Executive Committee (UK-RAS EC)

Executive Committee (UK-RAS EC)

Industry Liaison

The aim of this role is to creating and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships between industry and academia and to promote partnerships for research and programme development. Graham helps to bring an industrial perspective to UK-RAS activities as well as an awareness of the latest industry schemes that can help to effectively utilise opportunities for academic collaboration in the sector.

Director of Operations



Marianne Knight


+44 (0)20 7594 3667



UK-RAS Public Engagement Manager



Claire Asher

Network Manager

Responsible for operational management of the EPSRC UK-RAS Network, supporting the Chair to run the daily operations of the network with the coordination of network partners, topic group leaders and the executive committee to deliver compelling propositions across a portfolio of translational activities including events such as the Annual UK Robotics Week, The International Robotics Showcase, Robotics Challenges, School Robotics Competition, UKRAS Postgraduate Conference, Industrial Fellowship schemes, coordination of topic groups and the production of white papers. Coordinating collaborative multidisciplinary projects, establish and develop strong industrial connections, and engage extensively with a number of platforms such as social media, press releases, websites and internal communication systems for network event coordination.  

Develop the Network’s strategy for the second phase of funding to align with the EPSRC research proposal aims and establish the infrastructure and administrative mechanisms required to meet all the aims listed through the development of a performance management plan with input from the Director and other stakeholders. Support academic, major stakeholders and external companies to identify and deliver new opportunities for the network, and interface with researchers from a range of backgrounds including engineering, computing and medicine.  Lead the creation of marketing material, online capital facilities database, topic group forums, events apps and online registration systems, and organise regular clinical/commercial engagement activities, as well as major showcase events. Liaise with academics and support staff to coordinate the activities involved in the network strategic plan.

Director of Operations

Leader of the Cobotics Group 

Sheffield Robotics


James Law


 +44 (0)114 2226586

Public Engagement & Exhibitions

Coordinates public engagement opportunities throughout the Network. The Network is focused on establishing a public engagement culture with a steady provision of exhibitions, active participation in festivals (such as the Cheltenham Science Festival and Imperial Festival) the promotion of open days at different partner sites, the International Showcase event, strategic partnerships with organisations such as the Science Museum, creation and coordination of volunteers for the STEM Ambassador programme as well as the Schools Robot Competition.

All these activities underline the importance we place on of engaging with a wider audience, influencing perception and encouraging public involvement in this exciting and fast paced area.

Challenges & White Papers

Coordinates the development of new and coordinate the running of existing robotics challenges, such as the Surgical Robot Challenge on an annual basis. It is anticipated these will in future, be organised thematically by each topic group leader/team.

Coordinates the writing teams for new white papers produced in and in addition to the challenge areas as well as additional documentation and greater dissemination opportunities and updated in areas that have been previously covered. Foster forward-looking collaborations and new grant application and deliver opportunities for media coverage and dissemination.

Professor of Robotics and Control

Aerospace Guidance and Control


Arthur Richards


+44 (0) 117 331 5706

CDT Activities Liaison & Events

The Network will continue with the organisation of the International Showcase event, the pinnacle event of the UK Robotics Week and will coordinate the cross-promotion of national events. The lead will also support and help organise the UK-RAS conference for early career and postgraduate students. The event promotes the coordination of the RAI doctoral student community, encourages collaboration and offers opportunities to present their latest research as well as engage with industry and other researchers attending the event. 

Coordinate a distributed model for thematic symposia, focused workshops, robotics challenges and distinguished lectures, flagship events will be adopted, organised by member institutions across the UK, to provide effective and coherent coordination of a responsive research agenda of all RAS centres, with strong outreach connections to national and international centres of excellence.

The Chair provides academic leadership, expands collaboration with industry while integrating and coordinating activities at EPSRC funded RAS capital facilities, Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) and partner universities. The Chair plays a critical role in helping to transform the UK RAS landscape, bringing cohesion to the UK RAS research base, expanding the capital facilities across the country, supporting education programmes and public engagement activities and in conjunction with the UK-RAS Manager, raise awareness of RAS nationally through the UK Robotics Week, augmented the interaction between the research community and end-users and developing strong links with RAI SIG, Innovate UK KTNs The UK Automatic Control Council (UKACC), EPSRC Robotics Hubs, Northern Robotics Network and other allied networks of the UKRI and EPSRC. This amounts to a highly involved position responsible for the day to day leadership and strategic direction of the Network and ensuring the activities and impact remain relevant and evolving with the current climate.


Government Policy & International Engagement

Participate in government policy responses, and in sector deal partnerships and committees, and feedback responses to governmental inquiries. Continue to coordinate responses to government inquiries; organise meetings with policy advisers and liaise with government departments and produce white papers on current and developing areas of robotics; effective academic expertise liaison with government and establishing pathways; build an infrastructure through regular and consistent coordination of Topic Group leaders, expert panels and relationships with key government organisations for high level engagement. 

Coordinate overseas visits and missions, participation in international government policy groups and responses to governmental inquiries. In light of the challenges posed by Brexit, the Network is focused on long term strategies with overseas partners, and the role of the coordinator is to ensure vital connections with EU partners are maintained, and through active participation and memberships with organisations such as the EURobotics Forum, the EU Robotics Technology Platform (EUROP) and as an active participant in shaping the Horizon 2020 programme.

Director of

The Soft Systems Group

and Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)


Adam Stokes


The Soft Systems Group

Entrepreneurial & Industrial Programmes Liaison

Leads the coordination of all industrial links and activities being undertaken by members of the Network.

Consolidates information on all activities pertaining to the commercialisation and marketisation of research outputs, cross-promote latest opportunities and events.

Enables knowledge transfer, sharing of good practice and ideas and promote an increase of strategic partnerships and industrial links on a national level, stimulate the commercialisation of research, foster collaboration and closer engagement with industrial partners.

Leads the establishment of a number of fellowships per year, over the next 3 years, with the aim of providing secondment opportunities to research staff with industrial collaborators to fostering transfer of knowledge and closer links between academic staff, students and industrial sectors.

Competitive bursaries will be provided, and the Network also contributes to each institution’s research and training programmes, providing access to wider disciplines and industrial exposure.

Head of Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Head of Department, Dept of Electronic & Electrical Eng, UCL


Sarah Spurgeon


+44(0)203 1087 871

RAS Capital & Asset Management

Coordinates the implementation of the capital database to the UK-RAS website and oversee the creation of a robust data maintenance and system updates process, exploring a combination of options involving direct entry modification by end users to coordinated quality control of data. New members will also be required to add this information upon membership to the Network, ensuring all assets are as up to date as possible. Coordinate the establishment of an effective booking and asset sharing system, through online, free and chargeable bookings, under the coordination of an appointed project manager from a university partner. We aim to maximise the UK’s world class RAS research equipment base by creating a capital road map of scientific need and applying for external resources to fulfil this need, such as establishing an EPSRC National Facility.

Once we have established the UK current equipment base (in stage (i)) we will inclusively create a short and medium-term capital road map, with the aim of submitting an expression of interest to EPSRC to establish a National Facility. (iii) We will establish and co-ordinate access to major RAS assets across the UK. 

Assets (for example hospitals and power stations) will be supported by the Network from external enquires, and we will also pro-actively identify and encourage potential RAS assets to support trials based on established Network need.