Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences


WEISS Director announced Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies

4 October 2019

Prof Danail Stoyanov, Director of Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS) will develop robotic actuated imaging skins. He is one of eight new Chairs in Emerging Technologies, through which the Royal Academy of Engineering have awarded £22m total.

Danail Stoyanov

Prof Stoyanov will develop robotic surface structures with embedded sensors that can adapt their shape and size using artificial intelligence algorithms to control and interpret sensory information. Using this date, his new systems will help to enhance imaging capabilities during minimally invasive surgery and enable safer and more precise procedures to treat diseases across different anatomical regions.

It is a great honour to receive the support of The Royal Academy of Engineering once again. This ambitious research programme will enable us to develop an entirely new way of seeing important information during surgery." Prof Stoyanov

This research sits alongside intelligent and resilient ocean engineering, new kinds of batteries and more precise x-ray scans as examples of disruptive innovations being developed by the Royal Academy of Engineering's latest Chairs in Emerging Technologies. 

The innovations being developed by the Chairs in Emerging Technologies have the potential to considerably benefit society and the UK economy, and enable the nation to remain at the global forefront of engineering innovation. The areas of research funded reflect the UK’s wider technological priorities, with many of the projects directly aligned to the government’s Industrial Strategy and designed to tackle some of the biggest industrial and societal challenges of our time.

With awards totalling over £22million, the ten-year support provided to the Chairs will enable them to progress their pioneering ideas from basic science through to full deployment and commercialisation.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “Engineering is critical to the research and innovation process, enabling the generation of tangible economic benefits for the nation. Emerging technologies offer enormous opportunities for the UK, both economically and socially. Investment in these areas will help us to stay competitive in the global marketplace and to establish a foothold in developing future markets. The quality and vision of those receiving the awards are testament to the outstanding research talent in the UK. It is essential that we support both the innovations and the pioneering individuals who will transform their ideas into fully commercialised technologies with important and widespread applications.”

Dr Dame Frances Saunders DBE CB FREng, who leads the Chairs in Emerging Technologies steering group, said “We have had a large number of fantastic research proposals from very talented individuals across a wide range of engineering disciplines, which has made our job of choosing the final eight awardees particularly challenging. We have been delighted to see ideas coming forward in this round to apply emerging technologies that could revolutionise some more traditional fields of engineering as well as those that could open new areas of application. This is an exciting set of proposals and we look forward to seeing their progress in the years to come.”

See a full list of the chairs and their research projects on the Royal Academy of Engineering website