Professor Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang FREng has been appointed as the Royal Academy Engineering/Renishaw Chair in Precision Metrology. Over the next five years, Professor Jiang’s research at the University of Huddersfield will support the future of manufacturing by developing new precise measurement tools for use in increasingly smart automated factory environments.

The Chair is jointly sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Renishaw, a highly successful UK engineering company that has carried out world-leading research in precision engineering.

Professor Jiang will undertake research inspired by the real demands and uses of the manufacturing industry, with a particular focus on metrology – the precise measurement and verification of items passing through the production process. As manufacturing makes a shift towards intelligent, digital systems, new technology is required to ensure that factory systems remain reliable during the design, production and verification of high value products. However, current measurement systems  lag behind the pace of development of computer technology, which is being used to create increasingly smart, connected production lines – so-called ‘Industry 4.0’.

Professor Jiang’s research will bring together modern mathematics and optics to create sensor hardware and bespoke software, with a new approach to hierarchical design and metrology. Building on her experience in the automotive industry and over 20 years’ research in measurement science, the new research funding will enable Professor Jiang to develop the technology that will form the backbone of autonomous manufacturing infrastructure over the next 30 years.

Professor Jiang said: “I am very honoured to be appointed to such a prestigious Chair and delighted to be able to work closely with Renishaw, a world-leading engineering and scientific technology company, and the Royal Academy of Engineering to challenge formidable barriers in today’s measurement technologies. Under this research sponsorship, the next generation of embedded metrology technologies will be explored, generated and then integrated into manufacturing systems and platforms. It will facilitate the future factory to produce ‘right first time and every time’ fabrication of complex products in many sectors, for example, aerospace, automotive, electronics, healthcare, energy and even astronomy.”

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan CBE DL FREng, an engineer himself, added: “Jane Jiang’s contribution to her scientific discipline, to advanced manufacturing and to the academic world has been immense. She has had many honours and awards bestowed on her, with her Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering being perhaps the most prestigious. Now this new Chair is yet another distinction and another reason for the University of Huddersfield to take pride in this remarkable engineer. But we must not forget that the principal beneficiaries of her research will be the manufacturing sector and therefore the wider economy.”

Professor Ric Parker CBE FREng, Chair of the Academy’s Research Committee, said: “Professor Jiang’s research will shape manufacturing for years to come, with quality, precision and innovation at the heart of an increasingly data-enabled UK industry. The Royal Academy of Engineering is delighted to support her, as a leading engineer in this field, by establishing this new Chair.”

Professor Geoff McFarland, Group Engineering Director at Renishaw, said: “We would like to congratulate Professor Jiang on her appointment to this important role and look forward to working closely with her in the coming years. It is highly gratifying that metrology is increasingly being recognised for its importance as a core enabling technology at the very heart of the manufacturing process and no longer simply a stand  alone discipline.”

Notes for editors

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession
  2. The University of Huddersfield - Inspiring Tomorrow's Professionals. The University of Huddersfield is an inspiring, innovative provider of higher education of international renown.  It has a national reputation in enterprise and innovation and, in the last five years, has been the recipient of the Times Higher Education’s University of the Year Award and Entrepreneurial University of the Year as well as a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.  In the 2015, the University was recognised with 5 star status by international ratings organisation QS Stars for teaching, internationalisation, employability and for facilities and access. 

    The University annually welcomes 22,000 students to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across subjects covering…
    …the sciences, engineering and IT
    …health, education and the social sciences
    …business, management, law and accountancy
    …architecture, design, humanities and the arts.

    The University of Huddersfield’s researchers are dedicated to solving the problems and answering the questions posed by industry, science and society as a whole. Our pioneering research is showcased by internationally-recognised centres of excellence, strategic industry relationships and a commitment to providing state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. 

    The Chancellor of the University is His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG, and the Vice-Chancellor is Professor Bob Cryan CBE FREng.

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
Aaron Boardley