Mona Hess

Professor for Digital Technologies in Heritage Conservation

Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
Kompetenzzentrum Denkmalwissenschaften und Denkmaltechnologien
Lehrstuhl für Digitale Denkmaltechnologien
Office: ZW4/01.26

Am Zwinger 4 (Villa)
D-96047 Bamberg
Telephone: +49 951 863-1634


Appointment to Professor and Chairholder for Digital Technologies in Heritage conservation


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for supporting and learning in higher education, Descriptor 2. certificate of educational qualification


PhD in 3D imaging metrology for cultural heritage, UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University College London, UK


Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA UKPSF)


Master of Arts in Heritage Conservation, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg/ Fachhochschule Coburg


Dipl.-Ing. Univ. Architecture, Technische Universität München (TUM)

EU COSCH - Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage, Working Group II: Spatial Object Documentation. Case study: Multi-modal imaging of Roman coins

EU COSCH Action: Colour and Space in Cultural Heritage. Part of Working Group II: Spatial Object Documentation. The main objective of this COST Action is to promote research, development and application of optical measurement techniques – adapted to the needs of heritage documentation – based on an interdisciplinary cooperation, on a concerted European level and to offer a novel and reliable, independent and global knowledge base facilitating the use of today's and future optical measuring techniques to support the documentation of European heritage. Part of COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among  scientists and researchers across Europe.

Wel(l)come@3D - knowledge exchange in 3D imaging technology, 3D printing and dissemination of archival and collection objects , Knowledge Exchange Champion, UCL Enterprise

Principal investigator, UCL Enterprise Knowledge Exchange Grant plus match funding by the partner Wellcome Trust for a collaborative project on in-house capacity building of 3D imaging in collections. "Wel(l)come@3D". Collaboration of UCL CEGE with UCL Digital Humanities, partnering with the Welcome Trust.

Stamp printing plates, dies and rollers–from vault to view

The British Postal Museum & Archive [BPMA] has a comprehensive record of stamp production in the UK from the introduction of the world’s first stamp, the Penny Black. BPMA holds approximately 1300 dies and rollers from the stamp printing process and 280 printing plates. These objects, made of metal, provide a fuller context for the cycle of stamp production. The objective for this project is to provide access to these very valuable objects. The aim is to capture these finely engraved printing plates, rollers and dies as 3D digital objects. These objects pose a challenge for 3D digitization since they are manufactured mainly from steel with high reflectance, making them difficult to measure with optical surface technologies. A public outreach event will be qualitative evaluation and feedback from the public and researchers through user testing of a public delivery with selected objects from the feasibility study. The 15 Share Academy projects 2013-2014 aim to build sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships between the higher education sector and specialist museums in London.

More information about Shareacademy
More information about the British Postal Museum and Archive
Collaborators and more information on the project

3DPetrie: 3D imaging research, digital applications and use of new technologies in the museum

3DPetrie at the UCL Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology: 3D imaging research and use of new technologies in the museum. 3DPetrie is researching the viability of using high quality 3D images of museum collections to engage a range of audiences through the production of 3D models of Petrie Museum  artefacts and the development of end-user digital 3D applications.


Re-engineering Watt: 3D laser scan and 3D printing in museum artefact documentation

Re-engineering Watt: A case study and best practice recommendations for 3D colour laser scans and 3D printing in museum artefact documentation. The project completed the full production cycle from an original negative plaster cast to the final product in the form of a physical exhibition replica of a newly discovered bust of James Watt. The replica has been accessioned and exhibited by the Science Museum, London, in "James Watt and our World".

More information on the projekt
The project in the media

British Museum War Canoe - 3D virtual reconstruction and digital repatriation

3D digital documentation of a highly significant cultural heritage object from the Melanesian Southwest Pacific, held in the ethnographic collections of the British Museum. The object, which dates from about 1910, is a large plank-built war canoe from the island of Vella Lavella in New Georgia, Solomon Islands. 3D laser scanning is paired with anthropological research, which aims to deliver a holistic virtual 3D reconstruction and multimedia interactive delivery of the boat for the digital repatriation to the source community.Collaboration: University of Bergen, Norway; British Museum, London.


Play it again SAM. Design with Heritage.

The project will investigate issues of authenticity of historic objects and the relationship between original and reproduction(s), in particular digital reproduction, by making a reproduction of a kinetic interactive work. The project will use SAM (Sound Activated Mobile), by Edward Ihnatowicz (1968), as an exemplar by 3D scanning the existing artefact, constructing a 3D virtual model and validating the model by 3D printing the constituent parts. Design with Heritage is a twelve-month Knowledge Exchange project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The aim of the project is to develop connections between designers, academic researchers, and arts and heritage institutions by identifying shared interests and creating opportunities for collaboration.

