Personal profile

Research interests

Alan Hunter is a Reader (Associate Professor) in mechanical engineering and integrated mechanical / electrical engineering at Bath, and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo. His research interests are in underwater acoustics, signal processing, imaging, and machine intelligence. He is particularly interested in applications in underwater remote sensing using sonar and marine robotics.

Alan is a member of the University of Bath's Robotics and Autonomous Systems Laboratory, the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC@Bath), and the Centre for Space, Atmospheric, and Oceanic Science. He is also a Member of the Institute of Acoustics (IoA), Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and Associate Editor for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering.


Alan was born in New Zealand and studied at the University of Canterbury (NZ), obtaining a BE(Hons I) degree in electrical and electronic engineering in 2001 and a PhD on synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) in 2006. He left New Zealand for Europe in 2007.

For the next three years, Alan was a research associate at the University of Bristol, where he worked with ultrasonic arrays for non-destructively inspecting engineering components. Here, he developed auto-focusing algorithms for imaging the interiors of objects with complex geometries and material properties.

In 2010, he moved to the Netherlands and spent four years as a defence scientist at TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Research) in The Hague. At TNO, he developed underwater technologies for the Royal Dutch Navy, including sub-sediment imaging sonar, diver detection sonar, and autonomous naval mine-hunting systems.

Before returning to England in 2014, Alan spent three months in La Spezia, Italy as a visiting scientist at the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE). During this time, he developed precision micro-navigation algorithms for SAS imaging of the seafloor over repeated passes.

Research areas

Willing to supervise doctoral students

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Underwater acoustics
  • Synthetic aperture sonar imaging of the seafloor
  • Low-frequency broadband acoustic scattering
  • Non-destructive inspection using ultrasonic arrays
  • Marine robotics and autonomous systems

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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