Dr Jianglin Lan

Published: 9 November 2021

AI-enabled autonomous systems

Jianglin Lan photo

Dr Jianglin Lan
James Watt School of Engineering
Fellowship Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (May 2022-April 2025)
Area of Research AI-enabled autonomous systems


Why did you choose to pursue a fellowship in your research career?

My career plan is to be a professor. After my PhD at the University of Hull, I took four years postdoctoral training at various UK universities. Then I thought it is time to become independent and develop my own research. A fellowship is ideal as it offers freedom and time to focus on building my research profile and become an expert in the research area.

Why work at the University of Glasgow?

My proposed project joins AI, control, optimisation, and autonomous systems, which highly align to the research priorities of the James Watt School of Engineering. This allows me to develop my research using the existing facilities and offers me the opportunity to collaborate with the many talented academics.

How would you describe your research in 20 words or less?

Developing low-carbon AI techniques to guarantee safety, robustness and functionality of autonomous systems in real-world use.

What is your research highlight?

When I was at the University of Sheffield, I led the research of a transcritical CO2 cooling system. I built from scratch the simulation model and the control algorithm. It turned out that my algorithm works well on the prototype later built by Rolls-Royce. As an academic researcher, I was really proud to see my design being implemented on real engineering systems.

What do you look for in a collaboration?

I look for someone who has certain common research interests with me and will complement my skills. I enjoy working in a multidisciplinary group where each person can contribute to the domain expertise. Above all, a collaborator must be trustworthy, reliable and enthusiastic towards the project.

How do you see your research impacting society?

My research stands at the intersection of the UK’s Industry Strategy of “Future Mobility”, “AI and Data” and “Clean Growth”. The findings can create significant economic and social impacts and play important roles in helping to meet the net zero emissions target by 2050. For example, my research will help to deploy autonomous systems (self-driving cars, drones, robots, etc) in the agriculture, water, energy and transport sectors, thus reducing accidents and greenhouse gas emissions, and saving labour, fuel and insurance costs. There are also additional applications in autonomous systems for space exploration and exploitation.

What next?

Building on this fellowship, my next step is to secure a lectureship and having my own research group.

First published: 9 November 2021