Robot Wars academic jumps on board at Napier

Keates has special interests in artificial intelligence (AI), human-computer interaction and robotics. Picture: Edinburgh Napier University
Keates has special interests in artificial intelligence (AI), human-computer interaction and robotics. Picture: Edinburgh Napier University
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An academic who has featured on the Robot Wars hit TV series has taken charge of Edinburgh Napier University’s School of Engineering and the Built Environment.

Professor Simeon Keates has been appointed dean after five years at the University of Greenwich, which saw him oversee a range of engineering disciplines and build links with major industry players.

Keates has special interests in artificial intelligence (AI), human-computer interaction and robotics, and earlier held posts at Abertay University and the IT University of Copenhagen.

A robot that he helped build from an upturned shopping trolley, other scrap metal and an old wheelchair motor featured on the BBC Robot Wars show.

Keates said: “I am truly delighted to take on this role. Edinburgh Napier has an excellent reputation for preparing students for the world of work. We wish to build on that as we prepare graduates not only for jobs today, but also for the jobs of the future.”

Keates left Cambridge in 2003 after completing an MA and PhD in engineering and seven years as a research fellow specialising in inclusive design and “rehabilitation robotics”.

He had spells in industry in the US with IBM and ITA Software, before taking up roles as associate professor at the IT University of Copenhagen then head of the School of Engineering, Computing and Applied Mathematics at Abertay University.

He joined the University of Greenwich as dean of the School of Engineering.