In October 2019, our Cohort 5 student, Yang Zhou attended the Robot & Research Equipment Training (RRET) based in Italy.

RRET aims at delivering the fundamental understandings of the underwater robots’ manipulation, application programming interfaces (APIs) and embedded system algorithms training. The event was conducted by an underwater robotics technology company, attended by many researchers who are also working on the embedded intelligence area.

Yang found attendance at this event highly useful to his research as he explains below:

During this training, we were divided into groups, working on the underwater robots. Therefore, I learnt how to effectively communicate with researchers in science. Moreover, the training deepened my insights of underwater robotics. As my PhD research is Curiosity-driven Underwater Robot Navigation, it provided a good opportunity to play with the equipment and to further think about the PhD project. Furthermore, I learnt the big gap of transformation of lab research algorithms and industrial applications.

The reason I chose to attend the events is this event is relevance to my PhD research, from which I could have the opportunity to learn how the underwater robot works and how I could develop as well as deploy my algorithms on it.

Youssef Hamid (Cohort 3) attended the 21st Electronic Packaging Technology Conference (EPTC 2019) held in Singapore from the 4th to 6th December 2019.

This is a major conference of the Asian chapter of the IEEE Electronics Packaging Society (EPS). With several academics, engineers, researcher gathering, the event was important networking opportunity focused on the specific areas of MEMS packaging, Microelectronic manufacturing and homogeneous integration.

During this event, Youssef presented his second conference paper on “Packaging Effects on MEMS Pressure Sensor Hysteresis”. This had led to further conversations with Prof Chris Baily from Greenwich University, Dr Karsten Meier from Dresden University, Germany about the use of ANSYS as a simulation tool for MEMS packaging.

Throughout the 3 conference days, Youssef learned about using Raman spectroscopy to measure stress in Silicon MEMS devices as a means for evaluation residual packaging effects from Pf Xuejun Fan from Lamar University, USA; a technique present at Loughborough university a was investigate during the research project. Interesting conversation with STMicroelectronics engineer Dr Roseanna Duca revolving packaging techniques for microphones also occurred.

EPTC was the second international opportunity to present to MEMS packaging experts.


Our Cohort 3 student, Orange Gao attended ICIP (IEEE International Conference on Image Processing) from September 22-25 2019 in Taiwan.

ICIP is the world's largest and most comprehensive technical conference focused on image and video processing and computer vision, the conference features world-class speakers, tutorials, exhibits and innovative programs that include grand challenges, prominent industry talks, showcases, etc.

Orange's paper "Image Super-Resolution Using CNN Optimised By Self-Feature Loss" was accepted here as a poster presentation. The presentation was successful and attracted a lot of interest from the conference peers and received positive feedback.

Mevea Seminar 2019

16 March 2020

On October 3rd, 2019, Jake Rankin attended The Mevea Seminar 2019 to discuss the applications of Reinforcement Learning on excavation.

The full event can be found on Mevea’s website at

The conference took place at the Scandic Helsinki Aviacongress and have over 250 people from 100 different companies attended. The primary meetings were with Mevea software developers to discuss new solutions for reinforcement learning and soil-tool modelling as this was a software specific to the project.

As well as Mevea researchers, it was a great opportunity to discuss ideas with fellow PhD students and industry experts to understand the challenges they face. Several talks were held, with interesting talks from JCB and Liebherr on their autonomy challenges and how Mevea’s software helped to address them.

Another reason for attending was to present research done using Mevea’s software. After an overview on the challenges of the construction industry and an overview on reinforcement learning, project work was described as well as preliminary results of the study including initial data collection on Mevea’s digital twin and excavation work performed. This helped further understanding of the target audience for reinforcement learning and the follow-up meeting with Mevea helped establish future project work that could help both the project and Mevea.

This was an interesting and valuable opportunity that helped to develop confidence and networking. A follow-up presentation is planned for October 2020 with more emphasis on technical delivery.

Youssef Hamid (Cohort 3) attended the 5th annual conference on Sensors and Electronic Instrumentation Advances (SEIA' 2019) held in Tenerife, Spain from the 25th to 27th Sep 2019.

With several scientists and engineers brought together, the event was a great networking opportunity focused on the specific areas of sensor development, MEMS actuators and measurements.

