Dean of Science and Engineering

Professor Nicholas Avis is Provost for Thornton and Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Chester.

Professor Avis' research interests include: interactive and real time visualization and virtual/augmented reality systems; computational steering; application acceleration using many-core devices, remote rendering; interactive grid middleware and visual analytics of social media data. He has previously been involved in image reconstruction and inverse problems associated with Electrical Impedance Tomography – the subject of his PhD whilst at Sheffield University.

Professor Avis has been active in the construction of computer based surgical simulators and scientific director of the award winning university spin out company MedaPhor Limited involved in the creation and sale of haptically enabled medical simulators for medical ultrasound training. Professor Avis was the architect of the One Wales Research Institute for Visual Computing (£5M over 48 months) and the NISCHR BRU in Advanced Medical Image Analysis and Visualization (£1.2M awarded over 48 months) involving collaboration between the universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea whilst he was in his previous post at Cardiff University.

Professor Avis was a founding member of the COSMOS (Collaborative Online Social Media Observatory) and initiative between colleagues in the Schools of Computer Science and Informatics and Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Professor Avis has conducted many successful projects with both academic and industrial partners including JISC, HLRS, Electronics Visualization Lab, University of Chicago, Wuhan Technical University and Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan).

 Visiting Lectureships/Professorships:

September 2000 – August 2002 

  • Department of Surgical Oncology and Technology, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College, University of London

September - October 1988

  • British Council Computer Science Link Scheme with De La Salle University, Manila, The Philippines.


2005- date  Associate Editor of the International Journal of Virtual  Technology and Multimedia, published by Inderscience. ISSN 1741-1882 (online) and 1741-1874 (print).

1994-1997 Executive Editor for the International Journal: Virtual Reality: Research, Development and Application.  Virtual Reality Society. Now published by Springer-Verlag ISSN 1424-9957 (online) 1359-4338 (print).

Selection of Recent Publications

 T H Beach, O F Rana and N J Avis,  Semi-Automatic Brokering of Application Acceleration Devices within a Cloud Computing System. Submitted to International Workshop on Optimization Techniques for Resources Management in Clouds co-located with the 22nd ACM Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing.

Williams, M.L. Edwards, A., Housley, W., Burnap, P., Rana, O., Avis, N., Morgan, J. and Sloan, L. Policing Cyber-Neighbourhoods: Tension Monitoring and Social Media Networks, Policing & Society (special issue) 2013.

Burnap, P., Rana, O., Avis, N., Williams, M., Housley, W., Edwards, A Detecting Tension in Online Communities with Computational Twitter Analysis, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2013.

P Burap, N J Avis and O F Rana. Making sense of self reported social data  Accepted by International Journal of Social Research Methodologies, 2012.

I J Grimstead and N J Avis,  Avoiding Chromaticity Creep with PseudoGrey,  EuroGraphics 2011, Area Papers, A Day, R Mantiuk, E Reinhard an R Scopigno (Editors), Eurographics Association, Llandudno, UK, April 2011, 63-70.

Thomas Beach and Nick Avis, An Intelligent Semi-Automatic Application Porting System for Application Acceleration Presented at the 23rd IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, 2009.

A. Al-Saidi, N J Avis, I J Grimstead and O F Rana, Distributed Visualization using Light Field Rendering IEEE CCGrid 2009 workshop on e-Science/e-Research Visualization, Shanghai, China, May 2009.

I J Grimstead, P Evans and N J Avis, High-Quality Remote Interactive Imaging in the Operating Theatre SPIE Medical Imaging, January 2009.

Ian Grimstead, Nick Avis and David Walker, RAVE: The Resource-Aware Visualization Environment Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience (2009) Vol 21. Issue 4: 415-448  Nicola Zonta, Ian J Grimstead, Nick J Avis and Andrea Brancale Haptic technology in user-driven drug discovery, Journal of Molecular Modelling, (2009) 15: 193-196

K T W  Tan, N J Avis, P J Withers. Virtual Research Environments: Grid-based Processing and Collaborative Visualization for 3D X-ray Tomographic Imaging. Presented at the Developments in E-Systems Engineering (DESE08) Conference 2008

Kevin T W Tan, Emma M Lewis, Nick J Avis and Philip J Withers, Using augmented reality to promote an understanding of materials science to school children. Presented at ACM SIGGRAPH Asia, 2008

G Shu, OF Rana and N J Avis, Bringing Semantics to Visualization Services: Ontology for Visualization Advances in Engineering Software, (2008), 39(6): 514-520.