The University of Southampton

ALADDIN scoops Engineering Award for "stunning collaboration"

Published: 7 December 2009

The ALADDIN project, which uses agent-based technology to tackle natural and man-made disasters has just received the Aerospace and Defence award in this year’s Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards.

The ALADDIN (Autonomous Learning Agents For Decentralised Data and Information Networks) research programme is a multi-million pound multidisciplinary research project led by Professor Nick Jennings from the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). It is a strategic research partnership funded by BAE Systems and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which involves research groups in the University of Bristol, Oxford, and Imperial College London. ALADDIN focuses on developing techniques and technology to overcome the challenges facing different agencies involved in an emergency response.

At the Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards 2009 event which was held at the Royal Society on Friday 4 December the judges called ALADDIN a ‘stunning collaboration’ and one judge remarked that this project ‘truly captures engineering’.

Over a five-year period, which will end in October 2010, the ALADDIN team has used technologies ranging from computer modelling to automated robots to investigate how it can improve the understanding of constantly changing scenarios, to ensure a more effective response and improve the safety of men and women working in the 'danger zone'.

“This is highly complex research and we are delighted that its relevance has been acknowledged in this way,” said Professor Jennings. “ALADDIN has been an excellent example of how academics can interact with one another and with industry, in order to tackle major research challenges and see the solutions applied in a range of real-world applications. It really is the best collaboration and best project I have ever been involved with. All the parties have worked together, contributing ideas and solving really complex problems.”

ALADDIN previously received BAE Systems Chairman Awards for “Innovation” and “Enhancing Customer Performance” (2008 & 2009) in recognition of the applications that have been built and transferred into BAE.

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