Professor David Lane, Professor of Autonomous Systems Engineering in Heriot-Watt's School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Engineering in the 2016 New Year's Honours list.
Professor Lane is the founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, a £35M joint venture between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. He previously established the University's Ocean Systems Laboratory, with an international reputation in marine robotics, publishing nearly 200 cited publications with international funding.
In 2001 he founded SeeByte Ltd, commercializing Heriot-Watt technology, and, as CEO until 2010, led the company's evolution from start-up to a multi-million dollar award-winning organization located in Edinburgh and San Diego.
He also led the development of the UK's national Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) innovation strategy for the Minister for Universities and Science, motivating and influencing over £200M of investment in Robotics and Autonomous Systems R&D by the UK government. As director of EURobotics AISBL he helped shape the EU Horizon2020 Robotics public-private partnership and the direction of €700M in funding from the European Commission
Professor Lane has been elected to Fellowships of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Society for Underwater Technology, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Royal Geographical Society.
He graduated in 1980 with a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, and again in 1986 with a PhD in Underwater Robotics.
Heriot-Watt University Principal Professor Richard A. Williams said, “This is a very well deserved honour, and I'm sure I speak for the whole University in congratulating Professor Lane on this recognition of his outstanding work and many achievements in research, commercialisation, industry and public policy.”
Former University Principal Professor Steve Chapman, now Vice-Chancellor at Edith Cowan University in Australia, was also appointed CBE, for services to Higher Education.