Challenge — and be challenged.

Question assumptions, investigate theories and confront the status quo – our diverse research opportunities will help you advance your ideas and make an impact in your field.

Welcome to the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Our research

When you join the research community at the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, you are joining the best and brightest in their field – world-class academics and vibrant intellectual leaders who are solving the world’s most complex challenges.

Our areas of expertise

The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science is an interdisciplinary venture, with an ambitious agenda to reimagine the role of engineering and computing. 

Our College has transformed into three schools - the School of Computing, School of Cybernetics, and School of Engineering - and a professional services team, with distinct academic and strategic clusters.

School of Computing

The School of Computing has a strong foundation in the computing and information sciences at the ANU. We are a transformative centre for research in artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer systems and software, and theoretical foundations of computing. We span traditional computer science and modern data and computational science. Our mission is motivated by the need to design, drive and sustain strategic activities via five broad focus areas: Computing Foundations, Computational Science, Intelligent Systems, Data Science and Analytics, and the Software Innovation Institute. 

Computing Foundations

Computing platforms underpin global commerce, governance, and social wellbeing as critical infrastructure. We focus on the software and hardware foundations of computing, and its theory, to improve the safety, reliability, and performance of software systems, and to make them scalable and secure. We combine teaching and research in the foundations of computing: logic and verification, theory of computation, computer organisation and architecture, operating systems, formal methods and methodologies for software development, and programming languages and tools. We work closely with industry partners on solutions to problems for real systems. Our education programs emphasise hands-on implementation and project-based learning. 

Computational Science

Computation increasingly drives discovery in the sciences and engineering. We design, implement and use mathematical models to analyse and solve computationally demanding problems, using advanced computational infrastructure and algorithms to perform large-scale simulations of physical systems and processes, and visualise the outcomes to inform the science. Drawing on advances in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) we enable new approaches to virtual discovery and design, and the effective utilisation of computational assets at scale. Our education programs train computational scientists and provide them with skills in high performance computing relevant to science and engineering. We work with partners in target applications such as environmental science, computational biology, bioinformatics, quantum physical systems, and nanotechnology, to accelerate discovery in these domains. 

Intelligent Systems

Machine Intelligence augments human intelligence in analysing and synthesising vast amounts of information. We focus on the computational modelling and design of intelligent agents in complex real-world contexts. Our research integrates areas of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and vision, natural language understanding, and robotics, to build autonomous systems that can perceive, plan, and respond to their environment in pursuit of high-level goals. Our teaching portfolio includes introductory and advanced courses in AI and ML from the foundational science to implementation of large-scale practical intelligent systems, with applications in computer vision, language understanding, and robotics, co-taught and co-developed across the College. We also work across the University to address questions on integrating human and social values in AI systems, touching on aspects of philosophy, cognition, ethics, and safety. 

Data Science and Analytics

Data is central to all endeavours today, dealing with its acquisition, storage, curation, retrieval, and processing. By utilising Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Statistics data becomes the basis for our modelling of and reasoning about the world and society, to also gain understanding. We pursue a rigorous processing of data and its contexts and implications, engaging with domain experts in government, business, and the health and social sciences to build models that turn data into information into knowledge to then support effective and confident economic and social decision making. Our research focus on the design and construction of robust processes and models leads to new algorithms, prototypes, and deployed systems across multiple domains to derive new meaningful insights while being sensitive to bias. Our broad teaching portfolio includes both micro and macro credentialing, balancing theoretical techniques with domain-relevant project-based learning, aimed at researchers, practitioners, and decision makers. 

Software Innovation Institute

The Software Innovation Institute (SII) is developing new ways to train the next generation of Data Scientists and Software Engineers. We create, apply and teach state-of-the-art techniques in Data Science and Software Engineering to provide world-leading integrated learning for students, while addressing some of the complex challenges of today. We work with clients on actual projects, managed and supervised but industry experienced staff, to create systems that solve their data problems and drive business decisions, utilising world leading research outcomes. We bring together leading researchers, industry experts, and students to translate research, to design, to engineer, and to build solutions to complex problems, cognisant of cultural context while preserving privacy. Working with colleagues across the University, we are the translational engine for the School and a locus for experiential learning. 

School of Cybernetics

The School of Cybernetics is establishing programs that blend education, research, and engagement to create a new generation of practitioners who are ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. Cybernetics is at the heart of our work and is a tool that sparks new ways of thinking and possibilities for the future. Through our programs we are building a new branch of engineering to safely, sustainably and responsibly scale cyber-physical systems. We focus on systems as a unit of analysis and driver of action for industries working with complexity and we are generating new approaches to shape the future through and with technology.  

Autonomy, Agency, and Assurance (3A) Institute

While the public conversation continues to be about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ethics, there is growing realisation of the need to identify, build, and scale the skills and knowledge needed to design and manage AI-enabled cyber-physical systems through the life cycle. We will complete the mission to establish a new branch of engineering (NBE) focused on safe, sustainable, and responsible technology at scale. We will build out the educational programs under the NBE (MA, PhD, microcredentials), via research-led iterative design principles. Our research should continue to focus on emerging cyber-physical systems in context, working collaboratively with industry, government, academic, and not-for-profit partners. We will lead the establishment of similar offerings at various educational hubs around the world. 


