The University of Southampton

Dr Zoheir Sabeur FIMarEST MInstP CEng CPhys

Research Staff

Zoheir Sabeur is the Science Director at IT Innovation Centre, ECS. He is also Visiting Professor in Big Data Science at Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA. He graduated with a PhD in theoretical particle physics from the University of Glasgow (1990). During his PhD, he worked on the UK lattice QCD Grand Challenge for investigating the structure and transitions of hadron matter at high densities, using intensive computing on vector machines at the University of Glasgow, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, IBM Rome and the University of San Diego, California, USA. After his PhD, Zoheir had various academic appointements in Computational Science at Strathclyde University, the University of Leeds and also the University of Wupperthal (Germany). He then worked in industry for 14 years as Head of Research at BMT Group Limited where he led the development of advanced environmental information and decision-support systems for the UK Oil and Gas Industry and UK Goverment. Zoheir returned back to academia after joining the University of Southampton, IT Innovation Centre in 2009. He has been conducting research as Principal Investigator (PI) with his team on big data, machine learning and high level data fusion and reasoning. Currently, he is PI of five major projects on big data science, such as EVACUATE on crowd behaviour detection in confined spaces using multi-modal computer vision, data fusion with concepts of statistical mechanics for reasoning. He is also investigating on Copernicus Big EO data using data mining and fusion for discovering the effect of climate change on natural species migratory behaviour in ocean environments.  Zoheir has won more than 25 major projects since joining IT Innovation, ECS, with a total grant value of £6.5M. His research projects focus on big data analytics, sensor data fusion, sensor observation web, geospatial standards, critical decision-support systems, human behaviour detection and also intelligent surveillance of large scale critical infrastructure using multi-sensor platforms.  As always, Zoheir is keen on collaborating and happy to discuss with colleagues within the Department of Electronics and Computer Science and beyond on building cross-disciplinary research ideas and initiatives for funding from UK RCs, GCRF, H2020, Innovate UK, Industry and others.  


Research interests

Zoheir research interests are in Big Data analytics, machine learning, intelligent data and information processing, multimodal high level data fusion and reasoning, knowledge extraction for critical decision-support and fluid dynamics. His aplication domains include environmental sensor observation and forecast, environmental monitoring and protection systems, safety and security of critical infrastructure, surveillance systems, smart health and well-being using ICT and human behaviour recognition.



List of the grants and contracts which I have secured for the University of Southampton, ECS

2018-2021 : BigMedilytics - Big Data Analytics for the Forecast of COPD and Asthma Patients Exacerbation Events - H2020 Grant Agreement Number 780495 -  €600,000

2017-2018 : OADEM 2021 - Census Big Data Outliers and Anomalies Automatic Detection with Machine Learning - Office for National Statistics - £56,000

2017-2020 : SEDNA - Intelligent Big Data Analytics for Safer Shipping Operations under Extreme Arctic Environments - H2020 Grant Agreement Number 723526 -  £300,000

2017-2020 : Transforming Transport - Big Data Public-Private-Partnership Lighthouse Project - H2020 Grant Agreement Number 731932 -  £337,019  

2016-2017: Big Data Science and Analytics - Office for National Statistics - £5,725

2017 : PROTECT-CDE - Grant Number 516659106 - Protection of Coastal Defences with Wave Energy Attenuation and Harvesting- SMMI - University of Southampton Stimulus Fund - £13,500

2016-2019:  EO4wildlife - Grant Number H2020 687275 - Space Big Data Research, European Research Executive Agency -  €562,730

2015: DSFA (Dempster-Shafer Framework Algorithm) - Red Scientific Limited - £7,000

2015: Big Data Analytics for Extracting Knowledge from Wireline Geophysical Observations - University of Southampton Stimulus Fund - £19,000

2014-2018: ZoneSEC - Towards a EU Framework for the Security of Widezones- Grant Number: FP7 607292 - Defence and Security Research - European Research Executive Agency -  €798,318

