Previous Events

How is AI impacting Project Management

21/11/2019 - 18:45
21/11/2019 - 21:00

Venue: Peel & Hepple Lecture Theatres, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, BS8 1RL map

Speakers: Lloyd J. Skinner

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talks

Please register for this event here

Research shows project failure rates continue to be alarmingly high. Momentum is growing regarding the application of computer-based automation [AI] tools to support project delivery and potentially address this challenge. The talk will introduce AI, discuss the current state of AI project tools and the likely market direction for these project tools. The talk will then introduce 3 use cases and debate if a more strategic approach can be taken to a company’s journey into AI in project management – potentially a better approach to improve project success.

Lloyd SkinnerThis talk will be delivered by Lloyd J. Skinner who has 25 plus years of project experience working in multiple sectors in both support and delivery roles. He has managed major transformations programmes underpinned by infrastructure refresh. For the last 2+ years he has lead Greyfly who are preferred suppliers to the BBC for programme management and have been developing services regarding AI in PM that tackle the real project delivery problem. He is also the honorary secretary for the BCS Bristol Branch.

Technology in Policing

09/10/2019 - 18:45
09/10/2019 - 19:00

Venue: OVO Energy Ltd. 1 Rivergate Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6ED map

Speakers: Chief Constable Andy Marsh QPM

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talks

Please register for this event here

Avon & Somerset Police: Predictive Analytics to Manage Demand

Chief Constable Andy MarshAndy Marsh joined the Avon and Somerset force in 1987 and has been the Chief Constable since 2016. Between 2013 and 2016 whilst serving as both Deputy Chief Constable and Chief Constable of Hampshire Police he led a large scale transformation programme leading the force to be recognised as one of the best value for money nationally. This included being the first force in UK to personal issue Body Worn cameras to police officers. Since returning to Avon and Somerset, he has led the development of an internationally acclaimed approach to data using advanced predictive analytics and visual graphics to prioritise and manage demand, and has spearheaded a digital mobilisation programme equipping officers and staff with the latest technology they need to do their job. In 2018, he was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).

Europe’s Digital Cities Challenge

26/06/2019 - 18:45
26/06/2019 - 21:00

Venue: OVO Energy Ltd. 1 Rivergate Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6ED map

Speakers: John Higgins CBE

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talks

Please register for this event here

This talk is supported by OVO Energy Ltd. and will explore Europe’s Digital Cities Challenge and look at what lessons can be learnt from around 40 European cities.

The talk will focus on How these cities are using digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, Internet of Things and blockchain to promote and support smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and tackle economic, environmental and social challenges.

John Higgins
In 1995 John Higgins was appointed CEO of the Rocket Networks, a California based that provided the world’s first online recording studios. He returned to the UK in 1998 and became Director General of the Computing Services and Software Association, one of Tech UK’s predecessors. He holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of East Anglia and then a post graduate Diploma in Accounting and Finance. Early in his career he trained as a systems analyst, held senior positions with Ernst & Young and worked in Chicago with leading software company SSA. 

John was President of the European Commission’s Strategic Policy Forum (SPF) on Digital Entrepreneurship. The SPF was facilitated by DG Grow for almost three years and examined the current and future impact of new digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence on important sectors of the European economy and society such as automotive, healthcare, SMEs and social enterprise. The SPF was supported with extensive research from consultants such as PwC and EY.

John was also a Board member of the European Internet Forum. John’s other committee chair roles have included the audit committee at the University of Warwick, the cross industry association council of the CBI, a government/industry space committee and the global policy action committee of the World IT Services Association, WITSA. He was a board member of e-skills, the UK’s digital sector skills council and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

He was presented with two personal awards for outstanding contributions; first to the association sector in 2004 and then to the IT industry in 2008. The Queen appointed him a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005 for his services to the UK IT industry. John lives in Bath in the UK with his wife Ailsa. They have three adult daughters.

