Professor Shane Xie

Professor Shane Xie


Professor Shane Xie joined the University of Leeds as Chair in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (2017- ). He received his BE in Control Engineering, M.Sc., and Ph.D. in Mechatronics Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China, in 1992, 1995, and 1998, respectively. He was a Research Associate (1998-1999) and a FoRST (Foundation for Research, Science and Technology) Postdoctoral Fellow (1999-2002) at the University of Canterbury and was awarded a second PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He worked in the University of Auckland, New Zealand as Lecturer (2003-2005), Senior Lecturer (2006-2009), Associate Professor (2010-2011) and Chair Professor (2011-2017), in Mechatronics Engineering.

Prof Xie has >30 years of research experience in rehabilitation robotics and exoskeletons. He is Director of the Mechatronics and Robotics programme and Director of the Rehabilitation Robotics Lab at the University of Leeds, and was previously the Director of the Rehabilitation Robotics Centre at the University of Auckland (2002-2016). Prof Xie is an elected Fellow Royal Society of New Zealand(FRSNZ) , Fellow of Engineering New Zealand (FEngNZ), Fellow of IEEE (FIEEE), Fellow of ASME (FASME) and Fellow of IMechE UK. He is a Strategic Scientist of Wuhan University of Technology and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of the University of Macau, China. He was the David Bensted Fellow, Simon Fraser University, Canada. He played a leadership role in the establishment of the Mechatronics Engineering programme and was the Director of a world-first Master of Engineering Programme on Medical devices and Technologies  (2010-2017) at the University of Auckland. This programme was funded by TEC ($1.8M) to support innovation in medical technology, and was collaborated between the Faculties of Engineering and Medical and Health Sciences, as well as the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand. The programme provided 15~30 Masters each year with multidisciplinary knowledge and skills required to underpin successful innovation in the medical devices industry, filling the large demand for these skills in medical device industry.  

Prof Xie led many government funded research projects as Principal Investigator and so far has completed over 50 funded research projects totalling over £27M of research contracts from government granting agencies and industries. The projects he led have been closely engaged with local and international industries. For example, the project “REST: Reconfigurable lower limb Exoskeleton for effective Stroke Treatment in residential settings” , funded by EPSRC/UK (£1.8M), works closely with industrial and medical partners. Another project “Novel Enabling Technology for Wearable Assistive Devices” funded by FoRST was selected as the key international collaborative project between New Zealand and China. He also led 5 overseas projects totalling over $5M, funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany. He has also actively contributed to other large government funded projects. One project he involved as an Associated Investigator was supported by The Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) totalling $23M from 2015 to 2020.

Prof Xie has published > 480 refereed papers and 8 books in areas largely related to advanced robotics and mechatronics technologies for medical and rehabilitation. He has supervised over 100 postgraduate students in the field of Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering including 23 post-doctoral fellows/visiting fellows, 75 PhDs, 38 MEng students, and over 140 BE project students. Prof Xie has been recognised internationally as world leader in the field of Mechatronics and Robotics. He was invited to be the Editor or Technical Editor of five reputable international journals. He was the Technical Editor of IEEE/ASME Transaction on Mechatronics (2013-2017), the Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics; the Associate Editor of International Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems, International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems, and International Journal of Mechatronics and Intelligent Manufacturing. He was invited to be a national or international panel member by funding organisations from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology of NZ, the NSERC Discovery grant/Partnership grant of Canada, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the National Science Foundation of Korea.

Prof Xie has been acted as general chair, programme chair, co-chair and programme committee member of many IEEE and ASME international conferences. He is the General Chair of the following three international conferences:

  • International conference on Innovative Design and Manufacturing, January 24~26, 2016, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • IEEE/ASME International Conference on Mechatronics and Embedded System and Applications, 29~31, September, 2016, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, 15~18, July, 2018, Auckland, New Zealand.

Prof Xie was the Chair and led the executive committee of the IEEE/ASME international conference on Mechatronics and Embedded System and Applications (MESA) in 2016.


  • Programme Manager for Mechatronics and Robotics

Research interests

Prof Xie's research is in the areas of advanced mechatronics and robotics in medicine and high value industries. His principal research interest is in the development of new robotic technologies for a wide range of applications ranging from rehabilitation, medical surgery, and personal assistance to industrial applications. His research approach is to use a combination of mathematical modelling techniques, mechatronic methods, and experimental measurements to better understand human systems, design smart and robust robotic devices and automatically control them interacting with human. More specifically, his main research interests include:

  • Robotics fundamentals 
    Parallel robotic mechanisms, bio-inspired and energy-efficient robotic mechanisms
    Reconfigurable robotic mechanisms and wearable robotics

  • Assistive robotics, Exoskeletons and AI 
    Exoskeletons/robots for ankle joint rehabilitation, wrist and finger exoskeleton, gait exoskeleton, wrist joint exoskeleton, and upper limb exoskeleton
    Interactive computer games, disability assessment techniques.
    Movement sequence optimisation and evaluation, measurement of sports performance and robot assisted training

  • Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics for stroke patients and elderly care
    Exoskeletons/robots for stroke rehabilitation, low cost orthotics for stroke rehabilitation in developing countries
    Interactive robots for elderly people
    Robotics for patients with CP and SPI

  • Robots for orthopedic surgery
    Long bone fracture reduction, fracture biomechanics, robot assisted surgery, 3D bone reconstruction and virtual surgery

  • Physical human-robot interaction
    Advanced control strategies, modelling of human joint mechanics together with robots, effective human-robot interaction strategies, industrial robots

  • Soft robotics
    Wearable sensors and actuators, Dielectric elastomer sensors and actuators, energy harvesters, penumatic artificial muscles for exoskeletons

  • Neuromuscular interfaces and Brain-computer interfaces
    EMG-based neuromuscular interface for elbow joint, human jaw and knee joint, understand human movements
    SSVEP based BCI and hybrid BCI, BCI for robot/exoskeleton control, monitoring brain measurements of stroke, SCI and CP patients

  • Robots for agricultural and underwater applications
    Food sorting machines, orchard robots, forestry robots, underwater robot for hull cleaning

He also has interest in other areas related to robots and software technologies in food, agriculture and high-value manufacturing, the following includes a few funded projects he led in the past:

  • Advanced multi-axis robotic system for laser manufacturing industry.

  • Rapid product (plastic injection mould/tool and customized sheet metal cutting product) development for world-class manufacturing.

  • Nesting algorithms - trim-loss (or 2D stock cutting) minimisation in a garment manufacturing company.

  • Enabling technologies for high value-added customised products.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BE in Control Engineering
  • ME in Mechatronics Engineering
  • PhD in Mechatronics Engineering
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of Engineering New Zealand
  • Fellow of IMechE, CEng, UK
  • Fellow of ASME
  • Fellow of Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Fellow of IEEE
  • Previous Chair in Mechatronics and Embedded Systems and Applications

Student education

Module leader: MECH1300 Introduction to Mechatronics and Robotics

Module Contributor: MECH3895 Mechatronics and Robotics Design 

Research groups and institutes

  • Assistive and rehabilitation robotics

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>