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News Archive 2008/09

Archived News for 2008/2009 Academic Year

May 27 2009  -  Stephen Hammond 'navigates' his way to first place
Mar 31 2009  -  Prof. Vincent Fusco Elected to the Royal Irish Academy
Mar 18 2009  -  Engineering Graduate Top Student at KPMG
Mar 18 2009  -  UK Engineering Medal for Top Student
Mar 18 2009  -  Students rewarded for Global Work Experience
Mar 18 2009  -  School Celebrates Chinese New Year
Mar 03 2009  -  Asidua Scholarships Awarded
Mar 03 2009  -  Liberty IT Scholarship Awarded
Dec 19 2008  -  School Excels in RAE
Dec 03 2008  -  Parents' Night Presentation on Engineering Degrees
Nov 28 2008  -  Best Paper Award for Computer Science Student
Dec 23 2008  -  A Level Students hear about Technology of Tomorrow
Dec 01 2008  -  Ballyclare High School are First Lego League Champions
Dec 01 2008  -  Adam Rainey excels at 'hands-on' approach to IT
Dec 02 2008  -  Open Day Prize Winners Announced
Nov 20 2008  -  �20 Million to Fight Virtual Crime and Treat our Ageing Population
Nov 07 2008  -  Asidua Announce �25,000 Scholarship Scheme for Local Universities
Nov 04 2008  -  Alison McArdle through to IET Final
Oct 06 2008  -  Queen's Call to Innovators of Tomorrow
Sep 24 2008  -  Professor George Irwin receives International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Award
Sep 18 2008  -  Researchers presented with Outstanding Paper Award
Aug 21 2008  -  Lecturer wins Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) Medal
Aug 05 2008  -  Student wins world research award
     

2007/2008 Archived News

     

2006/2007 Archived News

Stephen 'navigates' his way to first place

Stephen Hammond, winner of the IET Megaw Memorial Lectures prize
Stephen Hammond, winner of the IET Megaw Memorial Lectures prize

Stephen Hammond, a final year electrical and electronic engineering student at Queen's, has won the IET Megaw Memorial Lectures prize for a presentation on his final year project.

Hosted by the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology), Stephen competed against other finalists from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science by delivering a short presentation and demonstration entitled 'Using GPS and Bluetooth for Timing Applications.' 

This involved Stephen using GPS signals to synchronize the system clock on a PC and using a Bluetooth connection to remotely synchronize multiple computers. These time systems would be accurate to 1 microsecond and used in time critical applications such as electricity network protection. 

Phillip McAllister, also a final year in electrical and electronic engineering, was runner-up with his presentation on his project in which he created a device that uses a PIC microcontroller to improve the efficiency of solar panels. 

Chair of the judging panel Mr Gareth Donaghy, IET NI Chairperson and a Production Manager for FG Wilson, commented that "Stephen delivered a very clear and concise presentation on a topical issue." 

Stephen is in his final year of the four year MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree at Queen's.  He was sponsored during his degree by EON through the Power Academy Scholarship Scheme and has recently secured a graduate job with them as a Graduate Trainee.

The judging panel at the event also included Dr Ben Greene, Director of SAP Research Belfast and Dr Trevor Scott, Head of Transition and Transformation at Fujitsu Services, both of whom are graduates of electrical and electronic engineering at Queen's.

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Professor Vincent Fusco, Head of ECIT High Frequency Cluster, Elected to the Royal Irish Academy

Prof. Vincent Fusco

Congratulations to Professor Vincent Fusco, head of the ECIT High Frequency Cluster within the School, who was elected as Member of the Royal Irish Academy on 16th March 2009.

Membership is by invitation after a rigorous peer-reviewed selection procedure and is reserved for persons who have achieved international distinction in science or the humanities and social sciences, as evidenced by their published work.

http://www.ria.ie/news/newmembers.html

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Engineering Graduate Top Student at KPMG

Caroline Kelly, a member of the KPMG Belfast Corporate Finance team, with KPMG Partner, Paul Hollway
Caroline Kelly, a member of the KPMG Belfast Corporate Finance team, with KPMG Partner, Paul Hollway

Caroline Kelly recently achieved first place in Ireland in the Final Admitting Exam (FAE) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI). 

This is not the first time that Caroline has attained top honours; she also was placed first in both the Professional 2 and Professional 3 accounting exams. 