Smart Railways & Smarter Cities

20/02/2019 - 18:45
20/02/2019 - 21:00

Venue: Peel & Hepple Lecture Theatres, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, BS8 1SS map

Speakers: Tim Whitcher, Dr. Hamid Falaki, and Andy Woods

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talks

Please register for this event here

This talk is supported by WSP, University of Bristol and Siemens mobility, will explore Smart Railways and Cities and look at the current and future technology changes and why it is not an overnight transition.

The world used to be built of bricks and mortar, now it’s data and information flows – and it is only going to continue to evolve. Integration and connectedness are the drivers of change and will move our infrastructure into a new paradigm; nowhere will this be more evident than in our transport network, not least because a lot of it is comparatively archaic! This series of talks looks at where things are going, how we will get there, and what implications there are for our industry.

Tim Whitcher

Talk: Building the Triad of Connected People, Connected Transport and Connected Cities: Talk Outline: A look at what the future will hold for connected data points and how we get there.

Bio: Tim Whitcher is Solution Lead for Digital Railway. He has a background in command & control systems and decision support tools on both metro and mainline railways. His professional focus is on delivering a fully integrated, holistic solution which delivers not only the right answer now but bed-rock for the future.

Dr Hamid Falaki

Talk: Market-led Evolution: Neutral hosting of communication networks gives rise to a range of new business opportunities for vertical industries operating their own network slice and niche services within the upcoming 5G networks.

Bio: Dr Hamid Falaki is a telecommunications consultant working as technical project manager in delivery and operation of the University of Bristol’s 5GUK test network solutions for smart cities.

Andy Woods

Talk: State of Play Deep Dive: A look at the current and future technology changes and why it is not an overnight transition.

Bio: Andy Woods is a Senior Systems Engineer at Siemens Mobility. His interests lie in innovation and the digitalisation of Railway Signalling and Train Control.

Assisted Living for our ageing population

21/11/2018 - 18:45
21/11/2018 - 21:00

West of England Robotics Network

Venue: Bristol Robotics Laboratory

Tickets are free to members and non-members please book your place.

The West of England Robotic Network invites you to our next event on Assisted Living for our ageing population and the technologies of the future.

This event will serve as an important channel to present the latest advances in this area.

Don’t miss this opportunity to join us at this essential event

Key speakers include:

Praminda Caleb-SollyPraminda Caleb-Solly - Associate Professor Independent Living Systems – Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

“Collaborative and Connected Robots for Assisted Living – Intelligent Sensing and Human-Robot Interaction”

Praminda is a Professor in Independent Living Systems at the University of the West of England, and Theme Leader for Assisted Living at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

Her research and teaching subject specialisms are Interaction Design and Human-Computer Interaction. Her research into the design and development of smart technologies to support health and wellbeing is further facilitated by a collaboration with Designability, a national ‘assistive living’ charity based at Bath, where she is Head of Electronics and Computer Systems.

Praminda has over 15 years of teaching and research experience working on externally funded projects with partners from a diverse range of commercial and industrial enterprise.

Richard LuxtonProfessor Richard Luxton - Director of IBST - UWE

“Connected Technology for People-Focused Healthcare”

At the University of the West of England Richard focused his research in the area of developing new rapid detection technologies for point of care diagnostics, environmental analysis, food safety and homeland defence applications. He also was responsible for teaching Clinical Chemistry at the University and was Leader for the undergraduate (L3) and postgraduate modules in Clinical Chemistry.

His area of research is the development of rapid detection technologies and has been particularly successful in the development of magnetic detection technology for use in immunoassays. Using this technology a magnetic-biosensor has been developed that will perform an assay in three minutes or less.

Dr Judy HaworthDr Judy Haworth - Retired clinician, dementia specialist doctor – BRACE Alzheimer's Research

“Alexa what’s on my shopping list?”

Judy has been working with people with dementia since the early 1990s She worked with Professor Gordon Wilcock at the BRACE centre in Blackberry Hill where she was involved with organising the memory clinic and research into new drugs for dementia.

She moved to Southmead where she helped look after people with dementia in Malvern ward, a specialist area for people who had dementia as well as an acute illness. From 2009 to Sept 2018 she was the lead for dementia care in North Bristol Trust trying to improve the experience of inpatient care. She has also returned to helping in drug trials for Dr Coulthard. She enjoys speaking about care for people with dementia and about how to reduce your own risk of developing this condition.

