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World's first professor of medical robotics elected to prestigious fellowship


See also...
-Professor Brian Davies
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-Royal Academy of Engineering
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Thursday 14 July 2005
BY LAURA GALLAGHER

A robot surgery pioneer at Imperial is among the 44 new Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering announced this week.

Professor Brian Davies, Emeritus Professor of Medical Robotics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is elected to the UK's national academy of engineering and is permitted to place the letters FREng after his name.

Professor Brian Davies

Professor Davies, 65, is creator of a host of medical robots including the first robot to be used in clinical setting to actively remove tissue from a patient.

Professor Davies said: "I am delighted to have been given this recognition after so many years of research. I feel that the honour is really due to the efforts, over a number of years, of a large number of very talented researchers in my group.

Professor Daviess research focuses on robotic and computer aided surgery. He was involved in developing PROBOT, which in 1991 became the first robot to actively remove tissue from a patient in a clinical setting. The robot carried out a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate under the direction of a surgeon, cutting back an enlarged prostate gland that was obstructing urine flow.

In 2001, Professor Davies was involved in creating a new hands-on robot for knee surgery, called ACROBOT, which led to the formation of a spin-off company, the Acrobot Co Ltd. He is currently working on a system that plans surgical procedures in 3D for fitting prosthetics, and then judges the accuracy of each procedure by comparing the results of surgery with the plans.

We have not only produced a great clinical system for accurate robotic minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery, but with our pre-operative planning systems and post-operative measures we are also helping to develop a new area of evidence-based medicine", he added.

Professor Davies joined Imperial as a Senior Lecturer in 1983 and was promoted to become the first ever Professor of Medical Robotics in 2002.

Professor Nick Cumpsty, speaking on behalf of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: We are extremely pleased that Brian has been elected to the Royal Academy and congratulate him on this achievement. Brian has been at the forefront of exciting research into the use of robots and is a pioneer in robotic surgery, so it is great that his work has been recognised in this way.

Fellowships of the Royal Academy of Engineering recognise the UKs most distinguished engineers and election is by invitation only. Nominations are made by existing fellows.

Also elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering this year are six alumni of Imperial College. Dr Ian Bogle, Dr Peter Cundall, Professor Nicholas Jenkins and Professor Enda OConnell become Fellows; Sir Christopher Evans becomes an Honorary Fellow; and Professor Kemal Hanjalic becomes an International Fellow. They are joined by honorary Imperial graduate James Dyson, who becomes a Fellow.

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