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Durham University

Computer Science


Professor Toby Breckon, BSc PhD CEng CSci ASIS FRPS FIET FBCS FHEA

Personal web page

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42396
Room number: E234
Professor in the Department of Engineering
Room number: E234 (Christopherson)

(email at


Toby Breckon is a Professor in the Innovative Computing Group at the Department of Engineering and Department of Computer Science at Durham University and a tutor at St. Chads College. He leads research in computer vision, image processing and robotic sensing with a strong emphasis on generalised machine learning and pattern recognition approaches.

Before joining Durham in 2013, he held faculty positions at the School of Engineering, Cranfield University, the UK's only postgraduate-only university, and the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh. Prior to this he was a mobile robotics research engineer with the UK MoD (DERA) and QinetiQ as well as holding prior positions with the schools inspectorate OFSTED, the Scottish Language Dictionaries organisation and dot-com software house Orbital Software.

He has held a visiting faculty positions at ESTIA (Ecole Supérieure des Technologies Industrielles Avancées, South-West France), Northwestern Polytechnical University (Xi'an, China), Waseda University (Kitakyushu, Japan) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai, China) specializing in aspects of computer vision and machine learning.

His key research interests, in the domain of applied computer vision & robotics, are as follows: automotive computer vision, automated X-ray security screening, vision in built environments, sensor fusion, visual surveillance and sensing for autonomous vehicles He has a range of publications and leads several funded research projects in these areas.

In 2008 he led the development of image-based automatic threat detection for the the Stellar Team's SATURN multi-platform robot system in the MoD Grand Challenge. The team went on to win the challenge and were awarded the R.J. Mitchell Trophy for innovation by the UK MoD (2008) and later the Finmeccanica Group Innovation Award (2009). The ongoing achievements of this innovative work were also recognised by an IET Award for Innovation (Team Category, 2009)

His research work is recognised by the Royal Photographic Society Selwyn Award (2011) for a significant early career contribution to imaging science.

Research Groups

Department of Computer Science

  • Innovative Computing

Department of Engineering

  • Sustainable Infrastructure

Research Interests

  • Autonomous sensing
  • Computer vision
  • Image processing
  • Machine learning
  • Robotic sensing

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Authored book

  • Fisher, R.B., Breckon, T.P., Dawson-Howe, K., Fitzgibbon, A., Robertson, C., Trucco, E. & Williams, C.K.I. (2014). Dictionary of Computer Vision and Image Processing. Wiley.
  • Solomon, C.J. & Breckon, T.P. (2013). Fundamentos de Processamento Digital de Imagens - Uma Abordagem Pratica com Exemplos em Matlab. LTC (Brazil).
  • Solomon, C.J. & Breckon, T.P. (2010). Fundamentals of Digital Image Processing: A Practical Approach with Examples in Matlab. Wiley-Blackwell.

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Doctoral Thesis

Show all publications

Related Links

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Computer Science: image processing
  • Computer Science: object recognition
  • Computer Science: computer vision
  • Computer Science: robotic sensing
  • Computer Science: machine learning