Skip to main content

News Archive 2010/11

Archived News for 2010/2011 Academic Year

 

2011

Jul 14    -    'First Ladies' of Engineering
Jun 16    -    Queen's Team acheives 2nd place in World Wide Steganalysis Contest
Jun 15    -    CSIT PhD student a best paper finalist at ISCAS 2011
Jun 9    -    Students compete in football friendly
May 30    -    Students make it to semi-final of China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge
May 25    -    Student Price Comparison Site Wins Best Overall Business Idea At "What's The Big Idea?" Awards
May 11    -    Professor John McCanny presented with top academy award
Apr 12    -    Prof. Nasir Memon, IEEE Fellow, delivers IEEE Distinguished Lecture
Feb 21    -    Hanyang Student Exchange
Feb 21    -    Postgraduate Research Studentships for 2011/12
Feb 7    -    EEECS Research Society Launched
Jan 31    -    Space Agency investigates Novel ANALOGUE Self-steered antennas
Jan 17    -    Professor Harold Gamble receives OBE
Jan 17    -    Students 'bowled over' by night out
Jan 12    -    School welcomes new students
Jan 10    -    ESBIE Scholarship deadline nears


2010

Nov 22    -    Chinese Odyssey for Engineering Students
Nov 1    -    'Wireless' humans could form backbone of new mobile networks
Oct 4    -    25K Awards
Sep 7    -    MSc Courses - Places still available!
Aug 26    -    ESB Scholarships
Aug 10    -    EEECS To Create Three New Professorships
Aug 6    -    School hosts International Conference on Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling
Jul 21    -    Sir Harold Hartley Medal for Professor George Irwin
Jul 19    -    Paper 'Highly Commended' by International Journal

 

     

EEECS Events

     

2009/2010 Archived News

     

2008/2009 Archived News

     

2007/2008 Archived News

     

2006/2007 Archived News

‘First Ladies’ of Engineering

Pictured at their graduation are, left to right, Karen Creighton, Maria McCullagh, Caron Malone, Emma Dalzell and Jenni Black
Karen Creighton, Maria McCullagh, Caron Malone,
Emma Dalzell and Jenni Black

The five girls graduating from the MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree at Queen's this year have all achieved First Class Honours.  They came in the top six in their class and, to top it all, they have all also secured jobs in engineering.    

Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor Stan Scott, said: "I am delighted that all five of the girls graduating from the MEng degree in Electrical and Electronic degree at Queen's this year have gained First Class Honours.

"All of the girls worked extremely hard throughout the degree and thoroughly deserve to have done well. At a time when there is a shortage of engineering graduates in Northern Ireland I would appeal to more students, and particularly girls, to consider a career in this field."

Top of Page

Queen's Team acheives 2nd place in World Wide Steganalysis Contest


The winners and organisers of BOSS contest

The Queen's team, consisting of Dr. Fatih KURUGOLLU and Mr. Gokhan GUL, has reached the top second position in a world-wide Steganalysis contest which is the first challenge in this field - Steganalysis is the art of detecting hidden messages in digital media and countermeasure against steganography which aims to use innocuous looking digital media as a subliminal communication channel.

The aim of the BOSS (Break Our Steganographic System) contest is to break a state-of-art steganograhy method, Highly Undetectable steGO (HUGO) which was developed for this contest. HUGO is a steganalysis-aware method which takes into account the current best steganalysis technique, SPAM, developed by Prof. Fridrich's team, who is the world leader and the pioneer in research on steganalysis, in SUNNY Bingham University, NY.

The contest started on 28th July 2010 with a warming phase. A training image set containing 10.000 images was provided by the organisers and the participants were asked to upload their prediction over the class of each image of a test set in the ranking phase started on 9th September 2010. The deadline for the contest was set up on 15th December 2010. Only those participants who attained more than 65% detection rate were allowed to enter the Hall of Fame since the detection rate of SPAM method on HUGO is 65%.

Dr. Kurugollu and Mr. Gul, who is doctoral scholar in Darmstadt Technical University, Germany and was a visiting researcher in Queen's during the competition, participated in this contest based on their past successful research outcomes on steganalysis. During the competition the test set for ranking were downloaded from 114 different locations over the world but only three teams, including the Queen's team, could achieve sufficiently high detection rates to enter the Hall of Fame.

The Queen's team achieved 73% detection rate in their first attempt and raised it up to 77% until the deadline of the contest. The winner was Prof. Fridrich's team with 82% detection rate. Although the Queen's team discovered some powerful features, which yielded 85% detection rate, in the last week of the competition they could not finish the training before the deadline. The results were presented at the Information Hiding Conference in Prague on 18th May 2011 and the second price (a HUGO BOSS T-shirt) was presented to the team as a courtesy of the organisers.

Dr. Kurugollu said: "BOSS was a very challenging contest in which we put great effort but we enjoyed this challenge immensely as we have learnt so many valuable facts for steganalysis. One particular success is to discover a weakness in HUGO in terms of disturbing 1D features which are expected to be preserved by the method to evade the steganalysis systems. It is privilege for us to be praised by Prof. Fridrich based on this discovery as she emphasized this success with a quotation from Sherlock Homes -'There is nothing more deceiving than an obvious fact' – which should be kept in mind by researchers in any research activity."

The details about the BOSS contest can be found at: Boss Contest

Top of Page

CSIT PhD student a best paper finalist at ISCAS 2011

Weiqiang Liu with the poster of his research
Weiqiang Liu with the poster of his research

Weiqiang Liu, a PhD student from the Data Security Systems Group at CSIT, was a best paper finalist at the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 2011.

He presented his paper on 'Design Rules for Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata (QCA)', as part of a Special Session on QCA Circuit Design. He also presented a poster of his research as part of the best paper competition. His research work is carried out in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin.

The ISCAS conference, sponsored by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, is the world's premier networking forum for research in the theory, design and implementation of circuits and systems. Over 700 papers were presented at the conference and Weiqiang was one of only 8 finalists in the student best paper competition.

