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19 February 2021

King's Professor receives international award

Professor Jian Dai awarded the 2020 Machine Design Award by ASME

Professor Jian Dai
Professor Jian Dai

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has honoured King's Professor Jian S Dai with the 2020 Machine Design Award.  This is the highest award of ASME and recognises eminent achievement or distinguished service in the field of machine design, which is considered to include application, research, development, or teaching of machine design. 

The award was founded in 1958. Jian joins a distinguished list of 57 previous winners, including the inventors of the world’s first mountain bulldozer, and the fluid stepper actuators, the inventor of the electronic test scoring machine, and the inventor of the strain wave gear drive that is now widely used in robots.

The ASME Machine Design Award
The ASME Machine Design Award

Jian is a pioneer in reconfigurable mechanisms and robots, and a leading scholar in advanced kinematics. He established the field of reconfigurable mechanisms and the sub-field of metamorphic mechanisms, a concept that bridges the gap between versatile but expensive robots, and efficient but non-flexible machines, with applications to health, home, and manufacture. He is an ASME Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. Other awards include the 2019 AT Yang Memorial Award from ASME, the 2018 Crossley Award from the journal Mechanism and Machine Theory, the 2015 ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Award for lifelong contribution, the 2013 Mechanisms Innovation Award, the 2012 ASME Outstanding Service Award, the 2010 Overall Supervisory Excellence Award from King’s College London, and many best paper awards.

Reflecting on the ASME Machine Design Medal Jian said:


When I began my research into machine design engineering I never dreamed that one day I would join such a list of inventors and innovators. My work has been to create reconfigurable mechanisms and reconfigurable robots that can be used in healthcare, manufacturing and the home. Novel engineering design came up with many ideas that appeared in daily life and in origami and decoration, making industrial reconfiguration and making reconfigurable manufacture. It has now become a truly international field in the past twenty five years, through hard work, and I am proud to have been recognised by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers”

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Jian Dai

Emeritus Professor of Mechanisms and Robotics