2014 - AXON III ICT Health Platform Architecture Specification - AXON Telehealthcare Limited - £8,400

2014 - Forecasting environmental microbial risks with participatory mobile communication and web-enabled geo-sensing - University of Southampton Stimulus Fund - £20,000

2013-2017: eVACUATE - Situational awareness for evacuation of large crowds - Grant Number :FP7 313361 -  Defence and Security Research - European Research Executive Agency -  €652,266

2013-2016: INFRARISK -Critical infrastructure risks from natural hazards - Grant Number; FP7 603960 - DG Environment -  €171,876

2013-2014 - Future Cities Feasibility Studies - AIMES lLmited (Technology Strategy Board Programme) - £25,000

2013 - SWIM Roadmap: A review of Ontology management tools for water systems - AQUAMATIX Limited (Technology Strategy Board Programme) - £5,000

2012 - AXON II Tailored ISO27001 Compliance of Security Information Systems - AXON Telehealthcare Limited - £11,500

2012 - IoT Enabled  Converged and Open Services for Transport and Logistics - British Telecom plc (Technology Strategy Board Programme) - £10,000

2011-2015 - DESURBS - Designing Safer Urban Spaces - Grant Number: FP7 261652 - Defence and Security Research - European Research Executive Agency -  €439,662

2011-2013 - ENVIROFI - Environmental Observation Web and its Service Applications within the Future Internet - Grant Number FP7 284898 - ICT research, FI-PPP, EC.  €532,281

2011 - OGC SWE Implementations for Sensor Systems Applications - MOD-DSTL. £14,974

2010-2013 - TRIDEC - Collaborative, Complex and Critical Decision-Support in Evolving Crises - Grant Number: FP7 258723 - ICT research, EC.  €902,139

2010 - AXON I Technical Specification for the t4NET Architecture- AXON Telehealthcare Limited - £10,894

2008-2011 - SCOVIS - Self-Configurable Cognitive Video Supervision - Grant Number: FP7 216465 - Robotics and Cognitive Systems ICT Research, EC.  €345,635

2006-2009 - SANY - Sensors Anywhere - Grant Number: FP6 033564 - Improving Risk Management ICT research, EC.  €578,340







































PhD in Theoretical Physics - ORS award - University of Glasgow- 1990

MSc in Theoretical Physics, with Distinction - ORS award, University of Glasgow - 1986

BSc in Physics & Applied Mathematics, 1st Class, Faculte des Sciences Exactes, Universite d'Oran. 1984

Bacalaureat Techniques Mathematiques, with distinction, Lycee Technique de Garcons d'Oran. 1980



- AXON TeleHealthcare Limited: Specification of T4NET platform architecture for the management of health application and services for AXON. Also ISO27001 standards implementations for the their security information systems   

- British Telecom plc: Feasibility studies and sceanarios for IoT for smart transport and logistics in the south-East of England

- DSTL (MOD): Specification of OGC Sensor Web Enablement 2.0 for DSTL Information Systems for Decision-Support

- AIMES Grid Computing Limited: Proof of concept Open information exchange platform for Cities of the Future. Tested on the City of Liverpool Transport data and also the Office of National Statistics survey data 

- Aquamatix Limited; A general review of ontology modelling tools for the water management industry


In addition to my duty as Head of R&D at BMT Group Limited, I directed more than 200 consultancy projects. These were mainly with clients from the Oil and Gas Industries in the UK, South-East Asia and Latin America. The companies for which I did consultancy include: BP, EXXON MOBIL, TOTAL, Shell, MARATHON OIL, CONOCO-PHILIPs, ELF-FINA, British Gas, PETROBRA and Chervron. The consultancy work involved was mostly focussed on the prediction of the environmental risks of exploratory drilling operations at specific wells in the North Sea, Irish Sea, the Mediteranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Thailand and Brazilian coast. The work required operational drilling data and environmental data processing prior to modelling the environmentla risks through various operational drilling scenarios. Hence I developed the proteus information system for th consultancy teams few years later on. Up to these days, the PROTEUS system is used by many marine consultants at BMT Group and Oil and Gas companies across the world.  

