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Professor Stuart Burgess

Professor Stuart Burgess

Biomimetics, Engineering (UK)

Professor Burgess has held academic posts at Bristol University, Cambridge University and Liberty University in the USA. At Bristol University he was appointed Head of Department three times between 2004 and 2011. He has worked for the European Space Agency and was the lead designer for the solar array on the world’s largest civilian earth-observation spacecraft (Envisat). He also led the design and testing of the chain drive for the British Olympic Cycling Team who won a record six gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was invited to exhibit this work at the Royal Society (National Academy of Sciences) in the UK in 2017 where it received national publicity. He has published over 180 scientific papers on the science of design in engineering and nature.

He has received several national awards for his engineering designs including the Turners Gold Medal, the Wessex Scientific Medal,a Molins Design Prize awarded by the Minister of State for Trade and Industry in the UK, and the 2019 IMechE James Clayton Prize (“the premier IMechE prize and is given for making a major contribution to mechanical engineering science in the UK”). He has written several books on apologetics including Hallmarks of Design. He has given talks on the Design Argument at many institutions around the world including the USA, Canada, El Salvador, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Japan, and many European countries.

See CMI’s interview with Professor Burgess.

UK National Awards for Engineering Design

2019 IMechE James Clayton Prize, for “a major contribution to mechanical engineering science in the UK”
2008 Wessex Institute Scientific Medal
1997 Worshipful Company of Turners Bronze Medal
1993 Worshipful Company of Turners Gold Medal (Presented by Professor R. N. Franklin, Vice Chancellor of City University)
1993 UK Mitutoyo Design Prize
1986 Design Council Molins Prize (Presented by the Right Hon Peter Morrison, Minister of State for Trade & Industry)
1985 IMechE National Queen’s Silver Jubilee Competition, Second Place

Selected publications

Professor Burgess has an extensive publication record (too many to list here). Here are some of his more recent papers:

  • Burgess, S., A review of linkage mechanisms in animal joints and related bio-inspired designs, Journal of Bio-inspiration and Biomimetics 16(4):041001 (12 pages), doi:10.1088/1748-3190/abf744, June 2021.
  • Zhang, K., Hatano, T., Tien Nguyen, T., Edwards, C., Herrmann, G., Burgess, S., Antognozzi, M., Khan, S., Harniman, R. & Miles, M., A super-twisting observer for atomic-force reconstruction in a probe microscope, Control Engineering Practice 94(12):104191 (12 pages), doi.org/10.1016/j.conengprac.2019.104191, January 2020.
  • Cao, C., Gao, X., Burgess, S. C. & Conn, A. T., Power optimization of a conical dielectric elastomer actuator for resonant robotic systems, Extreme Mechanics Letters 35:100619 (8 pages), February 2020.
  • Cao, C., Burgess, S. & Conn, A., Toward a Dielectric Elastomer Resonator Driven Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle, Frontiers in Robotics and AI 6:137 (11 pages), doi.org/10.3389/frobt.2018.00137, 23 January 2019.
  • Wragge-Morley, R., Yon, J., Lock, R., Alexander, B. & Burgess, S., A novel pendulum test for measuring roller chain efficiency, Measurement Science and Technology 29(7): 075008, 29 May 2018.
  • De Silva, G., Burgess, S.C., Hatano, T., Khan, S.G., Zhang, K., Nguyen, T., Herrmann, G., Edwards, C., Miles, M., Optimisation of a nano-positioning stage for a Transverse Dynamic Force Microscope, Precision Engineering 50:183–197, October 2017.
  • Burgess, S.C., Lock, R.J., Wang, J., Sattler, G.D., Oliver, J.D., The energy benefits of the pantograph wing mechanism in flapping flight: Case study of a gull, International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles 7(3):275–284, 1 September 2015.
  • Wragge-Morley, R., Herrmann, G., Barber, P., Burgess, S., Gradient and Mass Estimation from CAN Based Data for a Light Passenger Car, SAE International Journal of Passenger Cars - Electronic and Electrical Systems 8(1):137–145, 14 April 2015.
  • Burgess, S.C., Etoundi, A.C., Performance Maps for a Bio-Inspired Robotic Condylar Hinge Joint, Journal of Mechanical Design 136(11), 115002 (7 pages), 8 October 2014.
  • Burgess, S.C., Lock, R.J., Wang, J., Sattler, G.D. and Oliver, D., The effect of aerodynamic braking on the inertial power requirement of flapping flight: case study of a gull, International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles 6(2):117–127, 1 June 2014.

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