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Engineering Students Awarded Prestigious £25K NIE Scholarships


Dr David McNeill, Assistant Director of Education for Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s, pictured with the 6 new NIE Scholars - Left to right, Kyle Whiteside, Margaret Taggart, James Burns, Brendan Digney, Chloe McDonald and Joshua Watson

Six students in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s University have been awarded prestigious scholarships by Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE).  The scholarships, which are each worth £25K, include financial support as well as the opportunity to spend a year’s placement and each summer working for the Company.

NIE launched the Scholarship programme with Queen’s University in 2011 as a means of recruiting good graduates into their Electrical Engineering Graduate Scheme.  There is currently a shortage of electrical engineering graduates in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK, as they are in high demand across a broad range of sectors, from IT to connected health.  The power industry, in particular, is experiencing a particular shortage with demand for graduates expected to increase even further over the next 10-15 years.

The six new NIE scholars at Queen’s University are all first year students in electrical and electronic engineering and they are: James Burns (Armoy), Chloe McDonald (Hamiltonsbawn), Kyle Whiteside (Belfast), Margaret Taggart (Toomebridge), Joshua Watson (Cookstown) and Brendan Digney (Newry).

Randal Gilbert, Programme Management manager at NIE said, "There are excellent opportunities for well paid, highly skilled and secure jobs within the power engineering sector with an estimate 38,000 new power engineering jobs across the UK over the next 10 years and beyond. However, there is a significant shortage of electrical engineering graduates to fill these jobs. Our NIE Scholarship programme aims to help develop young engineering talent. We offer the successful engineering students invaluable experience working on real projects with a confirmed opportunity of employment in a growing and fast moving sector."

Dr David McNeill, Assistant Director of Education for Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s commented: “I would like to congratulate all of the students on receiving their scholarships from NIE and wish them all the best in their future careers as electrical engineers. They are joining the industry at an exciting time, as engineers face global challenges, including the provision of clean, green energy for all.”

Dr McNeill continued “There is a particular shortage of Electrical Power Engineers not only locally, but globally, and NIE has adopted a pro-active approach in trying to address this.  The Company are also sponsoring a unique project within the School whereby a DeLorean vehicle is being converted into an Electric Vehicle by our students, so we collaborate with them on a number of levels in order to attract and engage the best students.”

Northern Ireland Electricity launched their scholarship scheme in 2011 and they normally sponsor at least 4 students on the Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree each year at Queen’s University Belfast.  The scholarship, which is worth up to £25k over the duration of the scholarship, is open to first year electrical engineering students. It includes a bursary and a book allowance every year, payment towards university fees, paid summer training experience, one year training experience, a mentor and student membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

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Engineering Students Slay the Dragons!


Winners of the Queen’s Dragons’ Den competition, SleepState Labs: (Left to right) Eoin McGread, James Grant, Emmet McPoland, John McKee Chief Executive, Linkubator (member of the judging panel), Andrew Doole, Nathanial Brown and Peter Armstrong

QUB Dragons’ Den, organised by Enterprise SU - Queen’s University Students’ Union’s Enterprise unit, came to an electrifying end earlier this month.  The basement of the iconic Elmwood Hall was transformed to create a Dragons’ Den, similar to the real BBC Dragons’ Den, and finalists entered the Den to pitch their business idea to a panel of business experts.

Over 80 students applied to the competition, all aiming to pick-up a share of the £5,000 investment pot, with ideas ranging from fuel alternatives, medical devices, to tattoo removal technology.  Entries for the competition were from both undergraduate and post-graduate students studying a diverse range of subjects at the University. 

Following an initial shortlist of 25 business ideas to the ‘Quick Pitch’ stage, 11 finalists were then selected to pitch to The Dragons, a panel of business experts including Philip Bain, Director, Shredbank; Nancy Brown, Business Consultant and Entrepreneur; John McKee, Chief Executive, Linkubator; Shauna Burns, Head of Mid Ulster & Fermanagh Business Centre, Ulster Bank; and David Bradshaw, Client Executive, Invest Northern Ireland.  5 out of the 11 finalists were from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s.