Professional activities

Fellow of the UK Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology 

Member of the UK institute of Physics

Chartered Physicist

Chartered Engineer

Member of the UK Decom North Sea

Member of OGC International Technical Committee

Visiting Professor in Big Data Science at Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA

Chair of OGC Discrete Global Grid System(DGGS) Specification Working Group (SWG)

Chair of OGC Discrete Global Grid System (DGGS) Domain Working Group (DWG)

Member of the European Marine Board

Conferences attended

Big Data Science Transatlantic Symposium - Versailles, France, November 2017 - National Science Foundation(NSF) and European Union(EU) - Big Data Research Cooperation 

BMT Group Ltd Big Data Conference, London, October 2017 - Guest Speaker on Big Data State of the Art for Critical Decision-Support Systems

International Symposium of Environmental Software Systems 2017 - Zadar, Croatia, May 2017 - Chair of of Environmental Decision-Support Systems

International Symposium of Environmental Software Systems 2015 - Melbourne, Australia, May 2015 - Member of the International Scientific Committe 

International Symposium of Environmental Software Systems 2013 - Prague, Checz republic, May 2013 - Member of the International Scientific Committe 

(and much more...including international conferences with the European Geophysical Assembly, Oceanology, DecomNorthSea, ISOPE etc...)


  • Science Director at IT Innovation Centre (Member of the Board of Directors)
  • Responsible for the Centre science strategies, processes for scientific experimentations and quality of scientific results

  • PI in several research projects
  • Manage and train several permanent research staff at IT innovation Centre.  

  • Supervise MSc and PhD students
  • Involved in IT Innovation Centre management, Resource Planning and Business Development.
  • Member of the Core Team of the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute. Leads Climate and Environment research.
  • Member of the steering committee of MENSUS University Strategic Research Group. Active in the big data research theme.  
  • Member of the University of Southampton Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) steering Committe (FPSE representative)


Veres, Galina, Middleton, Lee, Sabeur, Zoheir, Bouchrika, Imed, Arbab-Zavar, Banafshe, Carter, John, Nixon, Mark, Grabner, Helmut, Stalder, Severin, Van Gool, Luc, Morzinger, Roland, Thaler, Marcus, Rene, Schuster, Albert, Hofman and Thallinger, Georg (2010) Tools for semi-automatic monitoring of industrial workflows. At ACM Multimedia 2010 ACM Multimedia 2010, Italy. 25 - 29 Oct 2010.

Middleton, Stuart and Sabeur, Zoheir (2011) Knowledge-based service architecture for multi-risk environmental decision support applications. At ISESS 2011 ISESS 2011, Czech Republic.

Havlik, Denis, Schade, Sven, Sabeur, Zoheir, Mazzetti, Paolo, Watson, Kym, Berre, Arene J. and Lorenzo Mon, Jose (2011) From Sensor to Observation Web with Environmental Enablers in the Future Internet. Sensors.

Zlatev, Zlatko, Middleton, Stuart, Veres, Galina, Salvo, Nicola and Sabeur, Zoheir (2010) Generic Sensor Data Fusion Services forWeb-enabled Environmental Risk Management and Decision-Support Systems. At EGU General Assembly EGU General Assembly. (Submitted)

Schade, Sven, Mazzetti, Paolo, Sabeur, Zoheir, Havlik, Denis, Uslander, Thomas, Berre, Arne and Mon, Lorenzo (2011) Towards a Multi-Style Service-Oriented Architecture for Earth Observations. At EGU General Assembly EGU General Assembly. (Submitted)

Haener, Rainer, Waechter, Joachim, Hammitzsch, Martin, Lentholt, Matthias, Sabeur, Zoheir and Posland, Stefan (2011) Event-Driven Service Oriented Architecture Foundations for Industrial and Natural Crises Management Scenarios. At EGU General Assembly EGU General Assembly. (Submitted)

