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Personal profile

Research interests

Alan Hunter is a Senior Lecturer 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 PhD

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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

ultrasonics Physics & Astronomy
Ultrasonics Engineering & Materials Science
underwater breathing apparatus Physics & Astronomy
Synthetic aperture sonar Engineering & Materials Science
sonar Physics & Astronomy
defects Physics & Astronomy
Nondestructive examination Engineering & Materials Science
Imaging techniques Engineering & Materials Science

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Projects 2015 2019

International Research Initiator Scheme - Remote Sensing of Environmental Impact cause by Anthropogenic Noise

Blenkinsopp, C. & Hunter, A.


Project: Research-related fundingInternational Relations Office Funding

Dynamic Coastal Protection: Resilience of Dynamic Revetments Under Sea Level Rise

Blenkinsopp, C., Masselink, G., Conley, D., Brown, J., Reniers, A., Almar, R., Tissier, M., Troch, P., Gallach Sanchez, D., Mccall, R., Turner, I., Baldock, T. & Hunter, A.


Project: EU CommissionAwarded Facility Time

Research Output 2003 2018

2 Citations (Scopus)

A compact, low-cost unmanned surface vehicle for shallow inshore applications

Metcalfe, B., Thomas, B., Treloar, A., Rymansaib, Z., Hunter, A. & Wilson, P., 23 Mar 2018, 2017 Intelligent Systems Conference, IntelliSys 2017. IEEE, p. 961-968 8 p. 8324246

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Agricultural Robotics: The Future of Robotic Agriculture

Duckett, T., Pearson, S., Blackmore, S., Grieve, B., Wilson, P., Gill, H., Hunter, A. J. & Georgilas, I., 21 Jun 2018, London: UK-RAS Network. 36 p. (UK-RAS White Papers)

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access

An operational concept for correcting navigation drift during sonar surveys of the seafloor

Hunter, A. J., Connors, W. A. & Dugelay, S., 1 Oct 2018, In : IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering. 43, 4, p. 913-926 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Synthetic aperture sonar
Autonomous underwater vehicles
Hard facing
2 Citations (Scopus)

First Demonstration of Velocity Selective Recording from the Pig Vagus using a Nerve Cuff shows Respiration Afferents

Metcalfe, B., Nielsen, T., Donaldson, N., Hunter, A. J. & Taylor, J., 1 Feb 2018, In : Biomedical Engineering Letters. 8, 1, p. 127-136 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Signal to noise ratio
Differential amplifiers

Increasing navigation effectiveness in GPS denied environments using through-the-sensor SAS techniques

Connors, W. A., Hunter, A. J. & Dillon, J., 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper