Professor Peter Edwards

Professor Peter Edwards
Professor Peter Edwards

Professor Peter Edwards


Vice-Principal Regional Engagement & Regional Recovery



Having completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry, I then shifted my academic allegiance and completed a PhD (Leeds) which explored cooperative reasoning in distributed blackboard systems. I  joined the University of Aberdeen as a postdoc in 1988, before moving into an academic position as a Lecturer in 1991. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and Professor in 2009.

As a researcher I have been fortunate to lead a number of major interdisciplinary efforts, first as Director of the ESRC funded PolicyGrid eSocial Science Research Node (2006-2012) and later as Director of the RCUK dot.rural Digital Economy Research Hub (2009-2015). To date, I have secured over £20M in external research funding, the majority of it from UKRI (formerly RCUK) sources. 

I am currently Vice-Principal for Regional Engagement & Regional Recovery.

I have also held numerous offices at the University of Aberdeen, most notably Head of Computing Science (2002-2005), Head of Graduate School for the College of Physical Sciences (2005-2011) and Head of the School of Natural & Computing Sciences (2018-2021). In addition I acted as the Director of the Northern Research Partnership Graduate School (involving Aberdeen, Dundee and Robert Gordon universities) between 2007 and 2009. I was a member of the University Senate from 2002 to 2014 (and again 2018- ), and a Senate Assessor to the University Court between 2007 and 2014; in addition, I served on the Operating Board of the University Court for six years (2008-2014).

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Regional Engagement Group - Convenor
  • Project Board - Aberdeen Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at South China Normal University - Project Sponsor/Convenor
  • Project Board - Old Aberdeen Heating Project - Project Sponsor/Convenor
  • TRAC Steering Committee - Member
  • Digital Strategy Committee - Member
  • Information Governance Committee - Member
  • Estates Committee - Member
  • University Management Group (UMG) - Member
  • Senate - Ex Officio Member


External Memberships

EPSRC Peer Review College Member
ESRC Peer Review College Member

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

Distributed intelligent systems, specifically autonomous software agents and the semantic web. Current work focuses on the role of provenance in the digital economy, including how to represent provenance (of processes, artefacts, agents),  how social context influences provenance, novel methods for reasoning about provenance, and employing provenance to drive information quality assessment.

Research Areas

Computing Science


Research Specialisms

  • Knowledge and Information Systems
  • Information Management
  • Internet Technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Intelligent Systems

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Funding and Grants

Enhancing Agri-Food Transparent Sustainability - EATS
EPSRC, 2022-2024

PROoFD IT!: Provenance of Food Delivery through IoT
EPSRC Internet of Food Things Network+, 2019

Realising Accountable Intelligent Systems - RAInS
EPSRC: EP/R033846/1, 2019-2022

Trusted Things & Communities: Understanding & Enabling a Trusted IoT Ecosystem
EPSRC: EP/N028074/1, 2016-2019

Trust & Privacy in Smart City IoT Solutions
Royal Society of Edinburgh - Taiwan Ministry of Science & Technology, 2017-2019

The Food Sentiment Observatory: Exploiting New Forms of Data to Help Inform
Policy on Food Safety & Food Crime Risks (with Food Standards Scotland)
ESRC: ES/P011004/1, 2017-2018

Smart Routing
Innovate UK, 2016-2017

Food Safety Assurance: Combining Provenance & The Internet of Things
IT as a Utility Network+ & Food Standards Agency, 2015-2016

Social Media: Developing Understanding, Infrastructure & Engagement 
ESRC: ES/M001628/1, 2014-2016

dot.rural Digital Economy Research Hub
EPSRC (with AHRC, ESRC, MRC): EP/G066051/1, 2009-2015

Trusted Tiny Things
EPSRC IT as a Utility Network+, 2013-2014

Creativity @ Home Award
EPSRC, 2012-2014

A Trusted Mobile Platform for Self-Management of Chronic Illness in Rural Areas - TRUMP
EPSRC - India DST: EP/J00068X/1, 2011-2014

SFC Horizon Fund, 2011-2014

PolicyGrid II: Supporting Interdisciplinary Evidence Bases for Scientific
Collaboration and Policy Making

ESRC: ES/F029713/1, 2009-2012

BEhaviour for Well-being, Environment and Life - BE-WEL
ESRC (with BBSRC, MRC), 2009-2010

eInfrastructure for Social Sciences
ESRC: RES-149-25-1063, 2006-2009

JISC, 2008-2009

PolicyGrid: Semantic Grid Tools for Rural Policy Development & Appraisal
ESRC: RES-149-25-1027, 2006-2009

Access Grid Node Competition - Equipment Award`
ESRC, 2006

Pilot Semantic Grid Service for Environmental Modelling
ESRC: RES-149-25-0011, 2003-2005


Teaching Responsibilities

I am not currently involved in teaching activity, other than PhD supervision.


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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals

Working Papers and Discussion Papers