A past pupil of St Patrick's Girls' Academy in Dungannon, Caroline attained a first class honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen's University Belfast.

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UK Engineering Medal for Top Student

Mr Andreas Goss, Chief Executive of Siemens UK, presenting the Sir William Siemens Medal to Stephen Abbott
Mr Andreas Goss, Chief Executive of Siemens UK, presenting the Sir William Siemens Medal to Stephen Abbott

Stephen Abbott, 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.  Mr Andreas Goss, Chief Executive of Siemen's UK, presented Stephen with his medal at a recent awards ceremony held in the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.  As well as the medal, Stephen received a cheque for £300.

Stephen, who is from Saintfield and is a past pupil of Saintfield High School and Wellington College in Belfast, was one of seventeen 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.

Stephen 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 ‘Stephen Abbott has been nominated for the Sir William Siemens Medal as the best student majoring in Electrical Engineering in the penultimate year of the MEng Degree course at Queen's University, Belfast. 

During his degree Stephen has also gained a lot of industrial experience, including working for Xilinx Inc. a large multinational programmable logic company, and spending a summer placement working in Armenia where he helped to provide a cancer medical centre with an uninterruptable power supply.

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 awarded back in 1883 by London University's Imperial College.  In keeping with tradition, the new medals are struck using the die of the original medal by the Royal Mint.

On completing his degree Stephen intends to undertake research in the area of electrical and electronic engineering.  Even with the recession, there is currently a high demand for graduates in electrical and electronic engineering across the UK.  Starting salaries for the class of 2008 graduating in this discipline from Queen's ranged from £20K to £36K.

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Students rewarded for Global Work Experience

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 at home and abroad. 

The students received their awards at a special ceremony held in Queen's University on March 4th.

Students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who were recently presented with their City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level, pictured with Dr Pat Corr and Dr Robert Cahill from the School.
Students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
who were recently presented with their City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level,
pictured with Dr Pat Corr and Dr Robert Cahill from the School

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 and Guilds scheme. It is an investment that has always yielded rich returns for our students, and never more so than now, in the face of an economic downturn when graduates looking for the first step on the career ladder need to ensure that they stand out from the crowd.

"This scheme enables them to acquire skills such as team working, good communication, creativity and leadership which, alongside their academic ability, will help them to do exactly that."

The students received Licentiateship Diplomas for skills gained during work placements with a range of employers in the public and private sectors, including IT and engineering companies, financial institutions and charities.

Pro-Chancellor Ms Rotha Johnston presided at the event and the guest speaker was Professor Ken Mortimer from the City & Guilds of London Institute.

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School Celebrates Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year celebration guests

Over 100 staff and students in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science recently welcomed in the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Ox. 

Everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch of European and Chinese food followed by a display of some Chinese Lion Dancing.

Chinese New Year Celebration event lion Chinese New Year Celebration event guests
Chinese New Year Celebration event guests Chinese New Year Celebration event guests
Chinese New Year Celebration event lions Chinese New Year Celebration event lions
Chinese New Year Celebration event lions

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Asidua Scholarships Awarded

Leading Belfast IT services company Asidua is continuing to invest in Northern Ireland's future, with the placement of local university students onto its prestigious Scholarship Programme.

The £25,000 Asidua scholarship programme, which was launched in November 2008 in co-operation with Queen's University, Belfast and the University of Ulster, aims to attract fresh talent into the growing Northern Ireland IT sector. 

At a recent award ceremony, held at Asidua head offices in Belfast, three students from Northern Ireland Universities were awarded Scholarships, including Niall McAllister & Andrew Ruddell (Queen's University Belfast) and Sean Carlin (UU).

Pictured with Asidua Scholarship recipients Niall McAllister and Andrew Ruddell are (l to r) Dr Phil Hanna Queen's University, Nicola Shaw HR Manager Asidua, Angela Canavan Chief Operating Officer Asidua and Dr Pat Corr Queen’s University
Pictured with Asidua Scholarship recipients Niall McAllister and Andrew Ruddell are (l to r):
Dr Phil Hanna Queen's University, Nicola Shaw HR Manager Asidua,
Angela Canavan Chief Operating Officer Asidua and Dr Pat Corr Queen's University

Welcoming the three new scholars to Asidua, Chief Operations Officer Angela Canavan said, "As a recognised Employer of Choice, Asidua are proud to invest in the future economic success of Northern Ireland through our dedicated scholarship programme aimed at students from local universities.  As such we are delighted to welcome Niall, Andrew and Sean to Asidua and look forward to working with them in the coming months"

The scholarship scheme, which is open to local IT and software engineering university students, provides scholars with a generous annual bursary and also a permanent position with Asidua on graduation. 

