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News Archive 2007/08

Archived News for 2007/2008 Academic Year

Aug 18 2008  -  Graduation Prize Giving - Thursday 3rd July 2008
Jun 05 2008  -  ECIT Research Student wins prize at 15th Int. Student Seminar
May 27 2008  -  First Robotics Master Class at W5
May 08 2008  -  AES presents student paper award
May 06 2008  -  Judy 'Engineers' a World Class Solution
May 06 2008  -  Students Compete for IET Megaw Memorial Lectures Prize
Apr 03 2008  -  Game on ..... for Student Social Club
Apr 02 2008  -  Students Rewarded for Global Work Experience
Apr 11 2008  -  HPDC Seminar Programme
Feb 11 2008  -  PhD Studentships 2008
Jan 08 2008  -  UK Medal for Engineering Student
Dec 18 2007  -  Student Social Club off to a Winning Start
Dec 20 2007  -  Liberty IT Launches Prestigious Scholarship in Computer Science
Nov 26 2007  -  More ICT workers a must for Northern Ireland
Nov 26 2007  -  'Take 3' at the IET
Nov 20 2007  -  Scholarships Awarded to EEECS Top Students
Nov 20 2007  -  International Conference on Life System Modelling and Simulation (LSMS 2007)
Nov 19 2007  -  25K Awards Success
Nov 19 2007  -  Innovators Of Tomorrow Call
Nov 02 2007  -  Queen's signal new direction for local railway
Sep 21 2007  -  II Metamorphose Summer Training Week
     

2006/2007 Archived News

Graduation Prize Giving - Thursday 3rd July 2008

Congratulations to all of our students who graduated on Thursday 3rd July.

Over 220 students graduated from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's on that day.  

A number of students were also presented with prizes (mainly provided by companies) at prize giving ceremonies as part of the graduations.  Click on the links below to view the photo galleries.

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering Prizes
  • Computer Science Prizes

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ECIT Research Student wins prize at 15th Int. Student Seminar

ECIT/QUB High Frequency Electronics PhD student Aleksey Shitvov has won the Prize for the Best Paper presented at the 15th Anniversary International Student Seminar "Microwave and Optical Applications of Novel Physical Phenomena", Saint Petersburg, Russia, May 19-21, 2008 (http://www.school.metamorphose-eu.org/).

In his paper "Near-Field Characterisation of Nonlinear Transmission Lines", Aleksey presented a new technique for direct observation of the nonlinear scattering phenomena through the near-field imaging of passive intermodulation (PIM) products on the sections of printed lines. The results of the near-field mapping of the third-order PIM products on microstrip lines and coplanar waveguide illustrate the distributed nature of harmonic generation in printed lines.

Also, the mappings of PIM products, generated by a localised nonlinearity in the microstrip line, have revealed the fundamental mechanisms of the PIM generation. His work is supported by the EPSRC grant EP/C00065X/01 entitled "Mechanisms of Passive Intermodulation and means for mitigation on printed and layered transmission lines".

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First Robotics Master Class at W5

Katherine Graham having a go on the Segway
Katherine Graham having a go on the Segway

Students from Omagh Academy have taken part in the first Robotics Master Class delivered by Queen's University School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in partnership with W5. The pupils, all of whom are in Year 10 at school, came along to W5 to hear about the many applications of robotics in today's world, including anything from their use in doing household chores and in manufacturing, to their uses in space. There is of course the fun side to robotics too and the pupils got a chance to meet 'Maxibot' and 'Robonova' who displayed a few 'cool' moves such as hand stands and football kicks!

The pupils also took part in a Lego Mindstorm Mission to Mars challenge where they were able to programme robots to carry out certain tasks.  A number of students also got a chance to have a spin on a Segway which is a two wheeled self balancing transporter designed by engineers….after they were able to coax the teacher off it first that is!

Gemma Holland, Adam Moore and Jason Lim attempting the Lego Mindstorm Challenge Hannah Irwin and Linley Ewing pictured with Queen's PhD student, Helen Nicholson
Gemma Holland, Adam Moore and Jason Lim attempting the Lego Mindstorm Challenge
Hannah Irwin and Linley Ewing pictured with
Queen's PhD student, Helen Nicholson

 

Funded by Invest Northern Ireland, this is the first of a number of Master Classes being delivered by the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's in partnership with W5, all based around the theme of robotics. 

