PhD in Control theory, University of London, UK, 1982
DIC in Control Systems, Imperial College, UK, 1982
BSc Electronic and Electrical Eng, Univ of Manchester, 1st Class, 1977
CEng, FIET, FCIBSE, CMath, FIMA
(a) Professor of Robotics and Head SEAT-WGN, Massey University, New Zealand
(b) DAAD Guest Professor, Fachochschule Südwestfalen, Germany
(c) Professor of Robotics and Control, University of Leeds, UK
(d) Guest Research Chair, KTH Research Group, University of Gavle ,Sweden
(e) Professor of Control Engineering, University of Portsmouth ,UK
(f) Visiting Professor, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris ,France
(g) Senior Lecturer, University of Bradford ,UK.
(h) Lecturer, University of Sheffield ,UK
Key International Roles
· Chairman, ISO TC 184/ SC 2/WG 7 on Safety of personal care robots, June 2006-present.
· Chairman, IEC SC 62A JWG9 Medical Electrical equipment and systems using robotic technology, April 2011 — present.
· Chairman, UK national BSI Standards Technical Committee AMT/00-/02 Robots and robotic devices, 2005-present.
Research interests cover a wide area of mobile robotics and control systems engineering and applications (both theoretical and applied aspects) as well as renewable energy technologies. The mobility aspects of the robot research focuses on the locomotion aspects and modular robot systems design for new service robots operating in new environments. In particular research is in the areas of legged robotic systems; odour sensing navigation for mobile robots; climbing and walking robots (CLAWAR robots); search and rescue robots; bio-medical assistive robots, intelligent control, navigation, human-robot interface design, model-based control, control theory and applications. Major involvement also in ISO and IEC standardization activities to develop safety standards for personal care robots and medical robots.
Related professional activities: Member of the UK´s EPSRC´s Control and Instrumentation College of peer reviewers; Member of Editorial Board of Journal Transactions of the Institute of Measurement and Control; Member of Editorial Advisory Board, Industrial Robot Journal; Member of IET Professional Network Committee on Robotics and Mechatronics; Technical Expert for the EC, Technical evaluator for the Finland Academy of Science, etc; He was the co-ordinator of the EC CLAWAR Network of Excellence in Climbing and walking robots which is now a non-profit making UK registered organisation whose mission is to widen the application of robots and robotic systems.
1. Example recent publications
Prof Virk has published extensively in the above research areas and has produced >275 publications including 9 books. He has successfully supervised 16 PhD students and secured research funded to the value of over €15M from UK´s EPSRC and EC programmes in >45 research projects which involve extensive collaborations within networks in Europe, US, Japan and South Korea. He has been invited to join many Technical committees for conferences as well as made Plenary presentations at numerous international conferences. He has also made extensive appearances on major TV and radio programmes and interviews in many newspapers and magazines and over 75 invited seminars.
2. Major achievements in commercial, social and environmental areas.
Two spin out companies have resulted from the research activities and these are operating in the EU in the areas of renewable energy and robotics. He is chairman of these UK companies, Endoenergy Systems Limited, CLAWAR Association Limited.
He has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London for his work in promoting IT in schools and is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company Chairman of Information Technologists in the UK.
3. Demonstration of relationships with end-users.
Industrial links with numerous companies and research organisations in the EU.
Industrial links include Hocoma AG, Chas Blatchford & Sons Ltd, Gigatronik Technologies GmbH, MRK Systeme GmbH, Mobile Robotics Sweden AB, British Steel, British Aerospace (Military Aircraft) Ltd, Trend Control Systems Ltd, Honeywell Control Systems Ltd, Satchwell Control Systems Ltd, Johnson Controls, Building Research Establishment, Gravatom Ltd, Forward Industries Ltd, Roboscience, Shadow Robot Company, BAE Systems, Thales Communications, QinetiQ Ltd, Dimplex (UK) Ltd, Unaform Ltd, and United Wire Ltd.
On the European level Prof Virk has co-ordinated the network of Excellence on Climbing and walking robots which has defined and assisted the modular development and international standardization requirements for mobile robots needed by the user community. Partners in the network included organisations from Italy (University of Catania, ST Microelectronics, D´Appolonia, University of Genova), Spain (CSIC-IAI, University Carlos III of Madrid), Germany (University of Kaiserslautern, FZI University at Karlsruhe, J Schmalz GmbH, Fraunhofer-IPA Stuttgart, ), France (Robosoft SA, CEA, Universite Paris 6 (Laboratoire de Robotique de Paris, Cybernetix, Universite de Poitiers, LAAS/CNRS, Ecole Centrale de Nantes), Belgium (Royal Military Academy, SAS, Robonetics), Ireland (Kentree Ltd), Denmark (Risø National Laboratory, Odense Steel Shipyard, Lego), Finland (Helsinki University of Technology), Portugal (ISQ), Sweden (Orebro University), Poland (University of Poznan), Bulgaria (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Slovenia (University of Ljubljana), Hungary (Technical University of Budapest), Greece (National Technical University of Athens) and UK (QinetiQ, University of Salford, Forward Industries, Roboscience, BAE Systems, Shadow Robot Company, Thales Communications).
1. Personal assistive robots for elderly/ disabled persons
2. Urban search and rescue robots
3. Navigation of mobile robots based on olfaction
4. Climbing and walking robots for unstructured environments
5. Biomedical robot applications
6. Modular mobile service robotics
7. Renewable energy technologies for buildings
8. Sustainable buildings