Professor Stephen Westland


I joined the University of Leeds in 2003 to take up a Chair in Colour Science and Technology following academic posts at in a School of Neuroscience (Keele University) and a School of Engineering (Derby University). I was Head of School of Design (2006-2013) and Acting Dean of the Faculty (2012).

I have published over 150 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and books in the areas of colour science, colour imaging and colour design. I have been awarded several major research grants from government (e.g. EPSRC, MoD) and industry (e.g. Colgate, Unilever, Xerox, Fuji Film Electronic Imaging, Avecia, and Lenzing).

I have supervised 38 PhD students to completion and has been external examiner to 44 PhD students at universities in the UK (e.g. Manchester University, University of East Anglia, University of Central Lancashire) and overseas (e.g. Hong Kong Polytechnic University).

In 2008 I was awarded a Fellowship of the Society of Dyers and Colourists and the Royal Photographic Society's Davies Medal for my work on colour imaging. I am an Adjunct Senior Scientist at the Dental School of the University of Texas (USA). Since 2009 I have been a member of the International Advisory Board at the Colour and Imaging Institute at Tsinghua University (China). Since 1998 I have been a member of the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Coloration Technology and in 2006 helped to launch a new journal (as editor) Colour: Design and Creativity that was renamed in 2012 as the Journal of the International Colour Association. I am also a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Textile Science and Engineering (2011-) and the Slovene Journal for Textile Clothing Technology, Design and Marketing (2009-). I was an active partner in the European-funded project CREATEwhich is a training network for young researchers interested in colour from all disciplines.

I am the author of Computational Colour Science using MATLAB (published by Wiley in 2004; 2nd edition in 2012). I am passionate about colour education and regularly blog at wordpress.

In 2018/19 I am President of the Society of Dyers and Colourists and have been appointed as a Visiting Professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China, 2018-2021).

Research interests

Colour Technology – I am interested in measuring the colour of things that are traditionally considered as being difficult. Currently I am very active in the measurement of tooth colour and how to assess perceptual whiteness. I am also interested generically in both whiteness and blackness. I have core expertise in colour management and colour measurement and work closely with a number of companies in these areas. I am also interested in scaling perceptual responses. That is how do we take what we can physically measure and derive from that a measure of our perceptual, emotional or attitudinal response. 

Colour Design – I am interested in colour design, colour theory and colour lighting. Light affects our circadian systems and can influence our alertness and performance in a way that is wavelength dependent. It is therefore no surprise that it can also affect us on an emotional level. I am interested in studying these effects and also exploring how they can be used in the design of products, websites and personal and commercial spaces.

I enjoy working with companies and actively seek collaborations because working with people who are solving real-world problems is extremely satisfying and I find I learn a great deal from my industrial colleagues and collaborators that enriches my wider academic studies. A list of publications is available below. However, to see my full list of publications (including many publications that can be downloaded as PDFs) please visit my personal page.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc Colour Chemistry
  • PhD Colour Science

Professional memberships

  • Society of Dyers and Colourists
  • Colour Group (UK)

Student education

I teach several modules in the School of Design about colour on various programmes at both undergradate and postgraduate level. I also teach Neuromarketing.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>