In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, the Department was once again awarded the top classification, 5*A. This corresponds to international excellence in the majority of our research and the highest band in terms of proportion of research active staff. The assessors noted in connection with this Department "the high level of inter-disciplinary work and the outstanding success in obtaining industrial funding and the formation of spin-out companies".
On the wider University level, Oxford can boast of having more researchers in world class (5 and 5*) departments than any other university, and the highest research income.
The Department has been successful in competing to participate in major new national initiatives, such as the Research Councils' Basic Technology Research Programme and the e-Science initiative which results from the government's spending review in 2001. We are also a major partner in the Doctoral Training Centre established in Oxford as part of the EPSRC's programme at the Life Sciences Interface. Engineering Science's involvement is primarily through the Interdisciplinary Research Centre ("From Medical Images and Signals to Clinical Information"), directed by Mike Brady.
The new Information Engineering Building project, on which I reported last year, is now moving forward. An additional £1.5 million has been contributed by the Wolfson Foundation, leaving us with £2.3 million to complete the funding of the vision. Construction is due to start in Spring 2003, on the site of the Victorian houses between the Jenkin and E & T buildings. When opened in summer of 2004 it will bring together research in robotics, medical imaging, signal processing and pattern analysis, communications and displays, control, and manufacturing systems analysis.
Fiona Howarth (St. Catherine's), Anthony Man (Wadham) and Alexander Quayle (Lincoln) are amongst the winners of the Academy's prestigious national competition for second year M.Eng. students. As well as receiving a financial award, they join the Academy's Engineering Leadership programme, which provides professional development advice and training designed to promote leadership qualities.
The Boujou Automated Camera Tracker, using software based on research into computer vision by Professor Andrew Zisserman and Dr Andrew Fitzgibbon in this Department, was awarded a Primetime Emmy at the 2002 Engineering and Interactive Television Awards ceremony, held in Hollywood on 21 August. "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" are among the films to have benefited from this technology, which is marketed by the company 2d3.
(Both Roger and Peter thereby relinquish their posts in the Department, but both intend to continue some research activities with us).
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