Page content

Ulster Re-appoints Leading BT Scientist as Visiting Professor

29 November 2012

A highly acclaimed and internationally renowned industrial research scientist has been re-appointed as a Visiting Professor to the Information and Communications Engineering Research (ICE) Group at the University of Ulster in Coleraine.

Professor Nader Azarmi is the Chief Intelligent Systems Technologist within the BT Group at their world famous laboratories at Adastral Park in Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, UK and is also the Director of Etisalat BT Innovation Centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He joined BT in December 1989, starting his research and development work on the application of Artificial Intelligence technology to BT's telecommunications network management and next generation work management systems.Professor Azarmi went on to create and pioneer BT's highly successful Intelligent Systems research and development programme covering optimisation, scheduling, agent, soft and evolutionary computing.

The prestigious Etisalat BT Innovation Centre (EBTIC) in Abu Dhabi, which Professor Azarmi is a Director of, is an enabler for innovation in the United Arab Emirates.
The centre has invested in people by creating one of the largest Next Generation Networks, Systems and Services research and innovation centres in the Middle East. This was achieved through a partnership between Etisalat, BT, Khalifa University and the UAE Government.

Professor Azarmi has several international remits, assisting BT and EBTIC with their global research activities in Europe, USA, and India.

Over the past six years he has been working in close collaboration with Professor Gerard Parr, Chair in Telecommunications Engineering at Ulster, on the development and roll out of the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC) of Excellence in Next Generation Networks Systems and Services.

Professor Azarmi was instrumental in helping the University of Ulster and its consortium attract Phase Two funding of the high-profile India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC).

In April this year, UK Science and Universities Minister David Willetts announced the joint funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST).

He is also the key link for a research collaboration programme between BT and Ulster, which forms part of the IU-ATC initiative. Professor Azarmi has many collaborations around the world, covering universities and companies in the USA, Europe, Middle East (EBTIC - ETISALAT BT Innovation Centre), India and UK.

He has been awarded a number of international and national awards for his work and numerous BT technical awards and has authored many technical papers as well as editing and publishing a number of technical journals and scientific books. He has also published several international patents.

Prior to joining BT, Professor Azarmi spent many years of his academic life as a researcher and (senior) lecturer at Essex, Kingston and London universities.

He said: “I am delighted to continue my engagement with the University of Ulster and my collaboration with Prof Parr and the ICE Group.

“We have created a very successful and highly visible international collaborative industry-academia R&D programme which is making significant impact. Going forward we hope to extend the programme to include more partners and create more tangible values.”

Director of the Computer Science Research Institute, Professor Bryan Scotney, said: "We are honoured to have Professor Azarmi re-appointed to the Computer Science Research Institute by our Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett.

“Professor Azarmi has already been instrumental in assisting the University of Ulster in shaping its strategic plans for research and innovation and in attracting new funding."

In his new role at Ulster, Professor Azarmi will continue to develop and support the existing and future collaborations with Professor Parr and his colleagues and will also provide mentoring and advice to PhD students.

He will also work with the University of Ulster in its plans to create an International Centre for Cloud Computing research and innovation that will harness the skills of the Ulster team at Coleraine and other unique assets such as the KELVIN Trans-Atlantic Fibre Interconnector.