Luc Rolland

Luc Rolland

B.Eng., M.Sc. Polytechnique Montreal, PhD Universite Henri Poincare

  • Associate Professor
Contact Information
Ph: 709-864-8943
Em: lrolland[at]
Office: EN3067
  • Green Engineering
  • Instrumentation, Controls and Automation
  • Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems
  • Robotics
  • Simulation
Research Interests
High performance robotics.
Personal Profile

Born in Montreal, I received B.Eng (1985) and M.A.Sc (1987) diplomas from Ecole Polytechnique. During my Master's, CAMCO offered a special bursary to study simulation and animation of robotics workcells. Then, in 1987, as the factory automation project director for Teinture et Apprets de Roanne, a French textile company, I applied Grafcet and learned Bond Graphs. Back to Montreal, I worked eight years as a robotics, instrumentation and control engineer for SNC-Lavalin, BPCO and Metchem. I designed the Fire and Gas System of the Hibernia platform with a unique redundant DCS and novel
inflatable grippers for high speed robotics. I was championing the application of Sequential Function Charts in PLCs (Grafcet). During that period, I was in charge of the ISA Instrumentation course at McGill University and I taught the robotics and PLC courses at Ecole Polytechnique.

From 1996 to 1998, in Switzerland, as a research assistant at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), I designed the Manta and Kanuk robots aimed at high speed material handling with Schonflies motion including one exploitable rotation. From 1998 until 2003, with a bursary from the Institut National the Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA), I completed a PhD (Universite Henri Poincare) in parallel robotics for high speed milling in 2003. I developed the exact method to solve the Forward Kinematics Problem and I contributed to the first Parallel Robot Simulator aimed at high speed milling tasks where I mastered Groebner bases and Interval Analysis. After completing my PhD, I lecturered in various French technical universities (IUTs). I designed the Yul, a stair climbing robot based on triple and quadruple Venetian wheels. Then, as a research associate at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts et Metiers (ENSAM), I modeled joint interfaces with tolerance synthesis using intervals and studied how to implement directed Monte Carlo methods on intervals. Then, at the University of the Basque Country (Spain), I investigated the initial guess and certification of the Geomatric Iterative Method. Then, as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Central Lancashire (UK), I studied automatic reprogramming of robots from camera and laser scanner images and the integration of robotic arms on mobile platforms in order to prepare the dynamics manufaturing line. In 2008, as an assistant professor at the Middle East technical University (Cyprus), I designed and constructed the X-Track, a 2 DOF parallel mechanism for solar tracking, and several rigid linear actuators based on symetrical four-bars. I have also worked on the modeling and solving of the forward kinematics problem using genetic algorithms. Since then, I have been the coordinator of the Sunflower project leading a consortium of eight European research teams and companies. I was the advisor of the solar ship student club. In 2010, at Toros University (Mersin, Turkey), I worked on the controls and instrumentation of solar trackers and I started the design of green powered yachts and cargo ships. I have now established a research activity on which is now reaching out to the fisheries, aerospace, health care, etc, bringing some diversification at Memorial University. Collaborations are being discussed with the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland, Universite du Havre in France, ENSAM in Aix-en-Provence in France and Florida Institute of Technology.


In France, during my PhD, I received:
- the French North-East Regional Award
- the INRIA Medal of Honour (for my research and also technology transfers to CMW-Marioni, one local company which I helped by simulating their high speed milling machine)

Research Highlights

Actual funded research projects include: eight post-graduate students
1- Trajectory planning and sense-and-avoid of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Program Arctic Sparrow with Prof. Siu O'Young. Project funded by RDC Arctic Tech and Bombardier.
2- Five-bar robot designs for an automatic sampler of the HMDC Oil Seperation Lab. Project in collaboration with Dr. Lesley Ann James, Process Engineering, Memorial University, funded by her Chevron Chair.
3- Reconfigurable planar parallel robots for high performance material handling. Funded by RDC Ignite.
4- Rigid revolute, cardan and ball joint designs. Funded by RDC Ignite.
5- High speed linear axes. Funded by RDC Ignite.
6- Modeling and solving the forward kinematics problem with evolutionary computations and in real time for controller implementation.
7- Efficient solar trackers with parallel robots.
8- Green energy ship design based on fuel cells powered by wind mills, solar panels and wave energy. Funding from the Lybian Government.

Other Contacts


Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552