In the final the Dragons faced a tough decision as the standard was so high but they ultimately decided on one winner…SleepState Labs, a group of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Software & Electronic Systems Engineering students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciencewho won the full £5,000 investment for their sleep detecting mobile application. Dragon John McKee said, "What was most impressive from the Dragon's chair was the level of maturity and completeness of preparation demonstrated by every group... It is a credit to the students themselves that literally any team could have been a justified winner".

Eoin McGread (Software and Electronic Systems Engineering student), from SleepState Labs, commented "Entering the Den we thought we had stepped into the BBC studios it felt so like the real Den. After a nerve-racking pitch, and some challenging questions from the Dragons, we received great feedback about our business and how to best approach future challenges.”

Judith Maguire is one of the Enterprise Support Officers at Queen’s Students’ Union and she added, “By providing our students with enterprise related initiatives we aim to foster an enterprising attitude among the student population here at Queen’s.  Our aim is to develop the professional skills and capabilities of the students, including resilience, risk taking, creativity and innovation, as well as a self-belief that starting a business is a viable career choice.”

Shauna Burns, Head of Mid-Ulster and Fermanagh Business centre, Ulster Bank, said: “Ulster Bank is committed to supporting entrepreneurship right across Northern Ireland, and the participants in this programme demonstrated real innovation in the ideas that they put forward. Congratulations to all those who participated.”

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Business Information Technology Students earn high praise from PwC


Students presented their final year projects to industry representatives on Friday as part of their Business Information Technology (BIT) course.

BIT is a course that combines technical demands with modern business concepts. In their final year, students are required to develop a software solution wrapped up with a viable business plan that includes marketing strategies and financial projections.

The projects will then be assessed against these criteria and the culmination of the process sees students present their ideas to senior staff from PwC.

Course Director, Dr Barry McCollum said of the process “Engagement with industry is an essential part of the learning outcomes of the course. This particular challenge enables students to test their technical, business and presentation skills, gaining valuable insight and feedback from experienced professionals.”

Representatives from PwC were hugely impressed with the calibre of presentations on show with Philip Dunn commenting:

“We were extremely impressed by the technical expertise on show, and the level of business awareness displayed by the students.

“The quality of the presentations and the applications demonstrated is a testament to the success of the course and everyone's team working ability.

“We were also impressed by a number of the presenters, they displayed a high level of confidence and an ability to articulate innovative technical solutions to business problems.”

PwC sponsors an individual and group project prizes, with the winners being announced at a special School prize giving prior to Graduation on Friday 3 July.

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QUB spin-out Eventmap moves further onwards and upwards

One of Queen’s University’s spin-out success stories, Eventmap, is creating 10 highly skilled jobs in Belfast. With recent Invest Northern Ireland support of £85,000 augmenting the company’s own investment, Eventmap expects sales to grow to around £1 million by 2017 ­– aided by a new business win in Oman, supplying software to Sultan Qaboos University.

Eventmap is beginning to make a significant impact with its range of software products and services that optimise timetabling and resource management within universities – enabling many large institutions to realise significant annual financial savings. The company has concentrated on combining research innovation with cutting-edge commercial technologies to deliver products that recognise changes in how software is delivered. Eventmap are currently working with four of the UK's Russell Group universities and a further five of the top 100 universities in the world.

The business has been developed by Dr Barry McCollum and Dr Paul McMullan from QUB’s Department of Computer Science. CTO Dr McMullan is leading strategic operations in establishing cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) models, incorporating research and IT expertise for several high-growth commercial applications.

Eventmap have also been expanding from their core market in Higher Education, drawing on interest in their leading-edge optimisation technologies from the public sector and manufacturing industries. They are partnering with large international businesses including Capita business services and Knight Frank property consultants, delivering solutions for projects such as the ongoing large scale development and roll-out of state of the art training facilities for the Metropolitan Police Force.

Eventmap’s CEO, Dr Barry McCollum said of the company’s continued expansion: “This is an exciting time. Opportunities are opening up for us not only in the education sector but also within many areas of the public sector and in large-scale manufacturing – in fact, we see possibilities for our technology anywhere where very complex organisations can be made more efficient. Our recent success in Oman reflects this potential and is an important stepping stone for us in leveraging additional business in the Middle East.

“Over the next three years we will be implementing a marketing strategy to target sales within a number of national and international markets including UK, France, Portugal, Finland, Switzerland, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.” 

