Professor Mario Gongora

Job:   Professor in Applied Intelligent Systems
          Faculty Enterprise Lead

Faculty: Computing, Engineering and Media

School/department: School of Computer Science and Informatics

Research group(s): Research in Societal Enhacement (RiSE),
                                    Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IAI)

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8226




Personal profile

Professor Mario Gongora received his MSc and PhD from the University of Warwick (UK). He is now Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Informatics at De Montfort University (DMU), he is the Faculty Enterprise Lead and a senior member of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media.


He is currently focusing in the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques into the fields of Data Analysis of large and complex datasets and modelling Natural Phenomena, including identification, simulation and optimisation.

Prof. Gongora has extensive experience in the analysis and modelling of natural inspired systems and behaviours using computational tools. His experience involves the use of evolutionary computing and machine learning techniques to identify systems from large/incomplete datasets, modelling and emergence of complex behaviour in artificial systems and environments; and use of the models to simulate, predict or optimise the performance of systems in an on-going automated learning cycle.

He runs a spinout company to commercialise applications of his research into robust behaviour simulation and optimisation systems for customers in large Venues and complex processes. This enterprise has additionally benefited from Dr. Gongora’s close contacts with industrial partners.

Prof. Gongora works in close contact with external partners, taking the expertise from the University to Industry and Society. 

Research group affiliations

Dr Gongora leads the Reseacrh in Societal Enhacement (RiSE) team.

Affiliated to the Institue of Artificial Intelligence (IAI).

Research interests/expertise

  • Computational Intelligence: Hybrid Optimisation Systems, Evolutionary Computing.
  • Intelligent Data Analytics for large, complex, disparate and incomplete data sets.
  • Applications of Computational Intelligence and Edge systems to the analysis of Complex or unstructured Processes and Natural systems.

Areas of teaching

Artificial Intelligence


Embedded programming


BSc, MSc, PhD 

Honours and awards

Award conferred "International Leaders Making an Impact in Security" in the "International Leaders in Security" category, at the 5th Edition of COLADCA International awards ceremony - 11th Dec 2021

Award conferred "International Project that Leaves a Footprint in Security" as Project Lead of "Artificial Intelligence for analysing Stop and Search and other police activities" in the "Protection of Human Rights and Individual Freedoms" category,  at the 5th Edition of COLADCA International awards ceremony - 11th Dec 2021

Nominated as finalist for the ATC Global Excellence Awards ‘Industry Partnership of the Year’ category (Northrop Grumman Airport Systems, VenueSim and East Midlands Airport), March 2013. Finalists list:
•    US Airways, ACSS, FAA and EUROCONTROL partnership for NextGen/ADS-B avionics
•    AMP Corporation, DCA Low Cost Aircraft terminal (LCAT) KLIA Package A (Systems)
•    Guntermann & Drunck GmbH & EUROCONTROL - Mission-critical applications in Air Traffic Control
•    Honeywell - ITP
•    Middle East Airlines and Air Arabia - ATS and Technical Affairs
•    Northrop Grumman - Northrop Grumman Airport Systems, VenueSim and East Midlands Airport

Winner of the 8th British Computer Society prize for progress toward machine intelligence. SGAI 2009, Peterhouse College, Cambridge, UK. Project: Novel use of sound to guide an autonomous helicopter.

Membership of external committees

Invited as [a permanent] observer and contributor to the ACI World Smart Sec Management Group since Jun 2021.

Advisor for Artificial Intelligence to COLADCA, the International community of Risk Management and Security Industries and experts, with over 15 member countries and over 3000 individual members and international companies. Appointed 1st Feb 2019 to date.

Member by invitation of the Expert Group to support the Smart Security Programme from IATA / ACI (International Air Transport Association & Airports Council International) from 2012 to date, continuous contribution to the Blueprints and Guidelines that are distributed to all airlines and airports in the world.


  • Artificial Intelligence for analysing Stop and Search and other police activities

  • Artificial intelligence to support the improvement of pupil attendance and engagement at schools

  • Improving the sustainability of oil palm crops through ML and computer vision for classification of fruit in terms of quality and ripeness
  • Sensor fusion using intelligent agents to enhance the effectiveness of artisan land mine detection.

Consultancy work

Current consultancy: Applying Artificial Intelligence to support the East Midlands Chamber in their Local Skills Improve Plan (LSIP) project.

Consultancy fields: Intelligent Data Mining, Automation and Robotics (including telemetry and instrumentation), Computational Intelligence applications (e.g. optimisation, system identification, modelling and simulation)

Past consultancy/commercial projects include GSH (telemetry and automation for intelligent buildings), Rolls Royce (automation and instrumentation), Venuesim (intelligent data mining, modelling and simulation), among others.

Current research students

Currently supervising 3 research students. 

Externally funded research grants information

Active projects:

KTP (joint inter-faculty) East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and De Montfort University,  to create a new Business Research & Intelligence Unit for the East Midlands region. Granted Oct 2020, Recruiting associate to start April 2021 for 24 months.

Some past projects:

Royal Academy of Engineering – Newton Fund, International collaboration grant (IAPP) for an “Intelligent system to improve the sustainability of oil palm crops through the construction of forecasting maps integrating adaptive vegetation indices from multispectral aerial views”, Mar 2018 – Mar 2020.

Venuesim (spinout company created with seed/investment funding from Lachesis), commercialising research outcomes of intelligent data mining, modelling and simulation. Jan 2008 – current.

Intelligent GUI systems, KTP (TSB) funding to develop highly effective and intelligent GUI frameworks to present information from complex systems, in collaboration with Northrop Grumman. June 2012 – May 2014.

Internally funded research project information

Has had funding from various sources (PhD scholarships from EPSRC DTA, RIF, HEIF)

Published patents

US Patent number 6,339,720 “Early warning apparatus for acute Myocardial Infarction in the first six hours of pain”, US government.

US Patent number 5,545,971 “AC voltage regulator”, US Government.

Case studies

Spinout company Venusim resulting from Dr. Gongora’s research in intelligent data mining.

Article in which is the only site focused on bringing the latest news about airport projects, trends, products and services for the global airport industry:

Invited by IATA (International Air Transport Association) to be a member in their expert group for the Checkpoint of the future, an international initiative to drive forward and contribute to aviation security science; by bringing together governments, industry and academic experts from across the world.


Impact (REF) Case Studies

REF 2020 UoA 11: Support for Operations and Security for the Global Air Transport Industry (Modelling, Forecasting and Optimisation)

This ICS present how it has enhanced the security screening process of millions of passengers travelling daily through nearly 1,200 international airports. This was achieved through the contributions of Dr Mario Gongora as international adviser, where he disseminated the relevant research outcomes supporting security; leading to an active contribution in the development of the Smart Security programme guidelines disseminated across all airports around the world by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) and steering the industry to develop suitable solutions