Background and activities

I am an associate professor of autonomous systems at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK), where one of my main goals is to merge Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods with control engineering and develop cyber-physical systems of increased autonomy. My main application areas are surface and underwater marine vehicles. I serve as supervisor for PhD and MSc students and  have co-developed a specialization course on autonomous systems.

Moreover, I am project manager for the  EXAIGON project, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN) and aims at developing explainable AI systems for business-critical applications. EXAIGON will run between 2020-24 and has a total budget of 20 MNOK (around $2.2 million), of which 16 MNOK is funded by RCN.


Work Experience 

01/2018 - Present: Associate professor of autonomous systems at ITK/NTNU.

12/2016 - 12/2018: EU affairs manager at NTNU Oceans.

12/2016 - 12/2017:  Researcher at the Department of Marine Technology, NTNU.

08/2015 - 05/2019: Coordinator of the JPI Oceans action "European Marine Sensor Calibration Network".

02/2015 - 12/2016: Science officer at JPI Oceans Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.

03/2014 - 01/2015: Postdoctoral researcher at the Centre of Excellence NTNU AMOS (Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems).

08/2009 - 03/2014: PhD candidate at ITK and the Centre of Excellence CeSOS (Centre for Ships and Ocean Structures)

09/2008 - 08/2009: Research associate at the Stochastic Mechanical Signals and Automation laboratory, University of Patras, Greece.



2014: PhD in Engineering Cybernetics, NTNU, Norway.

2008: Diploma (5-year study) in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, University of Patras, Greece.



PhD Students

      Main Supervisor:

  • Andreas Bell Martinsen (2018-21) - Reinforcement learning methods for guidance, navigation and control of marine vehicles.
  • Libo Xue (2018-21): AI planning and control for underwater intervention drones (part of SEAVENTION project).
  • Vilde Gjærum 2019-22: Explainable AI methods for cyber-physical systems (part of the EXAIGON project)
  • Sindre B. Remman 2020-24: Explainable AI methods for cyberphysical systems (part of the EXAIGON project)


MSc Students

  • 2020-21 Supervision of 5 students (AI and control, Explainable AI, autonomous ships)
  • 2019-20 Supervision of 11 MSc students within AI and control 
  • 2018-19: I supervise 8 MSc students who work on AI methods for autonomous ships, ROVS, robotic manipulators, and self-driving cars.

  • 2017-18 Supervision of 5 MSc students (AI planning, deep learning, reinforcement learning)


2020-2024 EXAIGON (Project manager, WP leader)

2018-2021: SEAVENTION (WP participant and PhD student main supervisor)

2018-2021: NTNU Autoferry (WP participant and PhD student co-supervisor)

2013-2017: NextGenIMR (Postdoctoral researcher)

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database







  • Lekkas, Anastasios M.; Candeloro, Mauro; Schjølberg, Ingrid. (2015) Outlier Rejection in Underwater Acoustic Position Measurements Based on Prediction Errors. 4th edition of IFAC workshop on navigation, guidance and control of underwater vehicles, . IFAC; Girona. 2015-04-28 - 2015-04-30.




  • Lekkas, Anastasios; Fossen, Thor I.. (2012) A Time-Varying Lookahead Distance Guidance Law for Path Following. 9th IFAC Conference on Maneouvring and Control of Marine Craft ; Arenzano. 2012-09-19 - 2012-09-21.