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Using future tech to protect the past.

Cultural heritage sites, traditions, and objects across the world are deteriorating. They are being affected by war, climate change, and growing urban infrastructures. With every lost asset, we are erasing another chapter in our shared heritage of history, experiences and traditions – the things that make us human, providing us with a sense of place and identity.

NTU's cultural heritage research brings together science, engineering, arts and humanities to develop innovative ways to reveal, record, restore, and preserve priceless artifacts and protected monuments. Changing how we see our past and preserving it for the future.

NTU researchers Gamal Abdelmonem and Haida Liang respond to challenges at home and across the globe. They have developed solutions to create a virtual reconstruction of Nottingham Castle, providing a window into how Kings and Queens used to live. They’ve created digital models to save the Hawara Pyramid in Egypt, protecting important information of societies that came before us. They’re also using astronomy imaging techniques to accurately date 800-year-old Tibetan Buddhist cave temple paintings.

Through innovation and collaboration, we’re reimagining how we restore, protect and preserve cultural heritage assets around the world. We are shaping cultural heritage policy to safeguard traditions and cultural identity, and we’re redefining approaches to heritage science to conserve knowledge of previous generations for the future.

Our cultural heritage research was recently submitted to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning Unit of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, where 100% of our research environment was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Changing the way we engage with heritage


Changing the way that we engage with heritage is the way forward.

Virtual heritage technologies that we have developed at NTU, are designed to serve the sustainable preservation of historic sites, and this basically because we know and understand historic sites change with time.

They are preserved over long periods but yet you do not ensure that they will be preserved perfectly for the next 100 or 200 years.

The unique demands of cultural heritage includes for example that any investigation is best performed non-invasively. So you need instruments that can conduct non-invasive imaging or other kinds of investigation on these cultural heritage objects.

So our team at ISAAC Lab is unique not only in developing the latest optical instruments specifically for cultural heritage in order
to push the field forward, to be able to gain information that was not possible previously.

So we scan the buildings we scan even different spaces but also we scan the geography and the landscape around them.

Our technology is actually trying to not only capture the historic spaces, not to just record it as they are, but trying to capture the hidden stories, the hidden layers of archaeology history and architecture. Then processing them and creating a new virtual experience.

You can really redesign that experience in a customized way, and this is where our technology are really heading ahead of anybody else.

Queen's Anniversary Prize 2021

Nottingham Trent University has been awarded the highest national honour for cultural heritage science research.

Global Heritage

Our Cultural Heritage research is drawn from the strategic research theme of Global Heritage.

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Groups and centres

Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage

The Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Global Heritage focuses on the investigation of human aspects of architecture, spatial practices, urban heritage, material culture and the built environment within the ever-changing urban and social structures of contemporary cities.

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Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art History & Conservation (ISAAC)

The ISAAC Research Group is one of the world leading groups in the development of optical coherence tomography (OCT), spectral imaging and remote sensing techniques (hardware, software, data processing and analysis) specifically for cultural heritage applications.

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