Staff Directory

About Nigel Allinson MBE

SUMMARY Prof Allinson holds the Distinguished Chair of Image Engineering at the University of Lincoln. His research focuses on imaging devices/systems, computer vision and machine learning. Awarded MBE for Services to Engineering in the Queen’s Birthday Honours (2012). Awarded the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s J J Thomson Medal for Electronics (2018) Awarded Doctor of Science (ScD), University of Cambridge (2014). Awarded IET Innovation Prize for Electronics (2012) and for Model-based Engineering (2014). He produced the World’s largest silicon CMOS medical imager through an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant for improved radiotherapy treatment and successfully brought to market. Has led major Research Council UK projects including MI-3, largest consortium under prestigious Basic Technology Programme. First to record protein x-ray patterns using silicon imagers to provide better understanding of these building-blocks of life. Awarded £1.8m Wellcome Trust translational grant, PRaVDA, to provide imaging/dosimetry for proton therapy facilities, which resulted in the first fully solid-state instrument that produces clinical-quality proton CT imagery. Recorded the most accurate values of the essential parameters that determine the distribution of proton dose during treatment. The PRaVDA team were runners-up in the 2017 British Engineering Excellence Award for Design Team of the Year. The next generation proton imaging to enhance Proton Beam Therapy will be installed in the Research Room at the NHS Christie Proton Beam Therapy Centre, Manchester. The project is supported by a £3.2m EPSRC Healthcare grant. Has published over 350 scientific papers/patents. One of highest recipient’s of EPSRC funds, supervised over 50 PhD students. Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Awarded Institution of Electrical Engineers Premium Prize for Communications for robust video streaming across the Internet and used worldwide; founded VICS Ltd (sold ‘06). His work on transmission of fingerprints from crime scenes to bureaus is used by 75% of UK Police Forces, reducing average time-to-indent from 17 to 2 days (National Policing Improvement Agency) and reduced burglary rates. Development of footwear identification was a prime Impact Case Study for EPSRC, led to formation of Immersive Forensics Ltd (’08). Has co-founded three other spinout companies. Recognised by The Times Higher as leading academic entrepreneur. Paraytec Ltd awarded a Forbes R&D 100 prize (’07) as 1 of the 100 most outstanding global innovations; ISDI Ltd (’10) supplies medical and other imagers worldwide. Formed research groups at University of York (‘83-‘95) and UMIST (‘95-‘04), and at University of Sheffield (‘04-‘10) increased group income 11-fold. Work for HM Government includes Office of Science and Innovation’s review of science in Home Office and Ministry of Justice (‘07), UK-US Governments’ Bilateral Agreement on Anomaly Detection (‘09) and presentations to Foreign and Commonwealth Office on global security (‘07). UK representative for major facilities including European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble(‘93 - ‘98) and European X-ray Free Electron Laser, Hamburg(‘06-‘10). Member of EPSRC and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Colleges. A board member of Science and Technology Facilities Research Council’s Centre for Instrumentation (‘01-‘09). External examiner for 6 UK universities, including University of Cambridge, as well as the Universities of Mauritius and Malta. Dissemination of science activities, include BBC Tomorrow’s World and Material World appearances; acted as a Royal Television Society judge (‘98-‘00). EXPERIENCE Professor of Image Engineering – Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield – 2004 - 2010 Professor of Image Engineering – Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UMIST – 1995 - 2004 Lecturer/Senior Lecturer (1988)/Reader (1993) – Department of Electronics, University of York – 1983 - 1995 Lecturer in Electronics – Department of Physics, University of Keele – 1978 - 1983 Development Engineer – English Electric Valve Co Ltd, Chelmsford – 1976 - 1978 Research Student – Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge – 1973 - 1976 Student Engineer – Pye Telecommunications Ltd, Cambridge – 1970 - 1973

Department Responsibilities

College of Science Director of Research

Subject Specialism

Imaging Technology, image sensors and systems, medical imaging


  • University of Cambridge - Doctor of Science (ScD) — 2014
  • University of Cambridge – MSc by research ‘Alkali-Antimonide Photocathodes’ — 1976
  • University of Bradford – BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering (1st class) — 1973
  • Leeds Polytechnic – HNC Applied Physics (with distinctions) — 1970