Top of Page

Students compete in football friendly

PhD students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's recently held a football friendly, with Computer Science students pitched against their fellow Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) students. 

EEE stormed into a 2-0 lead in the first half but, after a nail-biting finish, the game ended in a 2-2 draw. The students met up later over food and drinks for the post-match analysis.  It’s probably safe to say they will all be sticking to their 'day jobs'.

EEE team
Computer Science team
Electrical and Electronic Engineering team Computer Science team


The School's Postgraduate Research Staff Student Consultative Committee will be organizing a summer event which will be open to all PhD students in the School. Cluster representatives will be in touch with all PhD students soon with further details.

Top of Page

Students make it to semi-final of China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge

Electrical and Electronic Engineering students who made it through to the China UK Entrepreneurship Semi-final with their ecoBid entry. 
L to R  Karen Creighton, Sable Campbell and Jason Cardwell.
Electrical and Electronic Engineering students
who made it through to the
China UK Entrepreneurship Semi-final
with their ecoBid entry:
Karen Creighton, Sable Campbell
and Jason Cardwell.

Three students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science participated in the China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge Semi-Final at Lancaster University on 12th May with their web-based, sustainable energy business innovation, ecoBid.  The students were Sable Campbell, a PhD student from Intelligent Systems & Control (ISAC), Karen Creighton who is in the final year of a Master's degree and Jason Cardwell, currently on placement year.

"The China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge aims to encourage new business ventures between China and the United Kingdom and is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs soliciting start-up funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms."
Dr Yu Xiong from Queen's University Management School, was one of the organisers of the competition. As such, Queen's University Belfast hosted the Opening Ceremony for this event back in January 2011 featuring guest speakers and a warm welcome from the Vice Chancellor.

The Queen's students' entry was shortlisted among the top eight out of over 150 originally submitted.  The sustainable energy themed business idea came about during the Prime Minister's Initiative (PMI2) trip to Beijing in the summer of 2010, where they collaborated with their fellow colleagues Lewis Elliott and Paul Reddan, along with eight students from the Department of Automation, Tsinghua University.  The PMI2 project was led by Dr Kang Li of ISAC and included many educational visits to various Chinese universities, businesses and organisations.

The standard of competition semi-finalists was very high, and although the Queen's team did not manage to qualify for the finals, the winning projects are set to become promising business developments of the future, such as Global Green Desktop Cloud Computing (Imperial College), Self-healing Radiation Shielding (Cambridge University), a Mobile Cross-application Platform (Cambridge University) and a Barcode Social Commerce Platform (University College London).

Sable Campbell commented "Participating in the PMI2 project was a great honour and privilege.  It has fulfilled the aims in terms of enabling us to understand more about Chinese culture, education and business.  Having the opportunity to present our business plan at the Semi-Final in front of a panel of prestigious judges allowed us to further develop our understanding of international business connections and investment, whilst receiving useful feedback for future improvements."

Top of Page

Student Price Comparison Site Wins Best Overall Business Idea At "What's The Big Idea?" Awards

Sean O'Kane and Niall Mooney from Student Patch are presented with their winners cheque by Patricia McNeill from Ormeau Business Park as Anton McGonnell, also from Student Patch looks on. Student Patch partners not in the photograph are Conor McCullaugh, Shaun Mullen, Jason Wallace, James Livingston, Richard Thompson
Sean O'Kane and Niall Mooney from Student Patch are presented with their winners cheque by Patricia McNeill from Ormeau Business Park as Anton McGonnell, also from Student Patch looks on. Student Patch partners not in the photograph are Conor McCullaugh, Shaun Mullen, Jason Wallace, James Livingston, Richard Thompson

Two groups of students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's have triumphed in an enterprise competition in the University.

The winners of the 3rd Annual Queen's Students' Union Business Idea Awards were announced at a special ceremony held in Enterprise SU at Queen’s Students’ Union.  The “What’s the Big Idea?” Awards are organised by Enterprise SU, a dedicated enterprise, volunteering and employability centre for Queen's students.

Sponsored by Ormeau Business Park, the winners of the Best Overall Business Idea Award were revealed as a group of entrepreneurial final year Business Information Technology Students whose idea Student Patch, a website dedicated to students in Belfast, made them stand out from the other entrants.

The winners took home a £500 prize and will receive further support from Queen's Enterprise and Development Coordinator, Denise Murtagh, as well as full use of the incubation facility known as "The Hatch", which is also based in the Students’ Union.

Mark McCaigue and Cormac Long from Carbon Tyre Print, with Patricia McNeill from Ormeau Business Park

Greenest Business Idea also went to Computer Science students from the School, with their Carbon Tyre Print app which is aimed at reducing CO2 emissions through analysing your route and telling you what bus/train journey you could have used instead and your CO2 savings.

Commenting on the Awards and the services that Enterprise SU provides, Denise Murtagh commented:

"Extracurricular activities such as this competition help ignite the creative spark amongst many students and it encourages and rewards entrepreneurial behavior.  We are always so impressed by the quality of creative ideas that are submitted."

Mark McCaigue and Cormac Long from Carbon Tyre Print, with Patricia McNeill from Ormeau Business Park

Over the past number of years this competition has attracted several hundred entries and is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at Queen's who have exciting and creative business ideas. 

This year's overall winners Student Patch are hoping the awards can propel them to even greater things and Anton McGonnell from the winning team added: "We are delighted to have won this award which will hopefully create exposure for Student Patch. The Enterprise SU facility "The Hatch" should also help us meet other entrepreneurs, which will help the business progress."

Top of Page

Professor John McCanny presented with top academy award

Royal Irish Academy President Professor Luke Drury, presents Professor John McCanny with the Royal Irish Academy's Cunningham Medal.
Royal Irish Academy President Professor Luke Drury, presents Professor John McCanny with the
Royal Irish Academy's Cunningham Medal.