The Programme also includes robotics lectures to A Level students which will take place in September and December of this year. 

Overall, the Programme aims to assist with the development of the next generation of innovators in this key area of enterprise, and help achieve the government's target to increase the number of students involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at undergraduate level by 25% by 2015.

For further information on the Master Classes and Lectures being delivered by the School in partnership with W5, please contact:
Gemma O'Donnell,
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
Queen's University, Belfast,
Email: g dot odonnell at qub dot ac dot uk,
Tel: 028 9097 4618.

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AES presents student paper award

Konrad Kowalczyk
Konrad Kowalczyk

Konrad Kowalczyk has been named as the recipient of the 124th AES Convention Student Paper Award. He will present his paper and receive his award on Monday, 19th May.

Chosen from a field of more than 40 submissions, Kowalczyk submitted a ground-breaking treatise on Modeling Frequency-Dependent Boundaries as Digital Impedance Filters in FDTD and K-DWM Room Acoustics Simulations. He was supervised by Maarten van Walstijn of the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The announcement was made by John Strawn, chair of the AES Convention Policy Committee, which oversees the competition.

"AES Papers submission standards are rigorous, and the competition for the Student Paper Award is intense," Dr Strawn said. "Mr Kowalczyk's paper reflects impressive research skills and offers an innovative approach to simulating room acoustics.  This is a major step forward."

Kowalczyk will present his paper and receive the award on Monday, 19th May. The paper will be published in the Journal of The Audio Engineering Society later this year. Student Paper Award Nominees are required to meet the following qualifications:

  • Paper accepted for presentation at the 124th AES Convention
  • Author was a student when the work was conducted and the manuscript prepared
  • The student author's affiliation listed in ms is an accredited educational institution
  • The student will deliver the lecture or poster presentation at the Convention.

The AES Student Paper Award competition is open twice a year. The next competition will be held in conjunction with the AES convention in San Francisco in October. Students wishing to submit a paper for the next AES convention can do so through the AES website (PDF download).

www.aes.org

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Judy 'Engineers' a World Class Solution

Judy Black, a first year electrical and electronic engineering student at Queen's University, has come second in the world at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair held in Albuquerque, USA. 

Judy competed in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering category and won a considerable cash prize and had a minor planet named after her as a result ... 'Judithblack'! 

1500 students from across the world compete annually in the Intel Fair.

Judy Black who has come second in the world in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair
Judy Black who has come second in the world in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair

She was awarded her prize for the design of 'The Novel Corrugated Board Rejection System'.  Judy had designed this when on work placement from school with a company in Warrenpoint, SCA, who manufacture corrugated board for container boxes. 

The company was experiencing a problem when faulty board is produced leading to the halting of manufacturing.  She invented a device to automatically detect and remove the faulty board from the production line which led to an increase in productivity of 77%.  

Her device is now an integral part of the production process at the SCA factory in Warrenpoint and it has been passed to other SCA factories worldwide that produce corrugated board for consideration. 

Judy was entered into the Intel competition after taking part in the Nuffield Science and Bursary Scheme and winning the Seagate Young Innovators award in Ireland while an A Level student at Sacred Heart Grammar School in Newry.  She is currently being sponsored through her degree in electrical and electronic engineering at Queen's by NIE as part of the Power Academy Scholarship Scheme.

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Students Compete for IET Megaw Memorial Lectures Prize

The IET recently hosted the Dr Eric Megaw Memorial Lectures within the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. 

Four final year electrical and electronic engineering undergraduates competed for the prize, delivering short presentations and demonstrations on their major personal projects.  These covered a very diverse range of topics, ranging from the design and fabrication of MEMs devices and the simulation of guitar strings, to a multi-band radar absorber, and the management of wind power variability with intelligent thermostats. 

The four finalists pictured with the judging panel, along with Dr Maire O’Neill and Dr Karen McMenemy from Queen's
The four finalists pictured with the judging panel, along with Dr Maire O’Neill and Dr Karen McMenemy from Queen’s

Judging panel on the evening included Mr Randal Gilbert, IET NI Chairperson and Plant and Technical Manager for NIE, Dr Ben Greene, Director of SAP Research Belfast and Dr John Flynn, Head of the Business Service's Division at Asidua.  All three judges are graduates of electrical and electronic engineering at Queen's.   

