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14th November 2013, 8:39am
Expert in vehicle control and safety is new Head of Engineering at Lincoln
Professor Timothy Gordon An expert in automotive engineering who helped to develop the latest generation of vehicle safety technologies has been appointed as the new Head of the University of Lincoln’s School of Engineering.

Professor Timothy Gordon brings with him an exceptional background in both academia and industry, having worked with Ford and many other major motor and technology companies.

Speaking on his appointment at the University of Lincoln, Professor Gordon said: “Lincoln has a dynamic vision and there is a chance to really have a positive influence. The research agenda within the School of Engineering is extremely forward-thinking and will have a profound impact in addressing some of the challenges facing society over the next few decades. I am extremely excited to be joining at a time of huge expansion and look forward to the developments the School will be making in the coming years.”

Professor Gordon arrives at the University after 10 years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA, working as Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering, and heading the Engineering Research Division at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

With an international reputation for its motor-vehicle and automotive safety research, the University of Michigan has been working with US auto companies and the US Department of Transportation to provide cutting-edge research in systems for driver assistance, semi-automated and fully automated functions, with focus on crash avoidance.

While there, Professor Gordon led research into how control systems in vehicles can prevent certain types of crashes, including accidental road departures and crashes occurring during lane changes. Much of the research was based on full technology prototypes operated by ordinary drivers in the field. Using data gathered from such field operational tests, and also from driving simulators and from track tests, it is now possible to make credible predictive assessments of how effective such technologies will be in preventing real-world crashes.

“We were the pioneers of this area of research and carried out the very first field trials relating to this technology,” said Professor Gordon. “Vehicle safety is not just about reducing injury after or during a crash, but doing whatever can be done to prevent the crash in the first place.”

Professor Gordon, who was previously Ford Professor of Automotive Engineering and Head of Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering at Loughborough University, aims to use his expertise to establish Lincoln as a centre of excellence for research into the future generation of intelligent vehicles. This connects strongly with existing ground-breaking work at the University of Lincoln in fields of robotics and artificial intelligence in the Schools of Engineering and Computer Science.

Professor Gordon said: “I want to push my research further, whereby a vehicle can actually take full control in critical situations. The current generation of cars are completely blind to the world around them. The next generation will know where they are and what the various risks are. In dangerous situations they will be better placed than human drivers to take control and avoid crashing.”

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