“We’ll also be continuing to develop new technology, including advanced cloud-based solutions. Our mission is to further advance our position at the cutting edge of the resource management and software optimisation field.”

CTO Dr Paul McMullan added: “The SaaS software model allows a much greater potential for research impact – delivering innovative ‘black box’ optimisation and simulation technology presented using a demand-driven, subscription based service to a global market.”

“There are many technical challenges in the development process, but we have a growing team of highly talented and dedicated graduates with the necessary skills to deliver robust and scalable solutions. We see our team expanding rapidly over the next few years as other application areas and markets start to recognise the potential of the technology.”

Commenting on InvestNI’s continued support of Eventmap, their Director of Technology & Services George McKinney said “Eventmap have invested significantly in research and development and the resulting innovative technology has enabled it to steadily gain market share. We are supporting Eventmap in a significant expansion that will create 10 quality jobs and help it to substantially grow sales, primarily in export markets.”

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QUB Electric DeLorean at first ever DMC Reunion

Queen’s will have a display at the DeLorean reunion this Sunday, related to its Electric DeLorean project
Queen’s will have a display at the DeLorean reunion this Sunday, related to its Electric DeLorean project

Queen’s University is to feature its Electric DeLorean project at the first ever reunion of former employees of the DeLorean factory on Sunday 3 May at the Transport Museum in Cultra. 

About 200 former employees and close supporters of DeLorean Motor Cars Limited of Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, are travelling from all over the world to join their former Belfast colleagues at their first ever reunion.  It is 35 years since the first production DeLorean DMC-12 was shown publicly at the North American Dealers’ Association convention in New Orleans, USA. The former employees are getting together on Sunday from 2-5pm at the Transport Museum, as part of a full weekend of events.

Visitors to the event, which is also open to the paying public, will see up to 21 DeLoreans on display in the museum grounds, and have the opportunity to visit the DeLorean Gallery in the museum. The event will also feature the designer Giugiaro’s original full-size see-through model of the car -- one of the 40,000 mile durability test cars -- and a running chassis.

The QUB Electric DeLorean project is sponsored and supported by Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) as part of their engineering education activities. Electric vehicles present great opportunities for decarbonisation of transport, but the technologies and electrical infrastructure required to support them will require a new generation of Electrical Engineers.

The DeLorean will be restored and converted to use an electric motor and battery pack by a team of undergraduate students in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s.

Randal Gilbert, Investment Strategy Manager at NIE, commented “Unique projects such as converting a DeLorean from petrol to electric allows us to make strong links with Queen’s University and show that electrical engineering is all about finding innovative solutions to new challenges. Nurturing the engineers of tomorrow and showing that a career in engineering offers exciting opportunities is important as we attempt to address the significant shortage of electrical engineering graduates  that currently exists in Northern Ireland.”

Queen’s University is delighted to have the opportunity to display its Electric Delorean at this event.  Although the car is due for completion in October 2015 (the date when Marty McFly goes ‘back to the future’ in the film Back to the Future 2), visitors can see the chassis of the car and also speak to Electrical and Electronic Engineering students involved in the conversion. 

For further information, contact:

Gemma O’Donnell, email g.odonnell@qub.ac.uk, tel. 028 9097 4618 (mobile 07900 344851)

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Innovative EEECS students take on the Dragons

Finalists from EEECS
Pictured are (Teams, clockwise from top right) Sleep State, Jobmapper, IVEA, Blood Device, Kairos Power

This year the Dragon’s Den event, run by Enterprise SU, will feature no fewer than 5 teams from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS) in the final to take place on Wednesday 29th April 2015.

The competition pits students, undergraduate and postgraduate, against the team of Dragons with participants hoping to secure funding to launch their business idea.

This year 5 teams from EEECS make up more than half of the teams in the final and come from across all disciplines in the School.

The teams are:

Blood device
Michael Robinson 

IVEA
Adam Whiteside, Alex Caskey, Andrew Boyd, Victoria Potts 

Jobmapper
Jason Davidson 

Sleep State Labs
Andrew Doole, Emmet McPoland, Eoin McGread, James Grant, Nathanial Brown, PeterArmstrong 

Kairos Power
Christie Elliott, Conor Robinson, Joseph Murray, Mark Lindsay, Mark Williamson, Stephen Maxwell, Steven McCann

Speaking on the success of these teams Ann Doris, Senior Placement and Careers Adviser for EEECS commented,

“Entrepreneurship is an important part of life within the School. We actively promote students working in groups or as individuals on novel implementation of technology. The Dragon’s Den competition provides them with the platform to hone their business skills and also improve their articulation of technological concepts in front of business leaders. We, as a School, are proud to have such a large proportion of the finalists.”

