School of Science, Engineering & Design
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Michael Short

Michael Short

About Michael Short

Michael was born in Stockton-Upon-Tees in the UK in 1975. He is qualified automation and process control engineer, with eight years' industrial experience. He holds a BEng degree in electronic and electrical engineering (1999, Sunderland) and a PhD degree (2003, Sunderland) awarded following research into algorithms and architectures for real-time robot control. He is a full member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (MIET) and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). 

Following the award of his PhD, Michael spent seven years working in research and teaching at the University of Leicester. In January 2010 he joined Teesside University as a senior lecturer in electronics and control. Michael has over seven years' experience of developing and delivering teaching material related to embedded systems, electronics and control at both postgraduate and undergraduate level. He has also acted as a visiting lecturer at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland and the Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC) in Penang, Malaysia to deliver and assess postgraduate course modules.

He now has more than eleven years' experience of research at postdoctoral level, and has authored or co-authored over 80 reviewed publications. He is named as primary inventor on a related patent (currently pending). He currently has two PhD students and is a named researcher/grant contributor on the FP7-funded IDEAS project.

He is also a regular reviewer for several international journals and conferences, including those published by the IEEE, the IET, Elsevier, Springer, the ACM and IFAC. Similarly, Michael is a regular PC member and reviewer for several national and international conferences and workshops, including ICINCO, UKEF, RTN and ETFA.

Research interests and activities

Michael’s research focuses on the development of techniques for the implementation and analysis of dependable real-time and embedded control systems. Such systems typically consist of one or more programmable devices that are completely encapsulated by the devices they control, and most often have real-time and/or safety constraints associated with them (for example aircraft and automotive control systems, medical devices and robots).
 
Most real-time embedded systems can be implemented using one of several different design paradigms. The execution of software in such systems is often modelled as a series of recurring ‘tasks’, the activations of which can be controlled in a variety of different ways; for example using periodic (time-triggered) or sporadic (event-triggered) techniques. In conjunction, an embedded system will often employ one of several different scheduling algorithms, which can be broadly classified as co-operative or pre-emptive, static or dynamic.
 
One recent area of his research has concentrated on the creation of reference architectures and software libraries allowing the reliable implementation of these recurring (sporadic, periodic) task models on modern programmable electronic devices. Related to this has been the development of state-of-the-art test facilities that allow the behavioural evaluation of these different embedded architectures to be performed in a controlled, scientific manner.
 
These facilities include a novel hardware-in-the-loop real-time simulation of a passenger vehicle travelling down a busy three-lane motorway, constructed at the University of Leicester. This facility allows the behaviour of various automotive embedded control systems (such as adaptive-cruise-control) to be rigorously analyzed under various normal and abnormal operating conditions, over extended periods of time.
 
This, and other, test facilities have been employed in a number of ongoing research studies, several of which have provided evidence that the choice of system architecture (and also the techniques used for its implementation) can have a measurable impact on the performance and dependability of the resulting system.
 
Michael is also interested in advanced adaptive control and optimization systems, and their real-time implementation using specialised hardware and software for applications such as robotics, process control and energy management. Recent research in this area has concentrated upon real-time implementations of adaptive/predictive control systems on resource constrained embedded systems. Other ongoing work has developed novel energy load prediction and resource optimization algorithms for micro grids.

Enterprise interest and activities

Michael has consultancy experience, providing expertise to a number of companies in the North East of England. The expertise provided was in the area of hardware, software and control strategies for a variety of industrial applications, including high-pressure forming equipment, thermal coating equipment and marine systems.

Michael is keen to establish further links with industry. He is also a shareholder and part owner of TTE Systems Ltd., a university spin out company producing software and hardware for dependable embedded applications.

Some of his previous research and development work contributed to the development of the company’s products. Michael is also keen to pursue industrial collaboration to assist with the transfer of research into technology that is both practical and usable by local industry. In particular, he is keen to apply his expertise in real-time and embedded control systems to improve the productivity and performance of industrial control systems.

In the news

  • Placement helps energy software company develop prototype
    NOF Energy, 31/07/2017; The Journal, 01/08/2017; Northern Echo, 01/08/2017; Tees Business, 01/08/2017; Business Durham, 01/08/2017; 4 Traders, 01/08/2017; BQ Magazine, 03/08/2017
    Teesside University student placement helps Quorum Development energy software company develop prototype.