Ralph Jacobson

I began my career in imaging with a PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry from London University whilst being employed as a research assistant in the School of Photography at the Regent Street Polytechnic around 50 years ago. Initially I taught photographic chemistry as a research assistant, then became a part-time lecturer, before joining the full-time staff as a lecturer.  I progressed to Reader and then Professor of Imaging Science in 1993 and Emeritus Professor on retiring in 2002. During this period, I saw and was involved in considerable changes both in photography itself, moving from the chemical to the digital age, but also as the Regent Street Polytechnic became the Polytechnic of Central London and then the University of Westminster. These changes are reflected in both my teaching and research interests.

As an active researcher, following my belief in the principle, that anyone involved in teaching a subject at the tertiary level should generate new knowledge and not just pass on existing knowledge, I have always combined teaching and research. My teaching and research interests evolved from chemical aspects of imaging to physical aspects as I realised that the future lay in digital imaging. Fortunately, this was reinforced with support from the university together with significant funding from a range of sponsors and funding bodies. These enabled us to equip a digital systems laboratory for undergraduate teaching and fund a number of research projects at postgraduate and postdoctoral levels. 

I initiated an MSc in Digital and Photographic Imaging with support from the department of Computer Science and was its course leader from 1996 to 2002. I also founded the Imaging Technology Research Group (ITRG) and was its director from 1986 to 2002. I am delighted to remain involved with its activities and with my successor who has overseen its move in to the School of Computer Science and Engineering and its name change to the Computational Vision and Imaging Technology (CVIT) Research Group.  This successfully completed its evolution into the imaging needs of the 21stcentury

My publications include over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. I hold 2 patents and am the author, co-author or contributor to 11 books and around 40 additional reports and presentations at meetings and symposia.

I have successfully supervised 25 PhD projects and examined more than 20 theses, including 11 at other universities as external examiner.  I have also acted as external examiner for imaging-based MSc courses at other universities and have made a number of contributions to external organisations that include: 

Chief Editor of the Imaging Science Journal for 10 years and am currently a member of its editorial board.

President of The Royal Photographic Society (2005-2007) and continue serving on some of its committees. 

I have received a number of awards, mainly in recognition of my teaching and research activities:

·      Honorary FRPS:  For notability in academic in academic teaching and research. As well as activities on behalf of The Royal Photographic Society and upholding the profession of Imaging science(1994).

·      Raymond C Bowman Award from The Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) for outstanding contributions to imaging science curriculum development, guidance of students and imaging research(2004).

·      Fellowship of The Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T)for contributions to the field of image quality metrics and leadership in imaging science education(2007).

·      Fenton Medal from The Royal Photographic Society for an outstanding contribution to the work of The Society(2010).

I originally started teaching and research in chemical aspects of imaging. Initially my areas of interest were primarily silver halide photographic emulsions and processes, then moving on to measuring image quality and applications of imaging. In the late 1980s it became very clear that the future of imaging was in electronic and computational areas. I moved my research interests and activities of my research group into areas of colour reproduction, image physics and metrology in digital media. 

 As founder and director of the Imaging Technology Research Group (ITRG) from 1986-2002, now the Computational Vision and Imaging Technology (CVIT) Research Group, I supervised a number of PhD and post-doctoral research projects that were supported by both internal and external funding from industry, the MOD, research funding councils and other funding organisations. 

 My current research interests include: image quality measurement and evaluation, of image quality metrics involving relationships between measured and perceived quality, life expectancy of imaging media, and optimizing image capture in medical and forensic applications. I have successfully supervised more than 25 postgraduate research projects and continue working as a member of the CVIT team.

 My publications include over 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings and am the author, co-author or contributor to 11 books and around 40 additional presentations at meetings and symposia.On retirement in 2002 I became an Emeritus Professor and continue taking a lively interest in current image quality issues through contributing to research seminars, symposia, the writing of papers and supervising research students.