Sabeur, Zoheir, Wachter, Joachim, Kuppers, Andreas and Watson, Kym (2011) Large Environmental Sensor Observation Data and Knowledge Base for Collaborative Decision-support in Crises. At EGU General Assembly EGU General Assembly. (Submitted)

Sabeur, Z.A., Denis, H. and Nativi, S. (2012) Advanced situation awareness with localised environmental community observatories in the future internet. [in special issue: EGU General Assembly 2012] Geophysical Research Abstracts, 14 (EGU2012-14355-1).

Sabeur, Z., Arbab-Zavar, B., Samperio, R., Wachter, J., Armigliato, A., Omira, R. and Tinti, S. (2012) Automated detection of tsunamigenic signatures and reporting using multi-scale offshore in situ measurements for early tsunami warning and critical decision-support. [in special issue: EGU General Assembly 2012] Geophysical Research Abstracts, 14 (EGU2012-12411-1).

Sabeur, Zoheir, Middleton, S.E., Zlatev, Zlatko, Wachter, J., Haner, R., Hammitzsch, M. and Loewe, P. (2012) Knowledge base and sensor bus messaging service architecture for critical tsunami warning and decision-support. Geophysical Research Abstracts, 14 (EGU2012-12265-1).

Arbab-Zavar, B., Chakravarthy, A. and Sabeur, Z. (2012) Geospatial intelligence and visual classification of environmentally observed species in the future Internet. At European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2012 (EGU 2012) European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2012 (EGU 2012), Austria. 22 - 27 Apr 2012.

Upstill, C. and Sabeur, Zoheir (2012) A Roadmap for Interdisciplinary Research on the Internet of Things: Economics and Business Swindon, GB. Technology Strategy Board 6pp. ,

Veres, Galina and Sabeur, Zoheir (2013) Automated operational states detection for drilling systems control in critical conditions. At ESANN 2013 ESANN 2013, Belgium. 24 - 26 Apr 2013. 6 pp.

Zlatev, Zlatko, Veres, Galina and Sabeur, Zoheir (2013) Agile data fusion and knowledge base architecture for critical decision support. International Journal of Decision Support System Technology (IJDSST), 5 (2), 1-20.

Lauzán, José Fernando Esteban, Usländer, Thomas, Parker, Chris, Overton, David, Vowles, Graham, Douglas, John, Kunde, Simone, Sabeur, Zoheir, Dewey, N.K., Smith, I., Schimak, Gerald, Friis-Christensen, Anders, Ostlaender, Nicole, Millot, Michel, Lutz, Michael and Lucchi, Roberto , Klopfer, Martin and Kanellopoulos, Ioannis (eds.) , ORCHESTRA Consortium (2008) orchestra: an open service architecture for risk management, Madrid, ES. ORCHESTRA Consortium ,

Bleier, Thomas, Bozic, Bojan, Bumerl-Lexa, Roman, da Costa, Alexandre, Costes, Sophie, Iosifescu, Ionut, Martin, Olivier, Frysinger, Steven, Havlik, Denis, Hilbring, Désirée, Jacques, Patrick, Klopfer, Martin, Kunz, Siegbert, Kutschera, Peter, Lidstone, Mark, Middleton, Stuart E., Roberts, Zoe, Sabeur, Zoheir, Schabauer, Johannes, Schlobinski, Sascha, Shu, Tingting, Simonis, Inigo, Stevenot, Bernard, Usländer, Thomas, Watson, Kym and Wittamore, Ken , Klopfer, Martin and Simonis, Ingo (eds.) (2009) SANY: an open service architecture for sensor networks, SANY Consortium ,

Middleton, Stuart E., Sabeur, Zoheir, Lowe, Peter, Chaves, Fernando and Siamak, Tavakoli (2011) Multi-disciplinary approaches to intelligently sharing large-volumes of real-time sensor data during natural disasters. At 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), United States. 21 - 28 May 2011.