Speaking during the event, scholarship award winner Andrew Ruddell said "I am very thankful for the Asidua scholarship and I am looking forward to working with Asidua in the summer and beyond."  A view shared by fellow award winner Niall McAllister. "This opportunity from Asidua provides me with a great chance to further my knowledge in the computing sector."

Both local universities, who were also in attendance, went on to extend their congratulations to Asidua and the scholarship winners.

Dr Patrick Corr from Queen's University Belfast commented "Queen's are delighted that Asidua have selected both Niall and Andrew to receive these prestigious, and lucrative, scholarships. In these troubled economic times, these scholarships send out a strong message that as an innovative and forward looking IT company, Asidua is nurturing and investing in talent for the future."

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Liberty IT Scholarship Awarded

Liberty Information Technology Ltd recently announced the second 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 Queen's 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.    

Christopher McCabe, who is studying for a Masters in Computer Science at Queen's University Belfast, and Martyn Ellison a student at the University of Ulster, have been awarded the £1,000 annual scholarship which includes a eight week placement at the end of their first year of study, a guaranteed placement year during their undergraduate programme and an Associate Software Engineer position with Liberty IT upon graduation.

Pictured L-R with William Hamilton, Managing Director, Liberty IT are Christopher Mc Cabe, Queen's University Belfast and Martyn Ellison, University of Ulster. 
Pictured (L-R) with William Hamilton, Managing Director, Liberty IT, are
Christopher Mc Cabe, Queen's University Belfast and Martyn Ellison, University of Ulster

Commenting on the initiative, William Hamilton, Managing Director, Liberty IT said: "For a second consecutive year, we are delighted to announce the recipients of the Liberty IT Undergraduate Scholarship for Computer Science. This scholarship is a commitment by Liberty to the students of today who will be our workforce of tomorrow. We aim to make it easier for students who share the passion for software and academic excellence, to excel in what they love to do.

"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 continues to recruit excellent local graduates and we believe this Scholarship for Computer Science is a great way to give something back to the students, the Universities and the community.

"We congratulate Christopher and Martyn on winning the scholarships and are delighted that this opportunity will give them the opportunity to develop their career with Liberty IT".

Commenting on receiving the scholarship, Christopher McCabe said: "I chose computer science as a degree because of my love for technology and pursuing this degree lets me work with the latest technology. A few years ago I became interested in programming, so this seems like the perfect career choice for me. I love the challenges that this course presents, it gives me the opportunity to use the skills I already have as well as developing new ones.

"I applied for the bursary to get the chance to work in Liberty IT, but I never really expected to get it, so I was very surprised when I got the phone call telling me I had been successful. I am very grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to see what develops from it."

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School Excels in RAE

John McCanny, Head of School, Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
John McCanny, Head of School, Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Dr Maire O'Neill, a lecturer in the School and a recent winner of the British Female Inventor of the Year award
Dr Maire O'Neill, a lecturer in the School and a recent winner of the British Female Inventor of the Year award

Clean renewable energy, safer online credit card transactions and secure, yet less restrictive safety measures at airports, are just some of the areas that the public will benefit from following the latest RAE results for the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's (EEECS).

The world-class ranking of research in the School and the accompanying funding will boost essential research in the above areas and many more.

Professor John McCanny, FRS, Head of the School said: "Just last month it was announced that a £25 million investment in Queen's will see it become the UK's lead Centre for the development of technology to counter malicious ‘cyber-attacks' (Centre for Secure Information Technologies – CSIT). This builds on the strong international research reputation already earned by the School and its extensive links to major university and industry laboratories worldwide.

"For many years, the School has been to the forefront in the UK in using its research base to actively promote wider economic benefit. This has included the creation in 2004 of the £37M Institute of Electronics Communications and Information Technology - ECIT – which is the Northern Ireland Science Park's research flagship. ECIT has also led to the creation of new spin-out companies as well as the facilitation and support of many other early stage "spin-in" companies.

