Geospatial Systems - Neil Sutherland
In partnership with
Nottingham Geospatial Institute, University of Nottingham, NG7 2TU
About Neil Sutherland
Having learnt to appreciate the importance of histories and cultures, I join the EPSRC CDT in Geospatial Systems with ambitions to understand how geospatial data can help inform our legacies and direct our actions in an ever-changing world. At the heart of my research lies a desire to enlighten our connections with the natural world and explore how experiences are intrinsically linked to our locations.
Joining the University of Liverpool in September 2015 to study History (BA), my research explored various social histories analysing spatial relationships between people and environments. This included: ‘Alcoholism in Nineteenth-Century Liverpool’, ‘Examining Liverpool’s Transatlantic Slavery Legacy’ and ‘The Federal Writer’s Project for Plantation Narratives’, which looked to contrast historical and current geographies to examine lasting legacies. A dissertation on ‘Human Experimentation in the Antebellum Slave Market’ looked to re-create Montgomery, Alabama’s slave market to examine the interconnectivity of institutions in exploiting enslaved bodies for the purpose of medical advancement. This undergraduate highlighted the importance of spatial analysis for unearthing neglected histories and the need for visualisation to illuminate conclusions.
In a bid to explore how architecture and cultural heritage provides the backdrop for such histories, an MSc followed in The Conservation of Historic Buildings at the University of Bath in 2019. My research looked to see how modernising established conservation practices might lead to greater coherency between invested parties. This led to an appraisal of Historic Building Information Modelling (H-BIM) and its ability to provide an interactive digital simulation of historic assets. With the assistance of Historic England’s Geospatial Survey Team, research projects materialised analysing Digital Twin, asset information requirements and interoperability in H-BIM environments. My master’s dissertation, looking at eXtended Reality Historic Building Information Modelling (X-HBIM), explored the emerging use of H-BIM models for enhancing visualisation. This demonstrated the opportunities that geospatial data could provide in aiding our interpretation of historic assets.
Placing significant focus on interdisciplinary research, I am excited to work in an environment that champions collaboration. The CDT allows for exposure to a breadth of researchers and professionals, continued development of both computational and mathematical skills, and encourages the regular expansion of horizons. As we learn to adapt and innovate in a rapidly-evolving climate, I aim to utilise geospatial data to inform policies and dictate actions toward cultural heritage, sustainable development and climate change. In addition, I hope to find exciting ways in which communities can contribute to, and engage with, geospatial data through citizen science, crowdsourcing, edutainment and serious gaming. As I undertake my MRes in Geospatial Data Science, I look forward to broadening my knowledge of data collection and analysis, while continuing to explore the applied use of spatial data for cultural, societal, economic and environmental challenges.
PhD title: Infrared Thermography and Architectural Conservation: Utilising Reality Capture for the Generation and Segmentation of Built Heritage Thermal Models.