School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


Professor Jim Chandler BSc PhD FRICS Senior Fellow HEA

Photo of Professor Jim Chandler

Professor of Geomatics: Director of Research

Programmes- Civils/WEDC/transport/ Part C (BEng) Year

Tutor: Civil Engineering

Educated at University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1980-1983) and City University London (1986-1989). He worked as a Land-surveyor/Computer Programmer for 3 years (1983-1986) and Contracts Manager (1989-1993) before joining Loughborough University as a Lecturer in 1994. Jim was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1998 and was awarded a Chair in Geomatics in 2009.

Broad interests and expertise

Measuring size/shape/morphology of unusual objects using land surveying, laser scanning, digital photogrammetry and remote sensing methods. Spatial measurement from historical photographs and consumer-grade digital cameras.

Professional affiliations

Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Geomatics Faculty. 
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

International impact/roles



Recently completed Ph.D. programmes:

Deformation measurement for structural testing- Ph.D. student David McCarthy (2011-15) investigated the potential of long exposure digital imagery and blur to measure deformation at thousands of locations using cheap digital sensors. Paper published., which subsequently won the the “Thompson Award for best paper in the 2016 issues” of the Photogrammetric Record.

Motion blur in photogrammetry– Ph.D. student Till Sieberth (2012-15) examined the influence of blur on photogrammetric processing and has derived a useful algorithm capable of isolating low quality imagery due to motion blur. Paper published.

Spatial data from historical Swiss imagery. Through funding from Universitie of Lausanne (“Projet Herbette”). Natan Micheletti/Prof. Stuart Lane and Jim determined morphological changes occurring on glacial/periglacial debris stores arising through climate change. Swiss PhD student Natan spent two months at Loughborough processing historical imagery and demonstaring the potential of SfM photogrammetry, including imagery captured with a smartphone.


Recently completed funded projects: 

Turbulent flows and riparian vegetation induced drag for River flooding an EPSRC funded project (EP/K004891/1) investigated the role of vegetation in river flooding processes between 2012-2015. This was a collaboration with Prof. Koji Shiono and Dr Rene Wackrow and both laser scanning and close range photogrammetry was used to capture vegetation and measure water surfaces. From a survey/photogrammetry perspective the ability to capture the topographic surface of water at an instant was the most significant output and this work was published in Flow Measurement and Instrumentation in 2017. Edgar Ferreira was employed on a three-year contract to progress this work. More details via the project website.

Sensitivity of post-storm surge dune recovery to pre-storm geomorphological variability- in December 2013 a substantial storm surge caused significant coastal erosion to the East coast of Britain. This NERC funded project (NE/M000052/1) is monitoring the recovery of the dune system and modern geomatics methods (terrestrial laser scanning and close range digital photogrammetry) is being used to measure change on a monthly basis. This is a collaboration with Prof. Jo Bullard from the Dept. of Geography, University and NERC is funding Dr David Ackerly, a research assistant for one year.

Data capture for disasters. Jim was Co-Investigator on a NERC funded project (September 2010 – February 2011) to obtain imagery and spatial data representing the current state of the large flow slide which occurred at Zhouqu, China on 8 August. This funded project (£24,786, NE/I 016279/1 is through collaboration with Dr Tom Dijkstra, Rene Wackrow Dr EnocSanz Ablanedo here at Loughborough University and working in conjunction with the British Geological Survey.

Comprehending the spatialities of parking provision- EPSRC is funding a pilot project (2011-12) to identify the best approach to determine the spatial distribution of level parking supply in the UK. Aerial photography will be used as a basis of classification, quantifying both availability and usage. Ex Ph.D. student Melanie Kirchhoefer worked on this particular project.

Multi-dimensional soil erosion and associated chemical transport Jim was Co-Investigator on a NERC funded project (July 2007- June 2010) to investigate the diffusion of pollutants using numerical models. Photogrammetry was used to validate the theoretical modelling by experimental work in flumes and in small catchments. This funded project (£342, 624, NE/E007015/1) was conducted through collaboration with Dr J. Quinton (Lancaster University) and Dr Graham Sander at Loughborough. Project web site. Some research output.


Other particularly significant projects: 

The Geomatics Group was joined by Dr Enoc Sans-Ablanedo from the University of Leon, Spain between September 2010 and February 2011. Enoc was working at Loughborough for a period of six months in the field of close range digital photogrammetry. He is due to return for a second sabbatical in 2018.

Rock-art recording In 2005, Jim spent 6 months on study leave at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He was working in conjunction with Prof. John Fryer to develop the use of cheap digital cameras to record aboriginal rock art, both pictographs (7.5Mb) and petroglyphs(15.4Mb). The project was funded by The British Academy and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The Australian work has been published fully at a CIPA Congress, in Rock Art Research and the Photogrammetric Record.

Chandler’s rock art recording techniques were applied in the UK on the Northumberland and Durham Rock Art Recording Project, through a collaboration with English Heritage. Seven Nikon Coolpix 5400 cameras were acquired in calibrated at Loughborough and volunteers systematically acquired data representing 2000 Neolithic rock-art motifs in the northeast of England. More recently, some of the original imagery has been reprocessed and the 3-D models have been made more widely available.

Water surface measurement Jim was Co-Investigator on an EPSRC funded project (July 2006-June 2009) entitled: New approaches to estimating flood flows via surface videography and 2D & 3D modelling.  Jim was again working in collaboration with Dr K. Shiono, Loughborough University- supported by this EPSRC grant for £261,850 (EP/E003915/1). Some photography & some resultsfrom a local river (Nov. 2006) and the River Blackwater, (Dec, 2006). Accuracy tests were conducted along with tests using differing seeds Project web site.

