Simon Yang

Education and Employment Background

Dr. Simon Yang received his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Alberta in 1999. He joined the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in 1999 where he is now a full professor and the head of the Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory.

Research Themes

Yang’s research interests include artificial intelligent, robotics, sensors and multi-sensor fusion, wireless sensor networks, control systems, bio-inspired intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, fuzzy systems, and computational neuroscience. Key areas of focus include:

  1. Robotics. Yang and his team have explored several problems within the field of robotics including intelligent navigation of surface and underwater robotic systems; intelligent navigation and cooperation of multi-robot systems; intelligent sensing, navigation and teloperation of mobile robotic systems, internet-based network communication and teloperation of robotic systems; human-robot interaction through natural language understanding and virtual reality; robot vision and image/signal processing; real-time map building/updating, path planning, tracking and control of mobile robots in dynamic environments; real-time motion control of robotic systems with unknown robot dynamics; and real-time multi-sensor fusion and reactive navigation of mobile robotic systems. Yang has applied his work in robotics in industry, for example within greenhouse vegetable harvesting.
  2. Intelligent systems. Yang has developed a framework for management of organizational safety using autonomous mobile robots in a self-configurable wWireless sensor network; conducted remote monitoring and analyzing pork farm odor using wireless sensors and an odor dispersion model; created a prototype of robotic electronic noses for odors and conducted integrated modelling of odour emissions in pork production systems; modelled and analyzed risk factors for enteric pathogen infection; developed a neural network model of the temperature impact on West Nile activities; contributed to microbial food safety by integrating modeling techniques for a “farm-to-fork” risk assessment; modelled and analyzed supercritical fluid extraction of bioactive components from biomaterials; examined sensory motor control of wing beat in insects; and examined sensory perception and visual motion information processing in vertebrate retina.


  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grant, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2018
  • Best paper in Automation Award, IEEE International Conference on Automation and Logistics, 2009, 2012
  • Presidential Distinguished Professor Award, University of Guelph, 2005
  • Editor-in-Chief Journal of Robotic Surgery and Artificial Intelligence, 2012-present
  • Editor-in-Chief International Journal of Robotics and Automation, 2014-2018
  • Editor-in-Chief International Journal of Complex Systems, 2010-2018