(2) RS Progress Report, 2012/2013 (Please pay more attention to the slide "RS Key Message Revisited")
(3) RS resources (committee minutes, event presentations, etc.) can be found on the School sharepoint (username and password are required): https://intranet.qol.qub.ac.uk/schools/eeecs/Research/Forms/AllItems.aspx
Research, particularly that performed within the domain of EEECS, is increasingly and clearly influenced by industry. As researchers, we create innovations that we hope will have great industrial relevance and impact. We see examples of collaboration between researchers and industrial organisations yielding opportunity and great results. Many researchers pursue careers within industry through employment and entrepreneurship.
This event aims to equip our researchers with the awareness and information necessary to recognise and capitalise on the opportunities that exist through working with industry. Topics addressed will include recruitment, working within an industrial organisation and academic engagement with industry. The event represents an opportunity for researchers at all levels within the school to expand their research, training and career horizons through a combination of workshops, insights and interactive sessions.
8.45 am Arrival and registration
9:00 am Welcome address
Professor Stan Scott, Head of School of EEECS
9:15 am Workshop 1: “Whither Next? University vs Corporate R&D in Recession and Out”
Presenter: Professor Daniel V. McCaughan, OBE PhD DSc FREng FIAE
The models for support, funding, and exploitation of research and development in Science and Engineering have radically shifted over the past 40 years. At one time top researchers felt it was a God-given right to do Research. Then “No more freebies in Research” and then it was “Who will pay for it? And why bother?” Getting grants became harder and harder – major industrial labs vanished – Where is GEC’s Hirst Research Centre? – now a housing estate! So we need to understand why, where, how, and for whom we do Research - -or what the strange single word “researchanddevelopment” really mean – who the customer is.... The world of IP beckons – has it value or not? And who should own it? And will a university take so much overhead it’s not worth the bother?
When I graduated, one expected to walk into a job – picked from umpteen offers. Now??? If you decide to start a company who will care and why? All these and other questions may be asked. But will they be answered?
10:00 am Insight 1: “NISP CONNECT - Transforming Northern Ireland into one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe by 2030”
Presenter: Peter Edgar, Programme Manager, NISP CONNECT
In this presentation you will learn how NISP CONNECT, an independent, non-profit organisation is supporting the development of innovative technologies and early stage companies through a series of educational seminars, mentorship programmes, capital competitions, and public policy advocacy. NISP CONNECT aims to accelerate the growth of knowledge-based companies by acting as an honest, neutral broker and aims to catalyse the commercialisation of world-class research and intellectual property. In order for our region to become one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies we need our researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs to work together to build new and exciting products and NISP CONNECT wants to support you.
10:20 am Insight 2: “Industrial and Academic Researches - Challenges and Synergies”
Presenter: Dr Senad Bulja, Bell Labs
In this presentation, I will talk about the challenges and advantages of industrial and academic researches from my own perspective – as a research scientist at Bell Labs, but also as a former University researcher. I will also present examples where academic and industrial researches intersect and mutually benefit. In particular, I will present an example of a research work conducted at Bell Labs – from the initial idea to the product.
10:40 am Coffee break and Poster Presentations
11:00 am Insight 3: “From Spanners to Big Data – A personal perspective on careers post-PhD”
Presenter: Dr Paul O’Reilly, System Architect at SAP Research Belfast
Although successfully completing a PhD is an indication of mastery of a particular domain, it does not have to constrain career options thereafter. Using the speaker’s career as an example, the benefits of both hard and soft skills learnt during a PhD will be shown. In particular, the scope for allowing career development across widely diverging industries will be illustrated by considering the speaker’s personal career path, which has encompassed multiple industries, as well as academia.
11:20 am Insight 4: “Industry perspective to hiring PhDs”
Presenter: Dr Ben Greene, Director of SAP Research Belfast
Drawing on experiences within his own career, the speaker will provide some insights into experiences when working with researchers, both inside and outside the industrial context. He will address questions such as:
11:40 am Research Society Committee Presentation
Presenter: Jonathan Kelly, EEECS RS Chair
11:50 pm Insight 5: “Marie Curie Actions for Researchers: Initial Training Networks and Fellowships”
Presenter: Dr Alexander Schuchinsky, Reader, School of EEECS
Marie Curie Actions offer tremendous opportunities for researchers’ training and development. This talk will cover only two Marie Curie programmes: Initial Training Networks (ITN) and Incoming International Fellowship (IIF). ITNs are aimed to engage early stage researchers in PhD studies, and Fellowships are intended for post-doctoral researchers to advance their research skills while working at the reputable research teams. In this talk, we discuss our experience of Marie Curie Actions and illustrate it by the examples of recently completed IIF PEARL and current ITN ARTISAN operated as European Industrial Doctorate (EID) programme. The features and highlights of both programmes will be overviewed, addressing their main stages from the project incipience, through implementation toward completion and final reports.