"Now with the forthcoming funding from today's RAE results, the School can increase its efforts in driving forward new developments in many areas including energy and power research. The School through our Energy and Power cluster has been heavily involved in the creation of the new all-Ireland energy research council. The Schools Energy and Power cluster's funders include NIE, Airtricity, Areva, Caterpillar, ESB, National Grid and Premier Power.

"Other areas of electronics, electrical engineering and computer science will also benefit. Dramatic advances in digital wireless technology over the past two decades have led to many exciting developments including the rapid growth of mobile and ubiquitous computing. Also, the internet is evolving into an essential utility like electricity, gas and water.

"Future work at Queen's will develop secure solutions to a number of particularly modern problems including the protection of mobile phone networks, guaranteeing privacy over unsecure networks for connected healthcare and the creation of secure ‘corridors' for the seamless and rapid transit of people, thus getting around the need for conventional security at airports."

Dr Maire O'Neill, a lecturer in the School and a recent winner of the British Female Inventor of the Year award, is one of the researchers set to benefit from the financial recognition which follows the Schools world-class ranking. She said: "Security is an important factor that must be taken into consideration as we face into a new age of computing and online information storage.

"The capability of digital devices to autonomously interact, brings with it significant security and privacy risks for the end user and recent security breaches have been consistently in the headlines in recent months. Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in on-line banking fraud, credit card fraud and ID theft.

"It is important that work on security for next-generation wireless networks is carried out here in the UK to benefit society and to increase UK competitiveness globally. The latest RAE results mean Queen's will continue be one of the lead institutions in this field."

RAE 2008 Results -
http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/rae/RAE2008Results/

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Parents' Night Presentation on Engineering Degrees
18th November 2008

Hosted by the
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
in partnership with the
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

A Parents' Evening was recently held in the Ashby Building at Queen's for parents and their sons or daughters who are currently in 6th form at school and are thinking about coming to Queen's to study degrees in the above Schools. 

Those who attended were given an overview of the various degrees within the Schools as well as hearing from employers and recent graduates of these disciplines.

Click on the appropriate link below to view the video of each speaker giving their presentation at this event -

  1. Introduction and Welcome
  2. Overview of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  3. Overview of Product Design and Development
  4. Overview of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  5. Employer's Perspective – Mechanical Engineering
  6. Employer's Perspective – Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  7. Graduate of Mechanical Engineering
  8. Graduate of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

 

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Best Paper Award for Computer Science Student

Professor John McCanny, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s congratulates Alfredo on his Best Paper Award.
Professor John McCanny, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s congratulates Alfredo on his Best Paper Award.

Alfredo Grunwald de la Cuesta, a student on the MEng Computer Science Degree at Queen's, has won a best paper award at the recent International Image Processing and Machine Vision Conference. 

The work was undertaken as part of his MEng project and the paper was entitled 'Biometric Identification using Motion History Images of a Speaker's Lip Movements'.  Alfredo was supervised in his project by Dr Jianguo Zhang and Dr Paul Miller from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's and was completed in collaboration with a local Belfast company CEM Systems.

CEM Systems is a leading provider of advanced access control and integrated security management systems that help secure premises and facilities. 

Alfredo Grunwald de la Cuesta pictured with Professor John McCanny and his project supervisors, Dr Paul Miller and Dr Jianguo Zhang
Alfredo pictured with Professor John McCanny
and his project supervisors, Dr Jianguo Zhang and Dr Paul Miller

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A Level Students hear about Technology of Tomorrow

Dr Ian O'Neill and Dr Maire O'Neill from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were the speakers at the second of two events at W5 at the Odyssey to encourage school pupils to study science subjects at Queen's. 

At the event entitled "Computing and Electronics - Creating the Technology of Tomorrow", students from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland learned about the exciting career prospects a degree in electronic engineering, computer science or technology could hold. 

Dr Ian O'Neill with Rebekah Adams and Hasanul Banna from South Eastern Regional College (SERC)
Dr Ian O'Neill with Rebekah Adams and Hasanul Banna from South Eastern Regional College(SERC)

Dr Ian O'Neill demonstrated an Avatar as an application of software engineering.  The Avatar, which is essentially an interactive virtual talking head, was able to take orders for pizzas and book hotel rooms in Belfast. 

