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Legacy Gift awarded in Dragon’s Den Style Competition


Professor Sean McLoone, Director of Research in the Energy, Power and Intelligent Control (EPIC) research cluster at Queen’s, is seen here congratulating the winner, Dr Wenping Cao. Also pictured are the judges (L to R) Dr Dermot Leonard, Head of Business Alliance within Research and Enterprise at Queen’s, Professor William Scanlon, Director of Research in the School’s Digital Communications research cluster, and Professor Brendan Fox, Emeritus Professor in the EPIC research cluster.

Dr Wenping Cao from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS) has been awarded the Faudell Harvey Gould Legacy Gift in a Dragons’ Den competition for EEECS academics. The Legacy Gift of £10,000 was bestowed on Queen’s by the Estate of Faudell Harvey Gould to fund research into new sources of energy and power.

Academics in EEECS were invited to pitch a proposal for funding to a panel of three Dragons before an audience of staff and students at the Ashby Building on Friday 20 June. The panel of Dragons comprised Dr Dermot Leonard, who leads the Business Alliance team within the Research and Enterprise Directorate at QUB; Professor William Scanlon, Director of Research in the EEECS Digital Communications research cluster; and Professor Brendan Fox, Emeritus Professor in the Energy, Power and Intelligent Control (EPIC) research cluster.

Dr Cao’s pitch in favour of ‘Bridging the Gap in Power Electronics Research’ was deemed by the Dragons to be the outstanding proposal for Legacy Gift funding. Dr Cao argued that Queen’s should further its research into the enabling technology of power electronics, which is of critical importance in establishing a low-carbon economy in the United Kingdom. Dr Cao will use the Legacy Gift to develop three 10kW DC-DC converters using IGBT, SiC, and GaN power devices, respectively, targeting electric vehicles, photovoltaics, and DC microgrids.

Proposals by the other finalists, Dr Robert Best (‘Solar Energy Research’) and Dr David Laverty (‘The $100 Phasor Measurement Unit’), were strongly commended by the panel. Drs Cao, Best, and Laverty are all lecturers in the EPIC research cluster, which focuses on problems related to renewable energy integration into power networks, smart grid technologies, intelligent control systems and manufacturing informatics.

Further information on research carried out within the EPIC Research Cluster at Queen’s can be found here.

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Queen’s MSc prepares students to build wireless Internet of Things

Dr Emi Garcia-Palacios, MSc Wireless Communications Course Director
Dr Emi Garcia-Palacios, MSc Wireless Communications Course Director

Queen’s University Belfast has launched a unique new MSc in Wireless Communications that will prepare students to build the wireless Internet of Things.  The course combines traditional Wireless Communication with cutting edge technologies such as body sensors, wearable technology and smart grids.

The Masters will be informed by research carried out at QUB’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) based in the Northern Ireland Science Park. ECIT has developed significant expertise and world leading researchers in wireless communications including the areas of wireless, mobile and radio communications, high frequency electronics, digital signal processing, data mining, cryptography and computer security, all of which are particularly relevant to wireless communications.

The ECIT Institute has significant industry links, through its Industrial Advisory Board, to companies such as Xilinx, Infineon and Thales. These engagements have also informed the syllabus of this new course ensuring graduates are well placed to compete for roles in this industry globally.

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has invested heavily in the areas of wireless communications and high frequency electronics over the last year, appointing 7 new members of academic staff who bring vitality and enthusiasm to this new course. In line with rapidly evolving technological trends, this course will prepare students to develop innovative new solutions for, and take advantage of the opportunities presented by, 4/5G networks and the Internet of Things.

Dr. Emi Garcia-Palacios, MSc Wireless Communications course Director, said “This new MSc at Queen’s University Belfast which combines the latest wireless technologies with upcoming trends such as sensors, smart grids and security is a unique opportunity for local and international students joining the course. We anticipate a strong demand from industry for graduates.”

The new Masters, which will begin in September 2014 and is open for applications now, aims to train the next generation of engineers who will play a key part in the global wireless internet revolution.

For more information and to apply go to: MSc Wireless Communications

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