NUIG researcher wins EU award for road safety tech

26 Apr 2012

New technology to improve pedestrian safety that’s being developed by Anthony Winterlich, a researcher at NUI Galway, has won a gold medal in the European Commission’s Young European Arena of Research 2012 competition in Athens this week.

The award was presented to Winterlich at the Transport Research Arena (TRA) conference which is taking place this week in Athens.

Winterlich won the award for his work on systems for pedestrian identification to help people be seen by cars.

The competition seeks out promising young researchers who are specialising in surface transport innovations. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, awarded Winterlich and five other winners who hail from France, the UK, Italy and Switzerland.

As for Winterlich, he carries out his work with the Connaught Automotive Research (CAR) Group in the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway.

His research is building upon on several years of existing research within the CAR Group in the area of automotive vision systems development, according to the university.

“My research involves the development of mathematical techniques which can be used to measure the quality of images produced by the various safety-related cameras found in the majority of modern cars,” said Winterlich.

He said that once you can describe image and video quality by means of a ‘number’ you can then develop and evaluate techniques that will improve image quality by compensating for distortions, such as slight imperfections in cameras.

“This is a topic of increasing importance in the automotive industry due to the growing use of car-mounted camera systems for driver assistance and other applications, such as automatic pedestrian detection,” he said.

Winterlich anticipates that the results of his research will have an impact on the development of camera products for vehicles in the future.

Other winners from Ireland

Other students from Ireland who made it onto the top 30 list in the EU awards were Lukasz Porwol, from NUI Galway. Porwol’s project is ‘Ireland: Solving city transport issues through public engagement’.

Joe Keogh from DIT got into the top 30 for his project, ‘Vertical response of a footbridge subjected to stochastic crowd loading’.

TCD researcher Francesco Pilla also got recognised in the top 30 for his project ‘Sustainable cities inhabitants’ exposure: real-time measurement with a mobile network of sensors’.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic