New appointment at the Royal Academy of Engineering

Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang FREng from The University of Huddersfield has been appointed as the Royal Academy Engineering/Renishaw Chair in Precision Metrology. She will be developing precise measurement tools for new smart automated connected production lines.

Over the next five years, Professor Jiang’s research at the University 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, the 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.”

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. This new Chair is yet another distinction and another reason for the University of Huddersfield to take pride in this remarkable engineer. However, we must not forget that the principal beneficiaries of her research will be the manufacturing sector and therefore the wider economy.”

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.”

University of Huddersfield




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