Dr Wasif Naeem, an Academic from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was the PI from QUB on the MAXCMAS (MAchine eXecutable Collision regulations for Marine Autonomous Systems) project leading the development of collision avoidance algorithms. The project demonstrated that the existing Maritime 'Rules of the Road' or COLREGs remain relevant for autonomous vessels. The development of collision avoidance algorithms was central to the £1.3m InnovateUK project part funded by the DSTL.
Link to Rolls Royce Indepth Magazine (Page 14)
Link to Rolls Royce Press Release
We currently have a couple of Research Fellow posts available within our cluster. The posts are associated with our INTERREG project.
Applications are online only and can be found here
Ref 18/106331 and Ref 18/106332
Closing date for applications is 19th April 2018
Integration of Energy Storage into Electrical Power Systems - INTERREG VA Storage Platform for the Integration of Renewable Energy (SPIRE 2)
We currently have a number of PhD oopportunies on topics related to the integration of energy storage into electrical power systems. These are funded by the Storage Platform for the Integration of Renewable Energy (SPIRE 2) INTERREG VA, a collaborative project led by Ulster University with Strathclyde University and Dundalk Insittute of Technology as the other academic partners.
For further information on these projects and information on how to apply please click here.
EPIC Researchers, Dr David Laverty, Dr Robert Best and Professor John Morrow were recently awarded the 2017 Premium Award for the Best Paper in IET Generation, Transmissions and Distrubution for their paper titled "Loss-of-mains protection system by application of phasor measurement unit technolgy with experimentally assessed threshold settings". The paper was originally published on 29th January 2015 in IET Generation, Transmissions & Distrubition, Volume 9, Issue 2, p 146-153.
Loss-of-mains protection is an important component of the protection systems of embedded generation. The role of loss-of-mains is to disconnect the embedded generator from the utility grid in the event that connection to utility dispatched generation is lost. This is necessary for a number of reasons, including the safety of personnel during fault restoration and the protection of plant against out-of-synchronism reclosure to the mains supply. The incumbent methods of loss-of-mains protection were designed when the installed capacity of embedded generation was low, and known problems with nuisance tripping of the devices were considered acceptable because of the insignificant consequence to system operation. With the dramatic increase in the installed capacity of embedded generation over the last decade, the limitations of current islanding detection methods are no longer acceptable. This study describes a new method of loss-of-mains protection based on phasor measurement unit (PMU) technology, specifically using a low cost PMU device of the authors’ design which has been developed for distribution network applications. The proposed method addresses the limitations of the incumbent methods, providing a solution that is free of nuisance tripping and has a zero non-detection zone. This system has been tested experimentally and is shown to be practical, feasible and effective. Threshold settings for the new method are recommended based on data acquired from both the Great Britain and Ireland power systems
Premium awards are given by the IET to recognise the best research papers published during the last two years. Big congratulations to David, Robert and John on their hard work.
You can view the article by clicking here
EPIC is to host seminars by Professor Jianhua Zhang (North China Electric Power University) and Professor Shuangxin Wang (Beijing Jiaotong University) on Friday 2 October.
Professor Zhang's seminar, 'Modelling and Control of Organic Rankine Cycle Based Waste Heat Recovery Systems,' and Professor Wang's seminar, 'Study on Dynamic Performance and Optimization based on Complex Network and Smart Grid,' will be held at 10.00 am in Ashby room 04.006.
All EEECS staff and research students are welcome to attend.
Researchers from Queen’s will be undertaking a joint 26 months, £1.27m Innovate UK project with academic and industrial partners including Rolls Royce, Atlas Electronik UK, Lloyd’s Register and Southampton Solent University. The Robust MAchine eXecutable Colregs for Marine Autonomous Systems, or MAXCMAS, project will investigate, develop and implement real-time collision avoidance algorithms for autonomous maritime vessels. EPIC's Dr Wasif Naeem is the lead investigator from QUB and will be directly involved in developing and simulating Colregs-compliant path planning algorithms.
