Jim Harkin


  • Northlands Road, Magee Campus

    BT48 7JL Londonderry

    United Kingdom

  • 1067 Citations
  • 19 h-Index
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Personal profile


Dr Jim Harkin is Associate Head of the School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems and a Reader in Embedded Systems. He is a member of the Computational Neuroscience and Neural Engineering team in the Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC) and  previously worked as a post-doc researcher in embedded systems design at Ulster (2001-2004) on the EPSRC funded project (GR/N26753). His current teaching interests relate to embedded systems encompassing digital systems design, VHDL for FPGAs and system testing. Dr. Harkin leads research on the design of intelligent embedded systems and focuses on developing electronic computing systems that can self-repair under the presence of errors. In particular, his work explores how computer models of neural networks (brain like-repair) can be mapped to hardware to build highly efficient and reliable embedded computers. His work has seen innovations in Networks-on-Chip strategies and the hardware implementation of self-repairing Spiking Neural Networks, and is Co-founder of the medical analaytics start-up company Airbrio. He has secured grant funding of +£2.5 million from several sources including EPSRC, Innovate UK, DETI, InvestNI and DEL and has published over +120 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He was included in the University’s Computer Science (UoA 23) submission to the RAE 2008, and also UoA 11 in REF2014.


  • TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
  • Neural network Hardware Systems
  • Networks-on-Chip
  • Fault tolerance
  • Self-adapting strategies for electronic systems
  • Reliable hardware systems
  • FPGA Acceleration

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  • 8 Similar Profiles
Neurons Engineering & Materials Science
Neural networks Engineering & Materials Science
Hardware Engineering & Materials Science
Field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) Engineering & Materials Science
Repair Engineering & Materials Science
Fault detection Engineering & Materials Science
Astrocytes Medicine & Life Sciences
Routers Engineering & Materials Science

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2019

Open Access
Neuronal Plasticity

Autonomous Learning Paradigm for Spiking Neural Networks

Liu, J., McDaid, L., Harkin, J., Haji Karim, S., Johnson, A. P., Halliday, D. M., Tyrrell, A., Timmis, J., Millard, A. G. & Hilder, J., 9 Sep 2019, Artificial Neural Networks and Machine Learning – ICANN 2019: Theoretical Neural Computation - 28th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks, 2019, Proceedings. Tetko, I. V., Karpov, P., Theis, F. & Kurková, V. (eds.). Vol. 11727. p. 737-744 8 p. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); vol. 11727 LNCS).

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

Spiking Neural Networks
Collision avoidance
Neural networks
3 Citations (Scopus)

Bio-inspired fault detection circuits based on synapse and spiking neuron models

Liu, J., Huang, Y., Luo, Y., Harkin, J. & McDaid, L., 28 Feb 2019, In : Neurocomputing. 331, p. 473-482 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fault detection
Networks (circuits)
2 Citations (Scopus)

Calcium Microdomain Formation a t the Perisynaptic Cradle Due to NCX Reversal: A computational study

Wade, J., Breslin, K., Wong-Lin, K., Harkin, J., Flanagan, B., Van Zalinge, H., Hall, S., Dallas, M., Bithell, A., Verkhratsky, A. & McDaid, LJ., 7 May 2019, In : Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 13, p. 1-13 13 p., 185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Sodium-Calcium Exchanger
Amino Acid Transport System X-AG
4 Citations (Scopus)

Exploring Self-Repair in a Coupled Spiking Astrocyte Neural Network

Liu, J., McDaid, L. J., Harkin, J., Haji Karim, S., Johnson, A. P., Millard, A. G., Hilder, J., Halliday, D. M., Tyrrell, A. M. & Timmis, J., 1 Mar 2019, In : IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems. 30, 3, p. 865-875 11 p., 8423789.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Neural networks



Ulster Distinguished Learning Support Fellowship

Jim Harkin (Recipient), 2006

Prize: Honorary award

Press / Media

Are you using your inhaler the WRONG way?

Jim Harkin


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other


A Biophysical Model of the Role of Astrocytes in Hyper-Excitability

Author: Flanagan, B., Oct 2019

Supervisor: Wong-Lin, K. (Supervisor), McDaid, L. (Supervisor) & Harkin, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Scalable interconnect strategies for Neuro-glia networks using Networks-on-Chip

Author: Martin, G., Jun 2019

Supervisor: Harkin, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis