Professor Brian Hoyle

Profile

Innovative computing and digital solutions to demanding measurement problems. Recognised by IEE Measurement Prize for work on novel digital system for critical performance monitoring of automated hyperbaric-welding robot for undersea-pipeline installation [1988-1993].

Research on world-first ultrasonic Industrial Process Tomography (IPT) systems with generic high-speed processing [1987-1989].  Work led to Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT) prototype (with UMIST colleague) for oilfield services company Schlumberger [1990-1993]. Recognised by IEE Ambrose Fleming Prize, for papers on system architecture and processing algorithm and sensor design [1990-1992].

Disruptive innovation in development of modular software tools facilitating fusion of spatial map data into standard planning and management information systems.  Exploited  (Joint founder) by Graticule Ltd (www.graticule.com) providing the world-first ‘Map server ‘component products; used widely, e.g. real-time incident mapping in ~20 London Metropolitan Police centres; optimal routing for peripatetic healthcare workers, etc.  [1991-present].

License (with UMIST) and supply of industrial prototype hardware and software foundations for Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT) to Process Tomography Ltd (www.tomography.com) – creating the world-first commercial IPT product, [1995-present].

Founder (with colleagues) of Industrial Tomography Systems (ITS) Ltd (now Plc) to exploit Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT), and later Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) in wide range of products, and applications in many industry sectors (www.itoms.com), [1997-present].  ITS is currently the world's leading supplier of this technology.

 R&D lead for integrated multi-modal IPT instrument able to directly fuse data from multiple sensor modes to facilitate interpretation of complex process distribution, (as major deliverable of Foresight Challenge project [1996-2000], involving universities: Exeter, Leeds and UMIST, plus several major and SME companies).  Rights and prototype IP later acquired by ITS [2002] and used to create multi-modal IPT product line. 

Leadership of Foresight Challenge project deliverable of ‘ongoing academia-industry consortium’ as Chair [1999-2003] of Virtual Centre for Industrial Process Tomography (VCIPT) which operated for a decade until ~2009.  This led to 2 EPSRC Platform grants (Led at University of Leeds): [2001-2004] and [2005-2010].  Currently leading plans to re-form VCIPT as ‘wider angle’ Super-Sensing Consortium with further ‘best of UK breed in multi-dimensional sensing’ universities: Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge and Edinburgh in collaboration with iUK Sensors group,   (tentative information: www.super-sensing.org).  First joint iUK-SSC meeting planned for December 2015.   Part of Foresight deliverable on community development was World Congress in IPT; organised at various worldwide locations via VCIPT: WC1-5 [1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007].  Agreed in 2005 to form an international group: International Society for IPT (ISIPT), which managed WC-6, 7 [2010, 2013], with forward plans for WC-8,9.  Currently leading development plans: revised website, register of membership (now from 35 states), indexing of WC-proceedings (now Scopus and EI) and deeper industrial links, (www.isipt.org).

Innovation in ultrasonic electronic mobility aids for blind and visually impaired people (with neurophysiology and biomimetics colleagues) led to global IP.  Founder (with these 2 colleagues) of Sound Foresight Ltd [1998] to exploit electronic mobility aid prototype leading to design of UltraCane product (www.ultracane.com). Recognised by: BBC Tomorrows World Award for Health Innovation [2002]; European Electronics Design Application Award [2003]; and Worshipful Company of Horners Award for Novel Innovation [2006].  Invitation [2013] to take part in BBC-1 TV Richard Hammond’s Miracles of Nature programme led to proposal and design of the ‘UltraBike’ (extract: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn5a89SpDws ); since developed into a product for training organisations helping blind people.

Leadership contributions at University of Leeds. (i) Faculty of Engineering, as Director for Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer (EKT) [2007-2011].  Major initiatives for early stage innovation support; integration of disparate staff to form integrated support team with direct links to research teams, portal for business (e.g. for KTP ~30 projects rolling); (ii) under PVC for EKT, Coordinator of Innovation with Business Hub. [2007-2010]. Led range of initiatives and pilot projects to develop and trial methods for engagement with business.  Aspects of these were integrated into later reorganisation at Leeds to form a joint Research and Enterprise Board.

Long-term R&D [1996-2009] on range of biomedical projects, e.g. intravascular ultrasonic imaging (NHRF); vision-based QA of transplant heart valves (Aortech Plc); with clinical colleagues has stimulated sensing solutions to urgent clinical needs. Founder (with clinical and business colleague) of Clinical Technology Ltd [2014].  Funding from iUK has facilitated prototype concept confirmation (prior to patent action) for ‘Product-1’ after extensive clinical marketing study.  Planned product portfolio integrates key sensing and processing technology to deliver major clinical and patient monitoring enhancements and cost savings.

Research interests

Research interests are in multi-dimensional and distributed sensing technologies; including non-invasive tomographic sensors which deliver hitherto inaccessible internal behaviour information in a range of critical processes in and sensor network-based systems. 

Work has gained major support from both research funding councils in the UK and Europe and from industry over a wide range of applications.  Three spin-out companies have been created to exploit his research: spatial modelling software, Graticule (www.graticule.com); Industrial Tomography Systems plc (www.itoms.com); and in assistive technology for the blind, Sound Foresight Technology Ltd (www.ultracane.com).  He was recently Enterprise and Knowledge Transfer Director in the Faculty of Engineering at Leeds, and Coordinator of the Innovation with Business Hub in the Enterprise and Innovation Office at the University.

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) in Elec and Electronic Eng
  • PhD in multidimensional sensing

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of IET
  • Senior Member IEEE
  • CEng

Student education

Member of Aviation Technology Programme with specific teaching contributions in navigation and avionic systems.

Research groups and institutes

  • Complex Systems and Processes

Publications:

Loading...