Theme Day in Robotics and Autonomous Systems

On 31 January 2017, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) hosted a Theme Day regarding their portfolio of research in the area of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS). Named as one of the Eight Great Technologies by the UK coalition government in 2012, RAS was identified as a technology where the UK can be a global leader, revolutionising the economy and society over the next 20 years.

What is a Theme Day?

An EPSRC Theme Day is an evaluation mechanism where an independent panel of experts directly interact with investigators on peer-reviewed grants awarded in a specific subject area, either through poster sessions or seminars. The panel provides their opinions and perceptions on a representative sample of projects, which have previously been through formal peer review, from across the portfolio and draw conclusions about the area as a whole.  Notably, a Theme Day is not concerned with constructing league tables of grants or researchers, nor to isolate individual successes or failures.  In general, the purpose is to ascertain the effectiveness of EPSRC’s support to the area and the value of the scientific research in the area to the UK.

Panel Members

Professor David Hogg (Chair)

University of Leeds

Dr. Mike Aldred


Professor Aude Billard

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Dr. David Bisset


Professor Henrik Christensen

UC San Diego

Professor David Parkes

Harvard University

Mr. Geoff Pegman

RU Robots

Dr. Elizabeth Sklar

King’s College London

Professor Sarah Spurgeon

University College London