Description of the project
Compliance with current and future regulations is instrumental to the wide-scale exploitation of Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) at sea. Satisfactory autonomous operation in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (Colregs) is furthermore pivotal to maritime safety. Machine execution of the Colregs has been investigated in limited circumstances and this project aims to develop a more comprehensive capability and demonstrate satisfactory execution in real-world representative sea trials. With academic support, the industrial participants aim to: demonstrate autonomous control of a USV for Mine Counter Measure (MCM) operations and develop broader USV applications along with navigational support for larger conventional vessels. A key innovation will be the use of networked bridge simulators as a safe yet effective test environment in the first instance. These highly immersive simulators, ordinarily used for mariner training, will be used to rapidly iterate development in light of human reaction from the crew of a virtual vessel encountering a synthetic autonomous vessel and real-world difficulties such as degraded sensor picture.
EPIC is to host a seminar by Dr Hongjie Jia of Tianjin University on Monday 14 September.
Dr Jia's seminar, 'Smart Grid and Integrated Energy System,' will be held at 10.00 am in the Ashby Conference Room and is open to all EEECS staff and research students.
EPIC is to host seminars by Dr Federico Milano (Associate Professor at University College Dublin) and Dr Paul McNamara (Senior Researcher at the Electricity Research Centre, UCD) on Friday 4 September.
The seminars will be held at 2.30 pm in room 04.006 of the Ashby Building and are open to all EEECS staff and research students.
EPIC research student, Joseph Devlin, has been ranked first in the all-Ireland 'Thesis in 3' energy research competition in Dublin. 'Thesis in 3' challenges competitors to present their research thesis in three slides and three minutes.
A full report on Joseph's success in the competition has been published on the School website.
EPIC is to host a seminar by Professor Minrui Fei of Shanghai University on Thursday 13 August.
Professor Fei's seminar, 'Networked Control and Systems for Intelligent Manufacturing,' will be held at 11.00 am in the Ashby Conference Room and is open to all EEECS staff and research students.
EPIC PhD student Nan Yang was the recipient of an IEEE Travel Award to attend the 2015 IEEE International Magnetics Conference (INTERMAG), which was held in Beijing from 11 to 15 May 2015.
Nan's application was strongly supported by his PhD supervisor, Dr Wenping Cao, and the INTERMAG conference technical committee.
EPIC is to host a seminar by Professor Zhu Han of the University of Houston, Texas, on Thursday 4 June.
Professor Han's seminar, 'Case Study of Big Data Analysis for Smart Grid,' will be held at 2.30 pm in the Ashby Conference Room and is open to all EEECS staff and research students.
A full report on the KTP between the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Munster Simms Engineering Limited of Bangor has been published on the School website.
The EPIC research cluster is pleased to announce the commencement of a new EPSRC funded project, "An ICT Framework for Supplementary Electrical Heating for Decarbonisation of Domestic Heating" (EP/M000656/1).
This project will develop technologies which will allow electrical storage heating appliances to optimise consumption of low carbon renewable electricity generation in preference to the use of fossil fuels for some heating.
In the words of Dr David Laverty, principal investigator, "This project aims to address the immediate need for low carbon heating technologies that can be applied today, and will lay out a roadmap for further decarbonisation in the future".
Professor Seán McLoone delivered his inaugural lecture, “Energy, Power and Intelligent Control – An EPIC Journey”, at the Ashby Building on 20th November 2014. The audience included staff and research students from across the University as well as external research collaborators of Professor McLoone.
The lecture provided an overview of Professor McLoone’s life, career, and research activities from his early years in County Donegal to the present day.
Following the lecture, refreshments were served at a reception in the Ashby foyer.
Professor McLoone (left) with Professor Stan Scott, Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Professor John Morrow addresses the Northern Ireland Assembly
Professor Morrow (pictured below) was one of a number of invited speakers to address the Northern Ireland Assembly All-Party Group on Science and Technology Energy Storage Seminar on 10th November 2014.