At heart, the question, We can build it, but should we? is a design question. Design is now seen as the most powerful strategic capability for successful organisations. We propose building capability in the College to create a next generation studio model for teaching, research, and engagement that can then be adopted where appropriate across the College, with a specific initial collaboration proposed with the Environmental cluster below. We will operate as an open function, collaborating broadly to craft short, sharp, shaped experiences. There will be integration of research and education, built around design sprints and theory-into-practice encounters. Faculty, students, and partners should collaborate fluidly on transdisciplinary, outcomes-focused projects. We will establish formal relationships with corporations, government bodies, not-for-profits, and academic and educational institutions. Students will graduate with practical and relevant experience of high value to employers across a range of industries and sectors. 


Increasing complexity and the merging of technology, society, and environment mean that systems engineering has never been more important. Building on heritage engineering and IT, we propose to reinvigorate ANU as an internationally recognised centre for systems thinking, providing critical skills to industries and sectors working with complexity. We will develop research-led educational offerings that will make training accessible to people in their current role through microcredentials, giving them hands-on experiences of high value in their professional context. We plan to refine and flesh out the existing suite of macrocredentials to span the College and engage externally. Our research will be primarily applied, support cross-campus collaboration, and focus on industry contexts. Focusing on systems leadership for the 21st century, we aim to become the Australian Public Service (APS) systems education provider of choice.  

School of Engineering

The School of Engineering brings together a diverse and welcoming community who are motivated to seek “wicked problems”. We connect divergent thinkers, to explore and pose solutions that cross the traditional interdisciplinary and global boundaries. We have evolved from our foundational strength in systems thinking, reaching beyond traditional engineering fields. This systems approach embraces our core strengths and has been reshaped around four focus areas: Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mechatronics.

Aerospace Engineering

Access to space and uncrewed aerial systems are rapidly decreasing in cost, driving new opportunities. We pursue topics in space systems engineering, advanced propulsion systems, and control of aerospace structures and vehicles. A key central topic of the School of Engineering is aerospace systems for Earth observation. These topics leverage particular ANU strengths in electrical and mechatronics engineering, as well as expertise from the Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre. We continue to be a key contributor to ANU InSpace. We are designing and preparing to deliver a world-class systems-focused aerospace engineering education program with a suite of offerings including microcredentials, undergraduate, and postgraduate coursework. We aim to be the education partner of choice for national and international aerospace companies, particularly in the systems space.

Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering fundamentally underpins many of the solutions to current societal challenges. This includes the design and development of advanced communications, signal processing, and control algorithms. Existing expertise in these areas provide strong support to endeavours in several of the other activity clusters; particularly mechatronics and aerospace engineering, and collaborating with the School of Computing in the area of computer engineering. We contribute to the zero-carbon energy transition by advancing the state-of-the-art in 21st century power systems, particularly through the Battery Storage & Grid Integration Program. We also continue to make fundamental contributions in the area of energy and devices, particularly in the area of solar photovoltaics and including technology to underpin the hydrogen economy.

Environmental Engineering

Managing our natural and urban environments in the face of growing population pressures and climate change–including increasingly severe droughts, storms, and bushfires–is one of the great challenges of our time. We focus on areas of significant national importance including interconnected urban systems, management and monitoring of our waterways and surrounding oceans, and bushfire prediction and response. This leverages expertise in other Engineering clusters for the development of sensors, monitoring platforms, and signal processing algorithms, as well as in Computational Science and Data Science & Analytics clusters in the School of Computing. We work closely with allied efforts across the ANU including in the Fenner School of the Environment and the Research School of Earth Sciences. In collaboration with our ANU Indigenous leaders, we are developing a first-in-the- nation Indigenous Engineering Design Studio with the specific aim of threading Indigenous ways of knowledge throughout our work in this space. In collaboration with the Design cluster in the School of Cybernetics, this will serve as a seed activity to grow the support and use of Indigenous ways of knowledge across the College.


Industry 4.0+ will rely heavily on advanced, flexible, and configurable manufacturing. Environmental monitoring will require autonomous mobile air, land, and sea systems. We are building on ANU historical expertise in computer vision, machine learning, robotics, and systems and control to carve out a unique and internationally recognised mechatronics activity. We pursue broad application areas in distributed optimisation and control of autonomous systems with a particular focus on the development of low cost, safety-critical monitoring and control systems. We aim to support multiple highly competitive international student design project teams in mechatronics, providing students with world-class educational experiences particularly with respect to systems design, integration, and operation, drawing on expertise across the College.

Why research with us

why research with us
As Australia’s premier research university, ANU is in a unique position to offer students access to a highly supported and pioneering research environment.

As a researcher with the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, you will also have access to world-class facilities to support your projects and initiatives.

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing