Professor James Taylor PhD, FIET

Professor of Control Engineering


James Taylor holds a Personal Chair in Control Engineering at Lancaster University. He is Impact Champion for the Engineering Department and Director of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Group (10 academics, incl. 4 profs). 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 the Lead at Lancaster University for the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (EPSRC: EP/R02572X/1), and 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 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 the external examiner for MEng Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering at Bath University and has previously held program examiner roles at Coventry University and Loughborough University. He sits on the Editorial Boards for three Elsevier Journals, Environmental Modelling & Software, Biosystems Engineering 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 co-develops the CAPTAIN Toolbox 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 had originally arrived at Lancaster University as an undergraduate student in 1989, graduating with BSc (Hons) and PhD degrees in Environmental Science, in 1992 and 1996 respectively, the latter 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 in 2000.

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

Selected Publications

Heuristic algorithm based optimal power flow model incorporating stochastic renewable energy sources
Khan, I.U., Javaid, N., Akurugoda Gamage, K., Taylor, C.J., Baig, S., Ma, X. 14/08/2020 In: IEEE Access. 8, p. 148622-148643. 22 p.
Journal article

Adaptive treatment and robust control
Clairon, Q., Henderson, R., Young, N., Wilson, E., Taylor, C.J. 30/03/2021 In: Biometrics. 77, 1, p. 223-236. 14 p.
Journal article

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

Advancing Location Accuracy via Collimated Nuclear Assay for Decommissioning Robotic Applications
01/04/2021 → 31/03/2025

Motion Planning and Trajectory Generation for a Robot Assisted Laser Cutting Manipulator
01/10/2019 → 30/09/2021

Mobile Sensor Network for Deployment and Characterisation of the Environment in Nuclear Sites.
01/10/2018 → 31/03/2022

National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR)
02/10/2017 → 01/04/2022

Fluorescence spectra of alpha emitting isotopes for stand-off detector development
01/08/2017 → 18/10/2017

FST CASE studentship: Development of a Coded-aperture Neutron Imager for Nuclear Decommissioning Applications
01/09/2016 → 31/03/2019

In situ measurement and analysis of sludge using robotic platform
01/08/2016 → 31/08/2021

GPR Integrated Mixed-field Imaging
01/04/2016 → 30/03/2020

Adaptive Treatment and Robust Control
01/11/2015 → 31/01/2019

Industrial Case Account 2015
01/11/2015 → 30/10/2020

Alpha-induced Air Fluorescence even under daylight conditions
01/10/2015 → 30/04/2020

Autonomous Mobile Robotic Systems for Remote Handling and Decomissioning
01/10/2015 → 30/09/2018

The Microphenotron: Developing an Automated Microphenotyping Platform to Unlock the Potential of Chemical Biology in Plants
01/10/2014 → 30/03/2016

Fast, smooth and co-ordinated control of a dual-arm manipulator used for nuclear decommissioning
01/01/2010 → 31/12/2012

Autonomous Inspection for Responsive and Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Manufacture (AIRS-NFM)
01/01/1900 → …

Novel High Performance Wave Energy Converters with advanced control, reliability and survivability systems through machine-learning forecasting (NHP-WEC)
01/01/1900 → …

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