Professor Peter Cornwell

Brief Biography

Peter Cornwell is a British software engineer and media theorist. He is professor in the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster, London and a member of L’Institut d’Asie Orientale, ENS de Lyon and the Center for Transcultural Studies Heidelberg.

Cornwell is a pioneer of computational transformation of digital corpora for long-term preservation, standards compliance and the reclamation of research data isolated by obsolete technologies. He joined Texas Instruments in 1982 after studying art history, electronics and computing science, and research work on distributed computing architectures. At TI he developed integrated circuits to enable the first microprocessors to be connected together to form parallel computers, becoming head of research and development for TI's European Industrial Systems Division and contributing to development of the Manufacturing Automation Protocol (MAP) standard.

In 1991 Cornwell founded Division Inc., a California software company, developing 3D graphics systems for simulation and manufacturing in the aerospace, pharmaceutical and telecommunications sectors. With Division Cornwell developed collaborations with Boeing, NASA, Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems, working on the OpenGL standard (now an integral part of design automation systems, games and incorporated in smartphones) and on 3D training systems for NASA. He was CEO of Division Inc. at the time of its Initial Public Offering (IPO).

In 2003 he founded BLIP, a U.K. intellectual property company which built a portfolio of clients for distributed media technologies, including Coca-Cola, Samsung and Sony ( BLIP exploits Cornwell's earlier work on reliability of distributed computing systems and digital media. It developed the freizo migration vehicle which enables very large numbers of metadata and binary asset files to be managed effectively on heterogeneous and internationally distributed computing resources, and is now maintained and developed by Data Futures.

Cornwell holds patents assigned to the University of London, Renishaw plc and Texas Instruments Inc. and has contributed to numerous European and US strategic agencies and university programs. He was an expert for development of the European Strategic Program on Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT) and Japan's Fifth Generation computer project and has served on U.K. Science and Engineering Research Council committees for computing strategies. He is currently European co-chair of the Research Data Alliance's (RDA) Preservation Techniques, Technologies and Policies group.

Selected publications

Cornwell, P.J., Factors affecting the reliability of real time distributed control systems, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Flexible Manufacturing Systems; Springer International Publishing, 1986.

Peter Cornwell, Bob C. Liang, William Bricken, Bryan Lewis, Ken Pimental und Michael J. Zyda, »Virtual Reality and Computer Graphics Programming«, in: Lynn Valastyan und Laura Walsh editors, Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Computer Graphics; ACM Press New York, 1993.

Cornwell, P., Enge, J., Joerg, H., Implementing Conservation-Quality Digital Media Systems and Distributed Archives, in: Perrot, X. editor, Proceedings of International Cultural Heritage Informatics Meeting, ICHIM03, à l'Ecole du Louvre à Paris; Archives & Museum Informatics 2003.

Peter Cornwell, Rotten Data – Re-Collection: Art, New Media and Social Memory, Radical Philosophy 191, May/June 2015.

Cornwell, Peter (1); Granville, Dan (2); Eveleigh, Alexandra (1); Decker, Eric (3); Henriot, Christian (4), Improving Compliance with Evolving Standards Using Computed Transformation of Digital Collections, Annual Conference of The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) July 2015, Sydney Australia. Organization(s): 1: University of Westminster, United Kingdom; 2: Data Futures Ltd., United Kingdom; 3: Heidelberg University, Germany; 4: Institut d’Asie Orientale, ENS de Lyon, France.