UCL News


The Barlow Memorial Lecture

25 April 2005

A great turnout of UCL staff and students and other interested people attended the Barlow Memorial Lecture in April 2005.

Harold Everard Monteagle Barlow The lecture was given by Nick Ross, presenter of Crimewatch UK, who talked about how engineers and scientists can help with crime, particularly murder, rape and burglary. Crime is one of society's greatest problems and most formal solutions rely on finding somebody to blame for it.

However, in fact nearly all crime is opportunist, some spontaneous, and much of it is normal human behaviour, with even those predisposed to crime relying heavily on finding opportunities. If opportunities are cleverly diminished or removed, crime can be substantially reduced. Yet the very disciplines that have done most to solve so many other human problems have rarely been recruited to cut crime (though a few have been asked to help detect it). Designing out crime is one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges for scientists and engineers. 

Nick Ross has been a presenter for many years, working breakfast TV, the early evening news, Newsnight, Watchdog, Call Nick Ross, Westminster with Nick Ross, The Commission and the long-running crime appeals series Crimewatch UK.

He is a psychologist by background, and he helped found the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science (JDI) at UCL, established in the memory of his co-presenter of Crimewatch UK. The JDI is the first institute in the world devoted to crime science, drawing academics from across disciplines. Numerous other departments at UCL are involved in research projects to detect and design out crime, including Computer Science, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, the Bartlett School, Laws, Mechanical Engineering and Civil & Environmental Engineering, with areas of work spanning areas as diverse as town planning, CCTV systems, chemical and biological defence sensors and computer security.                                   

The Barlow Lecture is held in memory of Harold Everard Monteagle Barlow (1899-1989) who was the Head of the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering at UCL from 1950 to 1967. He invented the H01 millimetre waveguide and is remembered for his many contributions to microwave research.

Image: Harold Everard Monteagle Barlow.

To find out more about Nick Ross, the Barlow Memorial Lecture or the JDI use the links below.

Nick Ross

Barlow Memorial Lecture

Jill Dando Institute