Middleton, Stuart E., Sabeur, Zoheir, Lowe, Peter, Hammitzsch, Martin, Tavakoli, Siamak and Poslad, Stefan (2013) Multi-disciplinary approaches to intelligently sharing large-volumes of real-time sensor data during natural disasters. [in special issue: Special Issue of the Proceedings of the 1st WDS Conference in Kyoto 2011,2013] Data Science Journal, 12, 109-113.

Sabeur, Zoheir, Arbab-Zavar, Banafshe, Wachter, Joachim, Hammitzsch, Martin, Lowe, Peter, Lendholdt, Matthias, Armigliato, Alberto, Pagnoni, Gianluca, Tinti, Stefano and Omira, Rachid (2013) Modeling and detection of hydrodynamic trends for advancing early-tsunami warnings. At ISOPE 2013 ISOPE 2013, United States. 30 Jun - 05 Jul 2013.

Lowe, Peter, Hammitzsch, Martin, Kebdgikt, Matthias, Haner, Rainer, Mossgraber, Jurgen and Sabeur, Zoheir (2013) The evolution of disaster early warning systems in the TRIDEC project. At ISOPE 2013 ISOPE 2013, United States. 30 Jun - 05 Jul 2013.

Bonatsos, Antonios, Middleton, Lee, Melas, Panos and Sabeur, Zoheir (2013) Crime open data aggregation and management for the design of safer spaces in urban environments. Hřebíček,, Jiří, Schimak, Gerald, Kubásek, Miroslav and Rizzoli, Andrea E. (eds.) In Environmental Software Systems : Fostering Information Sharing. vol. 413, Springer. pp. 311-320.

Modafferi, Stefano, Chakravarthy, Ajay and Sabeur, Zoheir (2013) Multi-level data fusion of environmental data in future internet applications. At 21st Italian Symposium on Advanced Database Systems SEBD 21st Italian Symposium on Advanced Database Systems SEBD, Italy. 30 Jun - 03 Jul 2013.

Veres, Galina and Sabeur, Zoheir (2015) Data analytics for drilling operational states classifications. At European Symposium on Artificial Networks, Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning (ESANN2015) European Symposium on Artificial Networks, Computational Intelligence and Machine Learning (ESANN2015), Belgium.

Melas, Panos, Correndo, Gianluca, Middleton, Lee and Sabeur, Zoheir (2015) Advanced data analytics and visualisation for the management of human perception of safety and security in urban spaces. At International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems (ISESS) 2015 International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems (ISESS) 2015, Australia. 25 - 27 Mar 2015. pp. 445-454.

Correndo, Gianluca, Arbab-Zavar, Banafshe, Zlatev, Zlatko and Sabeur, Zoheir (2015) Context ontology modelling for improving situation awareness and crowd evacuation from confined spaces. Denzer, Ralf, Argent, Robert M., Schimak, Gerald and Hrebicek, Jiri (eds.) In Environmental Software Systems. Infrastructures, Services and Applications. Springer. pp. 407-416.

Granell, Carlos, Havlik, Denis, Schade, Sven, Sabeur, Zoheir, Delaney, Conor, Pielorz, Jasmin, Ulander, Thomas, Mazzetti, Paolo, Schleidt, Katharina, Kobernus, Mike, Havlik, Fuada, Rune Bodsberg, Nils, Berre, Arne and Lorenzo Mon, Jose (2016) Future Internet technologies for environmental applications. Environmental Modelling & Software, 78, 1-15. (doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2015.12.015).

Mayon, Robert, Sabeur, Zoheir, Tan, Ming-Yi and Djidjeli, Kamal (2016) Free surface flow and wave impact at complex solid structures. 12th International Conference on Hydrodynamics, Netherlands. 18 - 23 Sep 2016. 10 pp.