The audience was treated to four very high quality presentations but John O'Higgins won through in the end with his presentation entitled 'Managing Wind Power Variability with Intelligent Thermostats.'  The judges cited John's very clear and concise presentation about this very topical issue, along with a live demonstration, as the elements which put him ahead of the others.

John O’Higgins, overall winner, pictured here receiving his prize from Mr Randal Gilbert, Chair of the judging panel
John O'Higgins, overall winner, pictured here receiving his prize from Mr Randal Gilbert, Chair of the judging panel

Robin Todd came second with his talk on the radar absorber.  Siobhan Neill and Brendan Murphy shared third place.  It was obvious that a lot of preparation had gone into all four presentations.  The four finalists were all presented with cheques by Mr Randal Gilbert who chaired the judging panel.

Thanks are extended to the organisers, Dr. Maire O'Neill from QUB and Dr. Karen McMenemy on behalf of the IET, for what proved to be a very successful event.

Click here for further details of all four finalists' presentations.

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Game on ..... for Student Social Club

Students competing at the recent Games Event within the School
Students competing at the recent Games Event within the School


Round two of the Student Social Club within the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science took place on February 20th with the staging of a Social Gaming Event. Over 50 students from the School attended the event which was held in the Bernard Crossland Building, spending four intense hours playing games such as Call of Duty 4, Halo 3, Gears of War and Wii sports. Fuelled by pizza and soft drinks it was a great afternoon all round.

This is the second event in a series of social events planned to run within the School throughout the year. Keep an eye out for other social events coming soon and also a new website which is being set up specifically for the Student Social Club.

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Students Rewarded for Global Work Experience

City and Guilds Awards 2008
Eighteen Electrical & Electronic Engineering students from the School were awarded the Licentiateship of The City & Guilds of London Institute (LCGI) by Pro-Chancellor Sir David Fell at a presentation ceremony held in Queen’s University on March 12th.


Students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science recently received City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level for skills and competencies gained during work placements.  Eighteen electrical and electronic engineering students were presented with their awards by Pro-Chancellor Sir David Fell at a special ceremony held in Queen’s on March 12th.  The students had spent placements with companies not only locally but internationally in countries such as France, Germany, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United States.

The awards are administered by the University’s Senior Awards Office at the School of Education. Head of the School, Professor Tony Gallagher, said: “Queen’s was one of the first universities in the UK to become involved in the City & Guilds scheme, and it is an investment that has yielded rich returns for our students. “The scheme recognises competence and achievement through a combination of education, training and work-based experience. It provides our students with excellent opportunities to acquire a host of skills which will stand them in good stead in the increasingly competitive graduate job market.”

Holders of the award are entitled to use the letters LCGI after their name and wear the approved City & Guilds gown, hood and mortar board.

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HPDC Reseach Cluster Seminar Programme

The School's High Performance and Distributed Computing research cluster is staging a series of seminars, taking the Grid as their main theme.

Open to all, these seminars are held on Wednesday afternoons in the Bernard Crossland Building, Malone Road.

Click here for the full details and schedule of the programme.

 

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PhD Studentships for 2008

The School has a number of PhD Studentships for both home and international students available to commence in September 2008.

Please visit the page for full information on these.

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UK Medal for Engineering Student

King Yit Law, a student on the Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree at Queen's University, has been awarded the Sir William Siemens medal for being one of the top engineering students in the UK.  He was presented with his medal at a recent awards ceremony at the Company's Headquarters in Surrey, by Mr Tom White, Chief Executive of Siemens UK.  As well as the medal, King Yit received a cheque for £300.

King Yit, who hails from Newry and is a past pupil of The Abbey Christian Brothers' Grammar School there, was one of sixteen students chosen from universities across the UK to receive the prestigious Siemens medal.

The criteria set for the award required an excellent academic record, together with significant involvement in industry.

King Yit Law is presented with the Sir William Siemen’s Medal by Mr Tom White, Chairman of Siemens UK
King Yit Law is presented with the
Sir William Siemen’s Medal by
Mr Tom White, Chief Executive
of Siemens UK

King Yit was nominated for his award by Dr John Morrow, lecturer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's.  Dr Morrow commented that 'King Yit is the best student on the MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree at Queen's.  He is also the recipient of a Power Academy Scholarship from Central Networks, worth over £22K, and has undertaken summer placements working for different sections with E.ON UK.  During his year out in industry last year King Yit also worked with Latens in Belfast who provide software solutions for Pay-TV operators.' 