BRACE funds world class clinical and laboratory research into Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia to find better treatments, achieve earlier diagnosis and one day, a cure.

BRACE is a regional charity, supporting researchers in South West England and South Wales. Its area of benefit is global, and it increasingly attracts donations and help from supporters around the UK and abroad.

Cybersecurity Lessons

27/06/2018 - 18:45
27/06/2018 - 21:00

Venue: Peel & Hepple Lecture Theatres, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, BS8 1SS map

Speakers: Raymond Obinaju and Trevor Richards

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talks

Please register for this event here

This talk will be delivered by two representatives of Assytem with varied experiences. Raymond Obinaju is one of Assystem UK’s embedded cybersecurity engineers, working to keep the world’s cars, trains and planes safe from cyber-attacks, will discuss applying a lessons-learned approach to securing future devices, and Trevor Richards who is the head of UK cybersecurity for Assystem will talk about what can be done to prevent cyber security attacks and the steps that we all should be taking to make our world a little more secure.

IoT Security: Applying a lessons-learned approach to securing future devices

The IoT space currently consists of numerous devices which ubiquitously communicate data with one another. Thanks to this technology, the total number of objects with internet connectivity far exceeds the total number of humans on earth! IoT communications take place between and among virtually anything and everything, which can range from people, computers and other machinery to the clothes that we wear!

IoT has taken the world by storm, and embedded in that tsunami are a lot of security challenges. This is due to the fact that unconventional and traditionally “lifeless” devices now have a “life” on the internet. On this journey, we will explore the timeline of IoT hacks, piecing together the common design/engineering vulnerabilities and possible root causes of the hacks as we go along. The journey will end with inferring from these common flaws, some recommended practices for IoT device manufacturers/programmers, which can be used as a starting point to drive downstream security requirements for the engineering of these IoT devices.

The good, the bad and the ugly
In this talk we’ll look at some of the recent cybersecurity attacks that range from ingenious to downright silly. Most importantly, we’ll focus on what can be done to prevent such attacks and the steps that we all should be taking to make our world a little more secure.

Raymond ObinajuRaymond Obinaju is one of Assystem UK’s embedded cybersecurity engineers, working to keep the world’s cars, trains and planes safe from cyber-attacks. He currently holds a Master’s degree in Computer Forensics and Cyber Security from the University of Greenwich UK. He also has a Bachelor’s in computer science and a diploma in Data processing. With a professional career that dates back many years, he has transitioned through technical, academic and client-facing consultancy roles some of which include Cyber Security Analyst, IT Security Engineer, Software developer, Oracle Database consultant and Graduate Assistant Lecturer.

Trevor RichardsTrevor Richards is currently the head of UK cybersecurity for Assystem Technologies UK. Trevor has spent his career moving between the world of automotive engineering and financial software development. Although his primary focus is currently on securing embedded devices and networks, the principles of cybersecurity apply across everything from aeroplanes to small websites.

Let's Talk about Big Data

24/05/2018 - 18:45

Venue: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Filton Road, Bristol BS34 8QZ map
plenty of parking available

Speakers: David Standingford & Dr Luke Kreczko

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talk

Please register for this event here

The experiments in the High Energy Particle Physics (HEP) community, with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments in particular, produce vast amounts of data every year. However, only a small fraction of this data, in the order of tens of petabytes, can be stored.

Luke Kreczko's presentation aims to summarise the flow of data from experiment to physicist as well as the supporting computing infrastructure. We will briefly discuss the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment and its data reduction systems, the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, and future challenges in this sector.

David Standingford will talk about big data in the world of simulation and modelling in engineering.