In his presentation entitled "Sustainable Electricity Supply: Myth Or Reality" John provided a review of the challenges and opportunities for the island of Ireland as we strive to deliver a electricity supply industry that exploits our natural renewable resources and is less reliant on hydrocarbon fuels.
UKACC 2016 to be held in Belfast
The EPIC cluster is pleased to announce that the next United Kingdom Automatic Control Council (UKACC) conference will be held at Queen's University Belfast in August - September 2016.
Members of the EPIC cluster have managed to secure this prestigious biennial control conference which will be held in Northern Ireland for the first time in its 18-year history.
The general scope of the conference is control theory and its applications to a wide range of disciplines including artificial intelligence, robotics, modelling, biomedical engineering, energy and power, image and signal processing, wireless networks, and smart sensors, to name a few.
For further details, please contact the organising committee.
If you have an interest in control theory and applications or if you would like to participate in UKACC 2016 as a proposer/presenter or exhibitor, please contact the Local Organising Chair.
General Chair: Professor Seán McLoone
Programme Chair: Professor Kang Li
Local Organising Chair: Dr Wasif Naeem
International Programme Committee Chair: Professor Sarah Spurgeon
LSMS2014 and ICSEE2014 International Conferences
The 2014 International Conference on Life System Modeling and Simulation (LSMS2014) and 2014 International Conference on Intelligent Computing for Sustainable Energy and Environment (ICSEE2014) were successfully held in Shanghai from the 20th to the 23rd of September 2014. The conferences, which were jointly organised by Queen’s University Belfast and Shanghai University, are a milestone of the iGIVE (Intelligent Grid Interfaced Vehicle Eco-charging) project. iGIVE is one of the four UK-China key research projects in deepening green technology development with over £1 million in grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).
The conference was co-chaired by Professor Kang Li of the EPIC cluster in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. A total of 572 submissions were received and 220 high-quality papers accepted for presentation. These papers covered 40 topics ranging from the latest advantages in computational methods, artificial intelligence on Life System Modelling and Simulation to recent research on sustainable energy and the environment.
213 researchers from 13 countries and districts gathered together at the Yanchang campus of Shanghai University to share their recent research. These included representatives from China, America, the UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. The conference proceedings published by Springer are within the top 25% most downloaded eBooks with more than 90,000 chapter downloads.
The 2014 International Conferences on LSMS & ICSEE provided an excellent communication platform for peer professionals, scholars and engineers. They also provided opportunities for Chinese researchers to follow the latest international developments in computational methods for life system modelling and simulation and sustainable energy and environment. The conferences witnessed fruitful results from researchers and illustrated the importance of system simulation in national economy and defense construction. The success of the conferences has enhanced communication and collaboration nationally and internationally in related areas and brought significant benefits to Chinese researchers.
The "Best Paper" award went to Professor Kang Li's "A Variant Gaussian Process for Short-Term Wind Power Forecasting Based on TLBO", which Professor Li co-authored with EPIC PhD students Juan Yan and Zhile Yang and colleagues from the State Grid Electric Power Research Institute, China. This work is part of the research linked to the current EPSRC project on “Intelligent Grid Interfaced Vehicle Eco” and the £2.3 million Science Bridge project on sustainable energy and environment of which Professor Li is the Co-Investigator.
More information can be found on the iGIVE project website: http://i-give.org.uk
Dr Cao is pictured below delivering his pitch on power electronics research before an audience of staff and students.
A full report on the event has been posted on the EEECS website.
In industry, more than 70% of electricity is consumed by electrical motor drives of some kinds. Any significant improvement in energy efficiency wouldn’t be possible without involving electrical machines and power converters.