During this event, Youssef presented his first ever abstract on the “effect of thin film interconnect inelasticity on MEMS pressure sensor hysteresis”, a topic that sparked real interest amongst attendee’s Dr Eleanor Chalkley from Strathclyde, UK, and Dr Dan Stefanescu from the Romanian Measurement Society, Romania.

Throughout conversations with other attendees, Youssef learned about using platinum strips as insitu temperature sensors due their constant temperature coefficient of resistance throughout an extended range. Presenting at the SEIA conference represented an excellent communication exercise building on the university approved Vitae RDF training program which helped meet and network with expert MEMS sensors.

Matthew Hammond (Cohort 3) recently attended the 10th Edition of the Gas Analysis Symposium in The Hague, Netherlands from the 18th-2oth June 2019.

The conference was attended by a variety of technical staff and researchers, as well as equipment manufacturers and end users to hear the latest developments in the analysis of gases. This year’s topics included natural gas and biogas, gas cylinders, health and safety, and standardisation, with a variety of speakers and a poster session. On the middle day of the conference, a social event was organised at a Scheveningen beach bar, with a BBQ and live music.

Matthew presented his research on “Solid Formation in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)”, being carried out at his cosponsor, EffecTech Ltd., who had three other speakers and a poster at the conference. The presentation covered the issues with freeze out of contamination in LNG production facilities, and the new experimental data Matthew has been collecting giving a unique insight into the behaviour of the solids.

EffecTech were well represented at the conference; Matthew’s supervisor, Dr Paul Holland, presented a new cylinder design for LPG/NGL reference liquids, addressing the issues of performance and cost associated with current technologies. Gergely Vargha presented a new micro-preparation valve for the highly accurate preparation of very low amounts of components in gas mixtures, and Adam Lomax presented his work on dynamic performance evaluations of inferential natural gas quality instruments. Dr Joey Walker had a poster on developments in EffecTech’s LNG calibration facility.

“The conference was a great opportunity to network with experts in a variety of areas in gas metrology and learn about the latest developments. In my session, there were several other presentations on LNG which were relevant to my research, and some interesting conversations were had. I enjoyed the experience of presenting at an international conference and meeting with industry professionals.”

Our Cohort 2 research student, Matt Smith, attended the European Academy of Design Conference that was held in Dundee on the 8th-12th April 2019.  Matt provided us with a write up about his trip.


To attend the 13th European Academy of Design Conference to view the state of the art of more niche design research and to host a workshop that investigates the use of design methods to consider alternative forms of designing.

What I did:

As I was hosting a workshop, I was invited to a PhD gathering where I met fellow PhD students and had the opportunity to ask questions to leading Design Research academics. We took part in a number of activities, including attempting to draw out PhDs in a short space of time. We had to prepare a profile prior to the gathering. Mine, along side the others, can be found at:

Following on from this was the conference proper. It was a four-day event with a huge number of paper tracks and a number of workshops (including mine). My workshop was on the 11th, it was positively received, and participants found it intriguing and engaging. One participant even mentioned that they may us my methods.

Who I met:

I met a number of leading academics, including Rob Phillips from the RCA and Franaz Nickpour from Liverpool University who taught me during my undergrad. I hope to soon visit the RCA to discuss my work further. I also was in a group run by Claire Craig from Sheffield Hallam University who responded to questions and gave advice about undertaking a PhD.

Other activities:

There were a number of networking meals including a trip to a Scottish Castle for the conference dinner and ceilidh (I did not dance) and a visit to the only V&A outside of London. Dundee was also recently voted UNESCO city of design.

European Academy Of Design Conference


Our Cohort 4 Reserach student, Matt Smith, attended the 27th Geographical Information Science Research UK conference in Newcastle from the 23rd-26th April 2019.  We asked Matt to provide a write up of his experience:


I attended the conference to view the state of GIS and understand where my PhD could fit in.

What I did:

I took part in a number of workshops that introduced elements of GIS, these were:

  • Visualising our cities: Visualising urban digital twins.
  • Accessing open data and using API's
  • GIS in industry

I then sat in on a number of different tracks including:

  • Neighbourhoods and demographics
  • Exploring place
  • Spatial modelling

Who I met:

I met several PhD students from varying backgrounds as well as members of my sponsor company who part sponsor the conference.

Other activities:

The conference also included a visit and meal at the St. James' Park and a visit to the Discovery Museum.Geographical Information Science Conference


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