Artificial Intelligence expert made Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering

Professor Anthony Cohn, Professor of Automated Reasoning in the School of Computing, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Fellows of the Academy are the elite of the UK engineering sector and include both academics and leading engineers at top engineering firms. 

The Royal Academy of Engineering said: “Anthony Cohn is distinguished for world-leading contributions to and leadership of the field of artificial intelligence. His work in qualitative spatial reasoning has been seminal in founding a field of research with impact in areas such as geographical information science, computer vision, natural language processing, ontologies and robotics.”

Among the practical applications of Professor Cohn’s work is the VAULT system in Scotland, which unifies all records on underground cables and pipes across the country in a single database available to crews planning to dig up roads. This helps to avoid damage to other underground services, danger to workmen and wasted time and money due to disrupted road works.

Other projects include a multi-sensor device to map underground cables and pipes more accurately, a system to predict ground ahead of tunnel boring machines, a decision support system for tunnel maintenance and mobile robots that can learn about their environment over long periods of time to help then navigate more effectively and safely.

Professor Cohn said: “I am very honoured to have been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering and am delighted that the research of my team at Leeds has been recognised in this way.”

There are about 1,500 Fellows of the Academy, with new members elected annually to join the Fellowship in recognition of outstanding contributions to engineering.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The commitment and energy of our Fellows is the lifeblood of our Academy. Our new Fellows join us today as the country’s most innovative and creative minds from both academia and industry. We look forward to working with them, learning from their successes and drawing on their considerable expertise as we continue our work to promote engineering at the heart of society.”

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