The University of Southampton

ECS Professor made Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering

Published: 7 July 2006

Professor Nigel Shadbolt at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) has been made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The election was made in recognition of Professor Shadbolt’s contribution to engineering. A Chartered Engineer, Psychologist, President-elect of the British Computer Society (BCS) and Professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at ECS, he has engineered systems with practical applications which cross disciplinary boundaries.

Professor Shadbolt is one of 29 individuals elected to join the Academy Fellowship this year along with two International Fellows and three Honorary Fellows, including Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government and Jonathan Ive, Vice President of industrial design at Apple.

‘It is a real thrill for me to have the relevance of my work recognised in this way’, he said. ‘Engineering is everywhere, it’s pervasive and the Royal Academy of Engineering reflects this with Fellows elected from range of disciplines.’

A current example of Professor Shadbolt’s work is the Semantic Web which can be applied to information management challenges in for example the medical, defence and manufacturing industries.

‘The World Wide Web is an example of an exquisitely-engineered system at many levels, one which is constantly presenting new challenges and opportunities’, he said.

Professor Shadbolt has carried out research in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science since 1978 and has sought to develop programmes of research across traditional boundaries. His research concentrates on two ends of the spectrum of AI – namely, Knowledge technologies with practical applications and Biorobotics which draws on real animal systems for inspiration.

He has an international reputation for work in Knowledge Technologies and is the Director of an £8 million, six-year research programme ( that is pursuing basic and applied research in the provision of technologies to support Knowledge Management and realise the promise of the Semantic Web.

‘Engineering is constantly developing’, he said. ‘As we use our hard won knowledge to construct more complex systems and structures, we require new ways to analyse, understand and improve them. Engineering, science and technology have literally built our world and will create our future.’

A Full List of new Fellows elected this year can be found at


Notes for editors

1. For further information about Professor Shadbolt and his work, please visit:

For further information, please contact:

Joyce Lewis, Communications Manager, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (tel.023 8059 5453; email

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