Mayon, Robert, Brian, Sabeur, Zoheir, Tan, Mingyi and Djidjeli, Kamal (2017) Analysis of fluid flow impact oscillatory pressures with air entrapment at structures. In, Lynett, Patrick (ed.) Proceedings of 35th Conference on Coastal Engineering, Antalya, Turkey, 2016. 35th Conference on Coastal Engineering Coastal Engineering Research Council. , (doi:10.9753/icce.v35.structures.31).

Sabeur, Z.A., Melas, P., Meacham, K., Corbally, R., D'Ayala, D. and Adey, B. (2017) An integrated decision-support information system on the impact of extreme natural hazards on critical infrastructure. International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems, Zadar, Croatia. 10 - 12 May 2017. 12 pp.

Sabeur, Zoheir, Zlatev, Zlatko, Melas, Panagiotis, Veres, Galina, Arbab-Zavar, Banafshe, Middleton, Lee and Museux, Nicolas (2017) Large scale surveillance, detection and alerts information management system for critical infrastructure. International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems, Zadar, Croatia. 10 - 12 May 2017. 10 pp.

Sabeur, Z.A., Correndo, G., Veres, G., Arbab-Zavar, B., Lorenzo, J., Habib, T., Haugommard, A., Martin, F., Zigna, J.-M. and Weller, G. (2017) EO Big Data connectors and analytics for understanding the effects of climate change on migratory trends of marine wildlife. At International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems (12/05/17) International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems, Zadar, Croatia. 10 - 12 May 2017. 9 pp.

Sabeur, Zoheir, Correndo, Gianluca, Veres, Galina, Arbab-Zavar, Banafshe, Neumann, Geoffrey, Ivall, Thomas D, Castel, F, Zigna, J M and Lorenzo, J. (2017) EO big data analytics for the discovery of new trends of marine species habitats in a changing global climate. Soille, Pierre and Marchetti, Pier Giorgio (eds.) In Publications Office of the European Union,, 2017. European Union.. (doi:10.2760/383579).

Tucker, M., Ni Choine, M., O'Brien, E., O'Connor, A., Gavin, K., D'Ayala, D., Adey, B., Cheng, T., van Gelder, P., Sabeur, Z. and Jimenez, M.J. (2015) Novel Indicators for Identifying Critical INFRAstructure at RISK from Natural Hazards. In Proceedings of GRF Davos planet@risk. vol. 3, pp. 300-305.

Sabeur, Zoheir, Middleton, Lee J., Arbab-Zavar, Banafshe, Correndo, Gianluca, Doulamis, Nikolaos and Amditis, Aggelos (2015) Multi-modal computer vision for the detection of multi-scale crowd physical motions and behavior in confined spaces. Bebis, G. (ed.) In Advances in Visual Computing. vol. 9474, Springer. pp. 162-173. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-27857-5_15).

Usländer, Thomas, Berre, Arne, Granell, Carlos, Havlik, Denis, Lorenzo, Jose, Sabeur, Zoheir and Modafferi, Stefano (2013) The Future Internet Enablement of the Environment Information Space. In, Hřebíček, J., Schimak, G., Kubasek, M. and Rizzoli, A.E. (eds.) IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. Springer, Berlin, pp. 109-120. (IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, , (doi:10.1007/978-3-642-41151-9_11), 413) , (doi:10.1007/978-3-642-41151-9_11).

Veres, Galina, Harris, Michelle, Teagle, Damon and Sabeur, Zoheir (2018) Automated feature classification and knowledge extraction from wireline geophysical observations: big data potential for offshore resources assessment. International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, Fort Collins, United States. 24 - 28 Jun 2018.

Sabeur, Zoheir, Correndo, Gianluca, Castel, F., Neumann, Geoffrey, Veres, Galina and Arbab-Zavar, Banafshe (2018) Scalable big data platform, mining and analytics services for optimized forecast of animals habitats. International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, Fort Collins, United States. 24 - 28 Jun 2018.


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