Pier LuigiPier Luigi Dragotti is Professor of Signal Processing in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. As well as supervising seven PhD students and two post-docs, he’s also our Postgraduate Admissions Tutor, and teaches two undergraduate modules.

His research involves converting the data produced by imaging devices (cameras, microscopes, video) into sharp and interpretable images. Applications for this technology are all around us: such as consumer devices like mobile phones, in medicine and healthcare, sporting events, wildlife photography, defence and security, or satellite images of earth.

A positive image

A recent and really exciting collaboration Pier Luigi is working on is a collaboration with the National Gallery, using new image processing methods to uncover hidden drawings underneath famous Leonardo Da Vinci paintings.

Engineering is 'invention', it is really the ability to use creativity to put together diverse and simple pieces to create something new and unexpected. A good engineer is like a three-year old kid who builds an amazing house out of lego bricks."

If he wasn’t an engineer, he thinks he’d like to have been a drummer in a rock band, but his engineering story followed a different direction. “When I was a teenager, personal computers were becoming more and more common and I enjoyed writing programs in 'basic' programming language with my small PC. I would try to design some simple video games. I think the creative element of trying to design your own game attracted me to technology and eventually to engineering.”

Pier Luigi suggests that to encourage a wider range of young people into engineering we should strive to really highlight “the positive impact that engineering can have on society. From new technologies to produce clean energies, to new devices for medical diagnosis, as well as technology developed to help support people with disabilities.”