A University of Bath professor has been acknowledged in a prestigious award by the Royal Society, independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth.
Professor Cathryn Mitchell, from the University's Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, has been awarded a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award which is given to individuals of proven outstanding ability to undertake independent, original research.
Other current holders of the award at the University are Evolutionary Geneticist Professor Laurence Hurst and Professor of Mathematics, John Toland.
Professor Mitchell works in the field of tomography - a data processing technique used in medical imaging procedures such as CAT scans (Computer Aided Tomography).
"During a CAT scan, X-rays are taken from lots of different angles. We use tomography to put this information together to construct a 3D image of inside the body. Basically, tomography lets you look inside a box without opening it," explained Professor Mitchell.
"These techniques can also be used to scan the Earth's atmosphere to study weather systems in space. However the upper atmosphere is constantly swirling in response to solar storms, and the satellites used for imaging take hours to cross the sky. Therefore researchers have to use new mathematical algorithms combined with the measurements to compensate for this movement."
This is what Professor Mitchell has successfully done to image the Earth's upper atmosphere and now she is applying these techniques to other systems, such as medical imaging.
She said: "I'm thrilled to get this award. It will allow me to develop my research group in Bath further so that it continues to be a leader in tomography research both in the UK and internationally.
"By working collaboratively across the fields of mathematics, physics, computing and engineering we hope to explore the many exciting new challenges in this area."
Joining the University in 1999, Professor Mitchell has held an EPSRC Fellowship since 2004 and is the Director of Invert, the centre for imaging science at the University. She became the Faculty's first female professor in 2008.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Glynis Breakwell said: "I am delighted Professor Mitchell has received such a prestigious merit award from the Royal Society. It is recognition of her proven ability to undertake independent, original research and is thoroughly deserved.
"Professor Mitchell's research is a shining example of the innovative and collaborative work undertaken here at the University which gives us such a strong reputation both nationally and internationally."