Professor Roy Kalawsky holds the Royal Academy of Engineering/Airbus Research Chair in Digital and Data Engineering Information Systems, and the Airbus Research Chair in Digitalization in addition to being the Director of the Advanced VR Research Centre.
His personal research spans the field of next generation modelling, simulation and visualization with a strong emphasis on the scientific/engineering underpinning of human factors and model-based systems engineering. His recent research activity involves the development of digital-twins, co-simulation and machine learning. Whilst his primary research focus is in the aerospace sector, he has achieved important developments in healthcare and other sectors. In recognition of his standing in the aerospace field, Roy was awarded, in 2019, the Royal Academy of Engineering/Airbus Research Chair in Digital and Data Engineering Information Systems and prior to that in 2018 he was awarded the Airbus Research Chair in Digitalization.
In 2005 he joined the Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering, becoming the Technical Head of the Systems Engineering Innovation Centre until 2012 (Responsible for Loughborough University’s commitment to the £60m Systems Engineering Innovation Centre). He was concurrently appointed Director of the Research School of Systems Engineering.
Prior to that period in 1999 he transferred from the Department of Human Sciences to the Department of Computer Science, becoming Head of Department of Computer Science from 2000–2004.
After leaving BAEs in 1995 he joined Loughborough University in 1995 as Professor of Human-Computer Integration in the Department of Human Sciences where he established the Advanced VR Research Centre which was opened by HRH Duke of Edinburgh in 1996. He still holds the role of Director of the AVRRC. His work has appeared on National/International TV. He was the first to demonstrate VR in the Houses of Parliament.
Roy is an internationally recognised authority in the field of augmented and virtual reality (VR). In 1993 he was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society Medal for outstanding contribution to cockpit technology and in particular for establishing the UK's first virtual cockpit and virtual environment simulator. He was awarded the World’s first research Chair in Virtual Reality in 1992. He wrote the first technical and scientific reference for virtual reality and Virtual environments published) in 1992 which has greatly influenced today’s VR developments.
Roy has pioneered numerous developments in the VR field having established the UK’s first VR lab during the early 1980s. Patents including the World’s first mixed reality VR system demonstrated at the Paris Air show in 1992. He has led a large research programme that involved the flying of AR head mounted display technology in a Jetstream aircraft.
Prior to joining Loughborough University Roy was Head of Cockpit Research and Crew Systems Development (Executive Specialist), across BAES (Formally British Aerospace) Military Aircraft Division. His industry career started as a BAE systems engineer in 1978. During his time with BAES he has worked with on highly classified projects and people at NASA Ames (USA), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (USA), US Navy (USA) , McDonnell Douglas (USA), Dassault Aviation (France), Ministry of Defence (UK), Defence Research Establishment (formerly Royal Aircraft Establishment UK Farnborough) and many others.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the Royal Society of the Arts and a Chartered Engineer.
Previous and current positions
- 2012 - current, EPSRC College Member
- 2009 - 2016, Adjunct Professor University of Southern Australia, Adelaide
- 2006 - 2012, Technical Head of Systems Engineering Innovation Centre, (Responsible for Loughborough University’s commitment to the £60m Systems Engineering Innovation Centre) - 45 Systems Engineers.
- 2000 - 2004, Head of Department – Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University
- 1996 - current, Director of the Advanced VR Research Centre – established centre and opened by HRH Duke of Edinburgh
- 1995 - 1999, Professor Human-Computer Integration, Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University
- 1989 - 1995, Head of Cockpit Research and Crew Systems Development (Executive Specialist), BAES (Formally British Aerospace, Military Aircraft Division)
- 1978 - 1989, Systems Engineer BAES (Formally British Aerospace, Military Aircraft Division)
Qualifications and Awards
- PhD., MSc., BSc., FIET, CEng, FRSA, G7NII (Call sign)
- 2019 – current, Royal Academy of Engineering Research/Airbus Chair in Digital and Data Engineering Information Systems
- 2019 – current, Airbus Research Chair in Digitalization
- 2007, Da Vinci award (First Prize) - for a groundbreaking technique to allow clinicians to remotely access superior quality 3D images of heart patients through a systems of systems engineering approach
- 2007, BAE Systems Senior Directors personal award for services to Systems Engineering
- 1993, Royal Aeronautical Society Medal for outstanding contribution to cockpit technology and in particular for establishing the UK's first virtual cockpit and virtual environment simulator.