Dr Wenping Cao, who recently joined the EPIC Cluster, will deliver a technical talk on "Improving Energy Efficiency in Electrical Machines and Drives" on this Valentine’s afternoon, at 2:30pm, Ashby Building Conference Room 07.005. Wenping will spend 30 mins to introduce a romantic story how electrical machines and power converters met and wedded happily ever after through his high-quality work, followed by an extensive discussion on interdisciplinary collaboration and future work.
Sweeties and chocolates will be provided to add to the atmosphere, in addition to teas and coffees.
If you want to join us before meeting your loved ones, please book a seat through Dr Jing Deng.
An EPIC PhD student and staff has been awarded the IMarEST most innovative research award at the 4th UK Martime Postgraduate Conference held in University College London in June 2013.
Ms Sable Campbell, a 3rd year DEL*-funded PhD student from the EPIC research cluster presented her research entitled "Intelligent Collision Monitoring and Avoidance Algorithms for Unmanned Maritime Vehicles" at the conference and received a certificate to mark the award. The research focussed on developing intelligent obstacle detection and avoidnace algorithms for unmanned marine vehicles. A unique feature of the research is the automation of standardised collision regulations or 'marine rules of the road' as defined by the International Maritime Organisation.
Co-author, Dr Wasif Naeem who is also Ms Campbell's PhD supervisor and the Principle Investigator of this EPSRC funded project, said that this award shows the world-leading research being carried out within the cluster.
Ms Campbell (top row, third from the left) is pictured here with other MTPC attendeeds at University College London.
* DEL - Department of Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland
Professor Kang Li from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will deliver his inaugural lecture, entitled Data, Intelligent Systems and Control, on Wednesday 24 April at 4.00pm in the Emeleus Lecture Theatre, Physics Building. A reception will take place afterwards in the Senate Room.
RSVP by Tuesday 16 April to Fionnuala McCrink, Bernard Crossland Building, 028 9097 4669, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor Kumpati S. Narendra, the Harold W. Cheel Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Director of the Centre for Systems Science at Yale University will present a Distinguished Scholar Lecture at the University on Friday 22nd February 2013. All welcome.
Title: Adaptive Control Using Multiple Models - A new approach
Location: Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast
Time & Date: Friday 22 February 2013, at 5.00 pm. Tea/Coffee available from 4.30.
Adaptive control theory was first developed in the 1960s to deal with the control of linear time-invariant systems with unknown parameters. A large body of literature currently exists in this area. However, in numerous applications when the parameter errors are large, the adaptive methods result in large and oscillatory responses.
During the past twenty years, numerous approaches have been proposed to improve the speed, accuracy, and robustness of the response by using multiple models along with “switching” and “switching and tuning”. Both approaches involve numerous models and very little information provided by all the models is used in the generation of control laws.
The lecture will discuss a new approach in which all the models cooperate in the decision process. The advantages of the new approach make it particularly attractive for use in situations where the uncertainties are large and/or the parameters vary rapidly with time. The lecture will conclude with brief descriptions of several practical applications.
Kumpati S. Narendra is currently the Harold W. Cheel Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Director of the Centre for Systems Science at Yale University.
Education and Professional History:
Professor Narendra received the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 1959. From 1961 to 1965 he was an Assistant Professor at Harvard. In 1965, he joined the Department of Engineering and Applied Science at Yale, and was made Professor in 1968. From 1984 to 1987 he was the Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department, and from 1995 to 1996 he was the Director of the Neuroengineering and Neuroscience Centre at Yale University. In 1995, his alma mater in India, the University of Madras (now Anna University) conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Science degree. In 2007 he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the National University of Ireland at Maynooth.
Research, Teaching, and Related Activities:
Professor Narendra is the author of over 250 technical articles in systems theory. He is the author of three books and the editor of four others in the areas of stability theory, adaptive control and learning automata. He has served on various national and international committees, and has been a consultant for over 15 industrial research laboratories (including Sikorsky Aircraft, General Motors, and AT&T) during the past 50 years. During this period, 47 doctoral students and over 35 postdoctoral and visiting fellows have done research under his guidance.