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science wish all teams good luck in the final!

For more information

Andrew Norton
Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer

School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science? 

tel  +44 (0) 28 9097 4640
mobile 07854439792
Email a.norton@qub.ac.uk

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School’s KTP Partnership with Engineering Company graded as ‘Outstanding’

image
Left to right - Stanley McFarland (Munster Simms),William Morris (Innovate UK), Peter Hanson (Munster Simms), Dr Jing Deng and Prof Kang Li (Queen’s University) holding a meeting inside a caravan in order to demonstrate a heating system developed by Peter!

Peter Hanson

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Queen's University’s School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Munster Simms Engineering Limited in Bangor, has been graded as ‘Outstanding’.  The project involved embedding in-house electronic software and hardware capability in the company, resulting in the accelerated delivery of innovative products to the market. 

Munster Simms Engineering Ltd supplies the marine, caravan/motorhome, shower drainage and industrial markets around the world with pumps, and water and space heating systems under the Whale brand name.  They have led the way since the 1940s with ground breaking pump design and continue to do so with the recent innovations in intelligent control electronic pump systems and gas /electric heating systems for water and space in recreational vehicles.

Prior to the KTP project, Munster Simms outsourced the design of hardware and software for their MSEL pumps and systems, which limited the speed and increased the cost of bringing new products to market. The company i‌dentified the need to embed a new product development capability for complex electronic controllers, which would include custom hardware design and embedded software, resulting in innovative controllers that are adaptable and offer new energy saving and safety features.  The new controllers are also certifiable for use with gas appliances.  

Professor Kang Li from Queen’s University, with assistance from Dr Jing Deng, supervised the project which lasted two and a half years.  They provided knowledge on embedded hardware and software design to help the company build their own team to manage their electronic design, instead of relying on a third party supplier. 

Richard Bovill, Engineering Director at Whale, commented: “With the use of the KTP programme we were able to attract and keep an exceptionally high calibre graduate.  The KTP programme exceeded our expectations and goals resulting in a new, high functioning department within Engineering, while enabling Whale to accelerate an innovative project with reduced risk under the guidance of the expertise within Queen’s University.”

Peter Hanson was appointed as the KTP Associate, working full time on this project in the company premises in Bangor. The new development framework and enhanced capabilities have enabled the company to more than double the size of its embedded software team in two years, a team which Peter now leads. 

KTP -

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. 

KTP is an Innovate UK Programme which is supported by Invest Northern Ireland.

For more information on KTP at Queen’s University Belfast, contact Lorraine Marks, KTP Manager (l.marks@qub.ac.uk).

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Megaw Memorial Lecture


Some of the judges and participants at last year’s Megaw Lecture

30th April 2015, 6-8pm

Final year undergraduate students present their projects

You are invited to attend the annual Megaw Memorial Lecture which will take place on April 30th 2015 from 6pm-8pm in Lecture Theatre GM.001 of the Ashby Building at Queen’s University Belfast.

The Megaw Memorial Lecture competition is held annually to commemorate Eric Megaw, a graduate of Electrical Engineering at QUB who made significant contributions to RADAR technology during WWII. He developed the cavity magnetron to generate powerful shortwave transmissions; this is still used in microwave ovens today.

This year five final year project students from across the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will present. Information on the students and their projects can be found below. 

Analysis of Conical Helical Resonators for RF Filters

Subhojit Mukherjee (BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

RF filters are the vital elements of modern wireless systems. They enable spectrum control and interference suppression in diverse wireless applications ranging from mobile phones to space communications and navigation. The size of filters is fundamentally determined by the operating wavelength that poses a major challenge in the endeavour of device miniaturization. The problems become particularly acute at low microwave frequencies where filters become prohibitively big and heavy. In this project, novel convoluted filter configurations comprised of helical resonators are explored to alleviate the size inflicted limitations and simultaneously enhance power handling capability of the filter.

