RCA Appoints Dr Sina Sareh as Academic Leader in Robotics, School of Design

The Royal College of Art has announced the appointment of Dr Sina Sareh as academic leader in Robotics within the School of Design. Dr Sareh specialises in creating interactive physical systems using soft materials and integrated computational and mechanical intelligence. 

Prior to his appointment at the College, Dr Sareh was the coordinator of research activities within the EPSRC-funded project Aerial ABM (Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing) and led the Soft Aerial Robotics theme within the Aerial Robotics Lab of Imperial College London. He holds a PhD in Robotics from the University of Bristol, an MSc in Control Systems from the University of Sheffield, and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran. 

Dr. Sareh said: ‘It is an extremely exciting moment to join RCA and be involved in shaping the ambitious future of modern education in the College. I am very much looking forward to leading the integration of robotics into the College’s research, its international programmes and in collaborations with industry.’

Professor Paul Anderson, Dean of the Design School said, ‘ I am delighted that Dr Sareh is joining the School of Design, where he will greatly assist us in developing design-led robotics. This work will feed into a new Master's programme and help create the vision and strategy for a new Robotics facility within the Battersea campus, where the RCA’s new Intelligent Mobility Design Centre is already addressing profound questions in relation to autonomous transport. The RCA is ideally placed to advance world-leading design research, recognising that design is no longer limited to objects alone: system, experience and service are now an integral part of the discipline.’ 

The appointment reflects the College's strategy for developing STEM+D activities, bringing advanced technologies into design and applying design methods to technological change. This responds to increasing recognition that if technological advances are to benefit society they require deep consideration of human needs, aspirations, hopes and fears. 

To facilitate this, the College will develop new applications for soft robotics, multi-modal mobility and manipulation in fields as varied as construction and manufacturing, safety at sea, and sports. 

The design-led multidisciplinary approach developed by the RCA will ensure that issues of human-robot collaboration and interaction, and broader questions of our relationship to autonomous systems, complement technological innovation. By interacting with other disciplines, design can bring a unique perspective to these questions.  

Dr Sareh has contributed to a number of high-profile research projects, including the EU FP7 STIFF-FLOP (STIFFness Controllable Flexible & Learnable Manipulator for Surgical Operations) at King’s College London. His research work has resulted in more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, he has been an organising member of many international conferences and an invited keynote speaker at conferences such as McKinsey’s Advanced EMEA Industries in 2016.