Showcase Speakers

Yang Gao
Professor Yang Gao
Director of the Future AI & Robotics for Space (FAIRSPACE) EPSRC Hub, Surrey University
11:45 Future AI & Robotics for Space (FAIRSPACE) EPSRC Hub
Professor Yang Gao is the Associate Dean (International) for Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (FEPS) and the Professor of Space Autonomous Systems at Surrey Space Centre (SSC). She is also the Director of UKRI/UKSA National Hub on Future AI & Robotics for Space (FAIR-SPACE) and Head of the SSC-STAR Lab which specializes in robotic sensing, perception, visual GNC and biomimetic mechanisms for industrial applications in the extreme environments. She brings nearly 20 years of research experience in developing robotics and autonomous systems (RAS), in which she has been Principle Investigator of internationally teamed projects funded by UK Research Councils (EPSRC/STFC), InnovateUK, Royal Academy of Engineering, European Commission, European Space Agency, UK Space Agency, as well as industrial companies such as Airbus D&S, Neptec, Sellafield, and OHB. Yang is also actively involved in design and development of real-world space missions like ESA’s ExoMars, Proba3 and LUCE-ice mapper, UK’s MoonLITE/Moonraker, and China’s Chang’E3, etc. In recent years, Yang’s work has also been applied to several non-space sectors including nuclear and agriculture.

Lynn Gladden
Professor Lynn Gladden
Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
09:50 EPSRC Lecture: Title TBC
Professor Lynn Gladden is the Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and was appointed in October 2018. Professor Gladden is the Shell Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and a Fellow of Trinity College.
She is internationally recognised for her work on advancing magnetic resonance imaging techniques, originally developed for use in the medical environment, and using them in engineering research to gain a greater understanding of the physical and chemical phenomena that determine the performance of chemical processes and their resulting products.
In addition to her own research, Professor Gladden has held a number of research oversight roles in the UK and abroad, including Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Cambridge from 2010 to 2016. She is currently a Judge for the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.

Kirill Horshenkov
Professor Kirill Horshenkov
Professor of Acoustics, University of Sheffield
16:00 Keynote Lecture: ‘Robotics for Buried Infrastructure’
Abstract: To be posted soon.
Professor Horoshenkov’s main research interests are in novel sensors for water industry, novel acoustic materials and physical acoustics. His other areas of work relate to noise control, audio-visual interactions and design of nature-inspired noise control solutions. Professor Horoshenkov leads the EPSRC Acoustics Network ( He leads Theme 3 (Inspecting and restoring water infrastructures using robotic autonomous systems) on the EPSRC TWENTY65 Grand Challenges Grant.
A majority of funding for his research has come from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Royal Society, European Union and the industry. Professor Horoshenkov is a member of the EPSRC-sponsored Pennine Water Group at Sheffield, Chairman of the Research Coordination Committee of the Institute of Acoustics, member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) and Journal of Applied Acoustics.

David Lane
Professor David Lane
Director of the Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA) Hub, Heriot-Watt University
11:30 Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets (ORCA) EPSRC Hub
Research interests
Autonomy: Engineering of advanced cognition into unmanned and autonomous systems – control, navigation, signal processing, planning, world modelling, learning, operator dialog, architecture. (e.g. autonomous underwater vehicles for oil and gas intervention, under-ice survey)
Analytics: Predictive fault detection and diagnosis for condition based maintenance and through lifesupport of remote assets (e.g. offshore wind farms, railways, subsea oil and gas infrastructure).
Biomimesis: Bio-inspired sensing and locomotion (e.g. dolphin inspired underwater sonar, turtle magnetic navigation, seal vibrissae (whiskers) sensing, fish propulsion and energy harvesting)

James Law
Dr. James Law
Senior Experimental Officer, University of Sheffield
14:35 School Robot Competition
14:55 Manufacturing Hackathon Challenge
I am a researcher in robotics, with over 15 years’ experience covering control systems, multi-robot coordination, and psychological modelling. Currently my main research interests are in human-robot collaboration, exploring the interface between human psychology, and robotics.
I received my M.Eng. degree in Electronic Control and Robot Engineering at The University of Hull in 2003, and my Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems from the Open University in 2008. My early work considered the structure and complexity of emergent coordination in multi-robot teams. This led to my involvement in robot football, representing the UK between 2004-2006.

Barry Lennox
Professor Barry Lennox
Director of The Robotics & Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear (RAIN) Hub, The University of Manchester
11:15 The Robotics & Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear (RAIN) EPSRC Hub
Barry Lennox FREng is Professor of Applied Control in the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. He held the EPSRC Chair in Nuclear Decommissioning between 2012-2014 and is Research Director of the Dalton Cumbrian Facility. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Senior Member of the IEEE, Fellow of the IET and InstMC and a Chartered Engineer.
He received a BEng in Chemical Engineering and a PhD from Newcastle University and before being appointed Lecturer at the University of Manchester in 1997, worked as a Research Associate and Fellow at Newcastle and Monash Universities.
His research interests are in the development and deployment of robotic systems for nuclear decommissioning applications, applied control systems and the use of acoustic pulse reflectometry for monitoring industrial pipelines. In 2002 he co-founded Perceptive Engineering, a process control solutions provider and through Circor, his work in acoustics has led to the development of equipment that has been commercialised and successfully applied in the North Sea, USA and Asia to detect and locate blockages in subsea pipelines and heat exchangers.

