ZI Quantum Technology Lecture Series presents:
\n'Photonic quantum technologies: Metrology, Spins and Photons'
\nSpeaker: Prof J.G. Rarity, University of Bristol
\nIn Bristol, we are researching the full range of applications of photonic quantum technologies including quantum communications, quantum measurement and quantum information processing. In this talk I will review the wider Bristol work and then focus on three topics that are my key interests.
A group of four researchers from the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory recently attended the 2008 International Symposium on Electrical Insulation in Vancouver, Canada (8-11 June 2008).
This biennial conference covers a range of topics in the field of Electrical Insulation over a four-day programme, with sessions largely based around the application of new technologies to specific items of electrical plant.
Developments in a diverse range of topics from Partial Discharge to Asset Management and Nano-materials were discussed across a total of 25 sessions, with presenters from both industry and academia. Contributions from the Laboratory included well received papers on surface charge measurement, high voltage cable ratings and the potential of polypropylene materials for cable insulation applications.
The Southampton delegates were Dr Paul Lewin, Dr Ian Hosier, Trung Tran and James Pilgrim. At the meeting, Dr Lewin was invited to join the International Advisory Board for the Symposium, the next of which will be held in San Diego in June 2010.
The 17th International Conference on Gas Discharges and their Applications (GD 2008) was held in Cardiff from 7 to 12 September 2008.
The conference was organised by Cardiff University in their 150th anniversary year and was the destination for 150 researchers from 31 countries. A broad range of topics was covered including arcing, barrier and surface discharges, high and low pressure plasmas, lightning, fundamental processes, and emerging applications of gas discharges. As a tradition of GD conferences, all submitted papers were orally presented. Each presentation lasted 15 minutes followed by questions.
One paper from the High Voltage Lab was submitted entitled “Numerical Modelling of Positive Surface Streamer in Air” and was presented by Mr. Trung Tran on behalf of the co-authors. The next GD conference will take place in Greifswald, Germany, in 2010.
A group of students from Raffles Junior College, Singapore, spent three days in the High Voltage Laboratory as part of their educational visit to the University (20 July to 10 August).
The students worked in teams completing a design-and-build exercise with the aim of successful levitation of a 'high voltage lifter'. In general, lifters are constructed from balsa wood, tin foil and fine wire (see image), and achieve levitation by applying a high voltage between the wire loop and the foil curtain.
Over the three days, the students studied the underlying physics of the phenomenon, and designed, built and tested a range of lifters before working together to construct the largest lifter ever flown in the laboratory. Given the success of this event, further interactive activities in the HV laboratory involving prospective electrical engineering students are planned.
CEIDP attracted a total of 177 papers with 200 scientists and engineers from 12 different countries. Amongst the delegates were 5 postgraduate research students from the lab, three of whom provide accounts of their experiences.
Nuriziani (Izi) Hussin, 1st year PhD student Attending CEIDP was quite exciting. Not only because it was my first conference ever as a postgraduate student, but moreover, it took place in Canada. I have never been there before and knowing that ‘English doesn’t work there’ made me nervous because the only French word that I know is Bonjour! But I guess it was too late for me to learn any French and before I knew it my plane had taken off from Heathrow.
On the first day of the conference, we came early to get good seats in the hall. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. My poster presentation was on the last day of conference, giving me opportunity to observe other presentations before I did my own. I learnt that presenting your work, either orally or by poster, requires a deep understanding in the theory and practical aspect of your work.
Despite people often seeming confident in the methods used and the results obtained, there were times when other people would stand up and challenge the experiments, or the equations used. And these were not just some people, they were people who have been involved in the particular field for quite some time. I am grateful that our research group seminar series gives us opportunity to present our work, it is really beneficial in testing our work and preparing us for conferences.
Martin Reading, 2nd Year PhD Student This was my first international conference and I sent two papers on the work I have been doing for my PhD. As if I wasn’t nervous enough, one of my papers was chosen for an oral session – a great opportunity to stand in front of everyone and explain all about my research. Travelling with other PhD students and staff from the Laboratory group gave a real sense of teamwork. Arriving a few days before the conference we had plenty of time to practise our presentations, to talk about upcoming issues in the conference and have a look around the famous Québec City.
