Professor of Space Autonomous Systems, University of Surrey, UK; Editor-in-Chief, Wiley’s Journal of Field Robotics.
Region: Europe; Asia
Field: Engineering/ Technology; Science
Profile: Professor Yang Gao is a world-renowned space roboticist and has 20 years of R&D experience in AI robotics for the extreme environments such as space. She is the founding head of the Space Technology for Autonomous and Robotic systems Laboratory (STAR LAB) within Surrey Space Centre. She has been the Principal Investigator of inter/nationally teamed projects funded by European Space Agency (ESA), UK Space Agency, European Commission, UK Research Innovation, Royal Academy of Engineering as well as industrial companies. Prof. Gao is also actively involved in real-world space missions such as ESA ExoMars, Proba3 and VMMO (aka. lunar ice mapper), UK MoonLITE/MoonRaker, and CNSA Chang'E3. Prof. Gao is the elected Fellow of Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). She was named by the Times Higher Education in 2008 one of ten UK’s young leading academics who are making a very significant contribution to their disciplines, and received the Mulan Award in 2019 for her contributions to science, technology and engineering. Research work under her supervision and leadership has also received many international awards, to name a few: International Astronautical Federation 3AF Edmond Brun Silver Medal in 2013, COSPAR Outstanding Paper Award in 2016, joint Winner of ESA SysNova Challenge in 2018, or First Prize of Best Poster Award at IEEE-ICRA Space Workshop in 2020. See her full profile at https://www.surrey.ac.uk/people/yang-gao.
Mentorship - Yang has been a mentor to support female students and early-career professionals through higher education programs and the Mulan Foundation. She is passionate about leveraging her mentorship experience to support Space4Women.
STEM promotion and public outreach - Yang is an ambassador of Space4Women’s vision to help promote STEM education and careers among women and girls. She continues to pursue public engagement activities to help deliver this vision through a range of school visits, talks, media interviews, science exhibitions and festivals.
Internationalization for space - Yang promotes international perspectives based on her experience and involvement in international partnership and space missions. She shares these opportunities to help strengthen and extend Space4Women’s global impact.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) - Yang is a firm believer of the EDI principles and is dedicated to help bridge gaps caused by gender, ethnic, and cultural difference within the space field or sector. For example, she leverages her leadership role as the Editor-in-Chief of JFR and Fellows of the IET and RAeS to help raise DEI awareness and promote gender equality.