TSS@ETS 2017

12 July 2017

Cohort 3 researcher, Gergely Hantos, tells us about The Test Spring School and European Test Symposium 2017

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As part of The European Test Symposium (ETS'17), The Test Spring School (TSS@ETS 2017) ran over 3 days and was aimed at PhD and MSc students. Renowned experts introduced attendees to modern test, dependability and fault tolerance technology and presented the main challenges faced by the nanoelectronic systems industry. It was held in Nicosia, Cyprus and on the final day we were transported to Limassol for the last lectures and the start of IEEE European Test Symposium (ETS).
Both TSS and ETS were highly relevant to my research area and I was hoping to get a deeper understanding of state of the art testing methods and to get to know the latest built-in-self-test strategies of MEMS. Both events did not disappoint and I was exposed to the current trends in emerging test strategies and the utilisation possibilities of machine learning in testing. I learned a lot of new things and now I am able to approach my work from a different point of view. One aspect is that I am going to broaden my research towards machine learning.
There were many parts I could highlight as most enjoyable, it is hard to decide. The social activities were brilliant, the visited cities were wonderful and the lecture by Yiorgos Makris on Machine Learning Based Test was amazing. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this field.

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Cohort 3 researcher Matt Hammond describes the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) seminar about Low Temperature Pressure Systems he recently attended.

I attended this seminar on the 28th June 2017 at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering training centre in Sheffield. The seminar was organised by the IMechE to discuss views on the standards and regulations of low temperature and high pressure storage and process systems, and how they impact the design and operation of such systems. The seminar saw representatives from various industries including materials engineering, industrial gases, and oil and gas, come together to discuss key issues in the operation of different systems, their failure modes and integrity management solutions. Of particular interest to my research were presentations on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) systems including “LNG fuel systems for marine propulsion” delivered by Oscar Kallerdahl (Vice President LNG Systems, Rolls Royce) in Norway and “integrity management in ageing LNG facilities” delivered by Azrul Hilmi, DNV GL. With my research taking place in a laboratory environment, it was interesting to hear insights into the issues and solutions on a process scale and in the use of LNG as a fuel. I also took the opportunity to network and discuss my research with various attendees.

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The Digital Economy’s 2017 Summer School was hosted by CDT in Embedded Intelligence at their London Campus, the trendy, forward thinking area of Here East. The theme for this year was “Innovation insights for the digital workforce of tomorrow” and held over three days, 4th-6th July, focused on three stages; learn with seminars, do with workshops and practise with practicals. A breakdown and more details about the Summer School can be viewed here.

Around 75 students from a wide variety of the DEN CDTs attended including Embedded Intelligence, My Life in Data (Horizon), Cloud Computing, Digital Civics, Intelligent Games & Game Intelligence, Media and Arts Technology, Web Science and HighWire as well as having representation from Cyber Security at Royal Holloway. It was great to see everyone instantly getting along and really immersing themselves in their sessions.

There was such a variety going on from panels, speed networking, playing with Lego (we promise there were learning outcomes from this), producing films (watch the film here), pimping out their social media presence, practising their elevator pitch and creating posters. Everyone definitely left that Summer School with new knowledge and a new skill.

With the Olympic Park at our fingertips, some of the students and staff took advantage of our location and were brave enough to slide down the ArcelorMittal Orbit, and I heard of a few early morning swims in the Olympic pool too. Evening events had great views of London skyline, inventions of new drinks (Glushies, appearing in a bar near you soon) and great entertainment.

You can view the tweets from the Summer School using #SSEI17. Our friends at Tableu (who ran a workshop on “The beautiful science of data visualisation”) have prepared a data analysis on the event’s hashtag, which can be viewed here.

The Digital Economy Network would like to thank EPSRC, Professor Paul Conway, Dr Carmen Torres-Sánchez, the Embedded Intelligence CDT Manager Donna Palmer, DEN Manager Felicia Black, Event support and organisers Siobhan Horan and Finn, Loughborough London for letting us takeover their space plus all their lovely staff and all our panellists, guests and attendees for making it such a memorable and fun Summer School.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) are influencing nearly every area of industry and interacting with people in nearly all aspects of modern life. To support a focused effort into primary applications of RAS, a series of white papers where released as part of the 2017 International Robotics Showcase, these papers are available here.