E-Curator: 3D colour scans for remote object identification and assessment

The project 'E-Curator: 3D colour scans for remote object identification and assessment' was a one-year project from 2007 to 2008 at UCL Museums and Collections. This project draws on UCL's expertise both in curatorship and in e-Science. It takes advantage of the presence at UCL of world class collections across a range of disciplines and of a state of the art colour scanner, the quality of which is unequalled in the UK. The project explores the use of 3D colour scanning and e-Science technologies to capture and share very large 3D colour scans and detailed datasets about museum artefacts in a secure computing environment. The combination of these technologies could assist curators and conservators in object identification and assessment, both locally and remotely. The E-Curator project was jointly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Arts and Humanities e-Science Support Centre (AHESSC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). The aim of this project is to bring together, through workshops, practical sessions and conferences, as well as in an edited publication, museum conservators, educators, scientists, curators and other professionals from the higher education and museum sectors who are interested in this technology and its implications across the heritage sector.


Oktober 2017

Appointment to Professor of Digital Technologies in Heritage Conservation and Chairholder at the University of Bamberg, Germany

since October 2017

Honorary Senior Research Associate, 3DIMPact Research Group, UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering,

January 2014 to September 2017

Research Associate, Research Manager, Module coordinator, UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University College London, UK

September 2016 to January 2017

Research Fellow, Preserving Maya Heritage, Department for Africa, Oceania and Americas at the British Museum, Coordinator via Adecco UK on assignment to Google (The Google Cultural Institute), London, UK

August 2015 to June 2016

UCL Robotics Coordinator, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – Impact Acceleration Award, UCL Robotics and Autonomous Systems, UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University College London, UK

2008 to 2013

Research Associate, The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL Public and Cultural Engagement, University College London, UK

September 2006 to August 2007

Graduate Research Intern, Getty Conservation Institute, Fields Projects department, The J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, USA, Project: Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities – Jordan (MEGA-J)

February 2005 to August 2006

Freelancer: Digital Cathedral Archives, Bamberger Dom, Dombauhütte, Staatliches Hochbauamt Bamberg

June 2004 to August 2006

Research Assistant, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Professorship of Building Preservation Sciences, Institute for Archeology, Heritage Sciences and Art, cooperation with Prof. Dr. Rainer Drewello

August 2002 to September 2003

Apprentice Architect, L’étude de Louis Brillant, Montreal, Canada, Architect's office with a focus on the preservation of architectural monuments and conservation

August to September 2000

Apprentice Architect, Luca Gazzaniga & Carlo Ceccolini Architetti, Lugano, Schwitzerland

August to Oktober 1999

Apprentice Architect, Braunfels Architekten, Munich


  • Kompetenzzentrum Denkmalwissenschaften und Denkmaltechnologien : 2016 - 2018 / hg. von Tobias Arera-Rütenik, Stefan Breitling, Rainer Drewello, Mona Hess, Gerhard Vinken Bamberg: Univ. of Bamberg Press, 2019, (Kompetenzzentrum Denkmalwissenschaften und Denkmaltechnologien (KDWT): Berichte des KDWT  ; 1), 978-3-86309-652-6, Beschreibung : Kompetenzzentrum Denkmalwissenschaften und Denkmaltechnologien: 2016-2018

  • Hess, M., Schlieder, C., Troi, A., Jagfeld, M., Hindmarch, J., Henrich, A., 2019. Digital Technologies in Heritage Conservation. Methods of teaching and learning this M.Sc. degree, unique in Germany, in: Luigini, A. (Ed.), AISC 919: Digital Environments for Education, Arts and Heritage (EARTH2018). Presented at the Conference Proceedings #EARTH2018 Conference, Springer, Springer, Cham, Brixen, Italy, pp. 53–63.


  • Hess, M., Colson, A. and Hindmarch, J. (2018) Capacity Building and Knowledge Exchange of Digital Technologies in Cultural Heritage Institutions, Museum International, vol. 70, no. 1–2, pp. 48–61 [Online]. DOI: 10.1111/muse.12192

  • Chizhova, M., Gurianov, A., Hess, M., Luhmann, T., Brunn, A., Stilla, U., 2018. Semantic segmentation of building elements using point cloud hashing, in: ISPRS - International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences. Presented at the ISPRS TC II Mid-term Symposium “Towards Photogrammetry 2020” , June 2018, Copernicus GmbH, Riva del Garda, Italy, pp. 241–250.

