Dr. Antonio Lopez and Dr. Sergio Escalera have received the ICREA Academia Award for research excellence

Dr. Antonio Lopez and Dr. Sergio Escalera have received the ICREA Academia Award for research excellence

The ICREA Academia 2018 program has recognised the scientific trajectory of two CVC researchers, Dr. Antonio López and Dr. Sergio Escalera. The aim of the ICREA Academia Award is to reward excellence in research among professors in Catalan Universities. A total of 45 researchers have received this distinction, with a five year grant in order to foster their on going lines of work in a variety of scientific disciplines. It is a notably prestigious and competitive award, which is only held by 1,5% of teachers and researchers in Catalonia. 

Our award recipients

Dr. Antonio M. López is Associate Professor (Tenure) at the Computer Science Department of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), where he teaches since 1992, the same university in which he received his PhD degree in 2000. He is also a founding member of the Computer Vision Center (CVC) at the UAB, where he created and is the Principal Investigator of the group on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving since 2002. Antonio has collaborated in numerous research projects with international companies, especially from the automotive sector. His work in the last 10 years has focused on the use of Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, Machine (Deep) Learning, and Domain Adaptation to train and test onboard AI drivers. He is the Principal Investigator at CVC/UAB of known systems such as SYNTHIA dataset and CARLA simulator. Complementary, Antonio is currently also focusing more on topics such as Active Learning, Lifelong learning, and Augmented Reality, in the context of Autonomous Driving. Antonio was also doing work related to procedural video generation for action recognition in videos, doing a close collaboration with Naver Labs to deploy the PHAV dataset.

Dr. Sergio Escalera obtained his PhD degree on Multi-class visual categorization systems at Computer Vision Center, UAB. He obtained the 2008 best Thesis award on Computer Science at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He leads the Human Pose Recovery and Behavior Analysis Group at UB, CVC, and the Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics. He is an associate professor at the Department of Mathematics and Informatics, Universitat de Barcelona. He is an adjunct professor at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Aalborg University, and Dalhousie University. He has been visiting professor at TU Delft and Aalborg Universities. He is a member of the Visual and Computational Learning consolidated research group of Catalonia. He is also a member of the Computer Vision Center at UAB. He is series editor of The Springer Series on Challenges in Machine Learning. He is vice-president of ChaLearn Challenges in Machine Learning, leading ChaLearn Looking at People events. He is co-creator of Codalab open source platform for challenges organization. He is co-founder of PhysicalTech and Care Respite companies. He is also member of the AERFAI Association on Pattern Recognition, ACIA Catalan Association of Artificial Intelligence, INNS, and Chair of IAPR TC-12: Multimedia and visual information systems. He has different patents and registered models. He has published more than 250 research papers and participated in the organization of scientific events. His research interests include, statistical pattern recognition, affective computing, and human pose recovery and behaviour understanding, including multi-modal data analysis, with special interest in characterizing people: personality and psychological profile computing.

The award ceremony took place on the 30th of April at the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya. The gala was presided by the Minister of Business and Knowledge of the Catalan Government, Àngels Chacón, and it counted with the presence of the Secretary of Universities and Research, Francesc Xavier Grau.