Multiview image capture for accurate geometry and appearance reconstruction of historical textiles


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD at the Centre for Print Research (CFPR), College of Arts, Technology and Environment, UWE Bristol and in collaboration with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL). The studentship will be funded by UWE Bristol.

Ref: 2223-APR-CATE11

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 October 2023.

The closing date for applications is 31 August 2023.

Studentship details

The Centre for Print Research (CFPR) is a distinctive centre of research excellence based at the University of the West of England. It is a unique, multidisciplinary group that combines knowledge and skills across traditional and digital techniques to reflect, innovate and find creative solutions for the future of print. Established in 1998, the CFPR has developed partnerships with world leading academic institutions and an outstanding record in working with collaborators across a wide range of sectors, including fine art, design, material science and engineering.

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) is the most comprehensive academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK. A collaborative partnership between UWE and the University of Bristol, it hosts over 450 academics, researchers, and industry practitioners. The Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) within the BRL specialises in machine vision and deep learning techniques from fundamental research to wide-ranging applications, with a strong focus on 3D imaging. Its research quality has been judged as having international standing, with 75% considered world-leading/internationally excellent in the 2014 General Engineering REF.

This fully funded PhD studentship aims to develop prototypes and practical workflows for low-cost high-resolution image-based capture and reconstruction of large textile surfaces, the results of which will contribute to the conservation, analysis, and presentation of historic textile collections.

Using a series of embroideries at The Holburne Museum in Bath as a case study, the project will aim to develop a methodology for accurate image-based 3D capture of fragile textiles using computational photographic techniques. The research will further exploit the data produced to facilitate both visual and tactile engagement with the materiality of delicate historic textiles.

This studentship is part of a wider AHRC funded project titled “An investigation of 3D technologies applied to historic textiles for improved understanding, conservation and engagement”. The PhD candidate will be based at the CFPR and collaborate with the CMV at the BRL.

This is a cross-disciplinary PhD suitable for a candidate interested in computer vision or computer graphics with strong interest in digital humanities research. Alternatively, the candidate might be from a heritage/conservation background with interest in image processing and surface reconstruction.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Xavier Aure at


The studentship is available from 1 October 2023 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax-exempt stipend, which is currently £18,622 (2023/24) per annum.

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


This will be a three and a half years full-time PhD. The project is ideal for a self-motivated and enthusiastic student with a good honours degree (2:1 or equivalent, or above) in a relevant field, ideally with further study at Masters level or equivalent. Applicants with knowledge or experience in the following are particularly welcome:

  • 3D reconstruction methods
  • software development and prototyping using Python
  • machine learning
  • multispectral imaging.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-APR-CATE11.

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is 31 August 2023.

Further information

It is expected that interviews will take place during September. If you have not heard from us by the end of September we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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