28 March 2013

Multi-million euro grant and Harvard appointments for Brookes trio

Phil Torr, head of the Computer Vision Group, has been awarded a 2.5 million euro grant to continue his work into how computers see.

Professor David Sanderson (left

Phil’s prestigious grant is an EU Investigator Award. These rare awards are given only to pre-eminent experts in their fields conducting exceptional, ground-breaking or high-risk research.

The grant coincides with Phil’s conferment of an S4 professorship – the highest possible level. He becomes only the second Brookes academic after Chris Hawes, Director of the Research School in the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, to achieve this.

S4 professorships are awarded by a small internal panel, including the Vice-Chancellor, based upon extensive references from leading figures in the field outside the university.

Alistair Fitt, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer) said of Phil’s promotion: 'He is an internationally renowned researcher with a world-wide reputation. It is great to see his many achievements recognised in this fashion.'

Meanwhile, Marika Leino and David Sanderson (pictured above, left) have been appointed as a visiting fellow and visiting professor respectively at Harvard University.

Marika, lecturer in the history of art, has been awarded a Craig Hugh Smyth Visiting Fellowship at Villa i Tatti in Florence. The Harvard University Centre for Renaissance Studies at Villa i Tatti is the foremost research institution in the world for Italian Renaissance art, history, literature and music. Marika will use the fellowship to work on the depiction of sculpture in Renaissance portraits.

David, Director of the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice, will be a visiting professor at Harvard's Graduate School of Design for a year. He will teach classes in urban disaster prevention and is also writing a book on the subject, to be published by Taylor and Francis.

David commented: 'This came about as a result of work I undertook for a think-tank on lessons from urban disaster response. Harvard liked it and invited me over last November to work on the formulation of a short course, and things grew from there!'