Professor Roy Kalawsky.

Academic says being awarded Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair is "career highlight"

A leading Loughborough University academic has been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair.

Professor Roy Kalawsky, Director of the Advanced VR Research Centre in the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, says he is “delighted” to receive the honour and to be recognised as an exceptional engineering researcher by the Academy.  

The Academy’s Research Chairs are prestigious five-year appointments that aim to strengthen the ties between academia and industry.

They provide a platform to enable academics to address some of the biggest challenges faced by the engineering industry and awardees are expected to establish world-leading research groups in their field of engineering.

Each Research Chair position is co-sponsored by an industrial partner and focuses on industry-relevant research.

Professor Kalawsky’s appointment is in collaboration with Airbus and his official title is ‘Airbus/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Digital and Data Engineering Information Systems’.

Professor Kalawsky is developing exciting next-generation digitalisation technologies – including advanced modelling, simulation and visual analytics – to help accelerate aircraft design and production processes.

His work with Airbus will include new engineering information systems, which will be combined with Industry 4.0 concepts such as digital-twin, novel immersive technologies involving augmented and virtual reality systems, to enable engineers to predict how an aircraft design will behave at every stage of its lifecycle.

A key focus of the project will be to improve the way users interact with complex digital data and information.

Commenting on the Research Chair appointment, Professor Kalawsky said: "I am delighted and feel deeply honoured that my work has been recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

“Receiving the extremely prestigious Academy’s award of Research Chair is the highlight of my academic and industry career to date.  

“I am especially indebted to Airbus and Loughborough University for not only acknowledging and supporting my research but for giving me a unique opportunity to tackle some of the biggest engineering challenges that face industry today.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 18/139

Royal Academy of Engineering

The Academy’s Research Chairs and Senior Fellowships scheme has successfully supported numerous academic appointments and enhanced internationally renowned centres of excellence. This scheme aims to strengthen the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of the industrial partners.

As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, the Academy brings together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society

It harnesses their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession. 

It has three strategic priorities:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation and businesses
  • Address the engineering skills and diversity challenge
  • Position engineering at the heart of society

 The Academy brings together engineers, policymakers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

 Engineering is a global profession, so it works with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale. 


Loughborough University

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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.