Poseidon research thesis nominated for Thales PhD prize 2012

Niels Willems’ PhD thesis on ‘Visualization of Vessel Traffic’ was nominated for the Thales PhD prize 2012. His research was conducted as part of ESI’s Poseidon project in close cooperation with Thales Nederland.

Of the roughly 60 PhD theses yearly completed by Thales graduates worldwide, only 15 are nominated for the annual prize.  The eligible nominees are people who have defended their thesis during 2011 on a Thales related topic. The three best candidates will be invited to an award ceremony later this year.

Thales is a world leader in mission-critical information systems for defence and security, aerospace and transportation and has operations in 50 countries. The Board of Directors of Thales Nederland nominated the thesis of Niels Willems on ‘Visualization of Vessel Traffic’. Niels defended his thesis on December 21, 2011 and obtained his PhD degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology.

During his PhD, Niels’ research focused on ways to interactively show behaviour of the movement of objects, such as ships, pedestrians, and mice. He conducted his research in the Poseidon project.

visualization of vessel traffic

The subject of the thesis was: ‘How can analysts be supported to understand large amounts of trajectories with multiple attributes by using interactive, visual representations?’ The research examined two approaches: one based on density visualization and the other one on visual analytics.

The results of Niels’ research can be used to improve situational awareness in, for example, vessel traffic monitoring systems by including historical data in the analysis of live data. Since movement of objects is of interest in many different disciplines, such as in traffic monitoring systems, urban design, and animal migration, these approaches can also be to those application domains.

ESI congratulates Niels on this result and wishes him success for his presentation to the jury.

About Poseidon
The Poseidon project was set up in 2007 to address the needs of the maritime safety and security domain. Maritime safety and security represents an important aspect of the Netherlands’ national security.

Researchers in the project come from: ESI (project leader), Thales Nederland (carrying industrial partner), Noldus Technology, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, Tilburg University, University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam.

The project will run until mid 2012. Results are published in several (scientific) publications.

Wouter Leibbrandt

Director Science and Operations
+31 88 866 55 60

“Continuous innovation in methodologies, system architecture thinking and cross-disciplinary ways of working to master the ever increasing complexity are crucial to maintain and extend Europe’s and Dutch competitiveness in this strategic domain.”