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Thirimachos Bourlai

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Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Thirimachos Bourlai is an associate professor in the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Georgia. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor in the University of West Virginia's Lane Department of Computer Science and Engineering and as an adjunct assistant professor in WVU’s School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Department of Forensic and Investigative Science and Department of Chemical Engineering. He is the founder and director of the Multi-Spectral Imagery Lab.

After earning his Ph.D. in face recognition and completing a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Surrey (U.K.), Bourlai completed a second post-doc in a joint project between Methodist Hospital and the University of Houston in the fields of thermal imaging and human-based computational physiology. He joined the staff at WVU in 2009, serving as a visiting professor, research assistant professor, tenure-track assistant professor, and associate professor in the Lane Department until July 2020. He joined UGA in August 2020. 


Honors and Distinction

  • Founder and Director of the Multispectral Imagery Laboratory
  • Board of Directors of the Document Security Alliance
  • VP on Education IEEE Biometric Council
  • SME on Biometric at HDIAC (a component of the U.S. Department of Defense's Information Analysis Center)
  • SME on Biometrics at DSIAC (a component of the U.S. Department of Defense's Information Analysis Center)
  • Academic Research and Innovation Expert Group of the Biometrics Institute
  • Springer Book Series Editor of the Advanced Sciences & Technologies for Security Applications

Ph.D., Face Recognition (Biometrics), Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Surrey, U.K., 2006

M.Sc. in Medical Imaging with Distinction, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Surrey, U.K., 2002

B.S. (M.Eng. Equivalent), Electrical & Computer Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 1999

Research Interests:

The primary focus of Bourlai’s research is on designing and developing technology for supporting, confirming and determining human identity in challenging conditions using primarily face images, captured across the imaging spectrum (including ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, short-wave IR, mid-wave IR and long-wave IR) and secondarily, other hard or soft biometrics including iris, fingerprints, ears and tattoos. Additionally, he has worked on liveness detection problems using face and pupil dynamics; mobile biometrics; multi-spectral eye and pupil detection; and matching mugshots from government ID documents (e.g. passports or driver’s licenses) to live face images, which includes the development of image restoration techniques to recover the original mugshot behind the watermarks. Bourlai has collaborated with experts from academia, industry and the government on projects that involve the collection of various biometric data (including multi-spectral face images, irises and tattoos) and the design and development of biometric- and forensic-based algorithms that can support law enforcement and military operations. Recently he has been working on applications of ML and DL algorithms on NASA and AFRL related projects.

Research Focus

  • Biometrics and Continuous Human Identification in the wild
  • Advanced Data Collection, Generation and Augmentation Activities 
  • Development of Prediction and Detection Models for Biometrics, Healthcare, Surveillance and Space Datasets
  • Multispectral Imaging and Analysis using Machine and Deep Learning Algorithms

Areas of Specialty

  • Multispectral Imaging (UV, Visible, NIR, SWIR, MWIR, LWIR)
  • Biometrics
    • Face Recognition
    • Fingerprint Recognition
    • Ear Recognition
    • Iris Recognition
    • Periocular
  • Object Detection and Recognition
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Deep Learning 
  • Prediction and Data Analytics

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