A brief description of who you are and what you do.
This section will only display on your public profile if you’ve added content.
You can update this in Pure (opens in a new tab). Select ‘Edit profile’. Under the heading and then ‘Curriculum and research description’, select ‘Add profile information’. In the dropdown menu, select - ‘About’.
Write about yourself in the third person. Aim for 100 to 150 words covering the main points about who you are and what you currently do. Clear, simple language is best. You can include specialist or technical terms.
You’ll be able to add details about your research, publications, career and academic history to other sections of your staff profile.
- Autonomous robotic platforms allow detailed observations to be made over large areas in the ocean. For these systems to be useful, it is necessary to develop advanced sensing capabilities and methods to allow the robots to safely navigate and accurately localize themselves in complex, GPS denied environments. Once observations have been made, it’s necessary to interpret the large volumes of data that are gathered in an efficient and scalable way. For more information on research activities, please visit the ocean perception research website.
- Seafloor 3D visual reconstruction: Development of deep-sea imaging hardware and processing pipelines for calibration, localisation and 3D mapping of the seafloor with full-field uncertainty characterisation.
- BioCam (NERC NE/P020887/1): Development of a deep-sea, high-altitude seafloor imaging system for monitoring seafloor ecological variables as part of the Oceanids Marine Sensor Capital program. This project is a collaboration with Sonardyne International Ltd, the National Oceanography Centre and the ACFR University of SydneyAT-SEA (NERC NE/T010592/1): 3D visual survey of decommissioned seafloor infrastructure using a shore launched Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (Boaty McBoaface) as part of the INSITE program. This project is a collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre. Automated interpretation of data: Development of AI methods for rapid scalable interpretation of seafloor imagery.
- TechOceanS (EU H2020 101000858): Development of content aware compression, prioritization and transmission of marine imagery for near-realtime remote awareness of seafloor observations over the low communication bandwidths. This project is a consortium project led by the National Oceanography Centre. Robotics: Development of low-cost, long endurance seafloor imaging floats and highly intelligent and manoeuvrable robotic imaging platform for visual survey of complex environments.
- DriftCam (EPSRC FellowshipEP/S001182/1): Development of low-cost passive drifting seafloor imaging floats for multi-week endurance seafloor surveys. Challenges are around structuring surveys where you can only go with the flow, localization will low cost sensors, and ensuring failsafe surfacing. This project is in collaboration with Sonardyne International Limited. Smarty200 (EPSRC EP/V035975/1): Core equipment grant for an INS equipped compact AUV for visual surveys of highly complex underwater environments and rapid acoustic and surface satellite communication. This project is in collaboration with Sonardyne International, Voyis and Iqua robotics.
You can update the information for this section in Pure (opens in a new tab).
Any research groups you belong to will automatically appear on your profile. Speak to your line manager if these are incorrect. Please do not raise a ticket in Ask HR.
Add up to 5 research interests. The first 3 will appear in your staff profile next to your name. The full list will appear on your research page. Keep these brief and focus on the keywords people may use when searching for your work. Use a different line for each one.
In Pure (opens in a new tab), select ‘Edit profile’. Under the heading 'Curriculum and research description', select 'Add profile information'. In the dropdown menu, select 'Research interests: use separate lines'.
Update this in Pure (opens in a new tab). Select ‘Edit profile’ and then ‘Curriculum and research description - Current research’.
Describe your current research in 100 to 200 words. Write in the third person. Include broad key terms to help people discover your work, for example, “sustainability” or “fashion textiles”.
Research Council funded projects will automatically appear here. The active project name is taken from the finance system.
Public outputs that list you as an author will appear here, once they’re validated by the ePrints Team. If you’re missing any outputs that you’ve added to Pure, they may be waiting for validation.
Current PhD Students
Contact your Faculty Operating Service team to update PhD students you supervise and any you’ve previously supervised. Making this information available will help potential PhD applicants to find you.
A short description of your teaching interests and responsibilities.
This section will only display on your public profile if you’ve added content.
You can update your teaching description in Pure (opens in a new tab). Select ‘Edit profile’. Under the heading and then ‘Curriculum and research description’ , select ‘Add profile information’. In the dropdown menu, select – ‘Teaching Interests’. Describe your teaching interests and your current responsibilities. Aim for 200 words maximum.
Courses and modules
Contact the Curriculum and Quality Assurance (CQA) team for your faculty to update this section.
External roles and responsibilities
You can update your external roles and responsibilities in Pure (opens in a new tab). Select ‘+ Add content’ and then ‘Activity’, your ‘Personal’ tab and then ‘Activities’. Choose which activities you want to show on your public profile.
You can hide activities from your public profile. Set the visibility as 'Backend' to only show this information within Pure, or 'Confidential' to make it visible only to you.
Blair Thornton is a Professor of Marine Autonomy within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton. He previously held an EPSRC innovation fellowship for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence systems for ocean research, and is currently Co-Director of the FEPS In situ and Remote Intelligent Sensing Centre of Excellence (IRIS).
His research develops autonomous marine robotic, sensing and intelligence capabilities that support marine science. He is dedicated to fielding systems in real environments and overcoming bottlenecks in the flow of information from data collection through to generating human insight.
After graduating from ship-science in 2002, Blair went on to complete his PhD in underwater robotics at Southampton in 2006. During his PhD, he spent 2 years at the URA laboratory, Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and continued his research as a government funded postdoctoral fellow and then as staff, until he rejoined the University of Southampton in 2016. During this time, he has participated in more than 55 ocean research expeditions (30 of which as principal investigator) and spent over 500 days at sea. He is an associate editor for the IEEE/Journal of Oceanic Engineering, IEEE/Robotics and Automation Letters, and a Guest Editor on the Field Robotics Journal Marine Robotics Special Issue. He was awarded the Okamura Kenji prize for outstanding contribution to marine technology in 2014 for his contribution to seafloor debris and radiation monitoring following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster in the Tohoku region of Japan. In 2019, he was awarded 2nd place in the Shell Ocean Discovery Xprize as a founding member of Team KUROSHIO.
- IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society Mid-Career Rising Star Award (2022)
You can update your biography section in Pure (opens in a new tab). Select your ‘Personal’ tab then ‘Edit profile’. Under the heading, and ‘Curriculum and research description’, select ‘Add profile information’. In the dropdown menu, select - ‘Biography’. Aim for no more than 400 words.
This section will only appear if you enter the information into Pure (opens in a new tab).
You can update this section in Pure (opens in a new tab). Select ‘+Add content’ and then ‘Prize’. using the ‘Prizes’ section.
You can choose to hide prizes from your public profile. Set the visibility as ‘Backend’ to only show this information within Pure, or ‘Confidential’ to make it visible only to you.