Dr Maire O'Neill talked about the area of cryptography or cyber security as it may be more commonly known.  At the end of her lecture students had to decipher a code using what they had learned in the lecture.  Michelle McMahon from Our Lady's Grammar School in Newry was the lucky winner of an ipod nano, with her name having been picked from all those who had the correct answer.

Dr Maire O'Neill presenting Michelle McMahon from Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry with the ipod nano
Dr Maire O'Neill presenting Michelle McMahon from Our Lady's Grammar School in Newry with the ipod nano

The talk to around 120 A Level and AS students aimed to 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. 

From this academic year Queen's is offering scholarships of £1,000 to all students achieving three As at A-level (or equivalent) and enrolling on a STEM subject at the university.

Dr Ian O'Neill with Nathan Quail and Catriona Luney from Ballyclare High School
Dr Ian O'Neill with Nathan Quail and Catriona Luney from Ballyclare High School

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Ballyclare High School are First Lego League Champions

Ballyclare High School, who were sponsored by the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, have been 'crowned' Northern Ireland Champions of the First Lego League (FLL).  They successfully competed against 17 other schools at the final which was held in W5 at the Odyssey on November 18th.  They will now go forward to take part in the UK and Ireland final which is being held in Loughborough University in January and, if successful, will go through to the World Festival in the United States and other International FLL tournaments.

Overall winners of the FLL Competition, Ballyclare High School, with their teacher Dr Paul Wilson and Rachel Gawley, a PhD student in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s, who acted as the team’s mentor in preparation for the competition
Overall winners of the FLL Competition, Ballyclare High School, with their teacher Dr Paul Wilson and Rachel Gawley, a PhD student in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, who acted as the team’s mentor in preparation for the competition

The FIRST LEGO League event had been brought to Northern Ireland for the first time by a partnership of Queen's University, The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Invest NI, SAP Research (SAP) and W5.  The youthful scientists had to design, build and program a winning robot that performed a series of set tasks linked to a research presentation on the challenges of global climate change.

Launched by Enterprise Minister, Arlene Forster, she commented "FIRST LEGO League offers a unique opportunity for our young people to engage with local employers, educational researchers and their local communities on an issue which impacts on us all. It also introduces them to the wonders of science and innovation.  This is hugely important if Northern Ireland is to attract students to subjects essential for economic growth and to meet the needs identified in the Programme for Government.

"We are operating in a knowledge-led economy and it is crucial that we inspire young people with the right blend of know-how, expertise and innovation to contribute to society and to ensure future economic prosperity."

FIRST LEGO League International (FLL) is a partnership between the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organisation and the LEGO company. Introduced in 1998, it is an annual themed robotics challenge, with new challenges unveiled to teams across the world each September.

Gemma O’Donnell, Marketing Officer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s, seen here presenting the prize for the best presentation as part of the FLL competition to the winning team, St McNissis College, Garron Tower
Gemma O'Donnell, Marketing Officer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, seen here presenting the prize for the best presentation as part of the FLL competition to the winning team, St McNissis College, Garron Tower

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Adam excels at 'hands-on' approach to IT

Adam Rainey, a student in Level 2 of the Computing and Information Technology course at Queen's, has won himself a desktop PC which he helped to build for just £100!   Adam came top of the class in the PC hardware section of the course where the students were taken through a process that led to the construction of the computer. 

Mr William Coey, a lecturer on the course, commented, "Adam is a worthy winner of the PC and I hope he gets great use out of it as there are very few people who can say they use a computer which they helped to build."

Adam Rainey completing the finishing touches to his computer, with lecturer Mr William Coey and teaching associate Mrs Joan Crooks.
Adam is seen here completing the finishing touches to his computer,
with lecturer Mr William Coey and teaching associate Mrs Joan Crooks

The Computing and Information Technology course at Queen's offers students a route into more practical jobs in the computing industry allowing them to secure jobs in areas such as IT support, web development and in the upgrading and repairing of computer systems within a broad range of companies such as banks, hospitals, education colleges and councils etc.

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Open Day Prize Winners Announced

Congratulations to all the students who won prizes in our free draws held over our two Open Days in September.  Electrical, Electronic Engineering and Computing proved very popular at the Open Days and we had hundreds of students from schools across Northern Ireland, as well as a significant number from the Republic of Ireland and England, visiting our facilities and entering our free draws.