The conference itself went particularly well and one of the greatest moments was when several experts in my field approached me after my presentation to talk more about my research and the direction I was taking. After months of reading journals and referencing these great scientists it was truly amazing to meet them in person.
Following on from my oral presentation I had a poster session on the last day. During this, many of the other delegates offered their advice, comparisons to their own research and other expert knowledge with regard to my work – all extremely beneficial for the future of my PhD. Overall the conference was a fantastic experience for me. It was a great opportunity to meet experts in the field, swap ideas and get feedback on my research along with experience of a conference environment to help me prepare even more for the many that are sure to follow.
Ramizi Mohamed, 3rd year PhD student I presented a poster on the second day about my work on the modelling of a high voltage transformer which at high frequency is critical to interpreting partial discharge signals for the purpose of condition monitoring. It is believed that partial discharges within the transformer can be indicative of degradation within the transformer insulation.
The best part of the trip was the group itself, well organized, well planned and hilarious. There is a saying that goes; 'the best lesson comes from experience'. Well, I learnt a lot from my first experience of an international conference. Meeting people with a different background was great, giving me the opportunity to learn from other people with different knowledge, people who are sincere about sharing information and people who are interested in the work I am doing. To me that is what a conference is all about, sharing ideas, expertise and knowledge exploration.
The Institute of Physics (IOP) Dielectrics 2009 conference took place at Reading University, England, attracting 85 individuals from various companies and research institutions across 12 different countries. The University of Southampton sent 18 delegates from the schools of Engineering Sciences (SES) and Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). A large number of these researchers were from the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory based at the University.
The conference spanned a wide range of themes over the 3 days including: Molecular and bulk relaxation processes, space charge and charge transport in insulators, bio-dielectrics and complex systems and functional materials. The majority of the work at the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory covers the first two topics but the range of themes allowed our delegates to observe research completed in different fields at other institutions.
Delegates from the High Voltage Lab gave two oral presentations, one by Dr. Ian L Hosier entitled “Polypropylene based systems for high voltage cable insulation applications” and the other by Dr. George Chen entitled “Experimental Research on Cell Membrane Charging Properties Using Pulsed Electro-acoustic Method”. Researchers from the lab gave twelve poster presentations allowing the research community to see the large range of research currently undertaken at Southampton.
The next IOP Dielectrics conference will take place in 2011.
On a sunny Monday this week (8 June), a group of 18 undergraduates, postgraduates and lecturers from ECS took a trip up the A34 to the Oxfordshire countryside to visit the Diamond Synchrotron Light Source at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
This amazing facility accelerates electrons around a huge doughnut-shaped ring the size of five football pitches to near the speed of light in order to produce x-rays, infrared and ultra-violet light of exceptional quality and brightness: one hundred billion times more intense than the sun. This unique facility is used for a wide range of scientific research, leading to many breakthroughs in medicine, genetics, material science and environmental studies. After a technical introduction, the group was able to tour the facility and see first-hand, the engineering and technology involved in the acceleration and control of elementary particles.
This visit formed part of a series of biannual visits organised for the Power Academy Scheme, by the Electrical Power Engineering research group for their electrical and electromechanical engineering students. Previous visits to other facilities include: the National Grid Control Centre, Wokingham; EDF Substation, Crawley; and Scottish and Southern Headquarters, Portsmouth.
The 2009 conference season will see a record number of research papers being presented by staff and postgraduates from the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory.
A total of 46 papers are due to be presented across seven conferences both within the UK and further afield, a significant increase over previous years. In recent weeks, delegations from the laboratory have presented at two conferences which cover the topic of electrical insulation: the national Insucon conference (Birmingham, UK) and the biennial IEEE Electrical Insulation Conference (Montreal, Canada). The papers were drawn from a broad spectrum of the Lab's research activity, from fundamental research on ageing in dielectric materials to more industrially-focused work such as advanced condition monitoring techniques for high voltage plant and improved techniques for calculating the current ratings for high voltage cable circuits.
All of the papers received interest from the insulation community and the authors gained a great deal from sharing their work with fellow researchers from around the world. With the conference season at its midpoint, the focus moves farther afield as preparations are made for conferences in China, South Africa and the USA.