The vision of the UCL VEIV Centre is to become a world-leading centre for the training of engineers who can exploit graphics & imaging technologies. We aim to create a cohort of engineers who have a broad experience of the fields which develop or exploit graphics and imaging technologies; as well as having made a novel contribution to a specific field through their doctorate. Graphics & imaging technologies have very significant impact across a range of disciplines and there are a number of core skills, such as design process, programming or modelling, and critical evaluation, that all engineers will either have to employ, or work closely with people who employ. A centre is thus needed to provide a way of introducing REs to different ways of thinking and to foster a community where ideas from different fields can cross-fertilise. It also provides critical mass for the required specialist core skills training.
The value of good quality visualisations and images has long been recognised; they are a primary medium for communication between different stakeholders in design, science or engineering practice. They might also be end products in themselves in media such as computer games, film or computer-generated art, but even then the research and development process uses a variety of visual media. However the exploitation of graphics and imaging has remained a very specialist skill, with either designers training themselves on the technical side, or engineers learning through experience how to respond to and shape design processes. Recently with a massive push from the technology side, the tools for graphics and imaging have become a lot more accessible. From the other, design side, there is an increasing need to find efficiencies in engineering processes, or to facilitate more creative or analytic development. Thus, there is a need for skilled research engineers who can bridge the gaps between engineering, technology, creativity and design.