Mather receives prestigious recognition for GIS innovation
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Mather receives prestigious recognition for GIS innovation

May 13, 2010 -- A Well-respected lecturer at the UK's Buckinghamshire New University has received a prestigious industry prize for his work into software engineering.

Dr Richard Mather, of the Department of New Media and Technologies at Bucks, has been awarded The Institution of Analysts and Programmers (IAP) Prize for Software Engineering.

The IAP’s Marketing Manager, Tom Hohenberg, was joined by Bucks' Pro-Vice Chancellor Chris Kemp in presenting a certificate to Dr Mather, marking his achievement, AT THE University's Campus in High Wycombe.

Dr Mather has worked at Bucks since 1996 and his IAP award was recognition for his MSc dissertation, completed at the University of Oxford.

The dissertation, "A Workflow Application and XML Datastructure for Processing Geo-referenced Images", is of particular interest to the GIS, remote-sensing and land-management communities.

It allows the automation of image processing, in contrast to existing techniques, which are often ad hoc and circumstance-specific.

Dr Mather admitted the award had come as something of a surprise.

He added: "I was awarded a distinction for my MSc but had no idea that Oxford had also presented my dissertation to be considered for an IAP Prize in Software Engineering.

"Having worked with geographical information and imaging systems for many years, all my earlier qualifications and experience are related to forestry sciences.

"Bearing that in mind, I really appreciate the fact that the IAP has accredited work in a subject area that is relatively new to me."

Dr Mather said the award reflected how Bucks was 'aligned with the needs of the industry'.

He added: "As a result of the recognition of IAP, Bucks is in a stronger position to seek external funding to expand this work.

"We aim to continue working with UK, EU and overseas partners to develop a web-based service to automate map production from satellite and aerial imagery, to be made available for environmental and education purposes."

Dr Mather, a father-of-two, is based in Cornwall but spends his working week living in Oxford and commuting to the Bucks campus in High Wycombe.

The work was generously supported by a number of institutions and individuals.

Bucks New University and the Software Engineering Programme of the University of Oxford enabled Dr Mather to attend the MSc programme.

The Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP), with BHP Milton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), provided project funding.

Dr Mather added: “As with earlier work in Nepal, Bluesky International were very generous with their expertise and services in pre-processing aerial imagery and creating 3D surface models.

“I am also indebted to my wife Christine for her patient support while I worked on this at home.”

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For press information, interviews and images, call Sally Skea or Dean Valler at Buckinghamshire New University on +44(0)1494 605 249, or email Email Contact, Email Contact