UCL Department of Geography


Ray Harris


Careers History

  • 2004 - 9/2008: Executive Dean, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, University College London. Responsible for a Faculty of 2900 students, 220 academic staff and an annual budget of £35m.
  • 2003 - 2004: Vice-Dean, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences.
  • 1995 - 2008: Professor of Remote Sensing, University College London. Director of the Remote Sensing Unit (RSU). Deputy Head of the Department of Geography, 1997-2000.
  • 1990 - 1995: Earth Observation Manager, Logica UK Ltd. Responsible for consultancy, business development, bid management and project management in Earth observation. External examiner at the University of London MSc in Remote Sensing, vice-chairman of the British Association of Remote Sensing Companies, and member of the BNSC Earth Observation Programme Board.
  • 1987 - 1990: Marketing Manager, Software Sciences Limited. Responsible for strategy development, business planning, financial planning, and national and international marketing in the Space Systems, Environment and Civil Systems areas.
  • 1976 - 1987: Lecturer in Geography University of Durham. Responsible for establishing a research group of 12 in remote sensing which led in turn to the University identifying UGC remote sensing as a major university strength.

Qualifications and Education

  • Higher degree 1973 - 1976: PhD awarded 1977 for a thesis entitled Procedures for satellite nephanalysis, Department of Geography, University of Bristol.
  • First degree 1970 - 1973: BA (Hons) class 2.1 CNAA degree in Geography, Department of Geography, Portsmouth Polytechnic.
  • Secondary education 1962 - 1970: St Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool.
  • AR Gillespie (2006 - 2008) Institutional capacity building for Earth observations. Self-financed with in-kind support from Defra and eProject, Inc.
  • L Miller (2002 - 2008) The value of Earth observation, ESRC CASE studentship with the British National Space Centre.
  • M Tyburski (2003 - 2008) hard degradation in Asia using low spatial resolution Earth observation data. Self-financed.
  • M Moreau (2005 - 2008) Siting refugee camps using remote sensing and GIS. Self-financed.
  • A Graham (1997 - 2000) Radar data for monitoring irrigation, NERC CASE studentship with the Environment Agency. PhD awarded 2001.
  • R Knott (1996 - 99) Optical and radar Earth observation data for potato analysis and monitoring, NERC CASE studentship with the British Potato Council.
  • S Shueb (1986 - 1990) Satellite remote sensing of vegetation in northern England. Funded by the Libyan Embassy. PhD awarded 1990.
  • A Southgate (1986 - 1988) Satellite remote sensing of bracken, North York Moors. Funded by NERC. PhD awarded 1989.
  • C McBean (1985 - 1988) Arid zone geomorphological and geological mapping by remote sensing. Funded by NERC.
  • M Alam (1984 - 1987) Remote sensing of soil erosion in northern England. Funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship. PhD awarded 1987.
  • R Stone (1984 - 1987) Radar remote sensing of semi-arid terrain. Funded by NERC. PhD awarded 1989.
  • A Lambert (1983 - 1987) Hypsographic analysis of northern hemisphere atmospheric temperature patterns. Self-financed.
  • S Sutherland (1983 - 1986) An analysis of Landsat satellite data for semi-arid zone mapping. Funded by NERC.
  • R Weaver (1982 - 1985) Comparison of satellite systems for moorland mapping in northern England. Funded by NERC. PhD awarded 1988.
  • B Ahmed (1978 - 1982) A study of the climate of Sudan with special reference to agriculture. Funded by the University of Khartoum. PhD awarded 1983.
  • M Whitton (1978 - 1981) An analysis of the land use and water use patterns of the Esfahan region. Funded by ESRC. PhD awarded 1982.
  • Remote sensing for legal compliance monitoring, £310,000, Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2005 - 2008 (co - I with Professor Richard Macrory, Laws)
  • Data Policy Assessment for GMES (DPAG), European Commission, £110,000 2002 - 2004.
  • Disaster management using remote sensing and GIS, £40,000, British National Space Centre, 2002. (Joint with Reuters and ESYS plc)
  • Earth Observation Data Policy and Europe (EOPOLE) concerted action project funded by European Commission Framework IV. £320000 1998-2000
  • Area estimation of potatoes. Applications project funded by British National Space Centre. £76800 1997-2000
  • Management of wetlands in Europe using remote sensing (MANHUMA), £250,000, European Commission, 1998 - 2000, with ESYS plc
Research Interests
  • Earth observation data policy and the challenges of the sustainability of Earth observation.
  • Global systems of environmental monitoring.
  • Applications of optical and radar data at a high spatial resolution to agriculture.
  • Land degradation in arid and semi-arid areas.
  • Global and continental scale environmental change 1982 - present using low spatial resolution Earth observation data.
Committees and Administration
  • Member of the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), India, 2004 - present.
  • International Council for Science (ICSU) nominated representative on the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) working group on architecture and data, 2005 - present.
  • Invited member of the data policy committee of the International Polar Year, 2005 - present.
  • Invited member of the International Council for Science (ICSU) assessment panel on data and information, 2003 - 2004.
  • Member of the editorial board of Space Policy 2000 - present.
  • Deputy Head of Department (1997 - 2000).
  • Chairman of: The Geography Board of Examiners, Curriculum Development Committee, and Teaching Committee.
  • Member of: Examination and Teaching committees of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, UCL Accreditation Steering Group.
  • Director of the Remote Sensing Unit of the University of London.
  • Chair of the International Policy Advisory Committee, ISPRS, 1998 - present.
  • Member of the BNSC Earth Observation Programme Board (EOPB), 1991 - 1996. Member of two working groups of the BNSC EOPB on the Two-Step Approach (1994 - 1996) and on Earth Observation Data Policy (1996 - 1997).
  • Secretary of Commission II of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 1996 - 2000. Commission II's theme is Systems for data processing, analysis and representation. Member of the organising committee of an international conference as part of Commission II's activities held in Cambridge, in July 1998.
  • Honorary General Secretary, Remote Sensing Society 1978 - 1984.