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Dr Gareth Conway wins Early Career Researcher Impact Prize

Dr Gareth Conway collected his prize from Professor James McElnay (Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Postgraduates)) and Ms Claire McCollum (Compere)
Dr Gareth Conway collected his prize from Professor James McElnay (Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Postgraduates)) and Ms Claire McCollum (Compere)

Congratulations are due to Dr Gareth Conway from the ECIT Institute's Wireless Communication Systems Cluster for his recent success in the QUB Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Prize for 2014 which were announced at the Chief Executive’s Club at Queen’s Gala Dinner and Impact Awards Ceremony in the Whitla Hall on Friday 21 November 2014. The competition was organised by the Research and Enterprise Directorate.

Dr Conway was the winner of the Early Career Researcher prize for his work on Wireless Medical Vital Sign Monitors (VSMs). Existing state of the art VSMs are limited in terms of reliability and range. Now however, as a result of his collaborative research between with Toumaz Group Ltd (Sensium Healthcare) wireless VSMs have the capability to reliably monitor patients remotely, over 800% greater distance.

The prize is further evidence of ECITs focus on world leading research which has commercial and societal impact and the Wireless Communication Systems Cluster's vision to develop "wireless that works"

Find out more about Dr Conways research into Wireless Medical Vital Sign Monitors (VSMs) on the Wirless Communication Systems Cluster page here.

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Queen’s University student named 2014 Digital Hero Overall Winner


Andrew Mulholland, pictured here with his TalkTalk award

A first year Computer Science student at Queen’s University Belfast, Andrew Mulholland, has been named TalkTalk Digital Hero and awarded £10,000.

Andrew first won the Digital Hero category of Next Generation for founding the Robotics Club which is dedicated to teaching young people about Computer Science via workshops and courses.  The award, voted for by the public, recognises the future potential of young person to become a star in technology industry.  The 18 year old from Ballymoney, then competed against the winners from eight other categories to be crowned overall winner of 2014.

Andrew was presented with a trophy at a ceremony held in the House of Commons in London this week and a £10,000 prize fund to develop his project.

He plans on developing a pilot program designed to teach secondary school teachers in Northern Ireland innovative ways of using the Raspberry Pi in the classroom.

Andrew Mulholland said: “I want every student in the UK to get the opportunity to try out Computer Science – winning this award will allow me to make that possible.  It means I can create a portable classroom so I can go into more schools and make my project scalable.  It also means I can continue to support the robotics club that I set up whilst at Dalriada School in Ballymoney.”

Professor Stan Scott, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University, , said: “Andrew is a fantastic student and we are proud of his achievement, not only winning the youth category but claiming the overall title, despite being the youngest finalist.

“At Queen’s we are committed to advancing knowledge and changing lives and through Andrew’s enthusiasm in bringing the excitement of computer science to young people through his Digital Hero project he will help them to discover the benefits of the digital industry which is key to Northern Ireland’s economic growth.”

For media inquiries, please contact Judith Rance, Queen’s Communications Office, 028 9097 5292,j.rance@qub.ac.uk

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Facial re-identification for biometric recognition on combined real-virtual environments

DEL CAST PhD Studentship

Applications are invited for a PhD Research Studentship to commence January 2015 in the area of:

  • Facial re-identification for biometric recognition on combined real-virtual environments

The successful candidate will be based in the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, the UK's Innovation and Knowledge Centre for secure information technologies. Our research groups are developing novel technologies for key areas: Securing digital assets, Securing digital devices and Securing digital citizens.  Our vision is to be a global innovation hub for cyber-physical security.

The 3 year PhD studentship will be carried out in collaboration with Chemring Technology Solutions, a world-class electronics engineering company that provides contract research, product development and manufacturing for a wide range of UK and international customers.  Combining world-class technology expertise with commercial acumen, they exploit innovative research and development into leading products, services and technology.  

The studentship includes both fees and a tax-free maintenance allowance of around £18,000 for UK citizens and £13,000 for EU citizens p.a. for three years with a budget for travel and equipment (subject to eligibility criteria).