The lucky winners are as follows –

Computing at Queen's
Winners of an Xbox 360 - Matthew Gowan, Belfast and Adam Catney, Armagh
Winner of an iPod touch - Shaun McCloskey, Coleraine
Winner of a Nintendo Wii - Meghan Maguire, Belfast

Meghan Maguire from Belfast being presented with her Nintendo Wii by Gemma O'Donnell, Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's
Meghan Maguire from Belfast being presented with her Nintendo Wii by Gemma O'Donnell, Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's

Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen's
Winner of an iPod touch – Jonathan Conn, Ballynahinch
Winner of a PSP – Eilis McElduff, Carrickmore
Winner of a Digital Camera – Sean Donnelly, Newry

Sean Donnelly from Newry being presented with his digital camera by Gemma O'Donnell, Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's
Sean Donnelly from Newry being presented with his digital camera by Gemma O'Donnell, Marketing and Student Recruitment Officer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's

Well done to all and we hope you enjoy your prizes.

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£20 Million to Fight Virtual Crime and Treat our Ageing Population

Fighting virtual crime, treating an ageing population, and turning research into commercial enterprises, will be the focus of a £20 million investment announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

This new investment will create two new centres in areas where world-class scientific breakthroughs have already been achieved. These 'Innovation and Knowledge Centres' (IKCs) will mix business knowledge with the most up-to-date research to harness the full potential of emerging technologies – ensuring the UK is first to develop this cutting-edge research.

The two new centres will be based at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Leeds.  Belfast's new centre will work to secure our information architecture, and safeguard the trustworthiness of information stored electronically, including countering malicious 'cyber-attack'.  The University of Leeds Centre will work on regenerative techniques and technologies to treat the common ailments of an ageing population.

EPSRC's Chief Executive, Professor David Delpy, said "Taking exciting research from the university laboratory to the commercial sector through close collaboration with user stakeholders is vital to ensuring the UK's economy continues to be innovative and globally competitive.

"EPSRC is strongly committed to supporting universities in commercialising their outstanding research and I applaud the innovative approach taken by the successful applicants, and all competing universities."

Click here to view the full release.

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Asidua Announce £25,000 Scholarship Scheme for Local Universities

Worldwide IT services company Asidua, have launched a new scholarship scheme for local universities, enabling current and new IT and Engineering students to benefit from a unique £25,000 scholarship program.

The Asidua Scholarship Scheme, launched in co-operation with both Queens University and the University of Ulster, aims to attract fresh talent into the IT sector and to also support new IT and engineering students financially during their academic studies and beyond.  The scheme will see several successful students from both universities each receiving a scholarship package which is worth up to £25,000.  This includes £1,000 for each academic year, a guaranteed industrial placement, an opportunity for additional part time work during the academic year and also a permanent position on graduation.

Welcoming this scholarship Dr Pat Corr, Director of Education in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, commented "Queen's has a long standing relationship with Asidua and we are delighted at the announcement of such a lucrative and prestigious Scholarship associated with our courses.  This is a far reaching initiative by Asidua and will help us to attract the highest quality of students into the IT sector.  Not only is the Scholarship of significant financial benefit but will also provide the student with an unrivalled opportunity to work with one of our leading software companies from day one of their course."

This view was also echoed by Professor Liam Maguire, Head of School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, Magee. "The University of Ulster welcomes this tremendous scholarship opportunity from Asidua to support our computing and engineering students.  The scheme builds on our links with Asidua and recognises the high calibre of our students and the employability skills we have inculcated during their studies.  The scholarship not only provides financial support but it also provides work placement in a professional environment to develop and enhance practical skills."

Asidua's Chief Operations Officer, Angela Canavan, added "As an Employer of Choice, Asidua has always recognised that the continual recruitment of successful IT and Engineering graduates is allied with our business successes.  As such we are delighted to announce the Asidua scholarship scheme to support students in their continued studies and to also further strengthen our links with both Queen's and the University of Ulster. "

The closing date for the Asidua Scholarship Scheme in 2008 is the 7th of November for Queens University and the 14th of November 2008 for the University of Ulster.   Further information and application packs for can be obtained from the universities or alternatively students can apply online at www.asidua.com/portal/careers/scholarship

About Asidua:

Asidua, who employ over 120 staff, is headquartered in Belfast and has offices in Dublin and Birmingham. The company delivers world-class software consultancy and services to clients across a broad spectrum of business sectors through two specialised divisions

  • Business Services - provide Application & Data Integration (ADI) services to large enterprises and public sector organisations.

