Professor Peter Edwards

Professor Peter Edwards

Chair in Computing Science
Head of School

Professor Peter Edwards
Professor Peter Edwards

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274078
The University of Aberdeen Room G05E Meston Building


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 £23M in external research funding, the majority of it from UKRI (formerly RCUK) sources.

I am currently Head of School, Natural & Computing Sciences.

I have also held numerous offices at the University of Aberdeen, most notably Head of Computing Science (2002-2005) and Head of Graduate School for the College of Physical Sciences (2005 – 2011). 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).


Research Interests

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 Grants

Realising Accountable Intelligent Systems
EPSRC, 2019-2022

Trusted Things & Communities: Understanding & Enabling a Trusted IoT Ecosystem
EPSRC, 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, 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, 2014-2016

dot.rural Digital Economy Research Hub
EPSRC (with AHRC, ESRC, MRC), 2009-2015

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

A Trusted Mobile Platform for Self-Management of Chronic Illness in Rural Areas
EPSRC - India DST, 2011-2014

SFC Horizon Fund, 2011-2014

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

ESRC, 2009-2012

ESRC (with BBSRC, MRC), 2009-2010

eInfrastructure for Social Sciences
ESRC, 2006-2009

JISC, 2008-2009

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

Pilot Semantic Grid Service for Environmental Modelling
ESRC, 2003-2005


Teaching Responsibilities

CS1527 Object-Oriented Programming [Lecturer]

Further Info

External Responsibilities

EPSRC Peer Review College Member



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  • Edwards, P, Pignotti, E, Mellish, C, Eckhardt, A, Ponnamperuma, K, Bouttaz, T, Philip, L, Pangbourne, K, Polhill, G & Gotts, N 2014, 'Lessons learnt from the deployment of a semantic virtual research environment', Web semantics: science, services and agents on the World Wide Web, vol. 27-28, pp. 70-77. [Online] DOI:
  • Corsar, D, Edwards, P, Nelson, JD & Papangelis, K 2014, Mobile Phones, Sensors & The Crowd: Lessons Learnt From Development of a Real-Time Travel Information System. in F Kaswar, A Mashhadi & B Altakrouri (eds), URB-IOT '14 Proceedings of the First International Conference on IoT in Urban Space. ICST, pp. 99-101. [Online] DOI:
  • Gault, PE, Corsar, D, Edwards, P & Nelson, J 2014, 'Providing Older Adults With Real-time Passenger Information via SMS', Paper presented at MobileHCI '14 Workshop: Re-imagining commonly used mobile interfaces for older adults, Toronto, Canada, 23/09/14 - 26/09/14.
  • Burnett, C, Chen, L, Edwards, P & Norman, TJF 2014, TRAAC: Trust and Risk Aware Access Control. in A Miri, U Hengartner, N-F Huang, A Josang & J Garcia-Alfaro (eds), Proceedings of Twelfth Annual International Conference on Privacy, Security and Trust (PST), 2014 . IEEE Press, pp. 371-378. [Online] DOI:
  • Beran, S, Pignotti, E & Edwards, P 2014, Trusted Tiny Things: Making Devices in Smart Cities More Transparent. in T Omitola, J Breslin & P Barnaghi (eds), Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Semantics for Smarter Cities - A Workshop at the 13th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2014). vol. 1280, CEUR-WS, pp. 83-95. <> [Online] DOI:
  • Pignotti, E, Beran, S & Edwards, P 2014, What Does this Device Do? in URB-IOT '14 Proceedings of the First International Conference on IoT in Urban Space. ICST, pp. 56-61. [Online] DOI:
  • Gault, P, Corsar, D, Edwards, P, Nelson, JD & Cottrill, C 2014, 'You'll Never Ride Alone: The Role of Social Media in Supporting the Bus Passenger Experience', Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, vol. 2014, no. 1, pp. 199-212. [Online] DOI:
  • Markovic, M, Edwards, P & Corsar, D 2013, A Role for Provenance in Social Computation. in M Acosta, L Aroyo, A Bernstein, J Lehmann, N Noy & E Simperl (eds), Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Crowdsourcing the Semantic Web - CrowdSem 2013 . CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 1030, CEUR-WS, Aachen, pp. 93-96, 1st International Workshop on Crowdsourcing the Semantic Web, Sydney, Australia, 19/10/13. <> [Online] DOI:
  • Marqui, AC, Kollingbaum, MJ, Chen, L, Norman, TJ, Edwards, P & Nelson, JD 2013, 'A smart logistics and transport platform for rural business', Paper presented at The 13th World Conference on Transportation Research, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 15/07/13 - 18/07/13.
  • Baillie, C, Edwards, P, Pignotti, E & Corsar, D 2013, Assessing the Quality of Semantic Sensor Data. in O Corcho, C Henson & P Barnaghi (eds), Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Semantic Sensor Networks. vol. 1063, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, CEUR-WS, Aachen, pp. 71-76, 6th International Workshop on Semantic Sensor Networks, Sydney, Australia, 21/10/13. <> [Online] DOI:
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