Professor Zi-Qiang Lang

Professor of Complex Systems Analysis and Design

Professor Z Q Lang, BSc, MSc, PhD
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
University of Sheffield
S1 3JD
Tel: (+44) (0)114 222 5623
Fax: (+44) (0)114 222 5683


Professor Lang received his BS and MSc degree in the subject area of Automatic Control in China, and PhD degree in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield, UK. After several years'
postdoctoral positions at Sheffield, he became a Lecturer in Automatic Control and Systems Engineering in 2003, was promoted to Senior Lecturer and Reader in 2008 and 2010, respectively, and has held the position of Chair in Complex Systems Analysis and Design in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at Sheffield since 2013.

His main expertises relate to the theories and methods for complex systems modelling, analysis, design, and signal processing, and the application of these to resolving various engineering and scientific problems. The application areas include smart structures and systems, civil and mechanical structure vibration control, structural health monitoring, condition monitoring and fault diagnosis for wind turbine components and systems, optimal periodic operation of chemical reactors, digital manufacturing, and medical diagnosis.

Research interests

  • Nonlinear system modelling, analysis and design in the frequency domain
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Condition monitoring and fault detection of wind turbine system and
  • Smart structures and systems
  • Passive and semi-active vibration control with applications in marine,
    automobile, and earthquake engineering
  • Digital manufacturing 
  • Application of machine learning to medical diagnosis

Principal Investigator PI for research grants

SYstems Science-based design and manufacturing of DYnamic MATerials and Structures (SYSDYMATS)
EPSRC, 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021, £1,607,562

Application of novel nonlinear data modelling and analysis to the study of cervical impedance spectroscopy for preterm birth prediction
EPSRC, 01/07/2018- 30/06/2021, £569,990

Development of data processing and analysis methods for EIS-based medical diagnosis - KTP with Zilico Ltd
Innovate UK (TSB), 15/05/2019-14/05/2021, £190,816

Use of innovative fibre optic sensing to assess masonry arch bridges
EPSRC KTA, 04/06/2018-31/12/2019, £63,779

Nonlinear Logistic Analysis of Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy and Relevant Data for Pre-Term Birth Prediction
EPSRC KTA, 01/05/2017-30/04/2018, £25,542

Nonlinear Damping Design and Implementation for Building Base-Isolation Systems
ROYAL SOCIETY, 17/08/2015- 16/05/2017, £12,000

Novel Sensing and Network for Intelligent Monitoring - Newton (PI at Sheffield)
EPSRC, 01/07/2012 - 30/06/2016, £1,175,282

Demonstration of methods and tools for the optimisation of operational reliability of large-scale industrial wind turbines (PI at Sheffield)
EU FP7, 01/08/13 - 31/07/16, €3,333,275

Structural damage evaluation using nonlinear lamb wave and frequency analyses
Royal Society and National Natural Science Foundation of China,  01/04/2013 - 31/03/2015,  £12,000 and RMB 130,000

An integrated wayside condition monitoring system for axle bearing (PI at Sheffield)
Innovate UK (TSB), 01/09/2012 - 30/08/2013, £392,695

Digital stereo Imaging and signal processing based condition monitoring technology for wind turbine blades,
EPSRC KTA, 01/11/2011 - 01/09/2012, £74,002

Experimental study of beneficial effect of nonlinear damping on vibration control,
Royal Society, 30/05/2010 - 31/12/2012, £11,190

Novel Integrated Condition Monitoring System for Wind Turbine Components,
UK Northern Wind Innovation Program (NWIP), 01/01/2010 - 31/03/2011, £80,664

New Generation Damping Technologies
EPSRC, 01/05/2008 - 31/10/2011, £378,519

The application of advanced optimisation approaches to analytical engineering designs
Royal Society UK-China Science Network follow-up grant,
01/05/2006 - 31/12/2006, £6,900

Application of advanced optimisation approaches to the design of engineering systems and structures,
Royal Society UK-China Science Network start-up grant, 01/08/2004 - 21/08/2004, £1,800

Nonlinear Output Frequency Response Functions: A New Concept in the Frequency Domain Analysis of Nonlinear Systems
EPSRC, 01/04/2004 - 30/11/2006, £122,980

Professional activities and recognition

  • Associate editor of International Journal of Systems Science
  • Referee for learned journals and UK and overseas research funding bodies
  • IPC Member of many international conferences
  • External Examiner for higher degrees

Recent key publications

Zhu Yunpeng, Lang Z Q, 2019, A new convergence analysis for the Volterra series representation of nonlinear systems, Automatica, in press.

Zhang Long, Lang Z Q, 2018, Wavelet energy transmissibility function and its application to wind turbine bearing condition monitoring. IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy, Vol.9.pp1833-1843

Bayma R. S, Zhu Y P, Lang, Z Q, 2018, The analysis of nonlinear systems in the frequency domain using Nonlinear Output Frequency Response Functions, Automatica, Vol.94, pp452-457.

Zhu, Y P, Lang Z Q, 2018, The effects of linear and nonlinear characteristic parameters on the output frequency responses of nonlinear systems: The associated output frequency response function, Automatica, Vol. 93, pp 422–427.

Ho Carmen, Zhu Yunpeng, Lang Z Q, Billings Stephen A., Kohiyama Masayuki, Wakayam Shizuka, 2018, Nonlinear damping based semi-active building isolation System, Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol. 424, pp302-317.

Zhu Y P, Lang Z Q, 2018, Design of Nonlinear systems in the frequency domain: An output frequency response function based approach, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, Vol.26, pp1358-1371.

Zhang L, Lang Z Q, and Papaelias M, 2016, Generalized Transmissibility Damage Indicator with Application to Wind Turbine Component Condition Monitoring, IEEE Trans on Industrial Electronics, Vol. 63, pp 6347-6359.

Yang W, Lang Z Q, Tian W, 2015, Condition monitoring and damage location of wind turbine blades by frequency response transmissibility analysis. IEEE Trans on Industrial Electronics, Vol.62, pp 6558 – 6564.

Zhao X Y, Lang Z Q, Park G, Farrar C R, Todd M D, Mao Z, Worden K, 2015, A new transmissibility analysis method for detection and location of damage via nonlinear features in MDOF structural systems. IEEE/ASME Trans. on Mechatronics, Vol.20, pp1933-1947.

Ho C, Lang Z Q, Billings SA, 2014, Design of vibration isolators by exploiting the beneficial effects of stiffness and damping nonlinearities. Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol.333, pp 2489-2504.