Professor Zoran Salcic

Dipl.Ing, M.E., PhD


  • Professor

Zoran Salcic is a professor of computer systems engineering at The University of Auckland. He completed most of his PhD research at the City College New York (CCNY). His main research interests include complex digital systems design, custom-computing machines, reconfigurable computing, FPGAs, processor and computer systems architectures, embedded systems and their implementation, design automation tools for embedded systems, hardware-software co-design, new computing architectures and models of computation and languages for heterogeneous systems, and related areas in computer systems engineering in which he earned international recognition and reputation.


Recently, he also started research in the area of micro- and nano-devices for optoelectronic computing, bio-sensing using lab-on-chip, wireless sensor networks, ultra-low power sensor nodes and their use in applications such as gait characterisation, human activity recognition, pedestrian tracking using measurements acquired from inertial measurement sensors, intelligent ambient monitoring and use of these technologies in Internet of Things context.


Significant part of his activity has been around total design flow for distributed and real-time systems based on SystemJ language as specification programming/system-design language that includes static analysis of SystemJ programs for meeting functional requirements, properties and real-time features and compilation to generate code that runs on all kinds of platforms (such as desktop environment, smartphones, embedded computers, real-time computers and even Cloud). SystemJ technology has been applied to various application domains and particularly industrial automation applications. His research is now focusing on merging SystemJ and Internet of Things technology in novel System of Things paradigm.


He supervised more than 350 students in their final undergraduate projects, more than 30 PhD and 35 Master’s research students. Besides academic he also has significant industrial experience in related high tech industries as President of R&D and CEO of large high-tech company.


He has published near 300 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, several books and numerous technical reports. He was founding editor-in-chief of EURASIP Journal on Embedded systems. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (Academy of Science) New Zealand and recipient of prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Award, Germany, in 2010.



Dipl.Ing., Electrical Engineering, Sarajevo University, 1972

M.E., Computer Engineering, Sarajevo University, 1974

PhD, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Sarajevo University, 1976

Research | Current


  • Programming/design languages and integral design flow for distributed and real-time systems
  • System design flow - from SystemJ specification to software and target architecture generation
  • Execution architectures for SystemJ (multi-core systems implemented in SoCs and FPGAs)
  • Intelligent sensors and their use in gait characterisation, activity recognistion and monitoring, pedestrian tracking, environment monitoring, etc.
  • Sensor and actuator networks and Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Foundations of new computing paradigm of Software-Definded Systems and Systems of Things (SoT) for static and dynamic systems

Research groups

  • Embedded Systems, Zoran Salcic was the founder of the group in 1996.

Teaching | Current



  • COMPSYS 723 Embedded systems design
  • COMPSYS701Advanced digital systems design
  • COMPSYS704 Advanced embedded systems

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students


Previous PhD students


  • Fellow Royal Society New Zealand
  • Recipient of Alexander von Humboldt Research Award
  • Visiting Professor at Friedrich Alexander University (Erlangen-Nuremberg), Germany
  • Visiting Professor at Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Areas of expertise

  • Concurrent programming and system design languages for embedded, distributed and real-time systems
  • Formal models of computation (synchronous, GALS, DFCharts)
  • Heterogeneous multi-core Systems-on-Chip (SoC) 
  • Design automation of embedded systems (from specification to generation of platform for its execution)
  • Software as the system - dynamic and adaptive software systems
  • Complex digital system design and custom computing machines
  • Use of FPGAs in novel computing machines
  • Sensor and actuator networks and Internet of Things 
  • Localisation and tracking using wireless and INS sensors
  • Device free localisation
  • Wireless sensor technologies and their use in activity recognition (elderly and health care)

Committees/Professional groups/Services


Professional affiliations


  • Senior member IEEE

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Abeywardana, D. K., Hu, A. P., & Salcic, Z. (2017). Electropermanent magnet based wireless microactuator for microfluidic systems: Actuator control and energy consumption aspects. Paper presented at IEEE Sensors 2016, Orlando, Florida. 30 October - 3 November 2016. 2016 IEEE Sensors Proceedings. (pp. 3). 10.1109/ICSENS.2016.7808426
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Aiguo Patrick Hu, Dulsha Kularatna-Abeywardana
  • Noor, M. H. M., Salcic, Z., & Wang, K. I.-K. (2016). Enhancing ontological reasoning with uncertainty handling for activity recognition. Knowledge-Based Systems, 114, 47-60. 10.1016/j.knosys.2016.09.028
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kevin I-Kai Wang
  • Yeh, J., Zhu, B., Wang, K. I., Salcic, Z., Kannappan, K., & Partridge, A. (2016). Modelling diffusion impedance in the sensing of micron-sized particles. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 237, 329-340. 10.1016/j.snb.2016.06.065
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Johnny Yeh, Kevin I-Kai Wang, Ashton Partridge
  • Tan, B., Biglari-Abhari, M., & Salcic, Z. (2016). A System-level Security Approach for Heterogeneous MPSoCs. IEEE Design & Architectures for Signal & Image Processing (DASIP) Rennes, France.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Morteza Biglari-Abhari, Benjamin Tan
  • Cao, S., Salcic, Z., Li, Z., Wei, S., & Ding, Y. (2016). Temperature-aware multi-application mapping on network-on-chip based many-core systems. Microprocessors and Microsystems, 46 (B), 149-160. 10.1016/j.micpro.2016.03.010
  • Noor, M. H. M., Salcic, Z., & Wang, K. I.-K. (2016). Adaptive sliding window segmentation for physical activity recognition using a single tri-axial accelerometer. Pervasive and Mobile Computing10.1016/j.pmcj.2016.09.009
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kevin I-Kai Wang
  • Wang, K. I. K., Somu, D., Parnerkar, T., & Salcic, Z. (2016). Intelligent reconfigurable gateway for heterogeneous wireless sensor and actuator networks. Proceedings - 2015 IEEE 12th International Conference on Ubiquitous Intelligence and Computing, 2015 IEEE 12th International Conference on Advanced and Trusted Computing, 2015 IEEE 15th International Conference on Scalable Computing and Communications, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Cloud and Big Data Computing, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Internet of People and Associated Symposia/Workshops, UIC-ATC-ScalCom-CBDCom-IoP 2015. 10.1109/UIC-ATC-ScalCom-CBDCom-IoP.2015.58
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kevin I-Kai Wang
  • Park, H., Li, Z., Malik, A., & Salcic, Z. (2016). Times Square – Marriage of Real-Time and Logical-Time in GALS and Synchronous Languages. Journal of Signal Processing Systems, 84 (1), 163-180. 10.1007/s11265-015-0991-7
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Avinash Malik