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Multispectral Imagery Lab

Thirimachos Bourlai

Founder and Director of the Multispectral Imagery Laboratory

News: Tenured since May 15th 2017

Thirimachos Bourlai is an associate professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Engineering at WVU. He also serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the WVU School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, and the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science. He is the founder and director of the Multi-Spectral Imagery Lab at WVU.

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 and later as a tenure track assistant professor in the Lane Department until mid 2017.

Bourlai served and has been invited to serve as chair at a number of biometrics conferences including ICB, BTAS, IJCB, FG, SPIE, ISS World Americas, IDGA, ACI and the Biometrics Institute. He has served as a member on technical program committees for other primary computer vision- and biometrics-focused conferences. Several governmental agencies, organizations and academic institutions have invited Bourlai to present his work, including the CIA, NSA, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Army (various divisions), FBI, Amazon, SRC, Biometrics Institute, NLETS, IDGA, the Biometrics Summit Conference, the IEEE Signal Processing Society, University of Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University and the University of Newcastle (UK). He is also a reviewer for a number of premier journals in computer vision, biometrics and related areas (i.e., TPAMI, TIFS, IJCV, TCSVT, PRL, TIP, MVA).


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.