Research Statement – Rae Earnshaw
My postgraduate research area was initially in the area of experimental and analytical work in the area of cosmic ray air showers at the University of Leeds. There was significant opportunity to utilise the power and capability of the relatively new English Electric KDF9 computer to analyse the data and reconstruct the air showers and be able to calculate their arrival directions and approximate energy.
Research interests in the computational side of processing data increased with the opportunity of a full time post in the Computer Laboratory – a new sub-unit within the Department of Mathematics at the University of Leeds. My specialist area of interest was computer graphics and this eventually led to the submission of a PhD in the area of machine independent, device independent, graphics systems. I had already published a number of refereed journal papers in this area.
Two NATO Advanced Study Institutes in the 1980s provided opportunities to bring together leading scientists and researchers in the field for a period of two weeks. Proceedings of the papers at these events were published by Springer in the NATO ASI series.
My research and development work continued and was expanded into the area of visualization as hardware and software become more powerful. This led to collaborations with a number of national and international colleagues which have proved to be very interesting and fruitful. In turn this developed into research and development in digital media, multimedia, virtual reality and telecommunications through involvement in a number of significant European research grants. This also led to work for the European Commission as a reviewer of proposals and auditor of projects.
Moving to the University of Bradford in 1995 to take a chair in electronic imaging and the headship of the department involved taking on more leadership and management responsibilities. I welcomed this as it gave more opportunity to expand teaching, research, and knowledge transfer by the involvement of a larger group of people. Student numbers at undergraduate and postgraduate levels were also increasing rapidly at the time.
In 1998 I was invited to join the European Commission and National Science Foundation Joint Research Strategy Committee. The objective was to bring together leading research in the USA and Europe and in order to jointly fund it – and thereby to obtain greater critical mass in research at an international level. The group recommended a series of international research workshops to enable early identification of key research challenges and opportunities in information technology. Each workshop would bring together eminent scientists and technologists in the area addressed. The first workshop was on human-centered computing and virtual environments (VEs), and was held in France in 1999 and later published in refereed journals and a book.
I was included in the periodic UK research audits (RAE96, RAE2001, RAE2008, and REF2014) which led to increased annual funding for research. This provided opportunity to benchmark research against the highest international standards. Information about my submission is on the respective RAE and REF web pages.