  • Device Services - provide fast-track Embedded Telecoms Integration (ETI) to the telecommunications market.

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Alison through to IET Final

Photo of EEECS PhD student, Alison McArdle

On 3rd November 2008, Alison McArdle, a PhD student from the Intelligent Systems and Control Research Group, Queen's University Belfast will take part in the International Final for IET Present Around the World (PATW) Competition at the Park Plaza Riverbank in London.  Four contestants, selected from students and young professionals across the globe, will give a ten minute technical presentation, with the winner receiving a £1000 cash prize and the runner-up £500.  To reach this stage of the competition, the contestants had to fight off stiff competition in a regional PATW heat in their home country and the four chosen finalists represent Australasia, Asia Pacific, Toronto and Northern Ireland.

Alison's presentation, entitled "Mathematical Modelling of a Mammal’s Healing Response" provides an insight into her current area of research, which is focused on the application of engineering principles to help further the understanding of a mammalian healing response to a tissue trauma or infection.

Staff and students within the School of Electronics, Electrical Engieering and Computer Science wish Alison all the best in the final.

 

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Queen's Call to Innovators of Tomorrow

Former British female inventor of the year Queen's lecturer Dr Máire O'Neill, from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has been awarded £1.23m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for her work on cybersecurity.

Dr O'Neill, along with Dr Ian O'Neill and Gareth Conway from the School, were the speakers at an event at W5 at the Odyssey to encourage school pupils to study science subjects at Queen's so they can help Northern Ireland compete on the global stage.

Dr Maire O'Neill pictured with some students who attended the W5 Lecture
Dr Máire O'Neill pictured with some students who attended the W5 Lecture

At the event entitled Computing and Electronics - Creating the Technology of Tomorrow, students learned about the exciting career prospects a degree in electronic engineering, computer science or technology could hold.  Dr O'Neill said: "Undertaking studies in science, technology, engineering and maths can lead to very exciting careers - ranging from electronic engineers, forensic scientists and meteorologists to cryptographers and zoologists! "I work in the field of electronic engineering and I would strongly encourage students to consider it as a career choice. "Electronic engineering is a very rewarding career that involves finding new solutions to practical problems that affect our daily lives. "The starting salaries of last year's Queen's graduates in the subject were up to £36,000. "Although most graduates use their degree to enter the engineering industry, it's also a passport to careers in education, health, law, management, marketing or finance."

The talk to around 200 A Level and AS students was aimed to 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.  From this academic year Queen's is offering scholarships of £1,000 to all students achieving three As at A-level (or equivalent) and enrolling on a STEM subject at the university.

The EPSRC Leadership fellowship Dr O'Neill has been awarded is a prestigious five-year project.  The scheme targets talented mid-career researchers across the engineering and physical sciences considered to have the potential to be the UK's international research leaders of tomorrow.   Dr O'Neill added: "As the demand for higher levels of security continues and pervasive computing matures, the provision of effective security architectures that can provide data confidentiality, integrity and authentication will be vital "My project, entitled Next Generation Data Security Architectures, will focus on the design and development of low-cost solutions to data security attacks.  "New technologies that can provide efficient and effective data security resistant to attack will also be investigated."  The research will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin, Orange Labs, France and Atmel Corporation, Colorado. 

Professor John McCanny, Head of the School of School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's said: "The EPSRC Leadership Fellowship that Máire has received provides five years of funding to allow her to concentrate on research that is already recognised as being world-leading. 

"Her work is not only very timely, but is also very relevant to the public at large - creating novel computer processors for the protection and privacy of information. 

"Only a very small number of the most talented university scientists and engineers are given such awards, namely those deemed to have the most potential to develop as the international research leaders of tomorrow.  Máire provides an exemplary role model for an exciting career for talented young people studying mathematics and science at school."

For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit,+44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, a.clements@qub.ac.uk

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Professor George Irwin receives International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Award

Professor George Irwin has recently received an Outstanding Service Award from the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), a body representing national scientific organisations in the field of automatic control.

The Award, comprising a certificate and a gold pin, was given for 'sustained outstanding performance in major leadership positions in IFAC'. It was presented by Prof Wook Kwon during his Presidential dinner held on 5th July in Seoul, Korea.