Big Data seems to be everywhere! The large number of freely available toolsets, hardware SDKs and open-source libraries implementing many of the standard AI / machine learning algorithms are a testimony to the prevalence of data, largely enabled by online services, web connectivity for B2B applications and of course our willingness to share huge amounts of personal data via social media. At CFMS and Zenotech, our interest is in the use of advanced IT technology to enable powerful new modelling and simulation capabilities for engineering, and here the processing of big data is relatively less advanced. In this talk, David will present some examples drawn from renewables and cloud-based engineering services, that demonstrate the power and potential of big data processing in non-standard applications, and, critically, where they are enablers for the next generation of IT tools for high value design and manufacturing.

Dr Luke KreczkoLuke Kreczko is a Research Associate in the particle physics group at the University of Bristol. Currently he spends his time on precision measurements and trigger studies at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), simulation and software development at the Lux-Zeplin experiment, and maintenance of the Bristol Tier 2 computing site. As a passionate physicist and technologist he is part of an effort to modernise the way petabytes worth of physics data are analysed.

David StandingfordDavid Standingford is a technology leader and manager with experience in the UK, Australia and the USA. Prior to co-founding Zenotech Ltd, Standingford worked as a lecturer in mathematics and fluid dynamics at the University of Adelaide, as a postdoctoral researcher on the NASA Microgravity Programme at the University of Delaware, and most recently at BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre as the Theme Technology Leader for Design and Materials Technology, responsible for Computational Engineering, IT Strategy, Materials Science and Stealth. Standingford is a Lead Technolgist at the Centre for Modelling and Simulation (CFMS) and is the Chairman of the ERCOFTAC Knowledge Network Committee (KNC).

AI & Machine Learning

18/04/2018 - 18:45
18/04/2018 - 21:00

Venue: Peel & Hepple Lecture Theatres, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, BS8 1SS map

Speakers: Thomas Bradley & Dr Joanna Bryson

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talk

Please register for this event here

The focus of this Talk will be on Artificial Intelligence This talk will be delivered by two representatives with varied experiences. Thomas Bradley Director of Developer Technology of Nvidia will discuss how AI hardware is evolving and Dr Joanna Bryson who will discuss the need for standards in the AI field.

Dr Joanna BrysonDr Joanna Bryson is a Reader (tenured Associate Professor) at the University of Bath, United Kingdom, and an affiliate of Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP). Her academic interests include the structure and utility of intelligence, both natural and artificial. Venues for her research range from “reddit” to ”Science”. She is best known for her work on AI systems and AI ethics, both of which she began during her doctoral work in the 1990s, but she and her colleagues publish broadly – in biology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, cognitive science, and politics. Current projects include “Public Goods and Artificial Intelligence” with Alin Coman of Princeton University’s Department of Psychology and Mark Riedl of Georgia Tech. The project is funded by Princeton University’s Center for Human Values and includes both basic research in human sociality and experiments in technological interventions. Other current research projects are centred around understanding the causality behind the correlation between wealth inequality and political polarization, generating transparency for AI systems, and conducting research on machine prejudice deriving from human semantics. Bryson holds degrees in psychology from the University of Chicago and the University of Edinburgh, and in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At Bath, she founded the Intelligent Systems research group (one of four in the Department of Computer Science) and heads their Artificial Models of Natural Intelligence.

Thomas BradleyThomas Bradley holds a first-class MEng from the University of Bristol, UK, and l'École Nationale Supérieure de Télécommunications in Brest, France. Starting as a digital hardware designer he worked as a processor architect for video encoding processors at STMicroelectronics before moving to ClearSpeed Technology plc to lead their architecture development for general purpose parallel processors. Since then he has specialised in High Performance Computing at ClearSpeed and at NVIDIA, where he is Director of Developer Technology, leading the GPU computing group in artificial intelligence, data analytics, and scientific computing in EMEA, Russia and India.

Blockchain – Whats it all about & Practical Action

07/03/2018 - 18:45
07/03/2018 - 21:00

Venue: Peel & Hepple Lecture Theatres, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, BS8 1SS map

Speakers: Tim Kindberg & Somil Goyal

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talk

Please register for this event here

The focus of this Talk will be on Blockchain This talk will be delivered by two representatives with varied experiences. Dr Tim Kindberg is founder of digital technology company matter II media. Somil Goyal is an experienced financial services executive and COO of Adjoint, a distributed ledger and smart contract company selected as 2018 100 Most Influential Fintechs.

