Professor Robert Henderson Inaugural Lecture

Published: 7 November 2023

QuantIC investigator Robert Henderson gives his inaugural lecture on imaging time

Professor Robert Henderson, University of Edinburgh, gave his inaugural lecture on 26th October on Imaging Time: Cameras for the Fourth Dimension.

Time is often considered as the fourth dimension, along with the length, width and depth that form the fabric of space-time. Conventional cameras observe only two of those dimensions inferring depth from spatial cues and record time only coarsely relative to many fast phenomena in the natural world. In his talk, Robert introduced the concept of time cameras, devices based on single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) that can record the time dimension of a scene at the picosecond scales commensurate with the speed of light. 

The recording of the lecture is available at The University of Edinburgh.


Robert K. Henderson is a Professor of Electronic Imaging in the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh and Co-Investigator of QuantIC.

He obtained his PhD in 1990 from the University of Glasgow. From 1991, he was a research engineer at the Swiss Centre for Microelectronics, Neuchatel, Switzerland. In 1996, he was appointed senior VLSI engineer at VLSI Vision Ltd, Edinburgh, UK where he worked on the world’s first single chip video camera. From 2000, as principal VLSI engineer in STMicroelectronics Imaging Division he developed image sensors for mobile phone applications.

He joined University of Edinburgh in 2005, designing the first SPAD image sensors in nanometer CMOS technologies in the MegaFrame and SPADnet EU projects. This research activity led to the first volume SPAD time-of-flight products in 2013 in the form of STMicroelectronics FlightSense series, which perform an autofocus-assist now present in over 1 billion smartphones. He benefits from a long-term research partnership with STMicroelectronics in which he explores medical, scientific and high speed imaging applications of SPAD technology.

In 2014, he was awarded a prestigious ERC advanced fellowship. He is an advisor to Ouster Automotive and a Fellow of the IEEE and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

First published: 7 November 2023