The Siemens medal programme was launched in 1993 to celebrate the Company's 150th anniversary and with the aim of raising the profile of science and technology within schools and universities.  The first Sir William Siemen's medal was in fact awarded back in 1883 by London University's Imperial College, so the present day programme revives a tradition more than 100 years old.  In keeping with tradition, the new medals are struck using the die of the original medal by the Royal Mint.

On completing his degree King Yit plans to become a Chartered Engineer.  There is currently a high demand for graduates in electrical and electronic engineering both locally and in the UK as a whole, with demand outstripping supply.  Starting salaries for the class of 2007 graduating in this discipline from Queen's ranged from £20K to £36K.

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Student Social Club off to a Winning Start

A new Student Social Club has been set up in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, kicking off on December 5th with a computer games evening.  Attended by over 30 students and staff, the event was held at PONG, a computer gaming centre on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.  Unlimited pizza and some serious, and not so serious (!), gamers added to lively atmosphere on the night.  The students played ‘Call of Duty 4’ and the winning team received £50 in prize money. 

Pictured receiving their prize money from lecturer John Busch (left) at the games event, are Mike Hackworth, Gary Fleming, Dean Hannigan, Paul Kelly and Andrew Carr

The team, pictured above receiving their prize money from lecturer John Busch (left), was comprised of students Mike Hackworth, Gary Fleming, Dean Hannigan, Paul Kelly and Andrew Carr.

This is the first in what will be a series of student social events to be held within the School throughout the year.  Next on the School student social calendar is a console gaming event to be held on Wednesday 13 February 2008 from 2- 5pm in the Wireless Technology Suite (Bernard Crossland Building).

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Liberty IT Launches Prestigious Scholarship in Computer Science

Belfast-based software development company, Liberty Information Technology Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of US based Liberty Mutual Group, recently announced the first recipients of the Liberty IT Undergraduate Scholarship for Computer Science in Northern Ireland.

Established in conjunction with the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queens University Belfast and the School of Computing and Mathematics at University of Ulster, the scholarship aims to increase enrolment and retention of students in computer science and to increase the availability of well educated and skilled employees in this technical area.    

Craig McCarter, who is studying for a Masters Engineering in Computer Science at Queen's, and Martin Murphy, an undergraduate studying for a BSC Computer Science at the University of Ulster, have been awarded the £1,000 annual scholarship which includes a four week placement at the end of their first year of study, a guaranteed placement during their undergraduate programme and an Associate Software Engineer position with Liberty IT upon graduation.

Craig McCarter, a student on the MEng in Computer Science course at Queen’s, pictured receiving his scholarship from William Hamilton, Managing Director of Liberty IT, along with Martin Murphy from the University of Ulster
Craig McCarter (pictured right), a student on the MEng in Computer Science course at Queen's, receiving his scholarship from William Hamilton, Managing Director of Liberty IT, along with Martin Murphy from the University of Ulster

Commenting on the initiative, William Hamilton, Managing Director, Liberty IT said: "The scholarships represent a concerted effort by Liberty IT to further strengthen links with both Queen's and the University of Ulster. At a global level not enough students are rising to the challenge of complex IT courses that are required by industry; this scholarship is a commitment by Liberty to the students of today who are our workforce of tomorrow.  It is critical that the education sector and industry continue to collaborate effectively to support the education of our future talent pool of Software Engineers. Liberty IT has recruited a number of excellent local graduates over the last ten years and we believe this new Scholarship for Computer Science is a great way to give something back to the students, the Universities and the community. We congratulate Martin and Craig on winning the scholarships and are delighted that this opportunity will give them the opportunity to develop their career with Liberty IT."

Liberty IT currently employs 240 staff and provides a wide range of software application development and related information technology services to Liberty Mutual's four strategic business units: Personal Markets, Commercial Markets, Liberty Mutual Agency Markets and International.

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More ICT workers a must for Northern Ireland

More young people must choose a career in Information and Communications Technology if Northern Ireland is to ever become a fully fledged knowledge-based economy, according to Dr Ian Graham, Chief Executive of Momentum, the trade association for Northern Ireland's ICT industry.

