Bournemouth University (BU) is ranked the UK’s number 1 new University in The Guardian University Guide for both 2009 and 2010. In the UK’s official Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) of 2008, BU was the fourth most improved UK University in terms of research quality. It has been short-listed as the University of Year by the most influential Times Higher Education for 2009. Over 17,000 students attend the university, including 1,500 international students from around 130 countries.
The National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA), which houses the research activities of the project, is regarded as the top institution in computer animation and graphics research in the UK. It was established in 1989 has been particularly active in the research of 3D virtual human animation and simulation with applications spreading from film special effects, computer games to medical simulation and psychological studies. It has pioneered the research of a number of topics. The NCCA is actively collaborating with both national and international partners, including, jointly with the University of Bath, hosting the UK’s only Industrial Doctoral Centre in computer animation, games and digital media, receiving £6.3 million initial funding from the EPSRC. The project leader at BU (Prof Jian Zhang) has participated in the organisation of many dissemination events including the chairing of over 20 international conferences and symposia.