Honors and Awards:
Professor Narendra has received numerous honours for his work. They include the Franklin V. Taylor Memorial Award of the IEEE, Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society (1972), the George S. Axelby Best Paper Award of the Control Systems Society (1987), the John R. Ragazzini Education Award of the American Automatic Control Council (AACC) (1990), The IEEE Neural Network Council Best Paper Award (1991), The Bode Prize of the IEEE Control Systems Society (1995), and the Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award of the AACC, “… for Pioneering Contributions to Stability theory, and Adaptive and Learning theory” in 2003. In 2007, he received a Walton Fellowship of the Science Foundation of Ireland, and in 2008 he was awarded the Neural Networks Pioneer Award of the International Computational Intelligent Society.
Present around the World (PATW) is the IET’s presentation competition for students, recent graduates, apprentices and young professionals aged 18 to 26. Competitors are asked to give a presentation for 10 minutes on a subject related to engineering and technology, and to answer questions for a further five minutes. Ms Sable Campbell from the EPIC cluster will be taking part in this competition.
This year we have three excellent and varied technical presentations. Details can be found here . Three judges from local industry will decide who the winner is.
So do please come along and support our young IET professionals!
COMPETITION DATE AND VENUE
Thursday 22nd November
Main Lecture Theatre, Ashy Building, Stranmillis Road, Belfast.
Refreshments served from 6pm, Presentations commence 6.30pm.
This event is free and open to everyone. Pre-registration is not required. For more information visit www.ietni.org
Prof Morrow, Dr Cregan, Dr Laverty, Dr Best and Mr Brogan have recently passed the NIE D1/D2 Safety Examination to facititate substation access. The group plan is to install Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) at a number of substations to study system operations with high penetration of renewable generation and investigate smart grid applications.
The new MSc degree in Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems programme will provide numerate graduates with the requisite knowledge and skills required by the electricity supply industry as it replaces fossil-fuel with renewable power generation.
Click here for details regarding the course including how to apply.
Wejdan Abu El-Haija with HRH Princess Sumaya and US Ambassador Stuart E. Jones at a reception on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of US embassy)
Wejdan Abu El-Haija, Dean of the King Abdullah II School for Electrical Engineering at Princess Sumaya University for Technology, has been chosen for the US Department of State’s 2012 Women in Science Hall of Fame programme, the US embassy said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Abu El-Haija, the first female dean of engineering in any university in Jordan, was honoured on Wednesday at a reception at the residence of US Ambassador Stuart E. Jones, attended by HRH Princess Sumaya, guests from the government, academia and civil society, and high school and college students interested in science and technology.
The environment, science, technology and health regional office at the US embassy in Amman launched the program in 2010 to honour outstanding Arab women scientists throughout the Middle East and North Africa region, the statement said.
Twelve women from a variety of scientific disciplines were selected for their professional accomplishments and ability to motivate and inspire young women to pursue scientific careers.
After graduating as the valedictorian of her electrical engineering class at the Jordan University of Science and Technology, Abu El-Haija earned her PhD in electrical machines from Queen’s University of Belfast. She, under the supervision of Dr Colin Tindall, conducted research on finite element design of alternators. Prof D. J. Morrow was the internal examiner for her PhD who still works at Queen’s as a Professor in the field of Electrical Power Engineering.
She has won several awards for her research, including the Hisham Adeeb Hijjawi Applied Science Award in 2004 and the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau Award for the Best Design Model in 2008. The University of Jordan Centre for Women's Studies gave her the Award for Academic Women Leaders in 2007.
IMarEST President, Prof John Carlton and Dr Wasif Naeem
The paper entitled "Pure pursuit guidance and model predictive control of an autonomous underwater vehicle for cable/pipeline tracking" proposed a modified form of missile guidance and control system for tracking rather intercepting subsea objects.
