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19th February 2015, 11:47am
How images and technology shape our world
Professor Nigel Allinson One of the UK’s leading imaging engineers is to give a free public lecture at the University of Lincoln, UK.

Professor Nigel Allinson will explore the development and future uses of imaging technology in the latest instalment of the University’s Great Minds series of lectures on Wednesday 25th February, 2015.

Professor Allinson, a Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering at Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, leads the pioneering PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) project. He and his multinational team are developing one of the most complex medical instruments ever imagined to improve the delivery of proton beam therapy in the treatment of cancer.

Proton beam therapy is a type of particle therapy that uses a beam of protons to irradiate diseased tissue. Proton beam therapy has the ability to deliver high doses of radiation directly to a tumour site reducing the risks of healthy tissue being damaged during treatment, particularly in vulnerable parts of the body such as the brain, eye and spinal cord.

PRaVDA, funded by a £1.6 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, will provide a unique instrument capable of producing real-time 3D images – a proton CT - of a patient, drawing data from the same protons used in the treatment itself. This promises to make proton therapy an option for thousands more cancer patients.

Professor Allinson will present his talk, entitled Less Than 100 Images at the EMMTEC building on the University’s Brayford Pool Campus, with registration at 5.30pm.

Professor Allinson, who was awarded an MBE for Services to Engineering in 2012 and won an IET Innovation Award in 2012 and 2014, said: “We have long sought to record ourselves and the world around us; indeed, more than four million pictures are uploaded to Flickr each day. By taking some images as our starting point we will explore how our scientific understanding, our curiosity, our mistakes, our needs and our greed created our imaging technology and how it affects us.”

Professor Allinson was the first scientist to demonstrate the dynamics of protein damage using x-ray crystallography and developed protocols used to smoothly transmit video over the Internet. He also assisted in the making of the world’s largest radiation-hard CMOS imagers for healthcare.

Previous Great Minds speakers include the multi-award-winning John Hurt, the Olympian and sports broadcaster Steve Cram, Senior Curator at the Natural History Museum Dr Mark Spencer, and leader of the Red Arrows, ‘Red 1’ Squadron Leader David Montenegro.

To register for Professor Allinson’s talk, or find out more about upcoming events at the University of Lincoln, visit

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