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The University of Southampton

Emeritus Professor Robert Allen BSc(Hons), PhD, CEng, FIEE, FIMechE, FIPEM

Emeritus Professor

Emeritus Professor Robert Allen's photo

Robert Allen is an Emeritus Professor in Biodynamics and Control at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton, UK.

Following training in the machine tool industry and a period as numerical control programme engineer (Dean, Smith & Grace Ltd., in collaboration with IBM UK) he studied at the University of Leeds and graduated with BSc (Hons) in Control Engineering and was awarded a PhD for research on modelling the dynamic characteristics of neural receptors. This was followed by Postdoctoral positions at the University of Leeds (Dept. Anaesthesia) on monitoring intracranial pressure of severely head-injured patients to prevent secondary brain damage, and at the Welsh National School of Medicine, Cardiff (Dept. Anaesthetics) on a parameter estimation approach to noninvasive measurement of cardiac output. He moved to the University of Southampton (Faculty of Medicine) in 1984 to a newly-created position as Lecturer in Biocomputation, and from there to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1985 as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Control Engineering and to the ISVR in 1997. He is founding Editor-in-Chief of 2 journals "Biomimetics & Bioinspiration; Learning from Nature" published by the Institute of Physics, and "Biomedical Signal Processing & Control" published by Elsevier. He is also Honorary Editor for "Medical Engineering and Physics" (Elsevier) and a member of the Mechatronic, Informatics and Control Committee of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. He is also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the European Society of Biomechanics.

Research interests

Professor Allen’s research interests are currently focused on the bio-inspired and robust control of unmanned, underwater vehicles and on the development and application of signal processing techniques for biomedical systems and bio-acoustic analysis. Particular interests include: cooperative behaviour, echolocation, the efficient estimation of auditory evoked potentials for assessment of hearing and of depth of anaesthesia, cerebral hydrodynamic modelling and non-invasive assessment of intracranial complicance, and processing of fluoroscopic images for measurement of spine kinematics.

Research Group Activities
Biomedical Signal Processing
Neural Engineering

Research group

Signal Processing, Audio and Hearing Group

Research project(s)

Anaesthesia and awareness

Occasionally people wake up during surgery, which is highly distressing. It is a particular problem when a muscle relaxant is given as people are unable to move to tell people that they are awake. We hope to develop methods that can tell if people are awake in operations using either the brain response to sound, or the patterns of connection in the brain.

An investigation into the fatiguing characteristics of the stabilising muscles of the lumbar region and their role in back pain

Model based analysis of locust hind-limb control

Modelling and control of high speed craft

Multimodal computation in neural networks

New methods for assessing the control of blood flow in the brain

Make like a bat

How can humans use echoes to detect and locate objects?

Emeritus Professor Robert Allen
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom
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