Professor-Hassan-Abdalla 410-208

Professor Dr Hassan Abdalla


Professor Abdalla is currently the Provost of the University of East London. Prior to that, he was Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching and the College of Technology and Innovation; and Executive Dean of the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering.

He is an international authority in the field of Smart/Future Cities, Disruptive Technologies, Brain Computer Interface (BCI), and Autonomous Systems with over 25 years' experience in both academia and industry.


  • BSc
  • MSc
  • PhD
  • CEng
  • FRSA
On This Page


Professor Abdalla is a Principal Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the British Royal Society for Arts (FRSA). He is a member of the Editorial Board of several international journals. He won several awards nationally and internationally in recognition of his original contribution to research, academia and industry.

Professor Abdalla has been leading major research projects nationally and internationally in partnership with world-class universities and industry. He published over 150 papers world-wide, supervised over 50 PhDs and secured several millions of pounds of research grants from the Research Council, European Commission, Governmental Bodies and Industry.

Professor Abdalla served on the Technology Strategy (TSB) Advisory Board and the Research Council (EPSRC) Assessment Panel and Peer Review College. He acted as an external examiner for many universities including Sheffield, Brunel, Bradford, Cranfield, Birmingham, Nottingham Trent, De Montfort, and Dublin City. He chairs a number of Professorial Panels in the UK and overseas. He has been proactively engaged in various governmental debates at Westminster with regards to the Industrial Strategy, Artificial Intelligence, and graduates' skills for economic growth. He is also an advisor to industry in the UK, a member of the Research Council EPSRC Socio-Tech Panel, UK Teaching Excellence Panel (TEF) member, and Research Council Peer Review College.


Previous roles

2019 - Present Provost, University of East London

2018 - 2019 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Acting), University of East London

2017 - 2018 Pro Vice-Chancellor & Chair of the University L&T Committee; Executive Dean of College of Technology & Innovation, , University of East London

2011 - 2016 Executive Dean of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (ACE); Member of the Academic Board; Member of the Education and Student Success Committee, University of East London

2009 - 2013 Cranfield University (Visiting Research Professor)

2010 - 2011 Executive Dean - College of Arts and Design, UoS, UAE

2003 - 2009 Head of the Leicester School of Architecture/Spatial Design

2000 - 2003 Head of Department, DMU University Leicester

1998 - 2000 Head of Engineering, Consultant for various companies

1996 - 1998 Leader of Global Concurrent Engineering Research

1994 - 1996 Senior Lecturer, DMU University Leicester

1990 - 1994 Doctorate Research & Teaching Assistant

1986 - 1990 SGE-TPI French Construction Corporation & Suez Canal Corporation


Published over 150 papers in international journals and world-class conferences.

Published/editor of several books about smart and resilient cities, including:

  • Resilient and Responsible Smart Cities, Volume 2, Springer 2022
  • Advanced studies in Energy Efficiency and Built Environment for developing countries, Volume 1, Springer 2017

Useful links

Selected articles



  • Professor Abdalla is a world class authority in the fields of Smart and Future Cities, Sustainable Development, Disruptive Technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Data Analytics & IoT) and Factories of the Future.
  • Working in partnership with a number of world class companies including Ford Motor Company, Siemens, London City Airport, Amazon (AWS), London Met Police Forces, EoN Reality AR/VR, just to name a few.
  • Leading major projects in partnership with Ford Motor Company and IBM to develop an AI-Symbiotic Modelling system to enhance productivity.
  • Strategic partnership with the blue-chip company Siemens to develop innovative systems for Zero-Carbon and sustainability using smart grid and IoT (Mind-sphere).
  • Established world-class Centres in Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) in partnership with EoN-X Reality.
  • Skilling and upskilling (Trailblazer Standards).
  • Apprenticeships programme in partnership with Vinci, Barclays, Arcadis, Skanska, Costain, Laing O'Rourke and Accenture.
  • Heading a Pan-Europe Data Centre Academy project, jointly with 12 organisations across Europe .
  • Leading international collaborations with Universities in China (HDU), Malaysia (FTMS, KLIUC), and Russia (Kazan State University for Civil Engineering).
  • The principal investigator of European research projects in partnership with world-class organisations including Hazama Corporation, Kajima Corporation, IBM, Ford, University of Tokyo, North Carolina State University and Delft University.
  • Served on the Technology Strategy (TSB) Advisory Board in the UK.
  • Awarded the IMS Medal for the 21st Century from the IMS Centre, Tokyo, Japan - Developing an Innovative Multi-academic Trust (MAT) in partnership with Fujitsu, Thames-Water, Costain, Skanska, and GLA as East London Education Village.
  • Leading a number of Knowledge-Transfer Projects funded by Innovate UK.
  • Contributing to the development of the Connected Campus project to create a more vibrant learning environment that inspires the University community.
  • Established partnerships with various organisations such as Queens Olympic Park, London City Airport, Atkins, Arup, Financial City, TeleCity, Telehouse, Thames Water and Siemens.
  • Strategic partnership with London Met Police Forces for training its forces - the apprenticeships programme.