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, or a mathematics based discipline is required.

Applicants should apply electronically through the Queen's online application portal at https://pg.apply.qub.ac.uk/home

Further information available at:

http://www.csit.qub.ac.uk/EducationatCSIT/PhDInformation/CSITPhDStudentships2014/

Contact details: Dr Jesus Martinez del Rincon

ECIT - Queen's University Belfast            Tel:       +44 (0)28 9097 1779
Northern Ireland Science Park                 Fax:      +44 (0)28 9097 1702
Queen’s Road, Queen’s Island                Email:    j.martinez-del-rincon@qub.ac.uk                                                    

Belfast, BT3 9DT, N. Ireland, UK             Web:     http://www.ecit.qub.ac.uk

 

The deadline for submission of applications is 1st December 2014

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Asidua Scholarships - Application process now open

The Asidua Scholarship Programme supplements the academic learning from University with real-life business experience, working with ICT Professionals who are more than happy to share their knowledge and understanding.

The Asidua Scholarship at Queen’s University will support students studying the following degree courses:

  • BSc/ BEng/ MEng in Computer Science
  • MEng in Computer Games Development
  • BEng/ MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • BEng/ MEng in Software Engineering
  • BEng/ MEng Software and Electronic Systems Engineering

The successful students will avail of a package worth up to £25,000:

  • £1,000 per year for each of the scheduled academic years of the course; 
  • At least eight weeks paid summer work between each academic year;
  • A paid industrial placement in year three;
  • After completion of industrial placement, the opportunity for paid part-time work during the academic year – typically equating to 1 day per week (subject to course schedules);
  • Following an application for a permanent position and subject to success at interview, in accordance with Fair Employment legislation, a permanent position with Asidua after graduation.

How to Apply:

Asidua's Queen's University Belfast Scholarship Programme for the 2014/2015 academic year is now open to application.  Apply here before the closing date – 24 October 2015 at 5pm

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Power Academy Scholarships – Information Session

Open to all Electrical and Electronic Engineering undergraduates at Queen’s University  (except final years)

 

Wed 8th Oct 2014, 1-3pm,

Room GM001 Ashby Building

(includes lunch)

No need to register – just come along

At this event you will receive an overview of the Power Academy, including key dates; hear from current scholars and also have the opportunity to speak to representatives of some of the companies involved.

 

What is the Power Academy?

The Power Academy is a unique partnership between industry and academia, established to address the looming skills shortage in power engineering through a combination of financial support and workplace mentoring for students.  There are just 8 UK universities in the Power Academy.

Sponsoring Companies

Sponsoring companies include NIE, ABB, Atkins, BAE Systems, Costain, CCFE, London Underground, Mitsubishi Electric, National Grid, Northern Power Grid, Npower, Rolls Royce, Scottish Power, SSE, Siemens, UK Power Networks, Western Power Distribution.

Number of Scholarships

54 scholarships are on offer this year to Electrical and Electronic Engineering students across the 8 participating universities.  Only 8 UK Universities are in the Power Academy Scheme, of which Queen’s University is one.  These are the top UK universities for electrical power engineering in the UK.

What are the benefits?

A Power Academy scholarship provides:

  • A bursary of £2,200 for each year of study;
  • £220 for books and software;
  • Mentors from industry partners;
  • Paid summer work placements;
  • Annual high level seminar on important sector issues.

Who can apply?

All Electrical and Electronic Engineering undergraduates (except final years) in the 8 participating universities may apply.  It is open to Home and EU students only. 

For further information

If you have any queries about this event, email Gemma O’Donnell, g.odonnell@qub.ac.uk

For further information on the Power Academy, visit – http://conferences.theiet.org/power-academy/

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Queen’s University in £400,000 bid to reduce cyber-attack threats to national grid


Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have received funding of almost £400,000 to reduce cyber-attack threats to the UK’s national grid.

The project aims to identify vulnerabilities within the national grid as wind and solar generated electricity become more widely used. The grid operates over the telecoms network making it vulnerable to cyber-attack.