12:10 pm Insight 6: "From Great Game to Game Theory: Making the Transition from Business to Research"
Presenter: Michael Davis, CSIT
The presenter will reflect upon his career journey for the past two decades and provide personal insight in the challenges associated with career transitions, entrepreneurship and business start-ups complicated by international setting and uncertainties of the socio-economical realms. Michael has recently made successful return to research, now looking forward to an academic career, and his example breaks all prejudices about the matter and proves that natural disposition towards research and inquiry only nourishes upon the risks and opportunities presented by the business endeavours.
12:30 pm Lunch Buffet and Poster Presentations
Dr Danny McCaughan graduated with his PhD in Surface Physics at Queen’s in 1968 but had already decided on a career in Industry, so emigrated to New Jersey USA to work at Bell Labs in semiconductor technology. Lots of papers and patents later he moved to RSRE Malvern to lead a research group in a Government lab. 7 years later headhunted to head up all GEC Marconi semiconductor research, then 5 years later at the sharp end as Technical Director of GEC Marconi’s components group. 3 years on came back to NI Ireland on the Board of STC, and now still in N Ireland is a partner in Ireland’s biggest Venture Capital group.
Dr McCaughan has an unusual academic record for a senior industrialist. Since the 1980s he has been a Professorial Fellow of Queen's University Belfast, and is a Visiting Professor in UMIST. He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his contributions to technology, and has been elected to Fellowships of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Irish Academy of Engineering. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Physicist, and has also been elected to Fellowships in the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Institution of Engineers of Ireland, and the Royal Aeronautical Society, and is a senior member of the IEEE. Dr McCaughan has been awarded over 20 patents and has published over 100 book chapters and papers in both technical and managerial subjects.
Dr Senad Bulja (S’04–M’07- SM’12) received the B.Eng (with distinction) and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Essex, Colchester, U.K., in 2002 and 2007, respectively. From 2007 – 2010, he was a Senior Research Officer with the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Essex University, where he was involved with the characterisation of liquid crystals at microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies, and development of liquid-crystal-based mm-wave devices. In 2010, he joined Bell Labs, Ireland where he is currently a Member of Technical Staff. His research interests include variable microwave devices, microwave amplifier linearization techniques, memory effects description in RF transistors, characterization of liquid crystals at microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies, and, more recently, microwave filters.
Dr Ben Greene is the Director of SAP Research Belfast. In this role he is responsible for coordinating the work of SAP Research in Belfast with that of the other Research Centres and aligning the research work with the business goals of SAP. The research focus of SAP Research Belfast is in the areas of Cloud Computing and Business Intelligence.
Ben received a MEng and PhD in Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Queen's University Belfast. Thereafter he relocated to England to take up a Systems Engineer role at EADS Astrium. He became a Principal Engineer in the Earth Observation, Science and Navigation Division of EADS Astrium responsible for R&D into the next generation processing platforms. In this role his responsibilities included linking Astrium and European R&D to upcoming missions such as ExoMars Rover (ESA's flagship mission to launch an autonomous robotic vehicle to search for life on Mars).
Dr Alexander Schuchinsky received PhD degree in Radiophysics from Leningrad Electrotechnical University (USSR) in 1983 and the academic title of Senior Research Scientist in 1988. From 1973 to 1994, he was with the Microwave Electrodynamics Laboratory of Rostov State University, Russia where he was a Leading Scientist. From 1994 to 2002 he worked at Deltec-Telesystems, New Zealand. Since 2002 he has been with Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).
Dr Schuchinsky acts as a Member of the Board of Directors of the European Virtual Institute for Artificial Electromagnetic Materials and Metamaterials, Member of the Steering Committee of the European Doctoral Programmes on Metamaterials, General Co-Chair of the International Congress on Advanced Electromagnetic Materials in Microwaves and Optics and Topical Editor of journal Metamaterials (Elsevier). He has authored and co-authored 3 US patents, 4 book chapters and over 160 refereed journal and conference papers including 2 keynote and more than 25 invited talks. He is a co-recipient of the IEEE 2010 Microwave Prize from the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.
Peter Edgar joined the NISP CONNECT team in May 2012, taking on responsibility for development and delivery the key innovation and educational programmes, including £25k Awards; Co-Founders Wanted and Frontiers in Science & Technology.
He is passionate about helping start-up companies achieve success by connecting technology founders with experienced entrepreneurs/co-founders. He is motivated to support start-up science and technology companies believing they will help transform Northern Ireland into one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe by 2030.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography with a Certificate in America Business Practice from Queen’s University Belfast and is a graduate of the US-NI Mentorship Program (2011/12).
After graduating with First Class Honours in Computer Science at Brunel University and five years working as a Software Engineer, Michael Davis led his first project aimed to connect the former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan to the Internet. The project was eventually spun out into a commercial ISP, Eastera (www.tajik.net). He spent the next seven years running his own tourism business in Tajikistan, managing a team of 16 employees in a cross-cultural setting. That business had proved successful and was acquired by Hamsafar Travel in 2008. In 2008, Michael introduced the WhizzGo pay-by-the-hour car hire scheme to Belfast, which, despite being very much in demand by customers, unfortunately did not survive the recession. In 2009, Michael returned to academia, completing an MSc with distinction in Computer and Electronic Security at QUB, and in 2010, he commenced a PhD project on pattern and anomaly mining in network structures.