Hudds prof appointed to Royal Academy Engineering/Renishaw Chair

Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang

Thu, 05 May 2016 13:05:00 BST

Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang FREng will be developing precise measurement tools for new smart automated connected production lines

Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang THE University’s Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang FREng has been appointed as the Royal Academy Engineering/Renishaw Chair in Precision Metrology.  Over the next five years, Professor Jiang’s research at the University of Huddersfield will support the future of manufacturing by developing new precise measurement tools for use in increasingly smart automated factory environments.

The Chair is jointly sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Renishaw, a highly successful UK engineering company that has carried out world-leading research in precision engineering.

Professor Jiang will undertake research inspired by the real demands and uses of the manufacturing industry, with a particular focus on metrology – the precise measurement and verification of items passing through the production process.  

As manufacturing makes a shift towards intelligent, digital systems, new technology is required to ensure that factory systems remain reliable during the design, production and verification of high value products.  However, current measurement systems lag behind the pace of development of computer technology, which is being used to create increasingly smart, connected production lines – so-called ‘Industry 4.0’.

Professor Jiang’s research will bring together modern mathematics and optics to create sensor hardware and bespoke software, with a new approach to hierarchical design and metrology.  Building on her experience in the automotive industry and over 20 years’ research in measurement science, the new research funding will enable Professor Jiang to develop the technology that will form the backbone of autonomous manufacturing infrastructure over the next 30 years.

Professor Jiang said: “I am very honoured to be appointed to such a prestigious Chair and delighted to be able to work closely with Renishaw, a world-leading engineering and scientific technology company, and the Royal Academy of Engineering to challenge formidable barriers in today’s measurement technologies.  Under this research sponsorship, the next generation of embedded metrology technologies will be explored, generated and then integrated into manufacturing systems and platforms.  It will facilitate the future factory to produce ‘right first time and every time’ fabrication of complex products in many sectors, for example, aerospace, automotive, electronics, healthcare, energy and even astronomy.

Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang ◄ Professor Jiang is pictured with the University’s Emeritus Chancellor Sir Patrick Stewart

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan CBE DL FREng, an engineer himself, added: “Jane’s contribution to her scientific discipline, to advanced manufacturing and to the academic world has been immense.  She has had many honours and awards bestowed on her, with her Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering being perhaps the most prestigious.  Now, this new Chair is yet another distinction and another reason for the University of Huddersfield to take pride in this remarkable engineer.  But we must not forget that the principal beneficiaries of her research will be the manufacturing sector and therefore the wider economy.”

Professor Ric Parker CBE FREng, Chair of the Academy’s Research Committee, said: “Professor Jiang’s research will shape manufacturing for years to come, with quality, precision and innovation at the heart of an increasingly data-enabled UK industry.  The Royal Academy of Engineering is delighted to support her, as a leading engineer in this field, by establishing this new Chair.”

Professor Geoff McFarland, Group Engineering Director at Renishaw, said: “We would like to congratulate Professor Jiang on her appointment to this important role and look forward to working closely with her in the coming years.  It is highly gratifying that metrology is increasingly being recognised for its importance as a core enabling technology at the very heart of the manufacturing process and no longer simply a standalone discipline.”

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