- 1992 – 1995, The University of Hull - Appointed Honorary Visiting Professor - Virtual Environments and Advanced Display Technologies.
Roy’s personal research spans the field of next generation modelling, simulation and visualization with a strong emphasis on the scientific/engineering underpinning of human factors and model-based systems engineering. His recent research activity involves the development of digital-twins, co-simulation and machine learning. He is applying these concepts to the manufacture of current and future aircraft wing production. This involves the use of machine learning and imaging solution to automatically detect manufacturing and other defects. Whilst his primary research focus is in the aerospace sector, he has delivered important developments in healthcare and other sectors. For example, his healthcare research involved providing cardiologists with high quality interactive 3D displays on mobile devices (accessible anywhere in the World) and stereoscopic visualization solutions for MDT review sessions, this led to a first prize DaVinci award. Elements of this research are currently being discussed with other clinical/surgical specialists with a view to help solve some of the most challenging surgical procedures.
Roy is a serious horologist (watchmaker) with a passion for specialising in high-quality, practical restoration (to museum standard) of extremely valuable watches that date back to the 1720s. Over many years he has acquired unique knowledge to make the extremely small and intricate parts of very rare, complicated pocket and other watches (e.g. quarter repeaters) that have been damaged or are missing parts.
Grants and contracts
- InnovateUK Next Wing , Airbus, CapGemini, Daptablade, Uni Manchester, Imperial College, Queen Mary Westfield, Exeter Uni, Loughborough £20m programme 2023 – 2025
- Innovate UK - Digitally Enhanced Low-cost Technology for Aero-structures, Airbus, Spirit Aerospace, Atlas Co-Co, AMRC, Hartree (STFC), UCL, Loughborough £20m programme - 2023 – 2025
- RAEng Research Chair award
- Airbus Research Chair award (incl 4 EPSRC iCASE awards)
- Innovate UK Agile Wing Integration, InnovateUK – Airbus, Marshall Aerospace, Loughborough University, University of Bristol, Cranfield University, Loughborough PI responsibility £16m programme, 2014 – 2018
- BRIM: Building Resilience Into Risk Management, EPSRC - EP/N010329/1, University of Exeter, Loughborough University, Cranfield University, Loughborough - £416k, 2016 – 2019
- Designing for Adaptability and evolutioN in System of systems Engineering (DANSE), EU Commission, Airbus, EADS, Thales, IBM, Israel Aerospace Industries, Carmeq, ALES, INRIA, Honor Code, €12m programme, 2011-2016
- UK Systems-NET - enabling a strategic and long-lasting alliance to provide coordination and capability shaping in systems engineering, EPSRC - EP/K004700/1, £321k, 2013-2016
- LEEDR: Low Effort Energy Demand Reduction, EPSRC - EP/I000267/1, Loughborough University, Motorola, O2, AlertMe, £1.3m programme, 2010- 2014,
- Bridging the Gap -Enabling a strategic and long lasting alliance between academic research staff at Loughborough University - £190k EPSRC EP/E018521/1 - 2006-2020
- UK Visualization Centres Network, HEFCE Joint Information Systems Committee (2005-2009) – £500k, programme - 5 UK Centres,
- HEFCE High Performance Computing and Visualization Centre, HEFCE - £1.5m
- DTI Next Wave Pervasive Computing Programme (2003-2005) – £7m programme across 36 companies (large corporate and SMEs).
- Platform: RealityGrid Platform Grant - £420k - EP/C536452/1 - 2005-2010
- The RealityGrid - a tool for investigating condensed matter & materials - £6m – EPSRC - GR/R67699/01/GR/R67699/02 - 2003-2005
- Human factors derived performance requirements for virtual/synthetic environments – EPSRC - GR/K80693/01 - 1996-1997
Current teaching responsibilities
- WSB013 - Robotics Project Design and Management
- 22WSP076 - Modelling, Simulation and Visualization for Engineering
- 22WSP776 - Modelling, Simulation and Visualization for Engineering
- WSP502 - Individual MSc Project
- 22WSI010 - DIS Industrial Placement
Current administrative responsibilities
- Research Unit Head – Systems & Automation Unit
- Airbus Helicopters
- Airbus Commercial UK- (Filton and Broughton), Toulouse, Germany
- Fraunhofer Inst
- BAE Systems
- Jaguar Land Rover
- Rolls Royce
In addition to many university collaborators, including Bristol, Cranfield, Exeter, UCL, Imperial, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Coventry.