One of the people behind the creation of the Northern Ireland Science Park has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to engineering by the Royal Irish Academy.

Professor John McCanny, Director of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen's University Belfast, was presented with the Royal Irish Academy's Cunningham Medal, the Academy's premier award at a special ceremony on May 9th.

The medal, which is presented every three years, recognises the outstanding contribution to scholarship and the objectives of the Academy by a member. Previous recipients of the award include Sir William Rowan Hamilton, Sir William Wilde, Sir Bernard Crossland and most recently Seamus Heaney in 2008.

President of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Luke Drury said: "Professor McCanny is one of the world-leading authorities in the field of Microelectronics Systems design, to which he has made many pioneering and ground breaking contributions. Today, silicon chips based on his research are used in a wide range of everyday devices, which we take for granted, including mobile phones, digital televisions, video cameras and DVD recorders.

"It is only right and proper then, that the Royal Irish Academy bestows its highest and most prestigious honour – the Cunningham Medal - on Professor McCanny, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to scholarship. As a Cunningham Medallist, Professor McCanny joins a distinguished list of world famous recipients, stretching right back to 1789."

Professor John McCanny said: "I am very deeply honoured to be awarded the Royal Irish Academy's Cunningham Medal. As those who know me are aware, one of my core passions is coupling university research with economic impact. This is now on the agenda of many western nations, not least the UK and Ireland. I am therefore very pleased that the Academy has decided to recognise this aspect of my work.

"Success in this area is difficult to achieve and requires a strong team contribution rather than that of a single individual. In accepting this medal, I do so on behalf of the teams of people I have had the pleasure of working with over many years.

"One of the recent recipients of the Cunningham medal was the late Professor Sir Bernard Crossland, a true gentleman and probably one if not the most influential engineers to have lived in these islands. Sir Bernard was a great inspiration to those that knew him. To receive this most prestigious honour so soon after his passing is therefore a very proud and humbling experience."

Within Queen's Professor McCanny was heavily involved in developing the vision that led to the creation of the Northern Ireland Science Park, its £37M ECIT research flagship and more recently the £30M UK Centre for Secure Information Technology. Prior to ECIT opening in 2003, the Science Park, located on the former Harland and Wolff shipyard, was a derelict "brown field" site. Today it hosts over 100 advanced technology companies employing over 1800 people and generating an estimated £75M per annum, in salaries alone, for the local economy.

Top of Page

Prof. Nasir Memon, IEEE Fellow, delivers IEEE Distinguished Lecture

On 10th of April Prof. Nasir Memon, IEEE Fellow and director of the Information Systems and Internet Security (ISIS) Lab at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, gave an IEEE Distinguished Lecture at Queen's.

The topic of his lecture was "Photo Forensics - There is more to a picture than meets the eye".

This lecture not only provided deep insights for emerging media forensic problem but also opened the discussion for future directions in the topic. The lecture was supported by the IEEE Signal Processing Society and coordinated by Dr. Fatih Kurugollu.

Click here for more details on the event.

Top of Page

Postgraduate MSc Courses – Apply Now

Like to upgrade your qualifications and study for a one year PG Taught MSc Course?

Why not apply for an MSc course in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as follows -

  • MSc Educational Multimedia
  • MSc Electronics
  • MSc Telecommunications
  • MSc Computer and Electronic Security
  • MSc Advanced Wireless Communications


There is no closing date for applications, but students are advised to apply early, as places may be limited on some courses.

Apply online at - https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/

For further information contact Gemma O'Donnell, email: g.odonnell@qub.ac.uk or tel: +44 (028) 9097 4618

 

Top of Page

Game on……and on! Students triumph in games competitions

Photograph of EEECS Imagine Cup 2011 team
Computer Science students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's have achieved major success in recent games competitions at the first attempt!

Three teams competed in the recent Games Fleadh Games Festival in Tipperary and all came back with some 'silverware'.  The theme of the competition this year was based around the well known Frogger game which is celebrating its 30 year anniversary this year.  All teams were required to develop a 'modern' version of Frogger.  All three teams from Queen's were mentored by Russell Kane from the School.

Team 'DevelopersDevelopersDevelopersQUB', made up of team members Josh Lockhart, Stephen Madden and Gareth Smith, were runners up in the XNA Game Studio Ireland Challenge with their game 'FroggerDASH!'.  Team 'JCLTeamQUB', made up of team members Jordan Hamill and Lukasz Towarek, received the Award for Best in Visual Engineering with their game 'CTFrogger' and Team 'UndecidedQUB', made up of team members Emmett Nash and Kevin Piar, got the Award for Best in Game Design with 'SurvivalFrogger'.

Another team from the School, Team 'cannotFindSymbolVariable"Team Name"QUB' (perhaps they should get the prize for the best team name!) made up of team members Ricky Hanna, Cormac Long and Mark McCaigue along with their mentor Russell Kane, are through to the final of the Microsoft Ireland Imagine Cup competition in Dublin on April 13th and 14th.

Entrants were required to develop a technological solution to a real world problem.  The Team's entry is entitled 'Carbon TyrePrint' and is an exciting new app aimed at reducing CO2 emissions in a meaningful way and with a minimum of hassle.  Basically, Carbon Tyreprint monitors your journey anywhere and then lets you know what public transport you could take as an alternative, and your CO2 savings as a result.  

To follow their progress, check out their Facebook site - facebook.com/CarbonTyrePrint or visit www.carbontyreprintapp.com.

Top of Page

Asidua expand successful scholarship programme

Angela Canavan, Asidua Chief Operations Officer and Johnny Wylie, Human Resources in Asidua (centre) welcome Dr Lillian Greenwood (far left) and Dr Philip Hanna (far right) from Queen’s University Belfast, along with Scholarship recipients (left to right) Alan Foster, Emma Davidson, Victoria Potts and Christopher Kane, all from Queen’s University Belfast, to Asidua following their award to the Asidua Scholarship Programme for 2010/2011.
Angela Canavan, Asidua Chief Operations Officer and Johnny Wylie, Human Resources in Asidua (centre) welcome Dr Lillian Greenwood (far left) and Dr Philip Hanna (far right) from Queen’s University Belfast, along with Scholarship recipients (left to right) Alan Foster, Emma Davidson, Victoria Potts and Christopher Kane, all from Queen’s University Belfast, to Asidua following their award to the Asidua Scholarship Programme for 2010/2011.