The warning came ahead of an event which saw Queen's and the University of Ulster join forces with Momentum to encourage more school leavers to choose an ICT course at college.

Over 200 young people from across Northern Ireland attended Y do IT in Queen's Whitla Hall on Friday 16th November to learn of the abundance and breadth of career opportunities now available in ICT. Leading industry figures at the event also aimed to dispel any negative attitudes or stereotypes associated with the sector.

"Over 14,000 people are employed in the ICT sector in Northern Ireland today and demand is increasing continually. It is the fastest growing employment sector in Northern Ireland. To meet this demand, and in doing so secure inward and long-term sustainable investment, we need to ensure more and more young people are encouraged to choose ICT as a career.

"The future of the ICT industry, and indeed the economy in Northern Ireland, is built on software development. The purpose of this timely event is to excite our young people and inform them of the array of career opportunities available if they choose to pursue a career in ICT."

Participants heard from Dr Graham, leading industry speakers such as John Hood, Head of International ICT with Invest NI, Peter Shields of EG Consulting and undergraduate students currently pursuing a degree in related ICT subjects.

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'Take 3' at the IET

Three PhD students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's have taken the top three prizes in the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Brennan Cup and Present Around the World Northern Ireland Regional Final.  Held on November 27th in the Malone Lodge Hotel, Belfast, this is an annual event run globally which encourages young engineering professionals to present information on a research topic of interest to them to a panel of experts.

Pictured at the IET Brennan Cup and Present Around the World Northern Ireland Regional Final held in the Malone Lodge Hotel are, from left to right, Xiao-Lie (Celina) Xia, Alison McArdle, Randal Gilbert (IET NI Chairperson) and Adrian McKernan.
Pictured at the IET Brennan Cup and Present Around the World Northern Ireland Regional Final held in the Malone Lodge Hotel are, from left to right, Xiao-Lie (Celina) Xia, Alison McArdle, Randal Gilbert (IET NI Chairperson) and Adrian McKernan

Alison McArdle, who took first prize, gave a presentation on the Mathematical Investigation of a Mammal's Healing Response. Joint second place went to Adrian McKernan for his presentation on Wireless Network Control and Xiao-Lie (Celina) Xia for her presentation on Improved Training of An Optimal Sparse Least Squares Support Vector Machine.  The three research students are all from the Intelligent Systems and Control Research Group at Queen's.
 
Organised by Dr Karen McMenemy from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, the event was chaired by Randal Gilbert, Chair of the NI Branch of the IET.  The judging panel consisted of
Dr Alan Webb (Chair), a senior lecturer at the University of Ulster in the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Dr John McAllister, lecturer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's and Mr Conor Quinn, Business Development Executive within ECIT research centre at Queen's.

As overall winner, Alison received £150 cash price, one year's free membership to the IET and is also nominated for an all expenses paid trip to the Global Final (location to be announced). The Global Final establishes the worldwide champion presenter amongst Institution Younger Members with a £1000 cash prize.

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Scholarships Awarded to Top EEECS Students

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has presented Scholarships to the top students entering its undergraduate courses this year.  A total of 21 students in the School each received a cheque for £1000 having gained grades in their A Levels above those required for entry onto its courses.   The students are studying a range of courses in computing and electrical and electronic engineering.

A selection of students in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who received Scholarships, along with Professor John McCanny, Head of School (third from right), and Dr Pat Corr, Head of Education (fourth from right)
A selection of students in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who received Scholarships, along with Professor John McCanny, Head of School (third from right), and Dr Pat Corr, Head of Education (fourth from right)

Professor John McCanny, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, commented "the number of students receiving our Scholarships is reflective of the quality of students we are now attracting in to the areas of computing and electrical and electronic engineering.  With a high demand for graduates in these areas both in Northern Ireland and indeed globally, it is the ideal time to study for degrees in these disciplines."

Dr Pat Corr, Head of Education in the School, said "a good student studying any of our courses at this time can expect to have a very successful career ahead of them and we believe that the Scholarships will not only help them in the first year of their studies but is our way of recognizing their achievements to date."

There are a range of Scholarships available for students commencing their studies in 2008.