Cloud Based Control of Embedded Systems

Raymond Dillon (BEng Computer Science)

Based around the commercial idea behind the Internet of Things, this project seeks to explore the controlling of an Intel Galileo through the use of the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform, exploring Finite State Machine Concepts and their significance in distributed systems.

Practical Techniques to Investigate the Security of an AES-256 Encrypted Hard Disk Drive

Matthew Nethercote (MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

High profile companies including Apple, Microsoft and SONY have recently been victim of cyber-attacks and as a result valuable information compromised. This project investigates the integrity of a hard disk drive using encryption to protect information when exposed to a practical attack. Such an attack may be performed on the device to access confidential information on the hard disk without permission if it is lost or stolen.

DMC-101 Lecture 1: Building an Electric DeLorean

Brian Moorhead (MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

The purpose of this project is to restore and modify a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car to use an electric propulsion system, with a specific concern of converting the vehicle auxiliaries (for example, the brake system) to operate after conversion. The presentation will illustrate how a DeLorean DMC-12 is built from scratch, and will provide an overview of the how an electric vehicle conversion is carried out.

DeLorean EV Propulsion Conversion

Kenneth McAneaney (MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

This project considers the DeLorean DMC-12. It investigates the conversion from internal combustion engine to electric motor propulsion, interconnection of various integral components such as the controller, battery pack and battery management system and testing of the completed propulsion system. A method to monitor the power consumption of the electric motor is also considered.

 

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Queen’s University in £38m bid to secure Smart Cities and the Internet of Things


Prof. John McCanny, ECIT Director and CSIT Principal Investigator with Arlene Foster, Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister

A major investment of up to £38 million is set to establish Queen’s University Belfast as a world-leading research and innovation hub for cyber security for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things.

The funding, which has been awarded as part of a major expansion of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s, was announced at the first day of the annual World Cyber Summit.

The £38 million expansion aims to enhance security in highly virtualised environments and connected devices, and to prevent personal information theft and fraud from laptops, smart phones and cloud storage.

Building on the many successes achieved by CSIT since it was established in 2009, the plans for expansion come as security experts and government policy makers from around the world gather for the 5th World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit.

The two-day event, held at CSIT in Belfast, is bringing together leading industry experts to discuss how to combat future threats to global cyber security. The select group of experts will share current trends in cyber security, look at security threats likely to emerge in the years ahead and agree on an international strategy for developing research that will safeguard the ‘Internet of tomorrow'.

Responding to the pioneering aims of the summit, CSIT has been awarded £5million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Innovate UK, along with £9 million core funding from Queen’s, to continue its growth as a UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre - combining research with industry to achieve economic success.

The centre will build on its industry and academic partnerships worldwide, increasing the projected level of investment in its research to £38 million in the next five years.

CSIT will use this investment to drive forward its own research programmes, support the creation of more businesses and jobs, and provide skills and training for the UK cyber security industry, including the creation of a nine-month pre-accelerator program for cyber security entrepreneurs. The Centre plans to recruit 25 additional staff across engineering, research and commercial disciplines.

Speaking during the summit, Professor John McCanny, from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “We are delighted to announce this investment at the World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit, an event which is helping to make the Internet of Tomorrow a safe and secure platform for the next phase of the human journey. This funding recognises how over the last five years we have successfully blended world class research and innovation to deliver economic impact nationally, internationally and regionally.

“In line with the goals of this global summit, the investment will allow us to further accelerate new value creation in this sector, drive business venture creation through our new pre-accelerator programme and build capacity for the industry by providing it with high calibre Masters and PhDs graduates.”

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Chief Executive said: “Strong economies are science economies, they invest in the science and engineering research that is needed to drive innovation and growth. The potential benefits of the virtual world and the opportunities that interconnected devices offer, for instance in our abilities to monitoring health, energy and maintain security are vast. However, we need to be able to operate in a resilient and secure environment that can cope with challenge of criminal and external threats. This funding will help arm the UK with the skilled people and techniques it needs to prosper as a nation.”

Kevin Baughan, Innovate UK’s Director of Technology and Innovation said: “CSIT has delivered significant UK economic growth through our original joint investment with EPSRC, contributing to over 950 new jobs in the Belfast cyber security cluster. By extending funding for a further five years, we underline our support for their commitment to raise the commercialisation bar even higher. This will help companies of all sizes grow through leveraging the excellent UK science base in cyber security"

Queen’s University is one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities, and has recently been placed in the top ten in the UK for research intensity in the Research Excellence Framework assessment exercise. In this exercise 93% of the research conducted by CSIT academics was adjudged to be world leading or internationally excellent.