Belfast based global IT services company Asidua, have expanded their successful Scholarship Programme for local IT and Engineering students, with the placement of five new scholars for the 2010/2011 academic year.

Now in its third year the Asidua Scholarship Programme, which was launched in co-operation with both Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster, aims to attract fresh talent into the IT sector by supporting new IT and Engineering students financially during their academic studies and professional careers.

During a recent award ceremony held at Asidua's head offices in Belfast, the worldwide IT and telecoms specialists announced that their 2010/2011 Scholarship Programme was awarded to five new local students - Emma Davidson, Victoria Potts, Alan Foster & Christopher Kane (Queen's University of Belfast) and Michael Telford (University of Ulster).

The new Asidua scholarship winners were formally welcomed to Asidua by Chief Operations Officer Angela Canavan and current Asidua scholar Sean Carlin.  "On behalf of Asidua, I would like to personally welcome Emma, Victoria, Alan, Christopher and Michael and congratulate them on their award to the Asidua Scholarship Programme," said Angela.  "Since launching the programme in 2008, we have been able to successfully expand our now recognised scholarship initiative for local students each year."  Angela continued; "Following the large volume of applicants this year, we expanded the programme further with the award of five new scholarship places,  the highest number announced during one year, bringing the number of current Asidua scholars to eleven."

2008/2009 Asidua scholarship winner Sean Carlin, who is currently on his placement year, outlined the benefits of the Asidua scholarship programme to the gathered guests; "The Asidua Scholarship Programme has allowed me to experience a real working environment and has given me a great opportunity to develop all my skills and gain valuable experience."   Sean continued; "I feel that achieving a place on the Asidua Scholarship Programme provides local students with both an academic and financial advantage during their studies and also throughout their professional career".

Following the award ceremony the new scholars were asked for comment on their awards. "I am absolutely thrilled to have been awarded a place on Asidua's Scholarship Programme," said Emma Davidson, "This fantastic opportunity enables me to gain invaluable industrial experience which in turn will greatly benefit my studies at Queen's." 

A similar view was shared by fellow scholarship winners Victoria Potts & Michael Telford.  "I feel very lucky to have been granted such a wonderful opportunity by Asidua, which will offer stability throughout my degree," said Victoria.  "I'm eager to begin working with the company and strengthen my IT skills." 

When asked about their initial impressions at Asidua, Queen's University Computer Science student Alan Foster said; "It was clear from the start that the company's atmosphere was both professional and welcoming.  Through talking to the current scholars and Asidua management team, it was obvious that all of my expectations were more than succeeded."  Christopher Kane, an Electrical Engineering student at QUB, agreed; "The award ceremony was an excellent event; putting to rest any queries I may have had and making me feel right at home." 

In congratulating the QUB scholarship winners, Dr Lillian Greenwood, Director of Education in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's said; "I wish to thank Asidua for offering students such prestigious and lucrative scholarships and we are delighted that four of our students have been selected this year.  The scholarships offer the students an unrivalled opportunity to gain invaluable experience throughout their degree, with what is a very progressive and forward thinking IT company." 

Lillian continued, "This has also proven to be a very successful partnership for the University, in that it encourages higher calibre students to consider degrees in computing."

Top of Page

Students get a Head Start in Jobs Market

Students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who were recently presented with their City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level
Students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who were recently presented with their City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level

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. Over 50 students from the School received their awards at a special ceremony held in Queen's University on March 16th. The awards were presented by Sharon Saxton from the City & Guilds London Institute.

The School has links with over 500 companies, both here and abroad, to facilitate placements.  Placements on many of the computing degrees in the School are a compulsory element of the course, with electrical and electronic engineering students having the option to spend a year in industry as part of their course.  The students are paid for their year out on placement, with salaries ranging from £12-£30K.

Students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who were recently presented with their City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level
Students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who were recently presented with their City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level

Professor Stan Scott, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's, commented
"I am delighted to see so many of our students undertaking a placement year in industry and gaining the City and Guilds Award.

"The placement is a vital part of their course, which will help them to stand out from the competition when they apply for jobs on graduation.

"It is also invaluable in that they can relate what they are learning in their degree to current industry practice".

Top of Page

China Studentship Council and Queen's University Studentships

Queen’s University Belfast invites applications from outstanding Chinese students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Chongqing University to pursue PhD study at Queen’s University Belfast in collaboration with the China Scholarship Council (CSC). 

There are 20 fully funded three year research studentships, commencing October 2011. The studentships provide fees and living costs.

Click here to view full details on these studentships.

Top of Page

First ever World Cyber Security Summit at Queen’s

Photo of Professor John McCanny; Dr Godfrey Gaston; Danny Kennedy, Minister for Employment and Learning and Professor Peter Gregson, Queen's University Vice-Chancellor, at the first ever World Cyber Security Summit at Queen's.
Professor John McCanny; Dr Godfrey Gaston; Danny Kennedy, Minister for Employment and Learning and Professor Peter Gregson, Queen's University Vice-Chancellor, at the first ever World Cyber Security Summit at Queen's.
Cyber security experts and government policy makers from around the world are gathering at Queen's University Belfast to develop the first ever global technology research strategy to counter cyber terrorism.

The inaugural World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit is being held at Queen's Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) - the UK's lead centre for cyber security research in this area. The summit will address the current risk to global cyber security as well as outline potential future threats to information systems. The select group of world experts will share current trends in cyber security, look at security threats likely to emerge over the next five to ten years and agree on an international strategy for developing research that will safeguard the 'Internet of tomorrow'. The summit comes just weeks after the UK government announced that cyber crime was costing the UK economy £27 billion a year. The cost is made up of £21 billion of costs to businesses, £2.2 billion to government and £3.1 billion to citizens.