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International Conference on Life System Modelling and Simulation (LSMS 2007)

Building on the success of a previous Workshop in 2004, the 2007 International Conference on Life System Modeling and Simulation (LSMS 2007) was held at the Everbright International Exhibition Centre, Shanghai, China from September 14-17, 2007. The LSMS 2007 was jointly organized by The Intelligent Systems and Control Research Cluster (ISAC), School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Queen's University of Belfast, and The Shanghai University from China.

International Conference on Life System Modelling and Simulation 
(LSMS 2007) Group Photo

The 2007 International Conference on Life System Modeling and Simulation (LSMS'07,) was formed to bring together international researchers and practitioners in the field of life system modeling and simulation as well as life system inspired theory and methodology.

The concept of a life system is quite broad. It covers both micro and macro components ranging from cells, tissues and organs across to organisms and ecologic niches. These interact and evolve to produce an overall complex system whose behavior is difficult to comprehend and predict. The arrival of the 21st century has been marked by a resurgence of research interest both in arriving at a systems-level understanding of biology and in applying such knowledge in complex real-world applications. Consequently, computational methods and intelligence in systems biology, as well as bio-inspired computational intelligence have emerged as key drivers for new computational methods.

The conference has attracted 10 keynote addresses by international experts from UK, US, Germany, Japan, Austria, Australia, Singapore and China. It was featured with special sessions, oral and poster presentations, in addition to a series of social functions to enable networking and future research collaboration.

LSMS 2007 received a total of 1383 full paper submissions from 21 countries. All these papers went through a rigorous peer review procedure, including both pre-review and formal referring. Based on the referee reports, the Program Committee finally selected 316 good-quality papers for presentation at the conference. Prof George Irwin from ISAC group was the conference general co-chair, and Dr Kang Li from ISAC group chaired the international program committee. Prof Irwin presented a keynote speech on ‘computational intelligence for data modeling with application to life sciences applications' in the conference. The conference general chair, Prof Minrui Fei from Shanghai University was a visiting professor at the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science of Queen's University of Belfast.

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EEECS Students Continue Winning Streak at 25K Award

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has yet again triumphed in this year's 25k Award organized by the Northern Ireland Science Park, with SCI Labs taking one of the runners-up prizes and the iMAS team receiving a special Undergraduate Award.   This unprecedented run of success brings to seven the number of awards won by the School in the 25K Awards over the past six years, with prize money totalling over £30K.

The awards were announced on Thursday 18th October by presenter Wendy Austin at the eighth annual 25k Awards at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast. The 25k Award aims to encourage students and researchers from the two universities here to transform their innovative ideas into marketable products and viable businesses.

SCI Labs, set up by Richard Lyttle, a student on the MEng in Computer Science at Queen's, developed a software solution called 'WINTERMUTE', aimed at providing reliability and security to customers of on-line banking and other on-line services.  The iMAS team, made up of electrical and electronic engineering undergraduates at Queen's , and lead by Dr Sakir Sezer , developed an innovative product which uses electrical and mechanical components to assist a person of limited mobility on and off the toilet.

Formerly organised by Investment Belfast but now run by the Northern Ireland Science Park, the 25k Award is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Invest Northern Ireland, NICENT and Belfast City Council.

Guest speaker at the event was Greg Horowitt, Executive Director of San Diego-based Global CONNECT, a spin out of CONNECT, which is widely regarded as the United States most successful regional economic development programme.

Click here for further details on past winners of the 25K Award from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's (or select the "Enterprise Awards" link in the left hand menu).

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Engineering The Future
 – W5 And Queen's Call To The Innovators Of Tomorrow

Queen's University, in partnership with W5 and funded by Invest Northern Ireland, today launched an exciting new programme of events, lectures and master classes based around the theme of robotics.  The programme aims to assist with the development of the next generation of innovators in this key area of enterprise, and help achieve the government's target to increase the number of students involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at undergraduate level by 25% by 2015.

At the Launch were Dr Ian O’Neill (left) and Head of School, Professor John McCanny (right), both from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University, along with Dr Sally Montgomery, W5, and students from St Patrick’s Secondary School, Belfast.
At the Launch were Dr Ian O’Neill (left) and Head of School, Professor John McCanny (right), both from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's University, along with Dr Sally Montgomery, W5, and students from St Patrick's Secondary School, Belfast.

The programme was launched by the partners on Monday 12 November - the start of Enterprise Week, an annual UK-wide week of activities and events, aimed at inspiring young people (14-30) to have ideas and make them happen. 

