Our people

This page offers information about the staff and researchers at the AUT Knowledge Engineering and Discovery Research Institute.

Maryam Doborjeh
Maryam Doborjeh
Director, Senior Lecturer

I am a neuroinformatics and bioinformatics researcher with a focus on developing AI technologies for prognosis and diagnosis of neurological and mental disorders. My research interests include cognitive computation, deep learning and spiking neural networks.

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Nikola Kasabov
Nikola Kasabov
Founding Director

I am a professor of knowledge engineering in the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at AUT. I also hold a chair position at the University of Ulster, UK, a visiting professorship at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Peking University, and honorary professorship positions at the University of Auckland and Teesside University UK.

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Zohreh Doborjeh
Zohreh Doborjeh
Neuroinformatics Co-Lead

I am cognitive neuroscientist with a focus on brain and behaviour, also developing and validating new technologies for analysing human brain data (EEG, ERP, fMRI) using advanced computational AI modelling techniques.

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Edmund Lai
Edmund Lai

I am a professor of information engineering at AUT. I have over 30 years of academic and industry experience in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.

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Margaret Hinepo Williams
Margaret Hinepo Williams
Vision Mātauranga Advisor

I am committed to sharing, translating, and transforming research mātauranga (knowledge) Māori to better reach and serve underserved communities, marae, whānau, hapu and iwi along with their wider communities.

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Alex Sumich
Alex Sumich
Neuroinformatics Co-Lead

My research integrates behavioural, brain and body measures to understand and optimise health and wellbeing.

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Krassie Petrova
Krassie Petrova

I am a senior research lecturer at the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences at AUT. My research interests include the application of AI approaches to solving pertinent problem in the area of information and cybersecurity, education and finance.

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Grace Wang
Grace Wang

I am an associate professor of psychology, within the School of Psychology and Wellbeing, University of Southern Queensland, Australia. My research interests include addiction, cognitive neuropsychology and mental health.

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Amir Ghaffarianhoseini
Amir Ghaffarianhoseini
Director of Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies

I am an associate professor in architecture and urban microclimate, and the director of postgraduate and doctoral studies in the School of Future Environments at AUT with over 13 years of academic and professional experience in New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia.

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Elisa Capecci
Elisa Capecci
Machine Learning/Data Scientist

I am a data scientist at the national immunisation programme with solid theoretical and practical skills in spiking neural networks for modelling health-related data including brain EEG.

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Alexander Merkin
Alexander Merkin

I am a research fellow/lecturer with qualifications in medicine, functional diagnostics (neuroimaging) and psychiatry. I am interested in prediction and prevention of mental and neurological disorders by application of digital technologies and AI.

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Ali Ghaffarianhoseini
Ali Ghaffarianhoseini
Director of Postgraduate and Doctoral Studies

I am an associate professor, the head of the Department of Built Environment Engineering, a senior academic representative on the University Academic Board, and an appointed leading researcher at the School of Future Environments at AUT, as well as a professional architectural engineer/designer (NZIA Academic Member - 24326), holding PhD and MSc degrees in architectural studies and a BArch (Hons) in Architecture Engineering.

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Balkaran Singh
Balkaran Singh
Research Assistant and PhD Candidate

I am broadly interested in various fields of machine learning including, the optimisation in neural networks, continual learning, meta learning and spiking neural networks. My background is in computer science and applied statistics.

Sugam Budhraja
Sugam Budhraja
Research assistant and PhD candidate

After earning my bachelor’s degree in CS from BITS Goa, I have entered a PhD to explore my passion for interpretable AI and multimodal learning in healthcare. I am leading the development of three research-oriented software.

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Manju Vallayil
Manju Vallayil
Research assistant

My interest is in developing intelligent web applications based on machine learning and natural language processing. I am also interested in ML methods for neuroscience, and in creating AI agents that can understand language and reason.