Danny Kennedy, Minister for Employment and Learning, opened the summit. During his welcoming address, the Minister said: "The significance and benefit of the cutting edge work being carried out by Queen's has been demonstrated with their status as the UK Integrated Knowledge Centre for Secure Information Technology, a development which will create significant opportunities in the local economy, as well as enhancing the skills base within Northern Ireland.

"It is a great honour for the University and, of course, the city of Belfast, to host the inaugural World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit, and thus play a part in helping to develop an international strategy on cyber security."

He continued by saying: "With the goodwill, knowledge and expertise that the summit has now brought together, I have absolutely no doubt that the outcome from today's event will ultimately bring huge benefits to wider society."

The Minister concluded by commending Queen's for the excellence of the research being carried out within this field at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, and highlighted that it will play a pivotal role in enabling that success to be attained.

Professor John McCanny, CSIT principal investigator, said: "CSIT recognises there is a lot being done on current cyber threats, but there is not a lot of collective thinking about what is coming next. "It is hard to say exactly what the Internet will become, but we can see a world where it will be core to the very fabric of society. It will be part of our critical infrastructure; providing essential services and becoming an even bigger part of our lives – being used in assisted living; allowing computers to drive our cars, deliver our groceries and monitor and manage our health. It is therefore very important that we develop a strategy to protect ourselves against cyber technology attacks. With such a range of experts attending we expect to come up with the first ever global strategy to protect against cyber crime.

"This summit is the first of its kind and will really mark out the future of cyber technology around the world. The risks associated with the Internet extend from individuals to nations. Internet security is a major issue at a national and international level and there are a number of programs and initiatives around the world where both governments and industry are looking to solve some of the problems we face in this area. We at CSIT believe that 'Belfast 2011' will be the first of many summits over coming years, and may even be the beginning of an international movement of collaboration and co-operation to safeguard against cyber terrorists of the future."

The summit at Queen's puts the University and Belfast on the map as leading the research into global cyber security. Guests from UK Home Office, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, BAE Systems, Thales and IBM among others, illustrate the scale of the expertise at the summit.

Top of Page

Hanyang Student Exchange

Young-Jun Kim and Hye Seon Kim
Young-Jun Kim and Hye Seon Kim
ECIT was recently pleased to welcome two exchange students from Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea. The student-exchange follows the signing of an MoU between Queen's and Hanyang in November 2010.

Young-Jun Kim and Hye Seon Kim, both Masters students from the Department of Electronics & Computer Engineering at Hanyang, were hosted by the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at ECIT. During their 6-week visit they were involved in research in the areas of data security and network security. It is hoped that this will be the beginning of a successful long-term collaboration between the two universities.

Top of Page

Postgraduate Research Studentships for 2011/12

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science invites applications for a number of fully funded 3 year research studentships, commencing in October 2011.  The studentships provide fees and a maintenance grant of £13,590 for 2011/12 and are open to UK and EU citizens, subject to eligibility.

Further information on studentships and individual projects available can be viewed at 
http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/eeecs/Scholarships/PostgraduateResearchScholarships/

Please note that NOT all available projects are funded.

Academic Requirements

The required minimum academic qualification for the above studentships is a 2:1 honours degree or a qualification considered equivalent by the University.   The qualifications must be obtained in Computer Science, Electronics, Electrical Engineering or a related discipline.  Candidates must have official, final results of all qualifications to be used to meet the academic requirements before the start of the studentship.

Applications

Applications should be made electronically through the Queen's online application portal at https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/

A separate application for funding must also be completed for each project applied to.  Application for admission to study that does not also have an application for funding may not be considered for an award.

The deadline for applications is Monday 28 February 2011.

For further information please contact Yvonne McKnight (y.mcknight@qub.ac.uk)

Top of Page

EEECS Research Society Launched

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has launched a new research society for the School. The Launch, which took place on January 27th in the Wellington Park Hotel, was attended by over 100 staff and students from the School.   

The aim of the EEECS Research Society (EEECS RS) is to enhance the quality of the research experience by providing a voice for the research community within the School and by promoting opportunities for career advancement, personal development and social interaction.

Guest speaker at the event was Dr Odette Dewhurst, Senior Research Training and Development Officer at Leeds University, who presented on 'Issues facing Research Staff.'  

Queen's University staff Dr John Copelton from Careers, Paul Monahan, STDU and Shona Johnston from the Student Guidance Centre also presented on career and personal development opportunities.

Pictured left to right are Dr John Copleton, Careers in Queen's, Professor Stan Scott, Head of School, Dr Odette Dewhurst, Leeds University and Dr Huiyu (Joe) Zhou, a Research Engineer in ECIT
Pictured left to right are Dr John Copleton, Careers in Queen's, Professor Stan Scott, Head of School,
Dr Odette Dewhurst, Leeds University and Dr Huiyu (Joe) Zhou, a Research Engineer in ECIT

Research staff and students in the School delivered an overview of their research and provided posters for display. Dr David Laverty and PhD student Robin Todd were awarded prizes for the best Research Cluster presentation and best poster respectively.
      
The EEECS RS will be overseen by a committee made up of research staff and PhD students within the School.

Top of Page

Space Agency investigates Novel ANALOGUE Self-steered antennas


Dr Neil Buchanan with a prototype of one of the QUB Retrodirective antennas

Bulky present generation satellite dishes and ground terminals could become relics of the past thanks to research currently being conducted for the European Space Agency (ESA) by Queen's University Belfast's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) aimed at developing discrete self-aligning flat antennas. It is hoped the work could lead to a one-size-fits all solution that could be optimised for a variety of technologies presently used to deliver satellite broadband and television to travellers as well as customers in broadband 'not spots'.

