, large scale capacity building programmes for women researchers to further enable them to access STEM positions. Her work recognises the value of women having access to resources and training that support ambition, encourage responsible innovation, and build towards supportive, collaborative networks.

    Over the past 6 years, through her research, she served in the humanitarian engineering energy sector, developing ways to engage women with renewable technologies in the Amazon, Philippines, Nepal and Rwanda, as pathways to empowerment and employment.

    Always, Elena works to improve the capacity and capability of communities, with far-reaching positive and life-enriching societal and environmental impacts. She believes in “mentorship with sponsorship” and, through her researcher and senior leader roles, she advocates for academia and industry to invest in and actively seek greater gender equality and diversity across the engineering education and employment pipelines.


    Research Biography

    She received her PhD in Intelligent Sensor Systems in 2000 (Coventry University); she was awarded a Professorship in Pervasive Computing, at the same university in 2009. Over her career, Elena accrued a sturdy academic reputation in the areas of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and the Internet of Things (IoT). She routinely engages with national and international advisory and grant awarding bodies in the areas of sensing and distributed energy solutions and is an assessor for the European Commission (EC), Leverhulme trust, UKRI and international funders.

    She is actively involved with the EC, UK & regional government to promote knowledge transfer from academia to industry and society at large, towards reducing poverty, increasing health, enabling social mobility, and towards the adoption of Artificial Intelligence to tackle global energy challenges. Her work is sponsored by the EPSRC, Innovate UK, Royal Society, EC, British Council, Singapore- MIT Alliance and benefitted from direct sponsorship from industry (Jaguar Land Rover, Orbit Housing Association, Meggitt, etc).

    Presently her research is on robust whole system design and community focused technologies integration processes. She applies and validates most of her innovations in complex, real life socio-technical settings and brings together multi-disciplinary international teams, across academic and practice domains. She is very active in the Energy sector, through Humanitarian Engineering projects worldwide, in grid and off grid settings, working towards viable and sustainable end-to-end designs for energy eco-systems. She lead the EPSRC HEED GCRF (EP/P029531/1), and is the Cyber-Physical Infrastructure Advances lead for UK’s PFER Programme, Energy Revolution (EP/S031863/1). She works with communities in the UK, Amazon, Philippines, Nepal and Rwanda on energy-for-all solutions enabled by sensing and the Internet. Elena has graduated 20 PhDs to date.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    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

    National Co-Director, UK Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA)

    2021 → …

    Board of Directors/Trustees Member, Women in Engineering Society


    REF2021 UoA12 (General Engineering) sub-panel member, UK Research and Innovation


    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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