Breadcrumbs

Waikato researcher given ‘Kudos’ for big problem

10 September 2019

Dr Lee Streeter
Dr Lee Streeter received the Datamars Engineering Science Award for his work on time-of-flight technology.

Dr Lee Streeter has solved a problem. But not just any problem – one that’s plagued other experts in his field for years.

He has successfully accounted for movement in time-of-flight range imaging, which allows for physical measurements to be captured by timing how long it takes a light wave to travel to an object and back.

Time-of-flight cameras have been designed to measure the distance within static scenes but usually can’t interpret scenes with complicated motion. Dr Streeter’s world-leading mathematical modelling has fixed that, meaning motion can be captured more accurately and with little corruption.

It’s a challenge many other researchers and time-of-flight specialists haven’t been able to solve, until now.

“I’ve actually been working on the problem of motion since 2010, researching how to approach it. Then when I got a Marsden grant in 2015, I have been working since then to find the best solutions.

“It’s like a Rubik’s Cube. When you find the solution it’s very easy to verify it’s correct, but there’s a lot of different ways to get there – you just have to find the right way.”

The University of Waikato lecturer was recognised for his work recently at the annual Kudos Awards – New Zealand’s premier regional science excellence awards that recognises top scientists from Hamilton and the Waikato region.

Dr Streeter was presented with the Datamars Engineering Science Award at the event, and says this kind of recognition is important because it’s about celebrating high-level research.

“What I’m really happy about is that this award is an excellence award – meaning it’s about doing really, really good research.

“More important than who wins is that there’s recognition for research activity at a high level.”

Dr Streeter’s work has sparked interest from diverse industries and fields, including robotics, herd monitoring and baggage handling at airports.

He says big electronic companies like Apple, Microsoft and Sony are interested in time-of-flight technology, and use it for things like augmented reality, games, and image sensors.

About 10 people in the world are working on the same thing he is. He’s got one idea ready to patent, and he’s fairly confident these big players will want a piece of it.

But for now Dr Streeter is tying loose ends with his research findings, and relishing in the fact he’s solved an issue he started tackling almost ten years ago.

“There’s only four to five major forms of error that need to be solved and this is the last big one.”


Latest stories

Related stories

Kiri Reihana

Ocean scientist awarded L’Oréal Fellowship

A University of Waikato PhD student has won a L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science mentoring…

Elise Legarth

Predicting climate change events

Bachelor of Science graduate Elise Legarth hopes her PhD in flood forecasting and hydrometeorology in…

Ahuroa Leach

Scholarship recipient researches affordable energy for impoverished communities

Unleashing the power of waves and wind to provide affordable electricity to New Zealand’s most…

Science alumna wins prestigious conservation award

Science alumna, wetlands expert and advocate Dr Beverley Clarkson has been awarded the Loder Cup…

Engineering student’s drive to succeed

Tom Miller admits the decision to quit his job, move from Auckland to Hamilton and…

Summer research projects inspire students

Whoever thinks research is a dull and lonely occupation has got it wrong, says psychology…

Scholarship empowers women in STEM

Engineering student Isobella Nicholls and Computing and Mathematical Science student Courtney Wilson are the inaugural…

Medalists

2021 Hillary Medalists named

Two alumni, Courtney Richmond and Tim Neild, have been named as the 2021 Hillary Medalists…

heidi-ruegg

Engineering graduate set up for work with hands on experience at Waikato

When completing university studies it's not unusual to spend hours sitting at a desk -…

Sri Lanka’s Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) campus

University of Waikato partners with Sri Lanka’s largest private education provider

The University of Waikato has partnered with Sri Lanka’s Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), to…

Professor Taciano Milfont

Waikato appoints three new Professors

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley has announced promotion to Professor for three academics,…

tai-tuhiwai-profile

Engineering grad learning the ropes at Fonterra

Tairongo Tuhiwai says Waikato set him up well for an engineering career.