ECIT is currently working on an 18 month ESA project with the aim of developing a completely self-contained solid-state self-steering antenna that is much lighter and less power hungry than current alternatives. The team being led by Professor Vincent Fusco plan to complete work on a 1.6GHz demonstrator - capable of providing transfer rates of 0.5Mbits/s - with a power requirement of just 2 watts. It is anticipated that the device will ultimately have the capability to operate at 20-30 GHz in order to provide much greater bandwidth.The design currently being worked on is a 4x5 element planar array measuring 30cm by 40 cm and just 12 mm deep.Uniquely, the circuits are entirely analogue and incorporate specially adapted phase locked loop circuits. By contrast, conventional circuits convert incoming signals to digital, process them electronically and then convert them back to analogue. This however limits their frequency, and increases their complexity, cost and power requirements.

Queen's University has a strong reputation in this specialised field, having built the world's first 65MHz self steered antenna a number of years ago. Since then, it has built a close relationship with ESA to whom it is now the main supplier of quasi-optical filters. Dr Buchanan the lead engineer on the project who recently received ESA's Best Young Engineer award for his work in the field said:

"The work is especially exciting because it has involved taking a piece of pure university research and bringing it into the real world.  We believe that self-tracking antennas offer the prospect of much simpler and more cost effective alternatives to other current approaches. That, we believe, makes them ideally suited to a variety of end uses."
"For example, satellite broadband aircraft antennas are extremely complex. They need to be linked into the plane's onboard navigation system in order to find the satellite. In trains and road vehicles, they consume a lot of power and they require mechanical parts for tracking purposes."
"We believe that across these applications the solution we are currently working on could reduce power consumption by a factor of 10, weight by a factor of five and cost by a factor of four."

"It clearly has a lot of potential," he adds.

Top of Page

Professor Harold Gamble receives OBE

Professor Harold Gamble receives OBE
Professor Harold Gamble receives his OBE from the Princess Royal

Professor Harold Gamble from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s University has recently been awarded an OBE for services to science.  The School wishes to offer its warmest congratulations to Harold for this most deserved recognition of his many innovative achievements in the field of Semiconductor technology.

Professor Gamble has a long and distinguished career at Queen’s. He pioneered research leading to the creation of the Northern Ireland Semiconductor Research Centre in 1991 with £3.5M funding from the EU. Under his leadership since then, the Centre has secured a further £12M in funding to support research projects mainly in ‘silicon chip’ and MEMS technology and devices. Local company BCO Technologies (now ICEMOS) was incubated in the NISRC laboratories, and innovative work led to many world leading results and publications. Professor Gamble collaborated extensively with other leading UK universities and with both local and national industry.  The NISRC now includes the European Space Agency, the Oceanographic Institute and leading international universities in current collaborative contracts. 

Professor Gamble recently retired from the School but will continue his links as an Emeritus Professor. 

Top of Page

Students 'bowled over' by night out

Some of the EEECS postgraduate students who attended the recent bowling event

A number of research students from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's recently got together for a game of bowling, the first in a number of social events coming up in the year ahead. 

Organised by the School's Postgraduate Research Staff Student Consultative Committee, the event was open to all PhD students in the School.  As research students within the School are based across a number of sites, social events like this allow them the opportunity to get to know each other a bit more. 

Cluster representatives will be in touch with all PhD students during the next semester regarding forthcoming events so make sure and look out for those.

The aim of the Committee is to gain feedback from PhD students on issues relating to their studies and improve networking of the students across the School.

Some of the EEECS postgraduate students who attended the recent bowling night  Some of the EEECS postgraduate students who attended the recent bowling night  

Top of Page

School welcomes new students


Some of the new MSc students pictured with Professor Alan Marshall and Dr Neil Mitchell

Some of the first students to arrive from TAR College in Malaysia

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s is welcoming hundreds of new students to its courses over the next couple of weeks.  Over 300 new undergraduate students and almost 100 postgraduate students will be beginning courses/research programmes in the School.  The students are from over 20 countries worldwide and this week some staff greeted the first of the new Taught MSc students.  Pictured right with Professor Alan Marshall and Dr Neil Mitchell, co-ordinators of the MSc in Telecommunications and Electronics respectively, are some of the first Taught MSc students to arrive. 

Dr Lillian Greenwood, Director of Education for the School, commented ‘We are delighted to welcome such a diverse range of students to the School, including both home and overseas students.  I would like to offer a particular welcome to those students who have travelled many miles from their home countries to study in the School, including those from TAR College in Malaysia, with whom the School has had a long standing relationship dating back over 20 years.’

Top of Page

ESBIE Scholarship deadline nears

ESB Independent Energy is offering a lucrative scholarship package for a first year student studying electrical and electronic engineering at Queen's University.  The application deadline is Friday 4th February 2011.  

In October 2009 ESBIE formed a new partnership with Queen's University to provide scholarships to students from the MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme on an annual basis. The package includes financial support, ongoing mentoring and provides practical experience through summer and corporate placements throughout ESB International's many energy sites across Europe.  This will be the fourth scholarship provided by ESBIE for the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's.

Click here for more information on the scholarship scheme and a copy of the application form.

Please note that the deadline for applications has been extended to Friday 4th February 2011.

For further information, contact -
Gemma O'Donnell,
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
email g.odonnell@qub.ac.uk,
tel. 028 9097 4618

Top of Page

Chinese Odyssey for Engineering Students

Pictured with Tsinghua University staff and students are Dr Kang Li from Queen’s and students Paul Reddan, Karen Creighton, Lewis Elliot, Sable Cambell and Jason Cardwell
Pictured with Tsinghua University staff and students are Dr Kang Li from Queen’s and students Paul Reddan, Karen Creighton, Lewis Elliot, Sable Cambell and Jason Cardwell

A group of students from Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen's undertook the trip of a lifetime this Summer when they visited China to undertake a project at Tsinghau University.  The trip formed part of the Prime Minister's Initiative and was funded by the Queen's University Annual Fund and the British Council. 

