Cohort 2's MelanieZimmer explains all.....

To learn more about agents and Industry 4.0 in practice, I attended the “2nd International Summer School on Intelligent Agents in Automation” (http://www.issiaa2016.ipb.pt/) held at Linköping University (Sweden) from 9-17th of June 2016. An agent is “an autonomous component, that represents physical or logical objects in the system, capable to act in order to achieve its goals, and being able to interact with other agents, when it doesn’t possess knowledge and skills to reach alone its objectives” (Paulo Leitão). The theme of this Summer School was “The 4th Industrial Revolution and the Industrial Internet of Things”, which was aimed at PhD students to discuss intelligent production system based on their cyber-physical formulation.

An introduction to the programming language Java and the software framework JADE (Java Agent Development) was followed by the two main courses - Starting and advanced track, the former being the one I attended.

Amongst others, we had guest speakers from Festo and SAP as well as the Technical University of Munich and the Austrian Institute of Technology. The talks would vary from industrial agents to model-driven engineering to the Internet of Things; of interest to me were also the introduction to ontologies and the role of human operators in Industry 4.0.

Each day would start with a theoretical session and would be followed by practical exercises in the afternoon. On the last two days we worked in teams on the demonstrator shown in the picture below. Each team would implement a different part of the model (conveyor belt, gripper, product, etc.) and deploy agents on a PC and Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, time was a bit short to finish this exercise.

The course was a good starting point for an introduction to agents and getting to know the people in this field, but it depends on the schedule next year if I will attend again.

2016sssweden

Open Afternoon 2016

In June we hosted an open afternoon at Loughborough University showcasing the research areas we are interested in and the projects our students are working on. The event was attended by industrial collaborators new and old as well as staff and students from Loughborough University, including the Vice Chancellor!!

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Our Centre Manger recently presented at the 2016 ARMA annual conference. ARMA are the Associate of Research Managers and Administrators and the annual conference provides delegates with various opportunities to continue their professional development, share best practice and network with colleagues. Sessions covered a wider variety of topics from developing proposals to policy and governance. There were specific sessions dedicated to postgraduate researchers including a special interest group, which Donna attended. The work presented focussed on our Transition Zone training programme, which is a unique approach to developing our researchers personal and professional skills and is accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Picture1

The Pint of Science festival is an annual public engagement festival to bring the latest research to the public in an accessible format. Events take part simultaneously across the world in a range of pubs and bars with themes throughout all areas of research. Atoms to Galaxies is the theme that covers physics, chemistry, maths and astronomy. Hosted at Spanky Van Dyke’s, Nottingham, the Atoms to Galaxies team held several events throughout the week. I spoke at the “Making the Future” alongside two other speakers from the University of Nottingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

Picture1The bar was open when I arrived and people were already making themselves comfortable seated around the stage at small tables. There were activities to build molecules from play-dough and sticks while everyone waited for the event to start. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, although I was somewhat nervous, as I was the first to speak. Having never delivered a talk to a public audience before, this was a new experience. Producing the presentation had been a challenge to try to give as much interesting information as possible, whilst simultaneously making it accessible to a wide range of people.

After a welcome and introduction I was up to give my talk, “Cars on a Diet”. This talk aimed to highlight the reasons why automotive manufactures are trying to reduce the weight of their vehicles, why it is actually quite difficult to do so, and what technologies are currently being implemented. I was handed a microphone, which was also a first, and off I went. The talk was well received and after about 15 minutes the floor was opened up to questions. I had some interesting questions relating to joining of composites and the difference between Formula 1 and road cars, which provoked some interesting discussion. Afterwards I could enjoy the rest of the talks, the interactive activities and the complementary Pints, of Science.

I found this a rewarding experience in the preparation and delivery of the presentation for such a varied audience. I had the opportunity to talk with audience members in a little more detail during the break and also enjoyed discussing with other researchers about their interests. Throughout the entire event everyone was engaging and a pleasure to talk to.

For more information on future Pint of Science event: https://pintofscience.co.uk

Ddc2016

Our researcher Dimitrios Pantazis attended the 2016 Device Developers’ Conference (DDC), taken place on 27th & 28th of April in Cambourne, Cambridge.

