About Me

Xiaotian (Steven) Dai

PhD in Real-Time Systems

Department of Computer Science, University of York, UK


Keywords: Embedded and Real-Time Systems, Control Engineering, Robotics

More Info: | Blog (CN) | LinkedIn | Github | Google Scholar |

Email: automatic.dai (at) gmail.com


Xiaotian Dai is currently a PhD candidate in the Real-Time Systems (RTS) Group, University of York, UK. He joined the RTS group in 2015, supervised by Prof. Alan Burns and Prof. Neil Audsley (internal). His research involves cooperatively design of control system and real-time scheduling for Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). Multiple methods are proposed and implemented to investigate the scheduling impact on control performance. Tradeoffs between scheduling and control are made by a dual-period task model and a flexible adaptation process. This method is interdisciplinary with real-time scheduling theory, control theory and machine learning.

Xiaotian Dai started to design and develop robots since 2010. He was involved in many autonomous robot research and he is continuously working on implementing UGVs as well as running simulations. He believes robots will shape the future of how human work and live, and it is important to learn to how to interact, share and cooperate with them.

For a list of Xiaotian’s interests and skills, visit Interests.


PhD in Computer Science, University of York, 2015 - current

  • Thesis: Flexible and Adaptive Scheduling in Long-Lived Real-Time Systems
  • A research member of the Real-time Systems (RTS) Research Group, supervised by Prof. Alan Burns and Prof. Neil Audsley.
  • Research interest includes real-time systems, scheduling theory and control scheduling co-design.

MSc in Automatic Control (with distinction), University of Sheffield, 2013 - 2014

  • Thesis: Vision-Based Vehicle Localization and Tracking using a UAV
  • This is a one-year taught master program, which involving advanced topics on control and automation systems. Throughout this course, I learnt prevailing control techniques including State-space, MPC and System Identification, as well as practical design methods with embedded systems to create control prototypes.
  • Main Courses: Control Systems, State-space and Optimal Control, Signal Processing and Estimation, Embedded Systems & Control Prototyping, Advanced Industrial Control (MPC), Robust and Hybrid Control, Robotic and Autonomous Systems

BSc in Control Systems (with distinction), Nanjing Institute of Technology (China), 2007 - 2011

  • Thesis: Linux-Based Autonomous Robot for Environment Monitoring (A+)
  • Main Courses: Digital / Analog Circuit, Programming (C, VB, MATLAB/Simulink), Embedded Systems, Micro-controllers, Classic Control, Digital Control Systems, Fuzzy Logic Control, Numeric Control, Power Electronics, Motion Control


Teaching Assistant (part-time), University of York, UK

Feb 2015 - Dec 2017 • (2 yr 4 mos)

During my PhD study in the University of York, I was involved in a lot of teaching and labs. I was a teaching assistant of the following modules:

  • EMPR (Autumn, 2016-2017): Embedded System Projects
  • PROM (Summer, 2016-2017): Programmable Microcontroller
  • EMPR (Spring, 2016-2017): Embedded System Projects
  • MFCS (Spring, 2016-2017): Mathematical Foundations of CS
  • PROM (Summer, 2015-2016): Programmable Microcontroller
  • ICAR (Spring, 2015-2016): Introduction to Computer Architecture

Embedded System Engineer, Asiainfo-Linkage, China

May 2012 - June 2013 • (1 yr 2 mos)

  • Role as an embedded system engineer in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) project group.
  • Vehicle telematics terminal: designed the software architecture, device drivers and a non-preemptive kernel for ARM Cortex-M3 based GPS + GPRS automotive terminals.
  • Smart agriculture: developed a ZigBee Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) monitoring system for a next-generation smart agriculture system.

Embedded Software Engineer, Nanda Automation Technology, China

Jan 2011 - April 2012 • (1 yr 4 mos)

  • Role as an embedded (software) engineer for industrial automation.
  • Developed communication protocols (Modbus and Ethernet) for industrial routers.
  • Optimised communication protocols and a light-weight database (SQLite) for Industrial HMIs.
  • Assisted in the design and development of an automated testing system for PLC manufacturing.

Academic Activities


  • X.Dai, A.Burns (2018), A Dual-Period Model for Real-Time Control Tasks (pending submission)
  • X.Dai, A.Burns (2018), Period Adaptation for Real-Time Control Tasks under Fixed Priority Scheduling (under assessment of RTAS’19)
  • X.Dai, A.Burns (2017), Predicting Worst-Case Execution Times in Long-Lived Real-Time Systems, Ada Europe, [PDF] [Springer]
  • X.Dai (2015), The Role of Flexible Models in Adaptive Real-Time Scheduling (Technical Report) , University of York
  • X.Dai (2014), Vision-based Localization and Tracking of a UGV using a Quadcopter (Master Thesis), University of Sheffield, [PDF] [Video]


  • Period Adaptation of Real-Time Control Tasks @ University of York, 2018
  • Predicting Worst-Case Execution Times in Long-Lived Real-Time Systems @ Ada Europe, Vienna, 2017 [Presentation]
  • Flexible and Feedback Scheduling Methods: A Review @ University of York, 2015
  • Using ROS for Robotics Research @ University of Sheffield, 2014 [Presentation]
  • AR Drone 2.0 as a Research Platform @ University of Sheffield, 2014 [Presentation]


I am glad to be one reviewer of the following conference/journal:

  • Journal of Circuits, Systems and Computers, 2018
  • Real-Time and Embeddded Technology Applications Symposium (RTAS), 2019



  • Third ACSE Robotic Search & Rescue Competition, second place, University of Sheffield, 2014
  • China Robot Competition and Robocup, first place in Robot Waterpolo Simulation, 2010
  • IEEE MicroMouse Competition in Jiangsu, 3rd place, 2010


  • On-board gateway used for industrial vehicle, CN 203377902 U, 2013