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has research links with Tsinghau University through the Science Bridge research programme.  Dr. Kang Li from Queen's University greeted the group when they arrived at Beijing Airport and acted as a liaison between them and the Tsinghua University staff during their stay.

During their trip the students undertook a project on sustainable energy at the University under the supervision of Professor Song and assisted by PhD students at the University.  The aim of the project was to help make sustainable energy more accessible to everyone, and also help providers and contractors in the sector generate more business. It could also encourage the emergence of new providers in the sector.

The students in Tian’anmen Square
The students in Tian'anmen Square

When in China the students visited many famous sites in the Capital City, including Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City, the National Museum of China, and the Summer Palace. When in Tian'anmen Square the students proved to be an attraction themselves, with many people asking if they could take their photos and of course the students were happy to oblige.

The students also paid a visit to the Chinese Office of Andor Technology who design and manufacture high-tech digital cameras, a spin-off company of Queen's University.

All of the students agreed that it truly was the trip of a lifetime.

Top of Page

'Wireless' humans could form backbone of new mobile networks

Dr. Simon Cotton
Dr. Simon Cotton

Members of the public could form the backbone of powerful new mobile internet networks by carrying wearable sensors.

According to researchers from Queen's, the novel sensors could create new ultra high bandwidth mobile internet infrastructures and reduce the density of mobile phone base stations.

The engineers from Queen's renowned Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), are working on a new project based on the rapidly developing science of body centric communications.

Social benefits from the work could include vast improvements in mobile gaming and remote healthcare, along with new precision monitoring of athletes and real-time tactical training in team sports.

The researchers at ECIT are investigating how small sensors carried by members of the public, in items such as next generation smartphones, could communicate with each other to create potentially vast body-to-body networks (BBNs).

The new sensors would interact to transmit data, providing 'anytime, anywhere' mobile network connectivity.

Dr Simon Cotton, from ECIT's wireless communications research group said: "In the past few years a significant amount of research has been undertaken into antennas and systems designed to share information across the surface of the human body. Until now, however, little work has been done to address the next major challenge which is one of the last frontiers in wireless communication – how that information can be transferred efficiently to an off-body location.

"The availability of body-to-body networks could bring great social benefits, including significant healthcare improvements through the use of bodyworn sensors for the widespread, routine monitoring and treatment of illness away from medical centres. This could greatly reduce the current strain on health budgets and help make the Government's vision of healthcare at home for the elderly a reality.

"If the idea takes off, BBNs could also lead to a reduction in the number of base stations needed to service mobile phone users, particularly in areas of high population density. This could help to alleviate public perceptions of adverse health associated with current networks and be more environmentally friendly due to the much lower power levels required for operation."

Dr Cotton has been awarded a prestigious joint five-year Research Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC) to examine how the new technology can be harnessed to become part of everyday life.

He added: "Our work at Queen's involves collaborating with national and international academic, industrial and institutional experts to develop a range of models for wireless channels required for body centric communications. These will provide a basis for the development of the antennas, wireless devices and networking standards required to make BBNs a reality.

"Success in this field will not only bring major social benefits it could also bring significant commercial rewards for those involved. Even though the market for wearable wireless sensors is still in its infancy, it is expected to grow to more than 400 million devices annually by 2014."

Further information on the work of ECIT's Wireless Communications Research Group can be found online at www.ee.qub.ac.uk/wireless/

Top of Page

Speech recognition ‘Connects’ Queen’s team with award


Mike Short, Vice President of O2 (left) presents Louis-Marie Aubert and Professor Roger Woods from ECIT, with the High Technology Award at this year’s Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) CONNECT £25K Awards.

A team from Queen’s University Belfast has won the High Technology Award at this year’s Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) CONNECT £25K Awards Gala in Belfast. Researchers from ECIT have received £2.5K for their proposed company Mobile Voice Recognition (MVR) which provides speech recognition solutions that will revolutionise the way that people interact with most mobile devices.
The company has the technology to enable large vocabulary continuous speech recognition to be embedded in small electronic devices. It provides the solution for complex speech-to-text applications while satisfying the constraints of battery-operated mobile devices which traditionally have limited computational capabilities and low power. The technology has been validated and is currently the subject of intellectual protection. A demonstration prototype is being finalized.
Professor Roger Woods from MVR said: “By bringing together internationally recognised researchers in embedded systems and speech recognition experts, we have made a major advance in creating speech recognition solutions for embedded or handheld solutions.” 
“We are delighted to have won this prestigious award, which has given us real impetus to commercialise this research. I am particularly delighted for Louis-Marie Aubert and Richard Veitch and other team members who have worked so hard on this project.”
The event in the Pump House, Titanic Quarter, was hosted by the NI Science Park, and was compered by the BBC’s Wendy Austin.
The awards event was sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Invest NI, University of Ulster, Queen’s and the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

Top of Page

MSc Courses - Places still available

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is still recruiting students for its one year Postgraduate Taught Masters courses, as follows –

  • MSc Educational Multimedia
  • MSc Electronics
  • MSc Telecommunications
  • MSc Computer and Electronic Security

For further information contact Gemma O'Donnell
 - email: g.odonnell@qub.ac.uk
 - tel:     +44 (028) 9097 4618

Top of Page

ESB Scholarships


Minister for Employment and Learning, Sir Reg Empey, congratulates the scholarship recipients – pictured left to right, Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, Stuart Kerr, Paula Dunlop, Sir Reg Empey, David Beckett and Susan Kinane, Managing Director of ESB Independent Energy.

Boost for engineering students as ESB Independent Energy and Queen’s scholars announced.

