Helen Frances Hastie


+44 (0)131 451 3344
Room 1.42
Earl Mountbatten Building
Heriot-Watt University
Roles and responsibilities
  • Member of the Interaction Lab
  • Lecturer in Computer Science
  • CS Students Careers Officer

Helen's research interests include spoken dialogue and multimodal systems, Natural Language Generation including data2text for a number of domains including education, defense and Health Informatics. She is keen to be involved in any knowledge transfer activities including consulting. She is a founding member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Young Academy.

Helen is currently on a Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (August 2017-July 2018) to pursue her research on human-machine interfaces for autonomous systems.


Helen Hastie, PhD is an Associate Professor/Reader in Computer Science at the School of Mathematical and Computer Science (MACS) at Heriot-Watt University and a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow, holding a PhD in Automatic Speech Recognition from the University of Edinburgh. She has over 20 years of experience in designing, building and evaluating multimodal systems, focusing on data-driven techniques and working both in academia and industry. Dr Hastie has much experience with European projects including coordinating FP7 project PARLANCE on multimodality (€3.6M, 2011-2014) and work package leader for Emote (2012-2016) for socially aware robots. Whilst in industry, at AT&T Research Labs U.S.A., she developed novel methods for problematic dialogue detection, conducted one of the first large scale evaluations and gained two patents for her innovative work on context-sensitive help for multimodal systems. Following on from her experience gained whilst working at Lockheed Martin, AI Labs, U.S.A,, she has been recently working with the Ministry of Defence funded through Dstl on multimodal interfaces for command and control. She has over 80 refereed publications, is an expert reviewer for the European Commission; was technical co-chair at SIGDIAL, 2014 and area chair at NAACL, 2016; and on advisory boards for international challenges (REAL, DSTC).

Further information

I am always keen to talk to prospective PhD students and discuss my work with industry, academics and the public.