CDT-EI Deputy Director Dr David Flynn has contributed to the following white papers; Robotics and Autonomous Systems for Resilient Infrastructure, and along with his colleague Professor David Lane, also co-authored Robotics for Emergency Response, Disaster Relief and Resilience. Collaborating with an esteemed network of leading U.K. academics and industrial innovators, it is a testimony to the expertise and impact Heriot-Watt delivers in RAS, that we are contributing and shaping the national debate on UK innovation in RAS.

The white papers were released on the 30th of June as part of the International Robotics showcase.

We celebrated UK Robotics Week 2017 by hosting a brief history of robots in the movies from silent film to the present day. With over 200 tickets reserved the Cope Auditorium at Loughborough University was full. Presented by film expert and comedian Alan Seaman the talk took us from 1927 ‘Maria’ in Metropolis via 1950s servitude robots such as Forbidden Planets ‘Robby the Robot’ and the murderous androids of1970s Westworld and battling ‘Mechagodzilla’ to the comedic relief of ‘R2D2’ and ‘C3PO’ in Star Wars and, a personal highlight, seeing the 1990s robotic ‘Wrong Trouser’ in Nick Park’s second claymation Wallace and Gromit movie. Of course, a talk about robots in film would not be complete without the Iron Giant and Pixar Wall-E.    

forthe live recording of the talk click here and to listen to the BBC Radio interviews with Alan Seaman and Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez click here

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The NSIRC Annual Conference for 2017 was held over 21 and 22 June at TWI’s state-of-the-art engineering facility on Granta Park in Cambridge. Over 40 students took part in a two day programme of events attended by industry experts from world leading businesses such as BP, Boeing and Rolls Royce and representatives from the NSIRC’s academic partners. 

First year PhD students, including Cohort 2's Athanasios Pouchias, presented their research in poster presentations to industry experts and their peers. Whereas second and third year PhD students gave oral presentations summarising their research topic, reviewing their initial and current research, and discussing plans for future study and work.

The conference also included keynote presentations from Dr Simon Edmonds, Innovate UK Director for Manufacturing and Materials, Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Advisor for BEIS, and Stephen Harris, Science Editor for Conversation UK.

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Congratulations to a team from Loughborough University who have been awarded an EPSRC platform grant to maintain and develop the strength of manufacturing-related UK engineering.  

Over a 5-year period the team will provide a platform for strategic research and impact activities within the embedded integrated intelligent systems (EIIS) domain. All aspects of research for designing and developing products and processes that can demonstrate adaptation and learning will be included. The funding will also support the development of a pipeline of expertise in EIIS for UK industry and academia.

Cohort 3 research Chris Miles reports on his recent conference experience.

On the 7th of May, until the 10th May, I attended the 8th annual symposium on flame retardants in York, at the Principal York Hotel. The Principal York is an excellent example of the late-Victorian architecture prevalent in the city, whilst blending the inside with modern stylings. The programme for the week included 4 plenary speeches, given by four leading researchers from the flame retardant world, along with a huge number of smaller speeches and posters to view, giving ample opportunity to hear about something that piques your interest.

After an opening address from the Lord Mayor of York, the first day began, with a plenary and a session on flame retardants in abiotic environments. This section focused heavily on water environments, and the rising problems of pollution with enlightening talks. After a lunch, consisting of gourmet burgers and a lot of salmon, it was back to the conference room for two more sessions. These were the two sessions that would have the most relation to my current project, analytical methods of detecting flame retardants, and organophosphorus flame retardants. Whilst the organophosphorus flame retardants most commonly seen in these speeches were not the same as the ones I shall be using, the talks were of great interest to me.

Day two saw the focus switch to flame retardants in foods, indoors and in biota. Whilst not as relevant as the first day, it was of great interest to see how the substances closely related to those of which I am studying impacted the wider world and environment. Examples are the concentrations that build up in falcon eggs and the potential relationship between child growth and certain flame retardant types. Once again, the lunch provided was extravagant, including crab and lobster rolls this time!

The final day focused upon rules and regulations of the flame retardant world, and whether they were appropriate or not, as well as discussing some common, and some not so common methods humans are exposed to flame retardants. A more legislative day, focusing less on practical science and more on real world examples and laws. Finally the conference ended in the afternoon, with the announcement of the location of the next one, Canada! Overall the conference definitely broadened my knowledge of the flame retardant community, and allowed myself to gain experience interacting with some of the more respected members of the community.

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