Prestigious Rank Award for Professor Andrew Zisserman

Andrew Zisserman, Professor of Computer Vision Engineering with the Department, has been awarded the prestigious Rank Optoelectonics Prize for "outstanding contributions to modern computer vision" by the Rank Prize Funds.

Rank Prize Fund LogoThe Rank Prize Funds is a charitable organisation which seeks to recognise excellence in specific fields of research and reward innovators for their dedication and outstanding contribution. The Funds were established by the late Lord Rank in 1972. Lord Rank was the founder of The Rank Organisation plc (now The Rank Group plc), and also controlled Ranks Hovis McDougall plc (now RHM plc).

The Rank Prize Funds ‘play an important part in recognising and fostering significant advances in areas of science which were of particular interest to the late Lord Rank and which he believed would be of special benefit to mankind’. There are two Funds whose objectives are to advance and promote knowledge, education and learning, in all or any of the following sciences, for the public benefit:

  • NUTRITION FUND (Human and Animal Nutrition and Crop Husbandry)
    Crop husbandry
    Human nutrition
    Animal nutrition (as distinct from animal husbandry)

Optoelectronics is the science that links optics and electronics.

The trustees are advised by two committees of eminent scientists and academics who are, either directly, or through their extensive contacts, fully aware of developments in the two areas of science with which the Funds are involved.  The trustees make decisions based on the advice that they receive from the committees.

The Trustees ‘not only award substantial prizes in recognition of significant advances in the fields of science with which they are concerned, but they also actively promote the extension and spread of human understanding in these areas through sponsoring research projects, organising large international symposia and smaller workshops for young scientists’.

This year Professor Zisserman was one of two recipients to have been awarded £50,000 under the Optoelectronics Fund. In the past there has been only one other recipient from Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science to have been awarded the Rank Optoelectronics Prize.  In 1980 this was awarded to Professor Peter Raynes for his collaborative work which resulted in the invention and development of a completely new range of liquid crystal materials for flat panel optoelectronic displays.

Optoelectronics has yielded a number of key applications, including television and optical communications, and important devices such as solar cells, thermal images, LEDs and lasers.

Acknowledgement: The Rank Prize Funds