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22 January 2018

Informatics Professor named as IEEE Fellow

Professor Jian Dai, Department of Informatics, has been named as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). IEEE has over 400,000 members from over 160 countries and is the largest technical professional organisation for engineering, computing and technology information in the world.

Professor Jian Dai
Professor Jian Dai

Jian has been a member of the IEEE since 1998 and has held various positions including Track Chair, Symposium Chair, Workshop Chair and Conference Chair. Having served as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Robotics that he was awarded the IEEE Service Award and the T-RO Dedication Award. Jian’s IEEE Fellow is in addition to his ASME Fellow and IMechE Fellow.

The IEEE states that the ‘IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose Extraordinary Accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation.’ A person must be nominated and pass through two evaluation panels before the grade is conferred by a Board of Directors and ‘the total number selected in any one year does not exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting Institute membership.’

Jian was recognised ‘for contributions to reconfigurable and metamorphic mechanisms in robotics’, a field which he himself established worldwide. This field looks to develop reconfigurable mechanisms and metamorphic mechanisms in robotics allowing for greater adaptability in machines such as robotic multi-fingered hands. As mechanisms tend to be fixed in the way they can move, Professor Dai studies how these mechanisms can be changed in a way similar to a biological process adapted to performing changing tasks and various environments. This adaptability needs to be taken into account at the design stage, and then at the execution stage with its performance evaluated – another key part of the field.

The metamorphic mechanisms are evolutionary mechanisms and are created using the principles of origami. This work led to evolutionary mechanisms in robotics and over the last 20 years Jian’s work has created evolutionary robots and origami robots. As stated in his 2015 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award, Jian coined and advocated the idea of reconfigurable mechanisms as a promising concept to bridge the gap between versatile but expensive robots, and efficient but non-flexible machines. In addition, Professor Dai has also carried out significant work in applying the reconfigurable robotics mechanisms to packaging, manufacturing, food manufacturing and healthcare in rehabilitation.

Jian commented: ‘I was very pleased to receive this Fellowship which is the highest grade in this world’s largest technical professional organisation that gives a world platform for accomplishing and disseminating my work on reconfigurable and metamorphic mechanisms in robotics.’

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Jian Dai 2020

Emeritus Professor of Mechanisms and Robotics