Professor Derek Linkens


Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

Emeritus Professor

Full contact details

Professor Derek Linkens
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
Amy Johnson Building
Portobello Street
S1 3JD

Professor Derek Linkens joined the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering in 1969 soon after its formation. He served as its Head of Department from 1988 to 1993, and was then Dean of Engineering from 1993 to 1996.

Prior to coming to Sheffield he worked in industry, initially with GEC Plessey, Ilford developing underwater weapons and then with GEC Elliot Flight Automation, Rochester in research into numerous aspects of flight guidance, autopilot design (Concorde) and avionics automatic testing.

He has been involved actively with the professional institutes of the IEE (now IET) and the Inst MC for which he was President in 1993, having fulfilled several other positions both prior to and after that time. He was awarded the Sir Harold Hartley silver medal in 1994 for `contributions to the technology of measurement and control of outstanding merit´. He was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2005. He has been active in several Networks of Excellence in Europe and is currently the Technical Chair of NiSIS (Nature-inspired Smart Information Systems).

Research interests

Professor Linkens has published over 400 refereed papers in academic journals and conference proceedings. Eight of these papers have received prize awards.

He has been active in biomedical systems engineering for over 30 years, initially in mathematical modelling of the human digestive tract. Subsequent areas of research were in cardio-respiratory modelling and identification, anaesthesia monitoring and control, and patient ventilator management. Other topics have been pharmaceutical drug modelling and optical materials processing. This has encompassed several areas of intelligent systems including expert systems, neuro-fuzzy modelling and self-organising fuzzy control. In recent years these techniques have been applied in the very different area of metal properties prediction and control. This has incorporated microstructural analysis and modelling within IMMPETUS (Institute for Microstructual and Mechanical Process Engineering: The University of Sheffield), of which he was a Co-founder and subsequent Director. This has led to innovative hybrid intelligent modelling architectures for a number of aluminium and steel alloys.