Participation in International Events

  • London Infrastructure Summit: Participated in a major summit led by the Mayor of London to discuss the major infrastructure projects and priorities for London as a global city facing major growth in a number of sectors such as finance, trade, tourism, aviation and transportation. I contributed to the debate which involved some of the most influential business leaders in the UK. Our recommendations will be fed to both governmental policies and Master Plan for London 2050.
  • Employability skills event at Westminster, London: I contributed to a high-profile governmental debate led by Mathew Hancock (Minister for Skills) which resulted in a set of comprehensive recommendations which were then incorporated in government’s reports.
  • TSB event - Digitising the UK Construction Industry: I contributed to a strategic debate leading to developing a roadmap for digitising and transforming the construction industry in the UK to remain competitive. This involves the introduction of BIM (Building Information Management), sustainability, and cutting-edge technology such as Virtual and Augments Reality. 
  • Investor Ready Cities - Siemens PLC: Sustainable development and the effective delivery of services would be impossible without infrastructure, and this event discussed how cities can provide incentives and harness potential funding sources to encourage development and generate long term investment opportunities.
  • Gulf Education Conference: I was invited to this important conference which was attended by senior leaders from the ME including Ministers of HE to discuss the internationalisation of Education in the ME.
  • London conference on developing the Master plan for London
  • SMART CITIES - SIEMENS, LONDON, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • The World Congress on Sustainability and Energy, Dubai 2010. • DIT 4th strategic Forum, 20th Biennial Congress & General Assembly, Leadership for Innovation, 11-14 October 2010, Dubai. 
  • Invited seminar on "Innovative Product Design Techniques for the 21st Century", Ashikaga University.
  • Invited Keynote Speaker at the Commission of the European Union "IST" conference, the international conference on IMS for the 21st century - Texas, USA.
  • The international conferences Industrial Design and Systems Management, Production Research "ICPR".
  • A guest lecture entitled "Intelligent Design Systems", Tokyo.
  • Chairman / sub-chair of sessions for various conferences. An example, invited speaker by the DTI for the ICT for sustainability workshop at Warwick University, September 2005
  • E-commerce & collaborative design, seminar organised by the European Commission, Zurich - October 2004.
  • Invited Keynote Speaker by the Commission of the European Community for the IST-5th Framework conference, Helsinki.
  • A surpetitive Strategy for world-class organisation, November 2004, Innovation Centre - Leicester. 
  • A Seminar on Agile Organisations in the 21st Centuries, BT, March 2003. 
  • Innovation Techniques for SMEs, Business Excellence Network, Bradford, May 2003.
  • Seminar, Business Process Management, Aerospace Industry, Cairo, August 2002.
  • Session Chairman and Keynote Speaker of the International Conference on Rapid Product Development, California, USA.
  • A Regular Session Chairman and Organiser of the International Conference on Computers and Industrial Design (USA)
  • Seminar & Key Speech on Advanced Simulation in Medical applications, NHS, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Invited by the Department of Trade and Industry to give a lecture on Globalisation and E-commerce, IMS - Multi-national collaborative programme
  • Invited Speaker for a Workshop on Innovative Product Design Techniques for the 21st Century, Ashikaga University, Japan, 1999.
  • A keynote speaker of the 2nd IFAC International Conference on Intelligent Design Systems, IMS 94, Held in Vienna in June 13 - 15, 94.
  • Chairman of the Production Information System session at the International Conference on Production Research (ICPR), OSAKA, Japan 4-8 August 1997. The Conference was organised by the International Centre for Production Research.
  • Taiwan - 2007 Chang Gung University, Advantec Corporation, Asus Corp., advanced technology for sustainable electrical and electronics consumer products. The work focused on the development of a holistic approach to the use and integration of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) with advanced technologies, to facilitate the realisation of an integrated domestic energy management system.
  • USA 2000, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) – collaborative work on advanced 3D CAD modelling for Aerospace Industry including simulation of an Aircraft Wing. The work involved the development of advanced algorithms and techniques for the recognition and extraction of topological and geometrical features from a 3D complex object.
  • North Carolina State University, Global Concurrent Engineering & IT tools to support simultaneous product and process design. Fuzzy logic & Neutral Network in cost modelling in automotive industry.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Boston, Research into the development of machinery which combines rapid prototyping principles with high speed printing technology to produce parts 1,000 times faster than current rapid prototyping units.
  • Japan 2002, University of Tokyo, Hazama Corporation, Waseda University, Nissan Motors - Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS), the research undertaken focused on the development of a more intelligent IMS that is adaptable, modular, reconfigurable, flexible, autonomous and highly automated. The main objectives were to; (i) affect change in a material handling schedule or path on its own volition, (ii) provide the capability for change of structure or function in response to desired changes in material handling conditions, (iii) bridge different positions during transportation and (iv) bridge different times, i.e. the interval between the time goods are available and the time goods are required during storage. An agile IMS would be multi-functional in that it will have various functions other than machining and inspection i.e. assembling, packaging and disassembling.
  • Germany 2003, Aachen University, Franhofer - IML & WZL Institute, the work aimed to improve the operation, safety, self-protection, efficiency and flexibility of semi-autonomous guided vehicles / assembly carriers through intelligent control and smart sensing techniques in materials handling and related applications. This led to safer, highly effective and responsive man-in-the-loop materials handling in manufacturing environments (e.g. automotive assembly) and hazardous environments (e.g. nuclear plants, mine clearance, etc.). The concept of semi-autonomous vehicles was both novel and timely for manufacturing and other sectors in meeting the need for improved performance, safer operation, flexibility and ease of use.