Vincent Müller
Dr. Vincent C Müller
University Academic Fellow, University of Leeds
14:05 White Paper Launch: Regulation, Ethics & AI
My research focuses on theory and ethics of disruptive technologies, particularly artificial intelligence. I published ca. 40 academic papers as well as 14 edited volumes on the philosophy of computing, philosophy of AI and cognitive science, philosophy of language, applied ethics, etc. (citations: h-11). I have organised ca. 25 conferences or workshops and presents about one paper each month, usually by invitation. I organise a conference series on the Theory and Philosophy of AI and is principal investigator of a EU-funded project on “Inclusive Robotics for a Better Society” (INBOTS). I have generated ca. 3.9 mil.€ research income for his institutions.

Vijay Pawar
Dr. Vijay Pawar
Senior Research Associate, UCL
14:20 White Paper Launch: Manufacturing Robotics
With a background in Computer Science, Robotics and Virtual Environments, Vijay leads a multidisciplinary team developing autonomous and semi-autonomous robotic tools to help manipulate objects across multiple scales beyond human capabilities. At the TouchLab, one end of the spectrum includes devices that allow operators to touch, feel and manipulate objects at the size of a cell, a technology which will be useful for a broad range of applications ranging from material science to microbiology and nanomedicine. For human scale interactions, the team develops robotic healthcare tools allowing medical interventions such as endoscopy, laparoscopy and ultrasound scans to be carried out remotely. Through the Autonomous Manufacturing Lab, Vijay also investigates applications suitable for large scale heavy industry, manufacturing and on-site construction; considering new ways of controlling autonomous robotic systems such as those needed for the remote inspection of dirty, duly and hard to reach tasks.

Amanda Prorok
Assistant Professor Amanda Prorok
Department of Computer Science and Technology, Cambridge University
13:30 Keynote Lecture: ‘When Robots Hit the Road: New Challenges in Multi-Vehicle Coordination’
Abstract: The practical realization of automated mobility, transport, and end-to-end logistics is burgeoning. Coordinated multi-vehicle systems are facilitating this new reality through the execution of task allocation, path planning, and formation control. In this talk, I shed some light on new challenges in these areas, and present insights that pertain to scalability, robustness and privacy.
Amanda Prorok is a University Lecturer in Cyber-Physical Systems at the Department of Computer Science and Technology, University of Cambridge, UK. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, where she worked on networked robotic systems. She completed her PhD at EPFL, Switzerland, where she addressed the topic of localization with ultra-wideband sensing for robotic networks. Her dissertation was awarded the Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) award for the best thesis at EPFL in the fields of Computer Sciences, Automatics and Telecommunications. Further awards include Best Paper Award at DARS 2018, Finalist for Best Multi-Robot Systems Paper at ICRA 2017, Best Paper at BICT 2015, and MIT Rising Stars 2015. Website:

Rustam Stolkin
Professor Rustam Stolkin
Director of National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR) Hub, University of Birmingham
11:00 National Centre for Nuclear Robotics, EPSRC Hub
Professor Rustam Stolkin is Director of the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR) hub and serves as the Chair in Robotics and Royal Society Industry Fellow in the School of Metallurgy and Materials. He leads the Extreme Robotics Lab (ERL), Europe’s most prominent university research lab dedicated to nuclear and other extreme environment applications of advanced robotics and AI.
Rustam is an interdisciplinary engineer with diverse research interests, although mainly focuses on robotics. His main interests include vision and sensing, robotic grasping and manipulation, robotic vehicles, human-robot interaction, AI and machine learning.

Guang-Zhong Yang
Professor Guang-Zhong Yang
Hamlyn Centre of Medical Robotics, Imperial College London
09:15 Introduction of new UK-RS Network Chair
16:45 Surgical Robot Challenge

Professor Yang’s main research interests are in medical imaging, sensing and robotics. In imaging, he is credited for a number of novel MR phase contrast velocity imaging and computational modelling techniques that have transformed in vivo blood flow quantification and visualization. These include the development of locally focused imaging combined with real-time navigator echoes for resolving respiratory motion for high-resolution coronary-angiography, as well as MR dynamic flow pressure mapping for which he received the ISMRM I. I Rabi Award. He pioneered the concept of perceptual docking for robotic control, which represents a paradigm shift of learning and knowledge acquisition of motor and perceptual/cognitive behaviour for robotics, as well as the field of Body Sensor Network (BSN) for providing personalized wireless monitoring platforms that are pervasive, intelligent, and context-aware. 

Registration Costs:

Early Bird: £120 (Student: £60)
31st May 2019
Full Price: £155 (Student: £95)
26th June 2019

Showcase Registration