The 5thWorld Cyber Security Technology Research Summit, running from 19-20 March, will include speakers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the UK Cabinet Office, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Allstate, Symantec, Citi, Paladin Capital Group, Chemring Technology Solutions, RSCI Cyberpsychology Research Centre, Cylab, BAE Systems, RSA and Rapid7. Find out more about the event at: http://www.csit.qub.ac.uk/Belfast2015

Please direct media enquiries to Andrew Kennedy, Queen’s Communications Office on 028 9097 5384 or andrew.kennedy@qub.ac.uk

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Queen’s researchers develop simpler, low cost stealth


The testing rig in the anechoic chamber in the School.

The FSS is printed on a microwave substrate, patterned with a thin layer of high frequency shielding paint. The whole absorber structure is only 3 mm thick

Radar-absorbent material (RAM), is a class of materials used in stealth technology to disguise a vehicle or structure and reduce the probability of radar detection – typically this could include aircraft, ships, submarines, missiles and satellites to make them less visible (ideally invisible) to radar and other detection methods. A RAM that can operate over a broad range of frequencies and incident angles, is simple to manufacture, low cost, robust, and thin enough for conformal applications like aircraft cloaking has been developed by PhD student Normi Zabri, along with other researchers, in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast.

 Traditional RAM is unsuitable for radar 'cloaking' of aircraft structures, wind turbines and surface vehicles. Their thickness, weight and shaping clash with other, more fundamental, design drivers, for example the operating environment or aerodynamics.

 Less bulky alternatives, like the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk's nano-composite paint can be used, but these are very expensive and so unsuitable for most commercial applications. One lower-cost approach to creating thin, light RAM is the class of periodic structures called frequency selective surfaces (FSSs). As the name suggests, an FSS selectively scatters incident EM radiation according to its frequency. FSSs normally consist of an array of patterned conductors, backed by a thin dielectric. A microwave FSS absorber will also have a metal sheet inserted behind the resistively loaded patterned elements.

 This lower-cost approach does come with more limited performance, as Dr Robert Cahill (Normi Zabri’s supervisor) explained: "The majority of the existing thin absorbers are narrowband and have poor angular and polarisation stability. They are also sensitive to the incidence angle, and it is difficult to achieve the precise surface resistance value required for each of the FSS elements."

 However, the FSS absorber presented by the Queen’s University researchers absorbs a wide range of frequencies over a wide range of incident angles, regardless of polarisation, and it is only 3mm thick.

 This thickness is around one tenth the wavelength of the radar radiation to be absorbed and much thinner than more traditional planar RAM, such as Salisbury screens that classically have a thickness of a quarter wavelength, but the material still achieves 90% backscatter suppression at incident angles up to 45°. The broad range of frequencies that are absorbed has previously only been possible with much thicker multilayer composite FSS structures, which are more difficult to manufacture and hard to use in conformal applications like aircraft.

The researchers involved in this project are based in the High Frequency Electronic Circuits Research Cluster within the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast.

 

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UCAS Information Events

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s will be holding a number of information events for students who have applied for undergraduate degrees in the School through UCAS.  The aim of these events is to provide students (and their parents/guardians) with the opportunity to find out more about the courses before they decide which degrees to accept as their firm and insurance choices in UCAS. 

Please note that these events are only open to those students who have received offers to study for the degrees (and students will have been notified about these events by letter).  If you are still waiting to receive an offer, you will be notified about the appropriate event following receipt of your offer.

