Elected: 2010
Discipline: Engineering
Professor David Lane

Emeritus Professor

Professor Emeritus David Lane PhD CBE FREng FRSE is a passionate scientist, innovator, educator & personal investor in the twin disciplines of Robotics & AI. A founding startup-to-scaleup award winning CEO (SeeByte Ltd/Inc Edinburgh, San Diego x23k investment multiple at exit) he is/has been Chairman and NED in 5 businesses & 1 fund in UK, US, Norway, Hong Kong with experience in Edtech, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Offshore Energy, Defence and Food. Over a 40 year Academic career as Professor & Founding Director he co-created the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and National Robotarium, a £150m joint venture between Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities, forming a research and translation hub with over 150 staff and PhD students. This leadership included the EPSRC/Industry £40m ORCA Hub, the largest dedicated offshore robotics R&D programme in the world. He has published more than 300 peer reviewed papers engineering advanced cognition, sensing and bio-inspiration into unmanned systems, and has held visiting scientific appointments in the US, China and with NATO. He led the 2014 UK RAS2020 Robotics & Autonomous Systems Strategy that resulted in more than £500M of UK Govt & Industry support, has been appointed to the UK Govt AI Council, and appointed co-Chair of the UK Robotics Growth Partnership by UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. Here he is advancing UK leadership of the nascent Cyber-Physical Web and Fabric including federation of digital twins as key infrastructure for our national resilience, sustainability, prosperity and security. His entrepreneurship has been recognized through the 2011 Praxis Unico Business Impact Achieved Award, the 2013 Scottish Digital Technology Award for International Growth, the 2018 Guardian University Business Collaboration Award (ORCA Hub) and the 2019 Scottish Knowledge Exchange Champion Award. He is Overseas Famous Scholar at Shenyang Institute of Automation and Zhejiang University China, mentors in the RAEng & RSE Enterprise Fellowship Schemes and was General Chair 2017 EURobotics Forum bringing 800 EU roboticists to Edinburgh. Colleagues in China have christened him 雷恩 (Lay-en), meaning ‘Kind Thunder’.