The UK DDC is a free 2-day conference, organised by Energi Technical Ltd. Its purpose is to present the most recent solutions in the areas of Embedded & Real-time Systems, such as advancements in software debugging, development tools and safety-related topics. The presentations of experts in the industry are accompanied by workshops and a vendor exhibition. This year’s conference was co-located with H/WExpo 2016, a conference on hardware development and validation, introducing innovative tools and techniques to facilitate the hardware production process.

Dimitris also signed up for the half-day “JTAG practical workshop” organised by XJTAG. The workshop included a brief introduction to the JTAG technology, the principles of operation and the benefits it has to offer. A hands-on full board testing followed up, with each of the participants given the opportunity to perform a series of real-time tests on a custom board, such as GPIO, SPI and SRAM functionality tests.

Tribouk Team

Loughbrough University’s CDT-EI participated in the TriboUK 2016 conference held between 14th and 15th April 2016 in University of Leeds. Arturo Martinez-Insua-Rodriguez, Gajarajan Sivayogan, Rob Turnbull and Jamal Umer represented the group. They were joined by the remaining members of the Loughbrough University’s Dynamic group Rickie Bewsher, Vishak Elisaus, Ehsan Fatourehchi and Theofilos Gkinis.

The conference opened with Professor Margaret Stack, who is the head of the tribology research group at the University of Strathclyde. She gave an overview of the applications and projects related to the Tribo-Corrosion field, specifically projects related to Tidal Turbines.

Arturo Martinez-Insua-Rodriguez and Jamal Umer presented posters during both days of the event, outlining their PhD projects. Rickie Bewsher showed a presentation of his project on the first day, while Ehsan Fatourehichi, Theofilos Gkinis and Rob Turnbull showed their presentation during the second day of the event.

The group found the shorter ‘snap’ presentations was an interesting concept; it allowed the presenter to show a very quick overview of the project and findings in an understandable manner. The possibility of participating in these snap presentations for future conferences is being considered.

Interesting work on the rail industry was shown by students and a keynote speaker Professor Roger Lewis from the University of Sheffield. The projects involved investigating the surface of railway lines and how different conditions give way to different tribological aspects. Professor Roger Lewis discussed finding global feasible methods in removing contaminants on railway lines.

Many other PhD students representing different Universities asked questions to the CDT-EI group to get a better understanding of both Embedded Intelligent and the individual projects. Many members were interested in the process of how the Dynamic Group validated their findings. During the evening meal we were introduced to members of the IT-CDT group and got a further insight to Tribo-Corrosion.

The second day keynote speaker was Professor Daniele Dini. He showed examples of how tribology was a highly inter-disciplinary subject and the vast applications it covers. He explained the tools developed and how final results have given a greater understanding to tribology. Many people were interested in the contact analysis of his work and the laboratory testing and simulations he presented.

The conference was concluded by Professor Duncan Dowson, who gave a speech on how successful the TriboUK conference has been. He is proud at the commitment and the work going into Tribology. He further explained that tribology is one of the most interdisciplinary subject and great care and effort should be put into it. He presented the final awards and prizes, unfortunately the group did not win anything this year but they are committed in succeeding in future conferences.

2016 Foresight Lecture

CDT-EI launches DEN Webinar Serieswith IoT Foresight Lecture

The DEN Webinar series got off to a flying start yesterday by having access to a live streaming of an expert Internet of Things (IoT) Foresight Lecture.  

For this year's annual guest lecture we welcomed Saverio Romeo, a Principal Analyst at Beecham Research, a leading technology market research, analysis and consultancy firm, recognised as IoT thought leaders, and established since 1991.

London-based Saverio focused his talk around the current status of the IoT vision, and the related opportunities and challenges, to an audience of circa 100 delegates, including a full seminar room at Loughborough University, and colleagues remote accessing during the live stream from Heriot-Watt University and other organisations across the world.

Saverio shared expertise and insight on the evolution of IoT Platforms and the importance of Machine to Machine (M2M) solutions technology in the UK and the EU, as well as covering IoT policy, start-ups and cyber security issues, and identifying current and potential future global industry and SME key players in the sector.

2016 Foresight Lecture 1

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