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Professor James Taylor PhD, FIET

Professor of Control Engineering

James Taylor

Engineering Building



Tel: +44 1524 592375

PhD supervision

Control Engineering


James Taylor holds a Personal Chair in Control Engineering at Lancaster University. He is Impact Champion for the School of Engineering and Director of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Group. He was Deputy Head of Engineering from 2015-2018, having previously held Director of Teaching roles from 2005-2014. His interdisciplinary research on statistical modelling and control of uncertain systems in the natural sciences and engineering, involves applications spanning robotics, transport, energy, health, and the environment. He supervises projects in these areas for students across a spectrum of mechanical, electronic, nuclear and chemical engineering disciplines.

Professor Taylor is Co-investigator for Autonomous Inspection for Responsive and Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Manufacture (EP/V051059), Advancing Location Accuracy via Collimated Nuclear Assay for Decommissioning Robotic Applications (EP/V026941/1) and Novel High Performance Wave Energy Converters (EP/V040561/1). He has been Principal investigator for seven projects funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the National Nuclear Laboratory and Sellafield Ltd, with a focus on mobile robotic systems for remote handling and nuclear decommissioning. He was the Lead at Lancaster University for the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (EPSRC: EP/R02572X/1) and Adaptive (Medical) Treatment and Robust Control (EP/M015637/1). He was Co-investigator for Technology Development to Evaluate Dose Rate Distribution and to Search for Fuel Debris Submerged in Water (EP/N017749/1) and Developing an Automated Microphenotyping Platform to Unlock the Potential of Chemical Biology in Plants (BBSRC: BB/M004260/1). Earlier in his career, he was Principal investigator for Control of Nonlinear Systems Identified using Scheduled, Adaptive and State Dependent Parameter Models (GR/R94442/01).

He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), a member of the IET Academic Accreditation Committee and from 2017-2020 chaired the IET Control & Automation Network. He is external examiner at the University of Southampton (MSc Systems, Comms), and has previously held program examiner roles at Bath University (MEng Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering), Coventry University (MSc Systems, Control) and Loughborough University (BEng/MEng EEE). He sits on the Editorial Boards for three Elsevier Journals, Environmental Modelling & Software, Biosystems Engineering and Progress in Nuclear Energy. He is a member of the UK Automatic Control Council (UKACC) Executive Committee and four International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Technical Committees.

He is the author of over 150 peer reviewed Journal and International Conference articles. His co-authored book on True Digital Control: Statistical Modelling and Non-Minimal State Space Design was published by Wiley. He co-develops the CAPTAIN Toolbox (MATLAB) for system identification, time series analysis, forecasting and control. The toolbox is used worldwide in disciplines as diverse as e.g. hydrological modelling, electricity demand forecasting and the study of infectious diseases.

Professor Taylor first arrived at Lancaster University as an undergraduate student of Biological Sciences in 1989, but graduated with BSc (Hons) (1992) and PhD (1996) degrees in Environmental Science, the latter in the area of control system design, supervised by Professor Peter Young and Dr Arun Chotai. He was Research Associate in Environmental Science for six years, before his appointment to an academic position in the Engineering Department, now School, in 2000.

Professor Taylor's personal web page has more information about the above, including links to download the CAPTAIN Toolbox.

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