The University of Southampton

ECS engineers take their research to Parliament

Published: 
7 March 2016
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Researchers from Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) and the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Southampton will be attending Parliament today (Monday 7 March) to present their research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain.

Dr Taihai Chen and Dr Jerry Zhenhua Luo were shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament. Their research will be presented as posters judged against those of dozens of other scientists and engineers in the only national competition of its kind.

Dr Taihai Chen, from the Southampton Wireless group is presenting his research about the world’s first error correction accelerator, enabling the next generation of wireless communications. He said, “It is such a great opportunity for researchers like us to get out of the lab and showcase our fruitful research outcome to politicians who, surprisingly, are so eager to learn about the work our team has done at University of Southampton. The experience at SET for Britain for both parties is invaluable, and that will make both more aware of the benefits each can create for the other.”

Dr Jerry Zhenhua Luo, from the Electronics and Electrical Engineering group is undertaking research into a battery-free indoor tracking system powered by energy harvesting footwear. On presenting his research he said, “The SET for Britain event is a great opportunity for us to bring out the things that we have been doing in the lab, and show to the public how these technologies can improve their life. It is also a good opportunity for us to listen to the people’s opinions on our research, and we will use the feedback to further improve our work to serve the communities.”

Joining Taihai and Jerry in the competition are three other researchers from the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering. Dr Katrina Morgan and Dr Qiongyue Kang are from the Faculty’s Optoelectronics Research Centre and Dr John Coxon is from Physics & Astronomy

Katrina graduated from ECS with a PhD in Nanoelectronics and is presenting her current research into new types of ultra-fast computer memory, that is also highly tolerable to extreme doses of ionizing radiation.

Qiongyue’s is presenting a poster on optical fibre amplifiers, which are being researched for use in the next generation of telecommunications networks.

John’s poster will cover his research into the Earth’s reaction to solar wind, through studying how it affects the planet’s electric currents and magnetic fields. Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said:

“This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers. “These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

The research from Taihai, Jerry, Katrina and Qiongyue has all been entered into the Engineering session of the competition, while John’s has been entered into the Physics session. Each session will end in a gold, silver and bronze prize-giving ceremony, judged by leading academics. The gold medalist from each session receives £3,000, while silver and bronze receive £2,000 and £1,000 respectively.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society and the Council for Mathematical Sciences, with financial support from Essar, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Bank of England and the Society of Chemical Industry.

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