Francesco Nex


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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr. Francesco Nex is currently Associate Professor in the Earth Observation Science (EOS) Department at the University of Twente.

Francesco Nex received his master degree in Environmental Engineering (2006) and his PhD degree (2010) from the TU Turin (Italy). From 2011 to 2015 he was with the 3DOM unit of FBK (Italy) working as Marie-Curie Post-Doc in the CIEM Project from 2011 to 2014 and then as Researcher. In 2015, Francesco moved to the University of Twente, before as Assistant Professor and later as Associate Professor at the faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), department of Earth Observation Science (EOS).

His research focuses on the development of innovative solutions fusing elements from photogrammetry, deep learning and adjacent domains such as robotics to promote the application on UAV imagery in a variety of real-world remote sensing and geomatics applications, and their geometric and semantic integration with terrestrial, airborne and satellite data. His aim os is to implement  automated, real-time, and transferrable solutions to be adopted in contexts such as disaster management, infrastructure monitoring and precision farming. He was involved in several European and national research projects dealing with the use of UAV data for remote sensing applications.

He is the Chairman of the ICWG I/II (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: sensors and applications) of the ISPRS (International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing) and he was PI of three different ISPRS scientific initiatives. He chaired the UAV-g 2019 conference and he has been serving with different roles several Editorial boards of indexed journals.



UAV, real-time mapping, photogrammetry, deep learning, remote sensing 

Prizes and awards

  • Finalist at the Licinio Ferretti Awards 2010 (supported by BLOM-CGR S.p.A.)
  • Winner at the Licinio Ferretti Awards 2011 (supported by BLOM-CGR S.p.A.)
  • Sensors (MDPI) Best Paper Awards 2013
  • ISPRS President’s Honorary Citation 2020
  • E.H. Thomsom award 2020

See also: Francesco's publications on ResearchGate


Activities in education

The duties in education cover core modules of Photogrammetry, UAV and 3D modeling.

  • Teaching basics of UAV photogrammetry and 3D modelling in GeoInformatics Master courses.
  • Teaching photogrammetry and computer vision in S&C Master course.
  • Supervised/co-supervised MSc and PhD theses.

He is currently the coordinator of two courses:

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Earth Observation (GeoInformatics)
  • 2D and 3D Scene Analysis (Systems & Control)

Other institutional roles

  • Member of the Programme Committee of the Master in Systems and Control
  • Vice-chair of the Ethics committee (ITC Faculty)
  • Member of the University wide Ethics committee

Research interests

Activities in research

Within the topic "UAV-based Geoinformatics" the current focus is on geometric and semantic information extraction from UAV images.

Ongoing projects and activities:

  • ISPRS ICWG I/II Chairman - Unmanned Vehicles Systems (UVS): Sensors and Applications.
  • PI of the ISPRS Scientific initiative on: "UAV-based Multi-sensor Dataset for Geospatial Research - UseGEO"
  • Geospatial UAV cEnter (GUAVE) coordinator
  • EU-Project Panoptis
  • EU-Project Ingenious
  • EFRO UIVER project

Completed Projects at the University of Twente:

A leaflet describing our activities in the area of mapping from UAV at ITC can be downloaded here.


Relevant past projects:

  • RapidMap: CONCERT- Japan project (EU funded project in the International Cooperation Activities under the Capacities Programme of the F.P.7th for Research and Technology Development -
  • Galileo Project 2013-2014: Automated scene information extraction from a joint analysis of aerial remote sensing images and their photogrammetric DSM - Partner: Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP) -  GIPSA Lab, France
  • STEM Project: the project is commissioned by the Autonomous Province of Trento.
  • COSCH Project: Cost Action TD 1201 (Short Term Scientific Mission)
  • CIEM Project (Cartographic Information Extraction and Management): co-founded Marie-Curie Actions 7th F.P. - PCOFOUND- GA-2008-226070, acronym “Trentino Project”

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Artificial Intelligence Expert

  • Edge AI and Sensors
  • Computer Vision
  • Smart and Service Industry
  • Mobility and Transport
  • Safe and Security
  • Economical / Environmental Impact of AI


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