  • EPSRC – £3.3m Optimising Proton Therapy through Imaging
  • Wellcome Trust – £1.8m PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) – I
  • UK-RC Basic Technology – £4.4m Multidimensional Integrated Intelligent Imaging (with Universities
  • EPSRC Basic Technology Translation – £1.4m to develop wafer-scale (13 cm square) CMOS imagers for
  • EPSRC – Two grants (£537k) to develop automatic recognition of footwear impressions to meet chang
  • EPSRC – Application of intelligent imaging sensors to image guided and intensity modulated radioth
  • EPSRC – Co-I on £4.3m Basic Technology “Ultimate Microsocopy: Wavelength-Limited Resolution Wit
  • NPIA – Three contracts totalling £255k to develop and maintain the National Police Remote Transmi
  • IET Innovation Prize for Model-based Engineering (2014) for simulation of proton therapy imaging instrumentation.
  • IET Innovation Prize for Electronics (2012) for development of wafer-scale CMOS imagers
  • British Engineering Excellence Awards – Design Team of the Year (2017) - runner up


Co-founded the following start-up companies Video and Image Coding Specialists (VICS) Ltd – founded September 2000, to exploit low-bit rate video coding and streaming for Internet and mobile cellular networks.  IP protected by patents granted in Europe and USA.  Announced world’s first live video portal for GSM/GPRS networks ( 2003) and technology partner with Orange/Vodaphone Live for video provision. Non-exec founding director, previously Chair. (see  Company sold to AIM-listed 2ergo plc ( 2006). Dmist Technologies Ltd – founded March 2002, to exploit novel technology, initiated by group member, Dr John Oakley, for the real-time enhancement of video obtained in adverse weather conditions (haze, mist, fog, etc.).  IP protected by patents granted in Europe and USA.  Technology demonstrated live on BBC‘s Tomorrow‘s World ( 2002) and exhibited at COMDEX 2002 (Las Vegas).  Awarded DTI Smart award (2003).  Founding joint technical director (see  Company transferred to Dmist Research Ltd (2008). Paraytec Ltd – founded January 2005, jointly with Professor David Goodall (University of York) to develop array-based parallel instruments for highly sensitive, quantitative and high-speed analysis of chemical and biological samples.  First round funding obtained June 2005; fourth round funding completed August 2009, International distributor networks setup, international patents awarded.  First product – Actipix D100 – awarded Editor’s Silver Prize at PittCom and a prestigious Forbes R&D100; award (2007). See  Image Sensor Design and Innovation (ISDI)  Ltd – founded 2011, to provide custom imaging systems through bespoke design of novel CMOS imaging devices.  Immersive Forensics Ltd – founded May 2008, to provide imaging solutions for police forensics; notably LIMA – Latent Image Mark-up and Annotation.  Director.  Awarded Yorkshire Concept funding (October 2009). Other Activities UK Representative for major scientific installations, e.g. European XFEL Detector Advisory Committee (2006 - 10), Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble (1993-98), and Beamtime Allocation Panels. Reviewing panel for Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan (2016) International panel member for the Hong Kong University Grants Committee Research Assessment Exercise. Member of the management committee of the International Research Centre ‘Al-Khwarizmi’, Uzbekistan. Visiting Senior Research Fellow: Department of Electronic Engineering, City University, Hong Kong. Member of UK delegation for joint UK-USA bilateral programme on Anomaly Detection (National Security) – sponsored by RC-UK and Department of Homeland Security (2009) Member of OSI Review of Government Science – Steering Panel for the Home Office.  Panel chaired by Sir David King, Government Chief Scientist (2007). Presentation to Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Advances in Global Security (2007) External examiner for BEng/MEng in Electronic Engineering undergraduate programmes, University of Kent at Canterbury, Brunel University, University of Bath, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge (Part II Engineering Tripos, 2004-07), University of Mauritius, University of the West Indies and University of Malta. External examiner for MSc in Computer and Electronic Security, Queen’s University, Belfast

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • CMOS Sensors

  • Computer Vision

  • Image Engineering

  • Image Processing

  • Image/video Compression

  • Imaging Devices

  • Imaging Systems

  • Proton Beam Therapy

Research Groups Memberships

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers
  • Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers


External Examiner - University of Malta