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School of Engineering and Computing Sciences (ECS)


Professor Alan Purvis, BSc PhD FIET

Chair of Electronic Engineering in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42437
Room number: E363 (Higginson)

(email at

Alternative email address


I have a background in Signal Processing for Engineering. My early training at the Cavendish Laboratory was in Radio Astronomy, Aperture Synthesis and Interferometry. The search to link radio objects to optical galaxies led me to be part of the first teams buidling CCD cameras and the image processing technologies then enabled. Interests which followed include the correction of atmospheric seeing using liquid crystal phase modulating devices, the synthesis of optical elements and the use of fast processor technologies to perform high speed real time calculations. This work has involved considerable interaction with Industry. Working with the RDA One North East significant Technology Transfer Projects were initiated called ReCET, NeMEC and CENS deploying European funds to assist SMEs take advantage of University Research and generate more economic impact. These projects evolved into a National Faraday Centre and engaged high profile businesses as partners through follow on EPSRC awards such as Agilent, Sharp and Intel. With this substantial corporate experience now shared with the KTNs opportunities to exploit core EPSRC funded research in the manufacturing sector where there is considerable interest in novel techniques to enable electronic products to repair (heal) themselves. we are very excited at the prospect of extending this know how on self -fix strategies to encompass electro-mechanical goods with current Industrial sponsors. 

Indicators of Esteem

  • Professor in Engineering (Electronic Systems) having held many 4x 6 month sabbatical posts at leading International Universities, Stanford, Technion, Cambridge, EPFL.: Fulbright Senior Scholar, Leland Stanford Junior University, CA. Royal Society Visiting Professor, Technion. Visiting Professor at the Ecole Polytechnic Federal Lausanne. Founding Research Director of the EPPIC Faraday (now KTN) partnership for Electronics and Photonics. Director of 3 University Spin out companies.

Research Interests

  • Digital signal processing
  • Optics and image processing

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

  • Wooder, D., Purvis, A. & McWilliam, R.P. (2017), Using big-data and surface fitting to improve aircraft safety through the study of relationships and anomalies, PROC-CIRP18 59: TESCONF-2016. Cranfield, Elsevier, 172-177.
  • McWilliam, R, Schiefer, P & Purvis, A (2016), A Combined Fault Detection and Discrimination Strategy for Resource-Sensitive Platforms, in Silvano, C, Stechele, W & Wong, S eds, 1st Workshop on RESource Awareness and Application Auto-tuning in Adaptive and heterogeNeous compuTing DATE16. Dresden, Germany.
  • McWilliam, R., Khan, S. & Purvis, A. (2016), Modelling the Positional and Orientation Sensitivity of Proximity Sensors, in Al-Dabass, David, Orsoni, Alessandra, Cant, Richard & Jenkins, Glenn eds, 2016 UKSim-AMSS 18th International Conference on Computer Modelling and Simulation (UKSim). Cambridge, IEEE, 355-360.
  • McWilliam, R, Purvis, A, Jones, D, Schiefer, P, Frei, R, Tiwari, A & Zhu, M (2012), Self-repairing Electronic Logic Units Based on Convergent Cellular Automata, 1st International Conference on Through-life Engineering Services. Shrivenham, England, Cranfield University Press, Shrivenham, 353-360.
  • Soulard, F., McWilliam, R., Williams, G., Toriz-Garcia, J., Purvis, A. & Seed, N. (2011), Fabricating non-planar antenna structures by a novel 3-D holographic photolithography method, Second UK URSI Festival of Radio Science. University of Leicester, UK, University of Leicester.
  • Soulard, F., McWilliam R., Cowling J., Purvis A., Williams G., Seed N. L., Toriz-Garcia J. & Ivey, P. (2011), Holographic recording of vertical surfaces, Digital Holography and Three-Dimensional Imaging (DH). Tokyo, Japan, Optical Society of America, Tokyo.
  • McWilliam, Richard & Purvis, Alan (2011), Orientation and Field Dampening: Key Physical Factors for Harsh-Environment Passive RFID, RFID Europe 2011. Cambridge, UK, IdTechEx, Cambridge.
  • Paterson, Christopher, Curry, R. I. & Purvis, A. (2009), Action Potential Detection Algorithms for Implantable Electronics, BioNanoTechnologies Meeting. Durham, England, British Biophysical Society (BBS), Durham, 13.
  • Jones, David., McWilliam, Richard. & Purvis, Alan. (2009), Mimicking Morphogenesis for Robust Behaviour of Cellular Architectures, BioNanoTechnologies Meeting. Durham, UK, British Biophysical Society (BBS), Durham.
  • Jones, David., Purvis, Alan. & McWilliam, Richard. (2009), Model and Application of the Community Effect, UK Synthetic Biology, Systems Biology and Bioinformatics 2009. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England., University of Cambridge.
  • Curry, Richard., Pera, Ioana., Kataky, Ritu. & Cameran, Neil. (2009), The Sodium Camera: A Direct Spatiotemporal Imaging Device for Ionic Transfer in Biological Systems, BioNanoTechnologies Meeting. Durham, UK, British Biophysical Society, Durham.
  • McWilliam, Richard., Purvis Alan. , Curry Richard., Williams, Gavin., Seed, Luke., Ivey, Peter. & Toriz-Garcia, Jesus. (2008), 3D maskless holographic photolithography using spatial light modulators, Illumination, Imaging and Projection 2nd International Photonics Cluster Summer School. Adlershof, Berlin, OptecBB, Adlershof, Berlin.
  • Pera I., Curry R., Paterson C., Cameron N., Purvis A. & Kataky R. (2008), Sodium selective microelectrode array as monitoring tool in cell signaling, 59th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry. Lisbon, Lisbon.

Conference Proceeding


  • Cowling, J., Purvis, A., McWilliam, R., Soulard, F.B., Williams, G., Seed, N.L. & Toriz-Garcia, J. (2011). Improvements In Or Relating To Holography. Application filed: 15 March 2011. Granted: 15 March 2011
  • Curry, Richard., Pera, Ioana., Purvis, Alan., Kataky, Ritu. & Cameron, Neil. (2009). Apparatus for Determining Concentration of Chemical Species at Multiple Positions in Test Region. 0904793.7. Application filed: 20 March 2009. Granted: 30 November 1999
  • Purvis, Alan., McWilliam, Richard., Maiden, Andrew., Johnson, Simon., Ivey, Peter., Williams, Gavin. & Seed, N. Luke. (2009). Holographic lithography using geometrical shapes. GB2419501. Application filed: 26 April 2006. Granted: 23 December 2009
  • Jones, David., Purvis, Alan. & McWilliam, Richard. (2009). Self-repairing Electronic Data System. WO2009098521. Application filed: 7 February 2008. Granted: 30 November 1999
  • Purvis, Alan., McWilliam, Richard., Curry, Richard., Maiden Andrew., Williams, Gavin., Seed, Luke., Toriz-Garcia, Jesus. & Ivey, Peter. (2009). Sub-Micron 3d Holographic Lithography. PCT/GB2009/050945. Application filed: 20 July 2009. Granted: 30 November 1999
  • Purvis, A., McWilliam, R., Seed, N.L., Williams, G.L., Ivey, P.A., Maiden, A. & Johnson, S. (2006). Holographic Lithography. WO2006021818. Application filed: 24 August 2004. Granted: 30 November 1999

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