Member of the Innovation and Emerging Technologies Policy Panel
John Gray has a technical background in control and instrumentation with the former being concerned with nonlinear systems and the latter being focussed on electromagnetic systems including the development of a unique differential flow-meter for haemodialysis machines which enabled the precision control of ultra-filtration during dialysis therapy.
In 1979 he was appointed to a Chair of control engineering at the University of Salford and his work on integrated systems engineering led to the establishment of the DTI’s National Advanced Robotics Research Centre at Salford in 1987. John served as its Research Director and was a main Board member of the holding industrial consortium ARRL Ltd. Following that five year project he became Director of the University’s Centre for Robotics and Automation with interests in the development of aspects of humanoid robotics and in the last ten years or so aspects of automation in food manufacturing.
In 1999 he established with MAAF/Defra sponsorship the Food Manufacturing Engineering Group which is an industrial/academic forum to identify key issues relating to the use of automation in the food sector and to foster engineering research in this sector.
In 2006 a proposal submitted by John to Yorkshire Forward, with FMEG support, resulted in the establishment of CenFRA Ltd which is a facility to support the uptake of automation in the food manufacturing sector in three Regional Development Areas in the north of England.
Involvement with ongoing research projects include the EC projects ROBOTCUB (the iCub humanoid robot development at IIT in Genoa), NovelQ, (automated food assembly line at SiK in Sweden) and the Defra project GRAIL (design of a specialised food assembly robot at the University of Sheffield).
After leaving Salford in 2008, John is now employed as a Senior Scientist in Robotics and Automation at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa and has visiting Chairs at the Control System Centre at the University of Manchester and at the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield.