Professor James Taylor

Professor of Control Engineering


James Taylor, BSc (Hons), PhD, FIET, holds a Personal Chair in Control Engineering at Lancaster University. 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 was Deputy Head of Engineering from 2015-2018, having previously held Departmental Director of Teaching roles from 2005-2014.

Professor Taylor is Principal investigator for six projects funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the National Nuclear Laboratory or Sellafield Ltd, including Autonomous mobile robotic systems for remote handling and nuclear decommissioning. He is Co-investigator and the Lead at Lancaster University for EPSRC projects EP/M015637/1 Adaptive (Medical) Treatment and Robust Control and EP/R02572X/1 National Centre for Nuclear Robotics. He is Co-investigator for EP/N017749/1 Technology development to evaluate dose rate distribution in PCV and to search for fuel debris submerged in water and BB/M004260/1 Developing an automated microphenotyping platform to unlock the potential of chemical biology in plants. Earlier in his career, he was Principal investigator for GR/R94442/01 Control of nonlinear systems identified using scheduled, adaptive and state dependent parameter models.

He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology and currently Chairs the IET Control & Automation Network. He regularly sits on or chairs IET and Engineering Accreditation Board panels as an academic program accreditor. He is the external examiner for BEng/MEng Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering at Bath University, and has previously held program examiner roles at Coventry University and Loughborough University. He also sits on the Editorial Boards for two Elsevier Journals, Environmental Modelling & Software and Progress in Nuclear Energy. He is an elected member of the UK Automatic Control Council (UKACC) Executive Committee; and is a member of 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 develops the CAPTAIN Toolbox for system identification, time series analysis, forecasting and control. The other primary authors of this MATLAB toolbox are Emeritus Professor Peter Young and Dr Wlodek Tych. The toolbox has received over three hundred citations in the literature, reflecting its use in disciplines as diverse as hydrological modelling, electricity demand forecasting and the study of infectious diseases.

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

Selected Publications

A review of ground-based robotic systems for the characterization of nuclear environments
Tsitsimpelis, I., Taylor, C.J., Lennox, B., Joyce, M.J. 1/03/2019 In: Progress in Nuclear Energy. 111, p. 109-124. 16 p.
Journal article

Dealing with observational data in control
Wilson, E.D., Clairon, Q., Henderson, R., Taylor, C.J. 29/05/2018 In: Annual Reviews in Control. 46, p. 94-106. 13 p.
Journal article

The Microphenotron: a robotic miniaturized plant phenotyping platform with diverse applications in chemical biology
Burrell, T.I., Fozard, S., Holroyd, G.H., French, A.P., Pound, M.P., Bigley, C., Taylor, C.J., Forde, B.G. 1/03/2017 In: Plant Methods. 13, 20 p.
Journal article

Development of a grow-cell test facility for research into sustainable controlled-environment agriculture
Tsitsimpelis, I., Wolfenden, I., Taylor, C.J. 10/2016 In: Biosystems Engineering. 150, p. 40-53. 14 p.
Journal article

  • Doctorate Centre in Nuclear Engineering
  • DSI - Foundations
  • Energy Lancaster
  • Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre
  • Nuclear