|Jan 22||-||Farry announces major redevelopment of Queen’s University Computer Science facilities|
|Jan 5||-||School Produces World-Leading Performance in REF 2014|
|Dec 16||-||Blazing a Trail- Women in IT|
|Dec 12||-||Queen’s IT Students win big at Allstate NI Hackathon|
|Dec 5||-||QUB Electric DeLorean Project|
|Dec 4||-||Travel Bursary opportunities|
|Nov 27||-||Dr Gareth Conway wins Early Career Researcher Impact Prize|
|Nov 18||-||Queen’s University student named 2014 Digital Hero Overall Winner|
|Oct 10||-||Asidua Scholarships - Application process now open|
|Oct 3||-||Power Academy Scholarships – Information Session|
|Oct 3||-||Queen’s University in £400,000 bid to reduce cyber-attack threats to national grid|
|Sep 8||-||Lessons in Engineering Innovation|
|Jun 24||-||Legacy Gift awarded in Dragon’s Den Style Competition|
|May 29||-||Queen’s MSc prepares students to build wireless Internet of Things|
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:
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.
Members and guests of the Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s, as well as members of the Belfast branch of Women Who Code, and staff and students of the School of `Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, were invited to ‘Blazing a Trail: Women in IT’, on Tuesday 9 December in the Great Hall at Queen’s.
With a panel of four female speakers and a room largely dominated by women, there was a great atmosphere in the Great Hall for the last CEC event of 2014 that explored stories of female success in the Information Technology sector.
Dr Elizabeth O’Sullivan, a researcher in Secure Digital Systems at the Queen’s Institute of Electronic Communications and Information Technology, introduced the evening’s speakers and also took part on the panel for the lively Q & A session that followed. Claire Burn, the City Lead for Women Who Code – and currently a Queen’s MEng Computer Science student and freelance software developer, told those attending about how the global Women Who Code network was formed and how the Belfast branch is supporting local women working or wishing to work in IT. She too participated in the panel debate with the evening’s two main speakers.
First to speak was experienced technology entrepreneur and angel investor, Mary McKenna MBE. Based now in London, Mary provided a lot of valuable tips and insights from across her career and her current work supporting new start-ups and young entrepreneurs. Mary co-founded a successful e-learning company, Learning Pool, in 2006 on the back of a career in local government and exited the company in May 2014 in order to return to startup land. Since 2010 she has been Chairman of Northern Ireland’s Digital Circle, a body that represents the digital content industry. Earlier in 2014 she helped national youth volunteering charity, vInspired, to launch Task Squad, a brand new Google backed social innovation platform around micro-working for 18-25 year olds. Now Entrepreneur in Residence at the Northern Ireland Science Park, Mary was awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list to recognise her services to digital technology, innovation and learning.
The evening’s second speaker, more recently embarked on the entrepreneurial journey, was Deborah Craig. An energetic entrepreneur and software developer, Deborah is harnessing her skills and passion to help solve real problems through her new business, Limejar Ltd. Limejar is developing a game changing software solution to give Autistic children the best start in life, using early interventions to prepare them for their future as independent adults. Deborah was a semi-finalist of Northern Ireland Science Park’s INVENT2014 competition and is currently a candidate of the Invest NI Propel Programme, a prestigious accelerator for start-ups with a global, scalable potential.
The two inspiring talks generated many questions and comments from the audience. The productive networking continued on after the panel officially ended, as festive mulled wine and refreshments were served.
On Wednesday 10th December Allstate NI announced the winners of their recent Hackathon competition which was held at Queen’s University Belfast. The challenge was to invent new or improved products or service offerings within a fixed timeframe that leverage the data collected by an insurance company the size of Allstate in the US.
Allstate NI partnered with the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's University Belfast with a view to opening up the data to a group of students, have them develop ideas and ultimately produce a demonstrable product to the Allstate NI leadership team. 30 students in total registered for the event and were asked to initially present their thoughts to the Allstate NI team in groups. The groups were then given a week to turn their raw ideas into an initial design which were then reviewed by a panel of Allstate experts. Four groups made the final and got to work on building a demonstrable application which was presented via immersive telepresence to a global panel from Allstate on the 20th November 2014. All of the entries were of a very high standard and came with many fresh ideas which impressed the panel. However, after much deliberation, DriveXP, made up of Stephen Laide (who studies Software and Electronic Systems Engineering) and Adam Fallon (who studies Computer Science), were named the winners with their iPhone application which was able to solve a major business problem in an innovative way.
On Wednesday 10th December the winning teams were invited to a celebratory event at the Allstate NI Belfast Office to collect their prizes. Upon arrival students were welcomed by Bro McFerran, Vice President and Managing Director at Allstate Northern Ireland, and treated to an array of refreshments. The groups were then presented with their prizes, a total of £3,000 worth of Apple vouchers, and then taken on a tour of Allstate NI’s new state-of-the-art Enterprise Command Centre.
Russell Kane, from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at QUB said, “The Allstate NI Hackathon presented an exciting opportunity for the students to engage with experts in the IT industry and to experience the challenges of a real-life IT project. It has allowed the students to demonstrate their innovative as well as creative approaches to problem solving and we are excited to be a part of the Allstate NI journey.”
Opal Perry, Chief Operating Officer of Allstate Technology and Operations International said, “Each group came up with innovative ideas during the course of the Hackathon and had great energy when presenting their ideas. Because of this we decided to award all four finalists with Apple vouchers to show our appreciation to them. I’d like to thank all the students for taking part and I look forward to the possibility of seeing their ideas come to life in the insurance industry.”
The full list of finalists and prizes are as follows:
About the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS)
EEECS at Queen's has been the launch-pad for many an exceptional career. Our graduates are in high demand by software companies, the automotive and aeronautical industries, financial services, power companies and computer games developers to name but a few. On average, employment success rates for graduates from our School are greater than 80% after just six months, a statistic not bettered by many others.
Electrical and Electronic Engineering students at Queen's University are undertaking a novel project which involves the conversion of a 1981 DeLorean sports car from a petrol engine to one operated by electrical propulsion.
This unique project is being is being led by Dr David Laverty, a lecturer in the School. Belfast is the home of the DeLorean Motor Company, with the original manufacturing plant located just five miles from where the car will be converted into the Car of the Future. It is remembered for the one model it produced — the distinctive stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 sports car featuring gull-wing doors. The DeLorean DMC-12 shot to worldwide fame in the Back to the Future movie trilogy as the car made into a time machine by eccentric scientist Doctor Emmett L. Brown.
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 from the various educational pathways offered by the School of EEECS. Dr Laverty is aiming to have the QUB Electric DeLorean on the road by 21 October 2015…the day Marty McFly arrives in the future!
Why not follow the progress of the QUB Electric DeLorean project –
Queen's University Belfast are please to offer travel scholarships for a variety of students- to find out more:
William and Betty MacQuitty Scholarship (Closing Date: 22 January 2015)
University Travel Scholarships – Emily Sarah Montgomery, Sir Thomas Dixon & First Trust (Closing Date: 29 January 2015)
Alan Graham Fund Travel Scholarship (Closing Date: 29 January 2015)
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.
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,email@example.com
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:
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
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
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 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:
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on the Power Academy, visit – http://conferences.theiet.org/power-academy/
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.”
Media inquiries to Claire O’Callaghan, Queen’s Communications Office on email@example.com or 02890973087.
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.
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.
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