Car crash investigation- Jim and Rene Wackrow worked in collaboration with Rob Newton, a Crash Investigation Manager at the Transport Safety Research Centre. Our terrestrial laser scanner was used to quantify the effects of side and frontal impacts on vehicles, with the intention to determine differential velocities at impact. By comparing scans from crashed zones with mirrored and unaffected areas, we are able to quantify both deformation and volumetric change (warning: 16Mb video!) that has occurred during impact. The Transport Safety and Research Centre have now purchased their own scanner for this activity.

Book- Jim has edited a book entitled: “APPLICATIONS OF 3D MEASUREMENT FROM IMAGES” in collaboration with John Fryer and Harvey Mitchell from the University of Newcastle, Australia. Jim, Jan Walstra and Stuart Lane contributed a chapter on “quantifying landform change” and the book was published in September 2007.

Landslide evolution and Slopes processes a former Ph.D. student, Dr Jan Walstra has been quantifying change occurring on two landslides (Mam Tor and Pentwyn) through use of historical photography, digital photogrammetry and image processing and his award winning PhD thesis can be downloaded (10Mb) along with another recent paper. Also in the field of slopes, JC is Co-Investigator for the CLIFFS project, an EPSRC funded network.  This is through collaboration with Dr Neil Dixon and Dr Tom Dikstra.

Monitoring evolution of the Black Ven landslide, Dorset, UK. This work included animations depicting coastal change (original PhD, 1989– warning- 20Mb!) and an on-line display for the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre (2001).

Co-investigator on an EPSRC Networking grant to develop research into the impact of climate change on natural and constructed slopes (CLIFFS). (In collaboration with Prof. Neil Dixon and  Dr Tom Dikstra, Loughborough University- supported by an EPSRC grant for £65,054).

Turbulent structure in meandering channels with mobile beds for overbank flow. Digital photogrammetry has been used to determine morphology of flume beds at Loughborough/HR Wallingford and assess appropriate camera calibration methods. (In collaboration with Prof. K. Shiono, Loughborough University- supported by an EPSRC grant for £161,719).

To examine fluvial processes and sediment transport (Lane et al, 1994) on braided streams and in flumes. (In collaboration with Department of Geography at University of Cambridge, Prof. Keith Richards and Prof. Stuart Lane– an a EPSRC grant for £106,502).

Assessing accuracies of automated methods of deriving digital elevation models and estimating the reliability of automatically generated DEMs. This is primarily the work of Mike Gooch, a former PhD student.

Examining potential of hand-held digital photography to determine grain-size distribution of gravel river beds (Chandler et al., 2004). Fieldwork was conducted in on the Fraser River in British Columbia through Dr Steve Rice (Dept. Geography) and Prof. Mike Church(UBC, Canada).


River Channel change- Quantifying sediment transport on the River Sunwapta, Canadian Rockies. to the Automated digital photogrammetry has been used to acquire dense elevation models from oblique imagery- published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. (In collaboration with Prof. P. Ashmore, University of Western Ontario- travel supported by a Royal Society). This collaboration builds upon previous flume based work which originally (1996) generated an intriguing animation which was subsequently updated (2008) by Canadian PhD student Tobi Gardener and on large braided river system in the Canadian Rockies, (in collaboration with Dr P. Ashmore, University Western Ontario).

A full list of publications is available on this website with some available via the Loughborough University repository.

  • Accuracy of structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry- the widespread availability of software (often free) to fully automate the photogrammetric process has created a massive increase in users. This has to be welcomed but just how accurate are these black box solutions and how critical is image quality and geometry? Ongoing work is trying to answer such questions with a particular focus on free packages like Autodesk Recap Photo/Memento/123D catch. An early article published in Geomatics World indicates it’s potential. In addition, collaboration with the University of Lausanne has demonstrated the potential of a smart phone to capture the landscape, which is of particular interest to geomorphologists conducting fieldwork. This was widely tweeted recently!
  • Modern geomatics methods for monitoring coastal infrastructure- Ph.D. student Luigi Parente (2016-18) is looking at SfM solutions for monitoring deformation/movement and is working in collaboration with Prof Roger Moore and Roger Littleworth from CH2M. This Ph.D. project is supervised by Jim Chandler and Neil Dixon, and involves detailed laboratory testing and the monitoring of a field site in Lyme Regis.  For the latest outcomes please look at Luigi’s own webpages.
  • 3D modelling using image based solutions- there are many opportunities for now creating and sharing 3D models derived from the new generation of image/photogrammetry based solutions which use SfM photogrametry.
  • Member of Scientific Committee for VCC 2016, the 2nd Virtual Geoscience Conference, Bergen;
  • Established and Chaired International Working Group for the ISPRS- Close range measurement for bio and geoscience (2012-16) and close range morphological measurement for the earth sciences (2008-12);
  • Member of the International Editorial Board for the Photogrammetric Record, the leading international Journal in photogrammetry (impact factor 1.622). Formerly Vice-Chair of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society

View all / Visit the CBE Repository page



Books include:

Awards include:


Institute for Scientific Information (ISI):

  • 88 ISI Publications,
  • 1954 ISI Citations
  • h-index: 26

(h-indices updated: October 2017)


Google Scholar: h-index: 37; i10 index: 80 (3961 citations)

Orcid Id: