David Lane

David Lane

Director, Edinburgh Centre for Robotics & Professor of Autonomous Systems Engineering, Ocean Systems Laboratory, Heriot-Watt University


David Lane is Professor and co-founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (edinburgh-robotics.com), a £35M joint venture between Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities training 100 innovation-ready PhD graduates across Engineering and Informatics disciplines. He previously established Heriot-Watt’s Ocean Systems Laboratory, with an international reputation in marine robotics, publishing nearly 200 cited publications with international funding.

In 2001 he founded SeeByte Ltd (seebyte.com), commercializing a 20 year portfolio of research, and, as CEO until 2010, led the company’s evolution from start-up to a multi-million dollar award-winning organization located in Edinburgh and San Diego. He also led the development of the UK’s national Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) innovation strategy for the Minister for Universities and Science, motivating and influencing over £200M of investment in Robotics and Autonomous Systems R&D by the UK government. As director of EURobotics AISBL he helped shape the EU Horizon2020 Robotics public-private partnership and the direction of €700M in funding from the European Commission.

He continues to lead a technical team in EPSRC, EU and international industry funded research developing persistent and shared autonomy, and bio-inspired sensing systems. He has been elected to Fellowships of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Society of Underwater Technology, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Royal Geographical Society.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Engineering in the 2016 Queen’s New Year Honours list. 

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