• 1153 Citations
  • 19 h-Index

Research output per year

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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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Research Output

Computational Study of Astroglial Calcium Homeostasis in a Semi-isolated Synaptic Cleft

Toman, M., Wade, J., McDaid, LJ. & Harkin, J., 20 Mar 2020, (Accepted/In press). 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

  • Exploring Spiking Neural Networks for Prediction of Traffic Congestion in Networks-on-Chip

    Javed, A., Harkin, J., McDaid, LJ. & Liu, J., 5 Jan 2020, (Accepted/In press) p. 1-5. 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Open Access
  • 28 Downloads (Pure)

    Minimising Impact of Local Congestion in Networks-on-Chip Performance by Predicting Buffer Utilisation

    Javed, A., Harkin, J., McDaid, L. & Liu, J., 6 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) 31st Irish Signals and Systems Conference. IEEE, p. 1-6 6 p.

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

    Open Access
    8 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 17 Downloads (Pure)

    AstroByte: A multi-FPGA Architecture for Accelerated Simulations of Fault-tolerant Spiking Astrocyte-Neuron Networks

    Haji Karim, S., Harkin, J., McDaid, L., Gardiner, B. & Liu, J., 30 Oct 2019, (Accepted/In press) Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference (DATE). IEEE, p. 1-6 6 p.

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

  • Prizes

  • 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