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The University of Southampton

Southampton professor to lead first National Defence Technology Research Centre

Published: 9 May 2003

The Ministry of Defence has announced the formation and funding of the first National Defence Technology (Research) Centre (DTC) bringing together world class university research groups and appropriate UK companies in a virtual research centre for resolving critical defence research issues. The new Centre's director is Professor Chris Harris of the University of Southampton's Department of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).

This first DTC is in 'Data and Information Fusion' and has initial funding of £10m each year for six years. The university partners are Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cambridge, Cranfield, DeMonfort, Imperial College, and Surrey; with General Dynamics (as the prime contractor), BT Exact and Qinetiq as the industrial partners.

The University of Southampton has had a major research interest in data fusion with world leading research into autonomous guided vehicles, aircraft and ship collision avoidance systems, environmental biomedical monitoring and biometrics. In the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2001), this area at Southampton was rated as 'outstanding and world leading'.

The establishment of the DTC will ensure the continuation of this position in RAE 2008.

Initial DTC research contracts and PhD studentships at Southampton will be between ECS and the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) in the areas of adaptive sensor and data management, tracking and classification algorithms, data fusion architectures and agents, condition monitoring and biometrics.

The DTC will initially have over 40 research fellows/assistants and 25 PhD students in its graduate school. As such the DTC in Data and Information Fusion will be the largest of its kind in the world.

Further DTCs in Electro-Optic Remote Sensing and Human Factors for Phase I are due to be announced shortly, and a call for proposals for the second tranche of DTCs is due imminently.

Notes for editors

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University, which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2002, has 20,000 students and over 4,500 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £235 million.

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