Other contributors

  • Associate Professor Terry Gao, Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB), New Zealand
  • Professor Valery Feigin, Director of AUT’s National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, AUT
  • Dr Oleg N. Medvedev, Senior lecturer, University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Professor Frances Joseph, Director of the Textile and Design Laboratory, AUT
  • Associate Professor Rita Krishnamurthi, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences, AUT
  • Professor Stephen MacDonell, School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, AUT
  • Associate Professor David White, Director of BioDesign Lab, School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, AUT
  • Associate Professor Goh Wen Bin Wilson, Biomedical Informatics, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Dr Reza Enayatollahi, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua, New Zealand
  • Dr Jimmy Lee Chee Keong (IMH), Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
  • Professor Wong Lim Soon, National University of Singapore
  • Emeritus Professor Wai Kiang (Albert) Yeap, AUT
  • Associate Professor Weiqi Yan, School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, AUT
  • Professor Denise Taylor, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT
  • Associate Professor Enmei Tu, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China
  • Professor Andrea Alfaro, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT
  • Dr Mike Watts, AI Design Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Associate Professor Yusuf Cakmak, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Associate Professor Grant Searchfield, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Professor Zeng-Guang Hou, Centre Director, Institute of Automation, Beijing, China
  • Dr Shihua Zhou, Dalian University, China
  • Professor Jie Yang, Lab director, Shanghai JiaoTong University, China
  • Professor Z. Jia, Pro-Rector, Xinjing University, China
  • Professor Giacomo Indiveri, Director Institute for Neuroinformatics, ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Professor Steve Furber, Director SPiNNaker project, Universoif of Manchester, UK
  • Professor Zeiichi Ozava, Kobe University Japan
  • Professor Tingwen Huang, Qatar American University
  • Professor Petia Koprinkova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Professor Basabdatta Basacharija, Goa TU, India
  • Sugam Budhraja
    Research: Computational neurogenetic modelling for diagnosis and prognosis in mental health
  • Balkaran Singh
    Research: Improving generalisation capabilities of spiking neural networks: Striking a balance between learning and stability
  • Shoba Tegginmath
    Research: in the area of ontologies for knowledge discovery
  • Wei Cui
    Research: Fast Moving Objects Recognition Using DVS and NeuCube
  • Akshay Raj Gollahalli
    Research: Spiking Neural Network based Intelligent Systems: Methods, applications and their software implementations
  • Vinita Gangaram Jansari
    Research: Novel methods for personalised modelling and knowledge discovery for imbalanced data
  • Lucien Koefoed
    Research: Novel Neurocomputing Architectures for Spatio-Temporal Information Processing
  • Dhvani K Shah
    Research: Deep learning in brain-inspired spiking neural networks for deep knowledge discovery on case studies of brain spatiotemporal data
  • Sajith Jamal
    Research: A comparative analysis of speech recognition using Spiking Neural Networks against second generation neural networks
  • Zahra Roozbehi
  • Anna Plessas
    Research: Novel research approach using third-generation artificial neural network machine learning (ML) architecture (spiking neural networks-SNN) to increase our theoretical understanding of learning influences from the past and create a predictive model that can learn patterns from current choice behaviour and specific environmental reinforcement arrangements
  • Mojgan Hafezi Fard
    Research: Cognitive analytics for understanding transfer of learning, using learning a computer programming case study
  • Mahima Weerasinghe
    Research: Neuromorphic Computational Data Modelling Techniques for Spatiotemporal Brain Data
  • Stephen Okeke
  • Renata Bastos Gottgtroy
    Research: An applied data science approach for the personalised management of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)
  • Srishti Sharma (submitting PGR2)
  • Ruby Schaumkel
  • Tracey May
  • Teina Boasa
  • Pouroto Ngaropo (awaiting graduation)
  • Munish Rathee
  • Sajith Dilshan Jamal
  • Mojgan Hafezi Fard
  • Xiaoxu Liu
  • Siming Li
  • Nikita Goundar
    Research: Shoeprint Identification from Digital Images Using Deep Learning
  • Sidharth Macherla
    Research: Efficient Hyper-parameter optimization of dynamic evolving Spiking Neural Network classifier
  • Nathan Laing
  • Erica Tan
  • Preetham Kodimoole
  • Irina Miller
  • Xuanle Zhou
  • Zien Huang

