Professor Atif Azad
Professor of Artificial Intelligence
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The work of Professor Azad furthers the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, UK Digital Strategy, and BCU's 2025 strategy for creating an inclusive digital economy, closing the digital skills gap, partnership building and decreasing underrepresentation of various demographics in the tech industry via some flagship institutional initiatives on inclusive education and partnership building.
This work has garnered national attention including a ministerial visit to BCU, and has been recognised as an exemplar for excellent management and teamwork. His income generation portfolio exceeds £3 million and includes investment from both the public and private sector.
His research and teaching focus on the application and adoption of Artificial Intelligence in various sectors, with a particular emphasis on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (EC). He referees research grant applications for the European Research Council (ERC), Natural Environment Research Council/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (NERC/EPSRC). He is an editor for the Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines Journal and referees for several top journals and conferences in the field of Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Intelligence.
He is among the top 100 authors on Genetic Programming. His work on automatic parallel code generation won the prestigious ACM SIGEVO Silver Humies Award at the A-ranked GECCO, 2015, with a cash prize of US$ 3,500. He has also received the Best Reviewer Award at the European Conference on Genetic Programming (EuroGP) 2015.
Together with the national digital sector, Professor Azad has led the co-design of multiple courses of study in Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. These courses have consistently engaged industry to maximise student employability and helped develop strategic partnerships leading to student sponsorships, industrial case studies and student employability. The courses are designed to suit working and carer lifestyles and situated in applied domains from STEM and Non-STEM sectors.
His teaching returns consistently high student satisfaction and has been nominated for the inspirational teacher of the year on several occasions. He is also a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy.