Durham University

Research & business

Students showcase research at Westminster

(7 May 2019)

Our students have visited Parliament to show how technology normally used to explain the mysteries of the universe can create clearer X-ray images of humans.

 The event brought together MPs, businesses and other stakeholders to profile County Durham as a great place to invest, visit and live.

 X-ray analysis

PhD student Joseph Bullock, who is studying particle physics, gave a demonstration of an algorithm he developed for IBEX Innovations Limited.

IBEX specialises in X-ray image analysis and develops systems to reduce blurring in these images.

Previously, for IBEX’s software to work, a radiologist manually provided the location of bones and soft tissue in an X-ray image, which can be time-consuming.

Working with fellow researchers, Joe developed an algorithm to teach computers to automatically segement these images into bone, soft tissue and open beam, an area where there is no body part.

At the event, Joe gave a live demonstration of the algorithm performing in real time on a variety of X-ray images. The algorithm is now successfully used in IBEX’s X-ray imaging systems.

Faraway galaxies

Arnau Quera-Bofarull, a cosmology PhD student who also worked with IBEX, gave a live demonstration of gravitational lensing.

Gravitational lensing shows how gravity affects the movement of light through the universe. It allows scientists to see further into space and explore previously unseen distant galaxies by using light to bend and magnify faraway objects.

Arnau projected the outline of a person onto a background of galaxies, distorting their image to emulate the effects of looking at a faraway object from Earth to space.

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Arnau and Joe are students at our Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science, funded by Durham and the Science Technology Facilities Council.

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