Prof Irwin receiving his Outstanding Service Award
 
Professor Irwin receiving his Outstanding Service Award

Wook Kwon the IFAC President reading the citation

Prof Irwin was Editor-in-Chief of the IFAC Journal of Control Engineering practice for 5 years.

He has just completed a term as Chair of the Publications Committee which saw the introduction of IFAC PapersOnline, the new online archive for all event publications.

Wook Kwon, the IFAC President,
reading the citation
 

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Researchers presented with Outstanding Paper Award

Researchers in the Semiconductors and Nanotechnology Cluster within the School (Mervyn Armstrong, Mike Bain, Paul Baine, Harold Gamble, Fred Ruddell and Suli Suder) are among the authors of a paper which was presented with an Outstanding Paper Award at the recent 15th IEEE International Conference on Mixed Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (MIXDES 2008). 

This publication, entitled 'Technology of SOI Monolithic Active Pixel Detectors for Improvement of I-V Characteristics and Reliability', is just one of the results of a new collaboration with the Institute of Electron Technology, Warsaw, and the University of Science and Technology, Cracow.

The paper reported a breakthrough in the development of ionising particle detectors which vertically integrate sensor devices and readout electronics in specially-configured Silicon On Insulator (SOI) substrates developed at Queen's using in-house wafer bonding technology.  Such detectors are urgently sought by the high energy physics community for experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. 

The Queen's group have already attracted funding for this work through the School's first PPARC/STFC grant and are working to further develop their international profile in this exciting research area.

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Lecturer wins Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) Medal

Dr Wasif Naeem being presented with the Michael Richey Medal by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Dr Wasif Naeem being presented with the Michael Richey Medal by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Dr Wasif Naeem, a Lecturer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s, has been presented with the Michael Richey Medal by the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN).  This medal is awarded to the author of the best article published throughout the year in the Journal of Navigation.  Dr Naeem received his medal from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron of the RIN, at the AGM held on 9 July in the Royal Geographical Society in London.  

Dr Naeem’s paper was entitled “Chemical Plume Tracing and Odour Source Localisation by Autonomous Vehicles.”  Autonomous vehicles with an ability to trace chemical plumes can be instrumental in tasks such as detection of unexploded ordnance, search for undersea wreckage and environmental monitoring. This paper reviewed two main approaches and a number of strategies that have been successfully implemented to track air or water borne plumes in order to locate odour sources using autonomous vehicles. The first strategy considered was the  biomimetic approach that offers excellent models for the development of robotic systems. The second scheme considers parallelization of the search procedure by employing a multi-robot approach. This approach has the advantage of utilising a group of smaller and simpler communicating robots which are capable of performing a collaborative search of the plume.

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Student wins world research award

Queen's student, Gareth Conway, from Keady, illustrates one of his new award winning wireless antenna sensors with Dr William Scanlon of ECIT
Queen's student, Gareth Conway, from Keady, illustrates one of his new award winning wireless antenna sensors with Dr William Scanlon of ECIT

Gareth Conway, a Queen's student from Keady, County Armagh, will receive a global award in San Diego on Wednesday.

His research on wireless, wearable antennas allows doctors to monitor illnesses and injuries remotely.

Gareth's research could make medical visits for tests and check-ups a thing of the past.

Information on patients' heart rate, respiration, posture and gait can then be accessed by doctors via the internet or mobile phone.

One possible use could be the monitoring of firefighters' heartbeat, respiration and movement as they tackle a blaze.

The antennas can be fitted almost anywhere on the patient without causing inconvenience and are sufficiently low-profile to be worn in clothing or a wound dressing.

They are up to 50 times more efficient than previously available designs of the same dimensions.

Gareth will receive the SEMCAD X Student Research Award at the 2008 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in San Diego.

The awards recognise outstanding research in the field of numerical simulation of electromagnetic fields.

Gareth is a final year PhD student at Queen's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology.

He said: "I am delighted to be chosen for such a prestigious award, as I had competition from universities from all over the world."

In addition to a $5,000 prize, Gareth wins the latest version of electronic modelling software, and a hardware accelerator for the University, worth approximately £15,000.

Dr William Scanlon, from Queen's University said that the UK was leading the world in this field of research.

"We could change the way that a range of illnesses, injuries and conditions are monitored, perhaps within five years," he said.

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