Prof. Chris Rowland Professor of 3D Visualisation

Tel: +44(0)1382 383359
University of Dundee Discovery Profile:


Research, teaching and professional practice informed by twenty five years’ experience working in the creative industries. This includes leading roles in the development and management of start-up companies involved in 3D animation and visualisation.

Research interests are primarily focussed on investigating novel applications of 3D visualisation methodologies to solve real world problems. There are two main themes:

  • 3D Visualisation of Underwater Environments
  • Visualisation Methods for Detecting Terrorist Activity

Projects include:

Costa Concordia
Visualisation of the wreck of Costa Concordia which foundered off Isola del Giglio, Italy on 13th January 2012 due to striking a reef close to Porto Giglio with a loss of 32 lives. The site is undergoing salvage operations which are supported by the innovative use of 3D visualisation which provides an accurate, high resolution interactive representation of the wreck.

Deepwater Horizon
The oil rig exploded then sank in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 creating the largest offshore oil spill in US history. The visualisation was commissioned by Transocean on behalf of the US Government to support the investigation into the cause of the disaster. This was the first time wreckage at the depth of 1,500 metres had been accurately surveyed and visualised by high resolution multibeam sonar.

Research into methods for detecting terrorist activity (DTA) have been funded by EPSRC and CPNI under the Global Uncertainties theme. Projects include Making sense, Bigger Ears and Credible Avatars. Current work in collaboration with Prof Caroline Wilkinson (CAHID) within the Digital Human Research Group is also related to this theme.

Recent research projects

Bigger Ears: (2010-12) PI. Investigating material behaviours and the fidelity of cloth simulation for rapid prototyping of garments incorporating smart materials. In collaboration with Leeds Metropolitan and York University.
Funded by EPSRC. Total £440,000. Value to UoD: £210,000

Making Sense: (2010-13) CI. Developing novel data visualization methods in support of text analysis for detecting terrorist activities. In collaboration with Imperial College, University of Surrey and 8 other institutions.
Funded by EPSRC Total: £2.4m. Value to UoD: £282,000

Other DTA related project income (2011 – ongoing) : £806,177

DeepOcean Offshore Renewables Project: Funded by industry (ADUS DeepOcean). May 2013 to May 2015. Total: £265,000. Value to UoD: £200,000

Small Grants and Awards:

Submerge. (2001) Alt-W, New Media Scotland. £5,000
Visualising Wrecks of Scapa Flow. (2003) PI. NESTA , £5,000
SS Campania Project. (2007) PI. Historic Scotland. £6,000
RASSE Stirling Castle project (2007) CI. English Heritage. £5,000
WreckSight Development. (2007-8) PI. Scottish Enterprise Tayside. £23,000

Total Value to UoD: £44,000