Peer Esteem

  • Successful in securing large research funds from various funding bodies including AHEC/EPSRC DTI, the Commission of the European Union, Knowledge Transfer, NTI, Teaching Company Schemes Royal College, the Royal Society, and Consultancy.
  • Professor (visiting), Cranfield University, UK since June 2010.
  • External Examiner for the Master Programmes at Brunel University - London.
  • Member of the Research Council Assessment and Advisory Panel & Peer Review College (EPSRC).
  • Member of the Accreditation Board for the Data Centre Alliance (DCA).
  • Advisor/Assessor to the Technology Strategy Board - UK.
  • Peer Reviewer for Qatar National Research International (NPRP).
  • Advisor/Assessor to the Professorial Board for King Saud University.
  • Keynote speaker of various conferences and seminars.
  • Author and Co-author of over 150 refereed journal / conference papers and a book.
  • Research has been cited in several journal papers and books worldwide.
  • Awarded the IMS Medal for the 21st Century from the IMS Centre, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Serving on the Editorial Board of several journals including the International Journal of Engineering Design; Business Process Management; and Robotics.
  • Supervised several successful doctorate degrees.

Professional Courses

  • Management in a complex organisation
  • Managing through change for Senior Academics
  • European Model for Business Excellence
  • Competitiveness Summit, Design Council - London, led by Sir G Cox
  • USA Education Strategy for 2020 - Royal Society
  • Innovation & Inclusive Design - Royal College
  • Risk Management - Business Plan
  • Appraisal for academic staff
  • Embracing Complexity in Design - Design Council
  • Staff Empowerment for Managers
  • Business Process Management
  • BBC - London, Skills for Public Speeches
  • Fairness and Equity - Promotional Panels
  • Health and safety courses