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Personal profile


Dr Zhao obtained a PhD in Intelligent Systems and Control from Queen's University Belfast in 2012. Prior to joining UEA, he held several academic and research positions in Manchester, Cardiff and Loughborough. His research focuses on the development of solid mathematics-based, low-complexity machine learning, optimisation and control algorithms, which has underpinned a wide spectrum of applications across water, energy, construction, manufacturing and process industries.

Currently, he is the PI of the following projects, involving collaborations with local authorities, commercial organisations and academic institutions:

  • Spearheading a revolution in energy market design (REMeDY), Innovate UK, £331,458, 03/2020-05/2022
  • Hybrid modelling and secure networked control for energy management of microgrid systems, Royal Society - International Exchanges, £11,980, 03/2021 – 03/2023

He was the academic supervisor of a KTP project on packaging automation and has previously worked on a portfolio of large-scale, cross-disciplinary projects including:

  • EU INTERREG Project (piSCES): “Smart cluster energy system for the fish processing industry”
  • UK NERC Project (REACH): “Resilience to earthquake-induced landslide risk in China”
  • EU FP7 Project (WISDOM): “Water analytics and intelligent sensing for demand optimised management”
  • UK EPSRC Project: “Towards more autonomy for unmanned vehicles: situational awareness and decision making under uncertainty”

Key Research Interests

Wanqing’s current research interests are the algorithm and methodology development for machine learning, optimisation and control systems, as well as their applications in diverse sectors by integrating with IoT, cloud computing and, app and web development. Examples of applications include smart grid, industry 4.0, digital twin, smart city and autonomous vehicles. He is currently working on an Innovate UK project to deliver smart local energy solutions for the transition to net zero. His work has appeared in many prestigious journals such as IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems and Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Wanqing would welcome self-motivated students to pursue a PhD in above topics with their own sources of funding. Please get in touch and send me your research proposal, CV and transcripts if you are interested in applying. Alternatively, feel free to email me to discuss other sources of funding.

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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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