Picture this! | University of Oxford
High Street in Oxford
High Street, Oxford, at night.
(Credit: Oxford University Images / David Williams Photography)

Picture this!

"Thank you to everyone who entered the Innovation Photography competition. To capture the diverse ways researchers put the potential of their intellectual capital to use is a challenge and the judges were impressed by the quality and variety of the submissions.

As you will see from the winning images the impacts of research-led innovation may take many forms, but all share their common roots in a commitment to creative and lateral ways of thinking, connecting and problem-solving."

Professor Ian Walmsley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation

Judges choice and Weird and Wonderful winner: Malte Sebastian Kaller

Weird and Wonderful winner and Judges choiceWeird and Wonderful winner and Judges choice

Not only was the image striking but it also represented incredible innovation. We very impressed that you submitted an image of what was actually a failed result, given that failure forms such a critical part of the innovation and learning process.

The Judges

"While cellular interaction in this image did not match our expectation, it was a step forward in our project to develop a novel entirely human iPSC derived co-culture model. While negative results are an important part of scientific discovery, they are usually not so aesthetically pleasing." Malte Sebastian Kaller - DPhil student in Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience



People and Partnership winner: Elliot Bromley

People and Partnership winnerPeople and Partnership winner

We thought this was an engaging and intriguing image that made us curious to find out more, and the idea of live-streaming a protest showed innovation in an interesting and important social context.

The Judges

"India has leapfrogged landline technology to that of the mobile. With over 700 million mobile phone users, technology is helping India to interact with its vast, as well as youthful, population. The smart phone is helping to redefine space; a unified platform that penetrates India's plurality and complexity." Elliot Bromley - MSc in Modern South Asian Studies 2017



In the Field winner: Sarah Griffin

In the Field winnerIn the Field winner

We really liked the combination of the quiet atmosphere of the Bodleian with the sleek Apple MacBook and how the image nicely captures how technological advances are extremely useful for accessing old knowledge!

The Judges

"Manuscript digitisation has transformed how we, as modern scholars, study the Middle Ages. Oxford has a rich history, but its tradition does not limit its advancement. Humanists and computer scientists are collaborating to make new tools that make manuscripts more physically and intellectually accessible, innovating how we interpret this history." Sarah Griffin - DPhil student in History of Art



Inspiration and Discovery winner: Megan Bird

Inspiration and Discovery winnerInspiration and Discovery winner

The image beautifully encapsulated both aspects of the category, inspiration and discovery, in a distinctively Oxford setting.

The Judges

"Fortune tellers are a children's favourite. We created templates with Psychology facts and fun language games to engage children with our research. They had great fun making the fortune teller, and testing it out on family and friends." Megan Bird - Research Assistant in Department of Experimental Psychology



Machines and Equipment winner: Professor David De Roure

Machines and Equipment winnerMachines and Equipment winner

An interesting combination of electronics and music, with the innovation clearly visible. We enjoyed the historical link in your description of the image.

The Judges

"The arduinos take Ada Lovelace's contention two centuries ago that Babbage’s hypothetical Analytical Engine “might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music” and applies new technology, via an ‘orchestra’ of Arduino microcontrollers, which can be audience-controlled and digitally coupled with infrared remote controls so that interactive compositions might evolve." Professor David De Roure - Professor of e-Research, Oxford eResearch Centre



Weird and Wonderful runner up: Gurinder Punn

Weird and Wonderful runner up Weird and Wonderful runner up

This is an incredibly striking image that represents real skill to capture.

The Judges

"This photographic project idea came to me after I read about some work being done in our Materials & Engineering Sciences Departments concerning innovations in metal spray painting (which involves droplets of paint) and applications of droplet collisions." Gurinder Punn - Oxford University Innovation Ltd, Consulting Services



People and Partnership runner up: Alexander Shenkin 

People and Partnership runner upPeople and Partnership runner up

The image clearly shows the importance of partnership and of people working together in an innovative context. We also enjoyed the composition of this image and felt that it drew the eye towards what the subjects are looking at.

The Judges

"This represents a novel method to create 3-dimensional representations of tree crowns to a level of detail never before achieved across such a breadth of pan-tropical sites.  Coupled with other biological data taken from the same trees enables us to understand how structure and function are coupled in these species." Alexander Shenkin - Post-Doctoral Researcher, Environmental Change Institute



In the Field runner up: Dr Sallie Burrough

In the Field runner upIn the Field runner up

A beautiful image that represents the interdisciplinary nature of the project and really catches the eye.

The Judges

"Archaeologists, Quaternary Scientists and Geologists putting their heads together in the Kalahari to come up with new ways to tease out the record of human occupation from one of the worlds largest salt pans and one of southern Africa's least well understood Stone Age archaeological sites." Dr Sallie Burrough - Trapnell Research Fellow in African Environments, School of Geography and the Environment



Inspiration and Discovery runner up: Malte Sebastian Kaller

Inspiration and Discovery runner upInspiration and Discovery runner up

Visually a beautiful image, and it represents truly cutting edge innovation.

The Judges

"We have developed a robust and durable co-culture system that allows the study of peripheral myelination in human cells, including cells from patients with common heritable disorders that affect this crucial cellular interaction. Additionally, our system may be used in high-content platforms for drug screening." Malte Sebastian Kaller - DPhil student in Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience



Machines and Equipment runner up: Sandra Hiari

Machines and Equipment runner up Machines and Equipment runner up

The image represents a really novel and inspiring approach, and shows how innovation can have very real impacts on people’s lives.

The Judges

"Jordan suffers from the shortage of open public spaces. ​Playscapes addresses child-associated urban pains by activating pocket, vacant open spaces for children and encouraging group play. The installation represents innovation through: (1) providing temporal, LEGO-like 1.2 x 1.2 meter prototypes that are assembled to create spaces for play (2) prototypes can be stacked and packed in a standard truck (3) no nails were used in assembly of the installation. For more information: www.playscapesjo.org." Sandra Hiari - DPhil student in Sustainable Urban Development