 The programme of events, which will take place at W5, includes:
• Master classes on Robotics for 14-16 years olds (Key Stage 3/4) 
• Robotic Lectures to AS level
• Primary 7 Mission to Mars robotic adventure
• Public events to raise the profile of a key area on Northern Ireland's research expertise and enterprise

The four target markets were chosen to ensure that pupils at key periods for decision-making, such as GCSE, A level, university or future career choices, have access to exciting and positive events which can widen their horizons to include Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as part of developing Northern Ireland's enterprise culture.

Commenting on the initiative, Graham Davis, Director of Entrepreneurship at Invest NI, said: "By encouraging an entrepreneurial focus amongst our scientists of the future, we can contribute to the development of a knowledge-based economy in Northern Ireland. This programme will encourage our young people to be more innovative and take advantage of the commercial opportunities that can arise from new discoveries."

According to W5 Chief Executive Dr Sally Montgomery "The fields of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science make a critical contribution to our nation's economic development. If Northern Ireland wants to forge ahead and develop the local economy then we have to continue to value and promote engineering and computer science, and the skills that young people acquire through studying them.  We need to show the exciting opportunities in these cutting edge disciplines to ensure we meet the graduate needs of the economy.

It is absolutely critical that a new generation of scientists and engineers, at all levels, is developed through the educational system.  We also need to understand that engineers and computer scientists are creative, problem-solving individuals that drive innovation, and that creativity is not the sole bastion of the Arts."

Professor John McCanny, Head of the School of School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, added "this is an excellent opportunity for students to engage with the areas of Electronics, Electronic Engineering and Computer Science in a fun but educational way, yet at the same time allowing us to get across the vital role they play in creating the technology of the future."

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Queen's signal new direction for local railway

Denis Campbell, Lecturer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (left) and student Mikhail Ivanov (right) demonstrating the signalling system to Damien Agnew of Translink
Denis Campbell, Lecturer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (left) and student Mikhail Ivanov (right) demonstrating the signalling system to Damien Agnew of Translink

Queen's students have helped design a new model railway simulator to aid in the training of Northern Ireland Railways staff.

The simulator comprises a control panel of the type used in modern railway signal cabins, and a section of model track with signals and points.

Students developed modules for inclusion in this project as part of their final year degree course. Over the past seven weeks these modules have been aided by summer placement student Mikhail Ivanov from Russia.

Queen's lecturer Denis Campbell from the School of Electrical and Electronic  Engineering pointed out advantages the simulator will bring, saying: "The benefits to trainee signallers lies in the simulator's comprehensive realisation of both track layout and signal control panel. In the real system they can see only one of these at a time.  In addition real life signalling situations can be replicated and the control of train signals and points can also be practiced in a controlled environment.

"The procedure following a malfunction can also be demonstrated without having to wait for it to occur. It is anticipated that the Signals and Electrical department of the railway, which maintains the signalling system, would also be interested in this for training purposes.

"We have welcomed the opportunity to work with Northern Ireland Railways experienced and professional staff on this project and we are delighted that this system will be put to use in the operations and signalling departments of Northern Ireland Railways for training purposes."

The students work with these electronic circuits will help bring Translink into line with the rest of Europe as the simulator has been applied in all of the countries that implement the common basics of signalling theory and practice.

Russian exchange student Mikhail, who helped complete the project said: "Gaining experience in the various electrical circuits will give the train controller and the railway a valuable learning tool."

Damien Agnew, Head of Translink Signallers welcomed the initiative saying: "Due to it's modest size and comprehensive performance, the simulator will be an invaluable tool in the classroom. It will give signalling trainees hands on experience in all aspects of signal control while also showing them the actual results of their actions upon the movement of the trains along the track."

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II Metamorphose Summer Training Week

Metamorphose logo

The 7th European Doctoral School on Metamaterials and 14th International Student Seminar on "Microwave and Optical Applications of Novel Physical Phenomena" was held in Queen's University Belfast on 20-24 August 2007.

The event was organised by Queen's University Belfast and the EU Network of Excellence "METAMORPHOSE" (METAMaterials Organised for Radio, millimetre wave, and PHOtonic Superlattice Engineering) in the framework of the II Metamorphose Summer Training Week.

Click here for a full report and pictures.

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