 

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Includes courses in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Software & Electronic Systems Engineering

  • Wednesday 25th February 2015, 6-8pm, Ashby Building – Stranmillis Road
  • Wednesday 25th March 2015, 6-8pm, Ashby Building – Stranmillis Road

For further information on these events, please contact:

Gemma O’Donnell, email. g.odonnell@qub.ac.uk, tel. 028 9097 4618

 

Computer Science

Includes courses in Business Information Technology, Computer Science, Computing & Information Technology, and Software Engineering

  • Saturday 28th March 2015 in the Whitla Hall (start times at 11.30am and 2pm)
  • Thursday 23rd April, 6.30pm-8.30pm, ECS2 Building

For further information on these events, please contact:

Andrew Norton, email. a.norton@qub.ac.uk, tel. 028 9097 4640

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Farry announces major redevelopment of Queen’s University Computer Science facilities

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today announced that, following the allocation of £7.49 million in funding, a major redevelopment and expansion of the computer science teaching facilities at Queen's University Belfast has commenced. Pictured at the announcement are Minister Farry and Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston.
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today announced that, following the allocation of £7.49 million in funding, a major redevelopment and expansion of the computer science teaching facilities at Queen's University Belfast has commenced. Pictured at the announcement are Minister Farry and Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston.
Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry today announced that, following the allocation of £7.49 million in funding, a major redevelopment and expansion of the computer science teaching facilities at Queen's University Belfast has commenced.
 
The redevelopment work is taking place on the site of the Bernard Crossland building on the Malone Road and will cost £14.98 million to complete, with the Department for Employment and Learning and Queen’s University contributing 50% each. The building is the main facility for Computer Science at Queen’s University.
 
Following the announcement, Minister Farry said: “With the number of Computer Science students attending Queen’s having almost doubled in the past two years to 1,350, this major investment in infrastructure and teaching represents a major boost for our economy and higher education sector. Our economy needs a constant supply of high quality graduates with computer science and software engineering skills if we are to be globally competitive.”
 
Dr Farry chairs the ICT Sector Implementation Group, which manages an Action Plan setting out the short, medium and long term actions required to ensure that the local ICT industry has access to the skilled workforce it needs to grow and flourish, both now and in the future.
 
The Minister continued: “Since I took up office in 2011, much work has been conducted to improve our skills base to the local ICT industry. There has been an increase of around 1,500 undergraduate places in local higher education institutions - all in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects. This is complemented by a 60% increase in publicly-funded PhDs in economically relevant areas.
 
“We have also increased applications for IT-related degrees at our local universities, developed IT apprenticeship schemes and created conversion courses and bespoke academies to encourage people into the sector.”
 
Welcoming the investment, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston said: “The expansion of Computer Science is an institutional priority for the University and is closely aligned with the priorities set out in the Northern Ireland Programme for Government and the Department for Employment and Learning’s Higher Education and Skills Strategies.
 
"Our vision is that computer science teaching and research will be delivered in a hi-tech, flexible learning environment that encourages collaboration and innovation. Key to this is the integration of staff and students in a modern landmark building with increased computing resources and considerably more project space that will enhance the student experience and improve employability skills. This state-of-the-art facility will contribute to the vision of the ICT Industry in Northern Ireland to be a world class centre of ICT excellence.”
 
Construction work on the state of the art facility is scheduled for completion by April 2016 with its new modern facilities available to students for the start of the 2016/17 academic year.
 

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School Produces World-Leading Performance in REF 2014


100 per cent of the impact of research in Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's University is world leading or internationally excellent, according to the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) results released today. Electrical and Electronic Engineering is also ranked among the top 10 in the UK, and is placed 5th for the percentage of research which is of the highest quality.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 assesses the quality and impact of UK higher education institutions' research. The REF is a process of expert review which grades the quality of research on a 5-point scale, ranging from work recognised as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour (4*) to that which falls below national standards (unclassified).

Highlights from the School's performance in REF 2014 include the following:

  • 100 per cent of the School's research impact was judged to be either world-leading or internationally excellent. This is a measure of the worthwhile effects achieved by the research outside of academia in areas such as business, the economy, civil society etc.
  • 93 per cent of research in Electrical and Electronic Engineering was judged to be either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).
  • 72 per cent of research in Computer Science was judged to be either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

Professor Stan Scott, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, said: "I would like to congratulate staff within the School on the outstanding REF results. Our research quality has improved significantly in both Computer Science and Electrical & Electronic Engineering compared to the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008. That is something that our staff, students and industry partners can be very proud of and we look forward to building on this going forward."

Queen's University as a whole has been placed in the top 20 in the UK for research. The REF underlined the breadth and depth of research excellence at Queen's, which has risen three places in the research power rankings since the last research assessment exercise in 2008.

Find out more about Queen's University's performance in the REF here.

Find out more about research in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's University here.

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