Three of Northern Ireland’s top engineering students are the first to benefit from a new partnership between Queen’s University and the business energy supplier ESB Independent Energy (ESBIE) after being named the inaugural recipients of ESBIE scholarship awards.
The partnership sees ESBIE providing scholarships to students from the MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme on an annual basis, with Paula Dunlop from Belfast, David Beckett from Newtownabbey and Stuart Kerr from Waringstown presented scholarships for 2010/11 by the Minister for Employment and Learning Sir Reg Empey.  The package includes financial support, ongoing mentoring and practical experience through summer and corporate placements at ESB International’s many energy sites throughout Europe.

Commenting on the initiative, Susan Kinane, Managing Director, ESBIE, said, “I’d like to congratulate Paula, David and Stuart on becoming the inaugural ESBIE scholars.  I hope they find the financial, and more importantly, the practical support provided as part of the scholarship beneficial to their personal and career development. 
“As a company ESBIE is committed to supporting the business market here in Northern Ireland, not only through our competitive and tailored energy services but also by bringing our experience to bear in areas such as the renewable sector. This will ensure Northern Ireland, which has enormous potential, is at the cutting edge of business economies in the near future.
“Our partnership with Queen’s is a reflection of that commitment by helping support the quality of students that enter into the workplace here.  After all, it is through nurturing and developing our young people that we can help to build a strong and robust economy.”
“Queen’s has a proven track record in developing an excellent calibre of students and we see this as a mutually beneficial partnership.  The financial and mentoring support we provide as well as access to our various engineering operations, including emerging businesses in the sustainable sector, will, we believe, be a great aid in the development of the students.”
Queen’s ranks in the top ten in the UK for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in University League Tables and is also a member of the prestigious UK Power Academy which comprises the top seven Universities in the UK for Electrical Power Engineering. 
Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Queen’s currently has one of the highest employment rates for any degree, with over 90% of graduates employed in a graduate level job within six months of completing their degree. 
Dr Tim Littler, who oversees the management of scholarships within the School, said, “The scholarship partnership with ESBIE promises to deliver significant benefits for Electrical and Engineering Students at Queen’s through a multi-faceted support package through an annual bursary and book allowance, comprehensive placement training, industrial mentoring and the prospect of a professional career with ESBIE after graduation.

“The joint scheme has been founded on a strong technical synergy between the two partners which embraces ESBIE innovation and global developments and the international reputation for high quality teaching and research at Queen’s University.”

Top of Page

EEECS To Create Three New Professorships

The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science wishes to appoint three new professors to strongly enhance its international reputation for research in the following areas:

  • Secure Information Technology
  • Knowledge and Data Engineering
  • High Performance and Distributed Computing

Full details on each professorship can be viewed by clicking on the relevant link above.

The deadline for applications is mid-day on Monday 4 October.

Top of Page

School hosts International Conference on Practice and Theory of Automated Timetabling

Over 120 academics from approximately 30 different countries are to attend the 8th in a series of International conferences on the Theory and Practice of Automated Timetabling. The International Series of Conferences  is held bi-annually as a forum for both researchers and practitioners of timetabling to exchange ideas.

Whether it is sporting events, educational institutions, transportation or employee management the construction of efficient timetables which provide the maximum in way of flexibility for all constituent parts is as important as it is challenging. An increasingly important aspect within organisations is an automated approach which maximises all aspects of resource usage. In doing so a number of quantitative and qualitative challenges must be dealt with from both a technical and practical perspective. The Conference’s aims are timely in that resource management, innovations and efficiencies are currently being sough within both the private and public sectors.

An important aim of the Conference is to align the needs of practitioners and the objectives of researchers. This is achieved through the presentation and application of leading edge research techniques. Focusing on an important institutional resource usage application area, the conference is aimed at  the development and application of Artificial Intelligent Search techniques to large scale real world problems.  This multi-disciplinary research area comes under a number of research headings within Universities across the word i.e. Computer Science, Operational Research and the closely related Management Science.

Queen's has already developing a leading reputation this area with individuals having been asked to lead and be part of a number of related national and international initiatives.  The fact that we have a spin out Company, EventMAP, also focused on bringing research and practice together gives staff within the School a unique and respected insight to the area.

Top of Page

Sir Harold Hartley Medal for Professor George Irwin

Professor George Irwin
Professor George Irwin

Professor George Irwin of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's University, has been awarded the 2010 Sir Harold Hartley Medal in recognition of his long-standing involvement with control engineering and, more recently, the exploitation of condition monitoring and control engineering methods for batch processes.

The Hartley Medal, which is silver, commemorates the work of Sir Harold Hartley, KCVO, FRS, a former President of the Institute of Measurement and Control, is awarded annually to one person whose contribution to the technology of measurement and control is considered to be of outstanding merit. The medal will be presented to Professor Irwin in October at this year's Presidential Address and Learned Awards Evening at the Royal Society, London. 
 
Professor Irwin is Director of Research in Intelligent Systems and Control. His work lies in the area of nonlinear modelling and control of dynamical systems. He commented 'I am deeply honoured by this award from the Trustees of the Institute of Measurement and Control. Automatic control is an exciting and stimulating field whose principles underpin engineering, the physical and biological sciences and beyond. Thus in recent years I have been fortunate to have worked on applications as diverse as monitoring faults in automotive engines to reduce emissions through to the detection of heart attacks for lab-on-a-chip technology. My field is truly inter-disciplinary and this award recognizes the excellence of the wonderful team I have worked with over the past 30 years'.

Top of Page

Paper 'Highly Commended' by International Journal

Prof Peter Fleming, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Systems Science (right) presenting Prof George Irwin with his certificate.
Prof Peter Fleming, Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Systems Science (right) presenting Prof George Irwin with his certificate.

The International Journal of Systems Science has Highly Commended a paper by Dr Kang Li and Prof George W Irwin from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's.

The paper entitled 'Model selection approaches for non-linear system identification: a review', jointly with collaborators from Southampton and Reading, contained algorithmic and application results from Queens.

Certificates were presented to the authors at the American Control Conference in Baltimore, USA by the editor-in-chief Professor Peter Fleming.

Top of Page

smaller day in the life button with reduced amount of text‌