Centre for Smart Systems, AI and Cybersecurity (SSAICS)



SSAICS is a multidisciplinary research centre with a specific focus on smart systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity and their applications.

Our aim

The SSAICS research centre sits within the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts, but works closely with other research centres across the University. The Centre’s themes are cross-cutting research domains; therefore, we are working closely with other research centres/groups within the University, fostering interdisciplinary research. Our vision is to carry out world-leading theoretical and applied research within the centre’s defined themes, and with our expertise we will work with partners and foster international collaboration and knowledge exchange. The main research themes for the centre are smart systems, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

Smart systems

The purpose of smart systems is to embed technology into the way the world already functions. This general definition underpins many emerging concepts and applications including smart homes, smart cities, smart grid and smart agriculture, to mention but a few. Under the umbrella of a smart world, these concepts present many opportunities for a sustainable world and, at the same time, they come with considerable challenges, especially with the emerging technology of the Internet of Things (IoT), where billions of devices are expected to be connected.

Research by SSAICS in Smart Systems focuses on new models and architectures for various applications and addresses emerging challenges. SSAICS covers expertise in relevant areas including smart cities, IoT, communications, networks, cloud/edge computing, WSN, robotics, blockchain and even games technologies.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is expected to underpin almost all future technology developments in various domains and for various purposes. Particularly, AI is an integral part of any smart systems deployment, for enhanced automation and decision making. With the available computation resources, we can now achieve a lot more with AI and machine learning; whether it is for improved surveillance systems, or predictive analytics for health or climate data, AI has already shown promising results but more theoretical and applied research is still needed to unlock its full potential. SSAICS members have relevant expertise in machine learning, computational intelligence, data analytics, statistical methods and optimisation applied to various application domains, including health, smart cities, security, engineering and video analytics, to mention but a few.


The increased adoption of smart systems and digital technologies, in general, presents everlasting security challenges. We are becoming so dependent on technology that security breaches are proved to have detrimental effects on individuals as well as organisations. In the case of smart systems, imagine the effects compromising the security of a smart home or a smart hospital can have on people and services! SSAICS research takes a holistic approach to cybersecurity, considering tools, processes and people. The centre researches a wide spectrum of cybersecurity from the human factor in cyber safety through anomaly and intrusion detection to biologically inspired and AI based solutions for secure and resilient systems in different environments, including cloud/edge networks, smartphones and IoT.

Research excellence

The SSAICS research centre promotes research excellence in some important emerging technologies and supports business partners and other stakeholders in implementing cutting edge solutions to solve real world problems. Smart systems, AI and cybersecurity are interconnected areas and together provide a holistic approach to build next generation technologies. In addition, the centre organises and hosts regular activities to promote our research and opportunities for knowledge exchange collaboration, including seminars, workshops and conferences, where we can engage with relevant stakeholders and develop synergies for joint projects. The SSAICS research centre is always on the look out for motivated PhD candidates to join and be part of our research team, who can help them excel in their PhD studies and research career.

If you are an organisation looking for our expertise to solve your problem or to develop joint projects, or you are a passionate researcher looking for PhD opportunities and want to know more, please do not hesitate to contact the centre’s director Prof. Elhadj Benkhelifa at e.benkhelifa@staffs.ac.uk.

Group leader

Professor Elhadj Benkhelifa

Professor Of Computer Science

Elhadj is passionate academic and researcher with almost 20 years of experience and demonstrable leadership skills at an international level.

Elhadj's profile

Researchers within Centre for Smart Systems, AI and Cybersecurity (SSAICS)

Dr Rakan Aldmour

Senior Lecturer

Rakan is a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for MSc Business Computing. He teaches Enterprise Systems, Project and Change Management, Managing Emerging Technologies, Research methods and other modules. Rakan also supervises PhD and MSc students.

Rakan's profile

Dr Anas Amjad

Course Director

Anas is Course Director for Electrical and Electronic Engineering. His expertise lies in the use of smart systems for a diverse range of applications, such as smart healthcare, smart homes, smart cities etc.

Anas's profile

Dr Md Asaduzzaman

Associate Professor

I am currently an Associate Professor in Operational Research at Staffordshire University. I teach math modules at the Engineering Dept. The focus of my research is to apply analytics tools in healthcare, comm. networks and environmental sciences.

Md's profile

Dr Benhur Bakhtiari Bastaki

Senior Lecturer

Benhur is Course Leader for BSc Artificial Intelligence. His is an active researcher and his current areas of interest are artificial intelligence, machine learning, ambient intelligence, ubiquitous sensing, contextual information and data mining.

Benhur's profile

Dr Alison Griffiths

Associate Professor

Alison's expertise includes smart grids and their protection and renewable integration, smart homes, wireless sensor network design, implementation and optimisation.

Alison's profile

Dr Mohammad Hasan

Senior Lecturer

Mohammad is a Senior lecturer who is involved in postgraduate research supervision, MSc course management, postgraduate and undergraduate teaching.

Mohammad's profile

Dr Ali Sadegh Zadeh


Ali specialises in the field of machine learning, data mining, and computational neuroscience. His main expertise is applying machine learning techniques in the field of neuroscience to early detection of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Ali's profile

Professor Mohamed Sedky

Professor Of Cyber-Physical Systems

Mohamed is the lead researcher of Adaptive Video Analytic technologies, and is also the founder of Spectral-360. His current research interests include object recognition, object tracking, object segmentation, and face detection.

Mohamed's profile

Professor Huseyin Seker

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Computing

Dr Maryam Shahpasand

Senior Lecturer

Maryam is a lecturer with over 15 years of intensive experience in cyber security teaching and research, professional training, security consultation, forensics investigation, malware analysis, penetration testing, and incident handling.

Dr Saeed Shiry Ghidary


I hold a Ph.D. in Robotics from Kobe University. With 20 years of teaching experience in AI and Robotics, I have published numerous papers. My research interests include Robotics, AI, machine learning, telerobotics, mobile robots, and theoretical ML

Saeed's profile

Professor Abdel-Hamid Soliman


Abdel-Hamid's expertise includes automation, including Smart Cities, Building automation, Energy management, Security, Safety and health applications.

Abdel-Hamid's profile

Dr Mostafa Tajdini

Senior Lecturer

Mostafa is Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Cyber Security course at Staffordshire University as well an active researcher in Cyber and Network Security. His main area of the interest is Intrusion Detection/Prevention System in IPv6 and Phishing Attack.

Mostafa's profile
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Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

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