Professor of Autonomy and AI appointed by BAE Systems and Cranfield

Professor Gokhan Inalhan has been appointed as Professor of Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence at Cranfield University, a position sponsored by BAE Systems.

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Professor Inalhan joins Cranfield from Istanbul Technical University, where he is currently Director General of its Aerospace Research Centre. He will commence his role in the university’s Centre for Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems on 1 December.

Professor Antonios Tsourdos, Head of Centre, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Gokhan to Cranfield later this year. His reputation as a leading expert in his field precedes him and we are very much looking forward to drawing on his research, reputation and experience to enhance our work. This appointment is yet another fantastic example of how Cranfield works closely with industry partners to enhance research across the aerospace industry.”

Julia Sutcliffe, Chief Technology Officer at BAE Systems Air, said: “Autonomous systems and artificial intelligence have the potential to provide a substantial positive impact upon product, service, and industrial capabilities. This prestigious appointment, in a growing and highly disruptive field, will enable BAE Systems to leverage the latest technologies in these areas and bring together the best of British expertise to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in combat air technology.”

Professor Inalhan completed a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University and worked first at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before returning to the place of his undergraduate studies, Istanbul Technical University, in 2006.

He founded the University’s Controls and Avionics Laboratory, co-founded its Aerospace Research Center and Air Transportation Management Program, and served as co-ordinator for its Defense Technologies Program and Board Member for its Center for Satellite Communications and Remote Sensing.

Professor Inalhan was elected an Associate Fellow (class of 2020) of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He serves on various industry committees and advisory boards, and in 2018 was awarded a Boeing Faculty Fellowship. Professor Inalhan received the IEEE Aerospace Electronic System Society Exceptional Service Award in 2019.

His expertise spans autonomy, advanced flight controls, applications of artificial intelligence to air transportation and autonomy, design and air traffic management of aerial vehicles, multiple vehicle co-ordination, avionics systems, data-driven decision-making systems, spacecraft design and controls, air transportation, large-scale optimisation, spacecraft and UAV fleet co-ordination, and formation flight.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Inalhan said: “I am delighted to join Cranfield University and its world-renowned team of experts at the Centre for Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems. With new investments such as its Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), the upcoming Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) and its global research airport, Cranfield has become a world-leading centre for transformational research in the future of the aerospace sector. I would like to thank BAE Systems for sponsoring this unique position and what it signifies. From the design process to manufacturing and operation, autonomy and AI will be critical in developing cutting-edge technologies for the aerospace, defence and transportation systems.”