About AVAILab

Founded in 2016, the Autonomous Vehicles & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AVAILab) is a multidisciplinary laboratory within the Research Institute for Future Transport and Cities (FTC) at Coventry University.

While open to a wide spectrum of applications, AVAILab’s main motivation is in conducting research and supporting teaching involving Applied Mathematical Modelling, Optimisation, Soft & Natural Computing, Self-Organisation & Swarm Robotics, Autonomous Navigation, Indoor & Outdoor Location Systems, and Safety Critical Systems with applications in Aerospace and Automotive Engineering.


The Autonomous Vehicles & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AVAILab) was founded at Coventry University in 2016 under the name of Smart Vehicles Control Laboratory (SVeCLab) by Dr Mauro S. Innocente, Dr Arash M. Dizqah and Dr José M. Herreros. After two of the co-founders left the institution, the focus of the laboratory shifted and its name was therefore amended accordingly in 2018. Dr Thomas Statheros joined in 2018.


Dr Mauro Sebastián INNOCENTE  –  Founder & Leader
Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering
Personal webpage

Dr Thomas STATHEROSMember
Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering


Paolo GRASSO  – PhD Student
Dynamics, Control and Cooperative Decision-Making in Swarms of Self-Organising Drones Aimed at Fighting Fires Autonomously
Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente

Daizy RAJPUTPhD Student
A Model-Based Design Platform to Conjointly Optimise the Performance of the Powertrains and the Associated Energy Management Strategy of the HEVs
Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente
External Supervisors:
Dr A.M. Dizqah
  (University of Sussex)
Dr J.M. Herreros 
(University of Birmingham)

Gayan Sirimanna

Malambage P. Gayan SIRIMANNA – PhD Student
Developing a mathematical programming tool to design and optimise solar thermal power stations
Main Supervisor: Dr J. Nixon
Second Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente

Currently RecruitingPhD Student
Efficiency Enhancement of Class-A Foams by Means of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles for Self-Organising Swarms of Autonomous UAVs to Fight Wildfires

Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente

Second Supervisor: Dr Evangelos Gkanas
External Supervisor:
Prof Guillermo Rein (Imperial College)

To Be RecruitedPhD Student
Autonomous Artificial Intelligence Enabled Drones to Inform Predictive Maintenance Actions in the Railways and Roads
Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente
Second Supervisor: 
Dr T. Statheros
Third Supervisor: Dr N. Horri


Brandon Lee BALLARDPhD Student
Distributed Predictive Control Strategies for Active Suspension Systems with Preview
Main Supervisor: Dr O. Haas
External Supervisor: Dr A.M. Dizqah 
(University of Sussex)

Zihao LIUPhD Student
Mission Dependent Predictive Engine and After-Treatment Control Strategies for Passenger Car Diesel Engines
Main Supervisor: Dr O. Haas
External Supervisors:
Dr A.M. Dizqah 
(University of Sussex)
Dr J.M. Herreros (University of Birmingham)

Paul Efezino ESUGOMSc Student (2018)
Railway track following using Gazebo simulation and Erle-copter model

Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente

Matthew SUMNERMSc Student (2018)
Development of a convolutional ANN for image recognition to detect maintenance issues in railway networks by means of autonomous drones

Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente

Constantin Sorin PAVELESCUResearch Intern (2018)
Gazebo simulation, system identification and control of the Erle-copter using Artificial Neural Networks towards path planning
Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente

Ryan BARNES-BATTERBEEMSc Student (2018)
Designing and Implementing a Differential Evolution Algorithm to Train Artificial Neural Networks

Main Supervisor: Dr M.S. Innocente