The research is one of four new projects which make up a £2.5million initiative, co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and UK’s National Cyber Security Programme, which will focus on the cyber-security of the UK’s critical infrastructure including manufacturing plants, power stations, the electricity grid, and the rail network.

Professor Sakir Sezer, from the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s, said: “Presently, Ireland frequently operates with over 50 per cent of electricity supplied by wind generation.  Operating the system with such high levels of renewable generation is a challenge, and requires complex wide area monitoring and control. 

“Should the telecoms systems that support the control system be compromised, the impact of the resultant loss of electricity supply would have far-reaching consequences for society.  This would involve loss of consumer supply, supply to hospitals, industry, and would even affect the gas, water and sewage networks.

“The researchers will demonstrate assured and improved operational decision making and lay the groundwork for a new, cyber-threat resilient, control architecture for the grid.” 

The Research Institute in Trustworthy Industrial Control Systems (RITICS), based at Imperial College London, is co-ordinating the overall research with projects at Queen’s, the University of Birmingham, City University London and Lancaster University.

The research teams will work with industry partners to understand and analyse the risks from cyber-attack, examine how risk is communicated to business and provide effective interventions to counter the risk. Metrics and software tools will be produced so that non-technical decision makers can assess cyber-security in the context of their business.

Professor Chris Hankin, from the RITICS at Imperial College London, said, “Where control systems are linked to the internet we need to understand how failures could cascade across the system. We will be looking at new ways of repairing damage to systems if an attack happens.

“We need to address how to approach network maintenance for industrial control systems, particularly as most systems operate on a 24/7 basis. So we will be looking at how we can ensure better protection without compromising performance.”

Ends

Media inquiries to Claire O’Callaghan, Queen’s Communications Office on c.ocallaghan@qub.ac.uk or 02890973087.

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Lessons in Engineering Innovation


Prof Roger Woods with his new book, entitled 'Engineering Innovative Products: A Practical Experience'

A device to help you pour the perfect stout or an innovative technology to assist drivers in reversing a vehicle up to a trailer are just two examples of the inventions featured in an innovative new book about developing a product for commercialisation.  Entitled 'Engineering Innovative Products: A Practical Experience' the book provides a practical insight in to the steps involved in setting up a company from scratch, and is based on the experiences of engineering students and staff at Queen’s University Belfast. 

Prof Roger Woods, a member of the lecturing staff in the University, is the main author of the book which draws on the experiences of students in undertaking their 3rd year industrial projects as part of MEng degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Product Design and Development at the University. As a direct result of the courses, students have had a number of successes, with many winning awards and taking their ideas forward and setting up companies - a number of which are discussed in the book. The book also features insights from staff that have set up their own businesses, as well as industry experts.

Professor Woods commented: “As our students work in project teams to develop a product which aims to be commercially viable, they gain excellent real-life experience in setting up a company.  In the book, an insight is not only provided into these experiences, but also from those of staff who have set up their own companies.  I myself am a founder of a University spin-off company, Analytics Engines, which is a global leader in providing solutions to speed up analytics for Big Data.” Queen's University has a long history of innovation success and is one of the most successful universities in the UK for spin-outs, the portfolio of which has a combined turnover of £144m.

Professor Andy Hopper from the University of Cambridge, himself a leading entrepreneur, provided the forward and warmly recommends the book.  He commented:  “The book takes the reader through all the essential steps in creating a successful business’’ and believes that, as a result of publication of the book:  “The chances of successful innovation in engineering will be much improved.”

Steve Orr, Director of the Northern Ireland science Park Connect Programme which aims to link entrepreneurs with resources they need for success, commented: “The book provides vital insights into commercial development for engineering in a highly practical and applied manner” and added that: “It has allowed students to develop their commercial literacy and ambition in the University.”

‘Engineering Innovative Products: A Practical Experience' is of benefit to students and staff at universities involved in engineering innovation, as well as anyone considering setting up their own company.  Details can be found at Wiley at the following link http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118757734.html.

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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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