GLOBAL- Manchester Image Reconstruction and ANalysis (MIRAN): Step jumps in imaging by Global Exchange of user pull and method push

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Mathematics


By "reconstructive imaging" we mean methods of making two, or three, dimensional images of the inside of objects from measurements taken on the outside. Common examples include the scanners (x-ray, MRI and ultrasound) familiar in hospitals. In such systems an image is not formed directly as in a camera but is calculated by a computer from the data the machine measures, and this involves solving what in mathematics is called an "inverse problem" - working backwards from the data to the image. The mathematics and the computer science behind solving inverse problems are complex and challenging.

The same mathematical problems that arise in medical imaging arise in geophysical imaging, used for example in searching for oil or an archaeological survey, in studying the behaviour of new materials, for example to make aircraft turbine blades, in the detection of landmines and unexploded bombs, and in monitoring flows, mixtures and flames in industrial processes.

In this project we will bring together scientists, mathematicians and engineers who work on a wide range of reconstructive imaging problems, so that the insights gained from one problem can be applied to another and better ways to solve these problems will emerge from working together on aspects the problems have in common.

Planned Impact

Patients, especially those suffering from cancer and diseases of ageing and those in intensive care on ventilator machines, will benefit from improved medical imaging techniques that will give better diagnosis and treatment.

Current world population will benefit from improved drought tolerant crops increasing the food supply and from more efficient and cleaner extraction of fossil fuels will benefit. The current and future population will benefit from improved pollution monitoring and carbon sequestration.

Consumers will benefit from improved (stronger, lighter, cheaper, lower energy cost) materials.
UK citizens will benefit from an increase in jobs and productivity of the economy as a result of growth in technologically based companies exploiting developments in imaging.


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Barker T (2015) Well-posed and ill-posed behaviour of the -rheology for granular flow in Journal of Fluid Mechanics

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Barker T (2017) Well-posed continuum equations for granular flow with compressibility and µ(I)-rheology. in Proceedings. Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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Crabb M (2016) Corrigendum in Inverse Problems in Science and Engineering

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Deadman E (2016) Testing Matrix Function Algorithms Using Identities in ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software

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Edwards A (2023) Particle-size segregation in self-channelized granular flows in Journal of Fluid Mechanics

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Edwards A (2014) Erosion-deposition waves in shallow granular free-surface flows in Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Description * New tomographic methods in materials science
* New methods for infra red optical tomography
* Improvements in lung monitoring
Exploitation Route The MIRAN project resulted in many new collaborations between Manchester and academics world wide producing new grant proposals and papers. The new FABW land mine centre in Manchester with its network of collaborators is a good example
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Security and Diplomacy,Transport

Description This Global engagement produced a wide range of impacts of furtehr collaboration and research. For example we had a meeting on land mine detection that has lead to advances in metal detectors and ground penetrating radar, prototype devices are being field trialled in Croatia. A network was established of researchers using Near infra red optical tomography and they have developed techniques for monitoring combustion in power stations. A meeting of lung doctors with mathematicians resulted in new ways to monitor respiratory intensive care. As result of this meeting the MIRAN software project was begun and was further developed in our R3M project. It is able to segment 3D images of the human chest and provide a mesh for finite element modelling, specifically for Electrical Impedance Tomography in Respiratory monitoring.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Healthcare,Security and Diplomacy,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description Reducing the Threat to Public Safety: Improved metallic object characterisation, location and detection
Amount £255,622 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R002177/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2020