Dr Naeem joined Queens University of Belfast in 2007 and is part of the Energy and Intelligent Control Research Cluster (formerly Intelligent Systems and Control) within SEEECS. His primary research involves guidance and control system design for unmanned marine vehicles (UMVs) and is currently developing algorithms to improve the autonomy of UMVs. In 2007, Dr Naeem was awarded the Michael Richey Medal by the Royal Institute of Navigation for his work on autonomous path planning through chemical signatures and was presented the medal by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prof Alberto Isidori, Prof George Irwin and Prof Lennart Ljung
Prof George Irwin was presented with his IFAC Fellows certificate on the occasion of the World Congress in Milan by Professor Alberto Isidori, IFAC President, and Professor Lennart Ljung, who chaired the selection committee.
Empedocles in action
Congratulations to Dr Karen Rafferty and Dr Stuart Ferguson whose Virtual Surgical Simulator, Empedocles, has been selected as a finalist in the 2011 IET Innovation Awards, taking place on November 9th in London.
Empedocles is a laparoscopic surgical simulator which was developed to improve the training and assessment of the laparoscopic technique among surgeons in training. Currently Empedocles is a working demonstrator that can respond haptically and visually to user interaction.
The overall goal of this product is to improve patient safety by reducing the need for on patient training by providing surgical teams with the tools required to improve surgical outcomes. Collaboration is ongoing with doctors in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. A working prototype has been used in surgical training field trials and work continues on this.
Prof Shaoyuan Li
Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Department of Automation
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Networked Predictive Control for Distributed Large-scale Systems
A class of large scale systems, which can be naturally divided into a number of smaller-scale interacting subsystems, are usually controlled using a distributed or decentralized control framework. A novel distributed model predictive control (MPC) is proposed for improving the performance of the entire system. Here each subsystem is controlled by a local MPC and these controllers exchange a reduced set of information with each other within the network. The optimization index of each local MPC considers not only the performance of the corresponding subsystems but also that of its neighbours. The proposed architecture guarantees satisfactory performance under strong interactions among subsystems. A stability analysis is presented for the unconstrained distributed MPC and the provided stability results can be employed for tuning the controller. The application to an accelerated cooling process on a test rig will be discussed for validating the efficacy of the proposed method.
Speaker: Prof Shaoyuan Li
Location: NITC Conference Room A (tea/coffee will be served after the lecture)
Time & Date: 11:30 am, Thursday, August 18 2011
Acknowledgement of Support from
- Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellow Scheme
- School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, QUB
- IEEE CC Ireland Chapter, IEEE SMC Ireland Chapter
- EPSRC Science Bridge project on Sustainable Energy and Built Environment
Prof Professor Luis A. Aguirre from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil (right) and Prof Kaspar Althoefer from King's College London, UK (left) presented Dr Li (middle) with the certificate.
Prof Dianguo Xu (right), Assistant President of Harbin Institute of Technology, presented the Visiting Professorship Certificate to Dr Li (left)
Dr Kang Li of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has recently been presented with the Young Author Best Paper Award for work presented at the International Conference on Modelling, Identification and Control (ICMIC 2011), held in Shanghai, China at the end of June 2011. This was co-authored with his PhD student Chamil Abeykoon and colleagues from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the University of Bradford.
The research reported is linked to two projects, an EPSRC one on polymer extrusion, and the £2.3 million Research Councils UK Science Bridge on sustainable energy and environment funded by the and Queen’s.
Dr Li said ‘The focus of this interdisciplinary effort on advanced process control has been to combine high quality research with technology transfer to impact on an energy intensive industrial sector to improve the global competitiveness”.
In recognition of his research excellence in Intelligent Systems and Control, as well as substantial international collaboration initiatives, Dr Li was further recently honoured by Harbin Institute of Technology as a Visiting Professor in July 2011. Prof Irwin, Research Director, Intelligent Systems and Control commented ‘ Dr Li is one of an up-and-coming generation of young researchers at Queens who are rapidly gaining a world-wide reputation’.