Tim will debate digital currency such as Bitcoin and other blockchain-based systems such as Ethereum and will explain why he is sceptical about the technologies that underlie them and look at what needs to be done. Whilst Somil will discuss distributed ledger technology how it extends the traditional database model, using smart contracts within finance as his example.

Tim KindbergTim Kindberg Founder, matter II media

Lately, as a former scholar of distributed systems, including consensus protocols, I’ve become fascinated by the debate surrounding digital currency Bitcoin and other blockchain-based systems such as Ethereum. In this talk I will explain why I'm sceptical about the technologies that underlie them, summarise the case against the hype, and look at what needs to be done

Dr. Tim Kindberg is a computer scientist and founder of digital technology company matter II media whose products include social video platforms Vorb and Nth Screen. He is based in Bristol's Pervasive Media Studio. He is co-author of the textbook Distributed Systems - Concepts and Design and has been visiting professor at the University of Bath and ITU Copenhagen. He has many years of experience of industrial R&D in distributed, mobile and pervasive computing, and was a senior researcher at HP Labs in Palo Alto and Bristol for ten years.

Somil GoyalSomil Goyal is an experienced financial services executive. He is COO of Adjoint, a distributed ledger and smart contract company selected as 2018 100 Most Influential Fintechs. He has worked for Deutsche Bank across asset classes and geographies, as well as in consulting at EY and Deloitte.

VR & The Evolution of Military Gaming

22/11/2017 - 19:00
22/11/2017 - 21:00

Venue: Bristol & Bath Science Park map

Speakers: Tom Ball & John Curry

7.00pm Refreshments
7.30pm Main Talk

Please register for this event here

The evolution and future of military gaming. John will provide a history of military simulation, an introduction to games based technology and Tom will discuss using Mixed reality technology in the live environment and what is either available now or shortly will be.

There will be a demonstration of the latest Close Air technology available.

Tom BallTom Ball Technical Director, Close Air Solutions

Close Air Solutions is a company that delivers Military Joint Fires Capabilities, and is outcome not product focused. It specializes in combining Military Expertise and Technical Expertise in integrating the best of breed software, hardware, and instructional techniques to meet customer capability requirements. Tom Co-founded the company in 2012 after a 14 year career in the Royal Air Force as a Operational Tornado Strike Attack Pilot and Joint Fires Instructor. In the latter part of his RAF service, he specialized in using off the shelf simulation products, and bespoke instructional techniques to solve training problems he encountered during his instructional duties. He was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for delivering better trained personnel at a lower cost due to savings in flight hours. Tom co-founded Close Air Solutions in order to continue the innovation in simulation; creating an international training offering in the complex and politically sensitive area of Joint Fires. The aim is to reduce unnecessary loss of life on the battlefield by providing more competent personnel to commanders.

Close Air Solutions is a leading innovator in the military training space, having won two Centre for Defence Enterprise Challenges in the area of Defence Operational Synthetic Training with a Mixed Reality Concept training system called Hyper Real Immersion (HRI). The vision is to provide users with a convincing view of a correlated synthetic world without disrupting their view of the real world. With this system it is possible to go outside into the natural environment, observe all of the real environment uninterrupted, but on top of this to experience a synthetic environment rich with photorealistic real-time controlled moveable objects (People, Buildings, Vehicles) that appear to obey the laws of the natural world. This will provide a more immersive, and relevant experience to the end-user than is possible using traditional training in a simulator.

John CurryJohn Curry Senior Lecturer, Bath Spa University.

John Curry is a senior lecturer in games development at Bath Spa University. He has an international reputation in conflict simulations/ serious games and authored/ co-authored/ edited more than 80 books in the field. He spends his professional life playing games and developing new ways of gaming cyber attack. He has played games on a wide range of topics from pandemics to international crises. He is also currently with a London based company, Anquan, on running cyber exercises for senior managers of key companies in the City of London. A summary of his job could be, “playing strange games, with strange people in strange places”.