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Securing our Skies

Unit(s) of assessment: Computer Science and Informatics

Research theme: Safety and Security of Citizens and Society

School: School of Science and Technology


Advancing security X-Ray imaging

Global terrorism is a bigger threat than ever. It is vital we improve security at airports, but standard x-rays are not accurate enough to deal with every hazard. Better technology will not only improve threat detection, it will reduce false alarms and speed up the security process. Not only have we received funding of $4.4 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, our discoveries also inform our company halO x-ray Technologies ltd.

Our researchers have been awarded numerous prestigious prizes such as the Dennis Gabor medal and prize. Previous winners include internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee and Polaroid camera inventor Edwin Herbert Land.

Addressing the Challenge

Helping security officials improve safety

The team, led by Professor Paul Evans, have created imaging systems that identify shape and discriminate between materials. Using a single X-ray source with multiple beams, they capture different views and crucial details of an object.

Their pioneering research has also revealed how combining colour with 3D information helps security officials recognise substance and shape of objects.

Making a Difference

Systems that solve real-world problems

Research projects have tackled a variety of real-world problems by creating compact and cost-effective technologies. Their past findings have been applied to over 4,300 screening systems worldwide.

The team are recognised globally for their leading research. Professor Evans has also been awarded:

  • Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize 2017 by the Institute of Physics – a prestigious prize that recognises exceptional contributions to the application of physics in an industrial context.
  • Times Higher Education award for outstanding contribution to innovation and technology 2016

The team also played a vital role in helping NTU achieve:

  • The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2015