Senior research fellows

  • Dr Qun Song
  • Dr Zeke Shun Heng Chan
  • Dr Ilkka Havukkala
  • Dr Lubica Benuskova
  • Dr Paul Shaoning Pang
  • Dr Defoin Platel Michael

Research fellows

  • Dougal Greer
  • Akbar Ghobakahlou
  • Peter Hwang
  • Stefan Schliebs
  • Ammar Mohemmed
  • Raphael Hu
  • Dr Israel Espinosa Ramos

PhD students

  • Liang Goh, finished PhD in 2005, moved to Duke University, USA
  • Simei Wysoski - Finished PhD in 2008
  • Vishal Jain - Finished PhD in 2008
  • Anju Verma - Finished PhD in 2009
  • Peter Hwang - Finished PhD in 2009
  • Snjezana Soltic - Finished PhD in 2009
  • Stefan Schliebs - Finished PhD in 2010
  • Yingjie (Raphael) Hu - Finished PhD in 2011
  • Frances Joseph - Finished PhD in 2011
  • Paulo Gottgtroy - Finished PhD in 2011
  • Harya Widiputra - Finished PhD in 2011
  • Haza Nuzly - Finished PhD in 2012
  • Gary Chen- Finished PhD in 2012
  • Boris Bacic - Finished PhD in 2013
  • Kshitij Dhoble - Finished PhD in 2013
  • Linda Liang - Finished PhD in 2013
  • Maggie (Tian Min) Ma - Finished PhD in 2013
  • Nuttapod Nuntalid- Finished PhD in 2013
  • Muhaini Othman - Finished PhD in 2015
  • Paul Davidson - Finished PhD in 2015
  • Elisa Capecci - Finished PhD in 2016
  • Norhanifah Murli - Finished PhD in 2016
  • Nathan Scott - Finished PhD in 2017
  • Reggio Hartono - Finished PhD in 2017
  • Fahad Alvi - Finished PhD in 2017
  • Neelava Sengupta - Finished PhD in 2018
  • Maryam Doborjeh - Finished PhD in 2019
  • Zohreh Doborjeh - Finished PhD in 2020
  • Kaushalya Kumarasinghe - Finished PhD in 2021
  • Clarence Tan - Finished PhD in 2021
  • Anne Wendt - Finished PhD in 2021
  • Helena Bahrami - Finished PhD in 2021
  • Yuanyuan Shen, Research assistant in 2021
  • Xiaoxu Liu (research assistant), Research assistant in 2021

Master's degree students

  • Nisha Mohan – Finished MSc 2005
  • Andreas Magusin, Finished MSc 2003, moved to John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK
  • Scott Heappey - Finished MSc 2005
  • Lawrence (Yufei) Wang
  • Peter Wang - Finished MSc in 2008
  • Linda Liang - Finished MSc in 2009
  • Sean William Gordon - Finished MSc 2009
  • Kshitij Dhoble - Finished MSc in 2009
  • Lei Song - Finished MSc in 2010
  • Nuwan Gunasekara - Finished MSc in 2010
  • Michelle Jamieson - Finished BCIS (Hon) in 2010
  • Liu Fan Wen - Finished MSc in 2011
  • Vandana Taneja - Finished BCIS (Hon) in 2011
  • Rehab Alkhater - Finished MSc in 2013
  • Vivienne Breen - Finished MSc in 2013
  • Yulia Turkova - Finished MPhil in 2014
  • Jeff Wang - Finished MSc  in 2015
  • Akshay Raj Gollahalli - Finished MCIS in 2015
  • Wriju Bhattacharya - Finished MCIS in 2015
  • Sebastian Qian Zhang - Finished in 2016
  • Parag Ganesh Nayak - Finished in 2016

Administrative manager

Joyce D'Mello

Website support

Balkaran Singh