David Lane


+44 (0)131 451 3350
Room 2.17
Earl Mountbatten Building
Heriot-Watt University
Selected publications

A list of all research publications is available on the Research Gateway


David Lane is Professor and Founding Director in the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, a £35M joint venture between Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities training 100 innovation-ready PhDs in the EPSRC ROBOTARIUM national equipment facility. Previously he established Heriot-Watt’s Ocean Systems Laboratory with an international reputation in marine robotics, publishing nearly 200 cited publications with international funding from the UK, EU, US and Japan. He has been a visiting Fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution USA, visiting Professor at Florida Atlantic University, Scientific Advisor to the NATO Undersea Research Centre, La Spezia Italy, Development Engineer with the former Ferranti Ltd and Diver-Maintainer with British Oceanics (now Subsea7).

From 2001-2010 he founded and as CEO led SeeByteLtd/Inc to a multi-million $ UK/US company in defence and offshore markets based in Edinburgh and San Diego. The company won the 2010 Praxis Unico Business Impact Achieved Award and 2013 Scottish Digital Technology Award for International Growth before exit to Batelle Inc. In 2016 he was appointed Chairman of Consequential Robotics Ltd developing the next generation of assistive and companion robots.

In 2013/4 he chaired the InnovateUK RAS-SIG committee leading development of the UK’s RAS2020 national robotics innovation strategy, which has influenced over £200M of UK Govt. spend to date and the emerging Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. He was also a Director of euRobotics aisbl shaping the €700M EU Horizon2020 Robotics public-private partnership. In 2016 he led Lloyds Register Foundation Foresight Review of Robotics and Autonomous Systems to preserve life and infrastructure.

He sits on the Advisory Board of the 8 Great Technologies Venture Fund, BAe Systems Corporate Foresight Panel and the UK Atomic Energy Authority Programme Advisory Committee. He Chairs the RSE Enterprise Fellowship and B3 Engineering Fellowship Selection Committees, is a member and mentor in the RAEng Enterprise Fellowship Programme, a member of the EPSRC Engineering Strategic Advisory Team (SAT) and RAEng Finance Committee. He is General Chair of the 2017 EU Robotics Forum Conference[1] bringing 800 top European roboticists from research, innovation and industry to Edinburgh.

He has been elected to fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Institution of Engineering and Technology, Society of Underwater Technology and Royal Geographical Society. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Engineering in the 2016 Queen’s New Year Honours list.