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Postdoctoral Research Associate/ Senior Research Associate in Image Processing/ Computer Vision and Machine Learning

Lancaster University - School of Computing and Communications

Location: Lancaster
Salary: £28,331 to £40,322
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 15th January 2020
Closes: 29th February 2020
Job Ref: A2560-RR

In search of uniqueness – harnessing anatomical hand variation (H-unique)

Interview Date: Mid-March 2020

H-unique is a five-year, €2.5M ERC-funded programme, led by Lancaster University. This is the first multimodal automated interrogation of visible hand anatomy, through analysis and interpretation of human variation. This exciting research opportunity has arisen from the ground-breaking research undertaken by Prof Dame Sue Black in relation to the forensic identification of individuals from images of their anatomy captured in criminal cases.

Assessment of the evidential robustness of hand identification for prosecutorial purposes requires the degree of “uniqueness” in the human hand to be assessed through large volume image analysis. The research opens up the opportunity to develop new and exciting biometric capabilities with a wide range of real-world applications whilst assisting the investigation of serious and organised crime on a global level.

The primary aim of H-Unique is the successful analysis and interpretation of anatomical variation in images of the human hand. This will be achieved by developing new image processing/computer vision methods to extract key features from human hand images (e.g. vein pattern, skin knuckle creases, tattoos, pigmentation pattern) in a way that is robust to changes in viewpoint, illumination, background, etc. This will permit auto-pattern searching across large numbers of stored images of variable quality, providing a major novel breakthrough in the study of anatomical variation, with wide ranging, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary impact.

We are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral/ Senior Research Associate to work on feature extraction and biometric development. Hard biometrics, such as fingerprints, are well understood and some soft biometrics are gaining traction. A combinatorial approach of soft and hard biometrics has not been attempted from images of the hand. We will pioneer the development of new methods to release the full extent of variation within the visible anatomy of the human hand and reconstruct its discriminatory profile as a retro-engineered multimodal biometric.

We invite applications from enthusiastic individuals with a PhD or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline such as Computer Science or Electrical Engineering. You demonstrate a research background in the area of image processing, computer vision, and/or deep learning. Familiarity with biometrics and machine learning is not essential but will put you at an advantage. We will also value highly your ability to learn rapidly and to adapt to new technologies beyond your current skills and expertise. For more details, please see the Job Description/Person Specification for this position.

This Postdoctoral/ Senior Research Associate position is being offered on a 2 or 3-year fixed-term basis. For further information or an informal discussion please contact Dr Bryan Williams (, Prof Plamen Angelov ( or Dr Hossein Rahmani (

The School of Computing and Communications offers a highly inclusive and stimulating environment for career development, and you will be exposed to a range of further opportunities over the course of this post. We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis, as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research.

Lancaster University - ensuring equality of opportunity and celebrating diversity

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