  • Hess, M., Drewello, R., Engel, U., Rahrig, M. (2018) Welttheater in 3D. Wie barocke Deckenmalereien ihre Geheimnisse offenbaren. in: Der universelle Wert. Neue Perspektiven auf das Welterbe in Bamberg und in aller Welt. Uni.vers Forschung. Mai 2018. S.20-23.

  • Hess, M. (2018). Digitalisierung für Kultur, in: Epple, P. (Hrsg.), Digitalisierung, Zwischen Den Welten. Cuvillier, Göttingen Germany, pp. 53–74. ISBN 978-3-7369-9737-0, eISBN 978-3-7369-9737-1.
  • Hess, M. (2018). Das Puppenhaus als Vorläufer des immersiven virtuellen 3D-Modells, in: Fuchs, B., Holtorf, C., Spiller, C. (Hrsg.), Modelle Die Die Welt Bedeuten. Wie Wissen Entsteht. Erich Weiss Verlag, Bamberg, Germany, pp. 60–65. ISBN: 978-3-940821-62-1












Für weitere Publikationen, siehe ORCID und UCL IRIS.

10/2019 2nd UNESCO Regional Workshop for Europe. KDWT, University of Bamberg:  „Using information and communication technologies (ICT): challenges and opportunities”

09/2019 Invited keynote speaker CIPA ICOMOS Avila "Documenting the tangible and the intangible - qualitative and quantitative values in cultural heritage and a dialogue between humanities and STEM subjects"

02/2019 Keynote bei der Woche der Forschung 2019– Digitalisierung der Wissenschaften: „Mediation zwischen Geisteswissenschaften und MINT-Fächern“

05/2018 Invited speaker: 25 – Jahre Welterbe Bamberg: Digitales Erbe: Vortrag über die Möglichkeiten der Digitalisierung im Bereich Denkmalpflege und Museumskunde, Otto-Friedrich Universität Bamberg

02/2016 Invited speaker in the Seminar Series of the UCL Centre of Digital Humanities: ‘Project planning framework for 3D imaging in cultural heritage, including 3D image quality assessment’

03/2015 Invited speaker at Develop3D conference for a TED talk to an audience of commercial 3D designers, engineers and industry: ‘3D scanning technology within the humanities sector’, University of Warwick, UK

12/2014 Contributed to presentation: Weyrich, T., Hess, M., Terras, M. , Giacometti, A., Gibson, A, Hindmarch, J., Macdonald, L., Pal, K., (2014). ‘Heritage Imaging at UCL’. Annual Conference of Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP), London

09/2014 Invited speaker at the Digital Specimen conference, Berlin, Germany

11/2013 Workshop at the Museum Association exhibition and conference Liverpool, UK. ‘An honest appraisal of the challenges of 3D imaging programmes based on a five year project at the Petrie Museum. Issues covered: in-house skills needed, costs, quality control and assessment (with M.Serpico, G.Amati, T.Nelson)

09/2013 Invited speaker at the cross-departmental workshop 3D projects at the British Museum, London

03/2013 Invited speaker at the Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politechnico di Milano, Italy. Talk in Italian: ‘Ricostruzione 3D per la documentazione digitale di artefatti museali e beni culturali presso UCL’

09/2012 Invited contributor at the V-Must summer school (Virtual Restoration and Reconstruction in a London Charter Framework) at King’s College London. Presentation of 3DPetrie project at the UCL Petrie Museum (with 3DPetrie team)

09/2012 Invited speaker at University of Queensland, Australia in the ‘Critical Approaches to Museums and Heritage’ Seminar Series

09/2012 Invited speaker for a Cultural Heritage symposium at the Donald Horne Institute, University of Canberra, Australia

04/2011 Invited speaker at Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, dell'Ambiente, del Territorio e Architettura, at the Universita degli studi di Parma, Italy. Talk in Italian:  ‘Ricostruzione e documentazione digitale in 3D per architettura e beni culturali’

02/2011 Invited speaker at the RTISAD Workshop: Digital Transformations - New developments in cultural heritage imaging) at The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies Oxford, Oxford University

03/2009 Invited speaker at UKOLN (former centre of expertise which advises on digital infrastructure, information policy and data management), Bath University

Professional Memberships

  1. CIPA ICOMOS Heritage Documentation
  2. ICOMOS Deutschland
  3. ICOM Deutschland
  4. Deutscher Werkbund Bayern
  5. Deutscher Hochschulverband