We are deligthed to welcome 14 new PhDs to the ECIT Institute to commence their research in a variety of electronics, communications and information technologies accross our four research clusters.
Wireless Communication Systems (WCS) Cluster
Ms Nidhi Bhargav
Mr Jamie Bridges
Mr James Crawford
Mr Benjamin Holmes
Mr Matthew Magill
Mr Sandor Mehes
Speech, Image and Vision Systems (SIVS) Cluster
Mr Philip McShane
Mr Michael Mohan
Mr Christopher Warwick
Miss Carrie McLarnon
Secure Digital Systems (SDS) Cluster
Mr Ivo Friedberg
Miss Sarah McCarthy
Mr Ciaran McIlhatton
High Frequency Electronic Circuits (HFEC) Cluster
Mr Majid Norooziarab
We will publish more in depth profiles of our new students over the coming months.
A huge congratulations to Dr Trung Q. Duong, from ECIT’s Wireless Communication Systems cluster, who’s ‘Investigation for Cognitive Spectrum Sharing Networks with Reactive DF Relay Selection’ was awarded the Best Paper Award at the 9th International Conference on Communications and Networking in China. The paper was co-authored with T.T. Duy, K.J. Kim, V. N. Q. Bao and M. Elkashlan.
The paper was the winner in its category; Cognitive Technologies, and was one of 7 winning papers from a selection of 250 submissions. The competition was held on behalf of ChinaCom, a community-based organization devoted to the advancement of innovation in the field of ICT.
The aim of ChinaCom is to bring together Chinese and international researchers under one roof, with awards going to papers from both Chinese and non-Chinese authors.
The selection rate of the competition was 2.8%.
On Tuesday 9 September the ECIT Institute hosted a talk that highlighted the issues around Passive Intermodulation (PIM). In particular, the interference of PIM in wireless communications and networks, and the cutting edge Rosenberger technology for the PIM testing and rectification in lab and field was discussed. The event was held on behalf of the High Frequency Electronics (HFE) Research Cluster and ARTISAN Initial Training Networks (ITN).
David Bedford, sales manager at Rosenberger Hochfrequenztechnik GmbH & Co. KG, began the presentation by giving a short introduction to the history of Rosenberger. Beginning as a family business, founded in 1958, Rosenberger was one of the first groups to work with PIM testing around 25 years ago.
David continued to lecture on the basics of PIM technology and how they damage wireless networks, satellite communications and optical links. Having studied for 5 years in PIM testing, the sales manager outlined his concerns of how ill-informed the industry has been in this area in the past. A PIM section is available in all specifications and manuals, however it neglects the most important area; PIM fault finding. Although there is still a lot for engineers to understand about Passive Intermodulation, industry awareness of PIM issues have improved greatly in recent years, thanks to research from teams such as the HFE cluster at ECIT.
The talk was a great way to learn about the issues of PIM in mobile networks and state of the art instrumentation. Along with this, attendees learned about the challenge in measuring typical levels of PIM in products and, through research, what range of PIM instruments and high performance components have been produced. David brought the presentation to life by providing case studies from countries such as South Africa conducted by himself from over five years of global PIM testing.
Following David’s speech, Dmitry Kozlov, an ARTISAN ITN Research Fellow with HFE, gave a short presentation on the research insights in PIM phenomenology and simulation.
ARTISAN was founded through the expertise in the HFE research cluster at the ECIT institute. Through ECIT, the HFE group have had outputs in the last 5 years of 200 international journals and conference papers, 4 patents, 1 book and 15 PhD degree awards. Through joint founders QUB and Bells Labs, the ARTISAN programme aims to train RF technology research in the field of wireless infrastructure hardware.
Thank-you to the HFE Research Cluster, ARTISAN ITN and Rosenberger for giving attendees the opportunity to gain a more in-depth understanding of this often un-documented topic. It also gave participants the opportunity to converse with ARTISAN staff and students working in the area of PIM research.
A device to help you pour the perfect stout or an innovative technology to assist drivers in reversing a vehicle up to a trailer are just two examples of the inventions featured in an innovative new book about developing a product for commercialisation. Entitled 'Engineering Innovative Products: A Practical Experience' the book provides a practical insight in to the steps involved in setting up a company from scratch, and is based on the experiences of engineering students and staff at Queen’s University Belfast.
Prof Roger Woods, who is based in the ECIT Institute's Wireless Communications research cluster, is the main author of the book which draws on the experiences of students in undertaking their 3rd year industrial projects as part of MEng degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Product Design and Development at the University. As a direct result of the courses, students have had a number of successes, with many winning awards and taking their ideas forward and setting up companies - a number of which are discussed in the book. The book also features insights from staff that have set up their own businesses, as well as industry experts.
Professor Woods commented: “As our students work in project teams to develop a product which aims to be commercially viable, they gain excellent real-life experience in setting up a company. In the book, an insight is not only provided into these experiences, but also from those of staff who have set up their own companies. I myself am a founder of an ECIT spin-out company, Analytics Engines, which is a global leader in providing solutions to speed up analytics for Big Data.” Queen's University has a long history of innovation success and is one of the most successful universities in the UK for spin-outs, the portfolio of which has a combined turnover of £144m.
Professor Andy Hopper from the University of Cambridge, himself a leading entrepreneur, provided the forward and warmly recommends the book. He commented: “The book takes the reader through all the essential steps in creating a successful business’’ and believes that, as a result of publication of the book: “The chances of successful innovation in engineering will be much improved.”
Steve Orr, Director of the Northern Ireland science Park Connect Programme which aims to link entrepreneurs with resources they need for success, commented: “The book provides vital insights into commercial development for engineering in a highly practical and applied manner” and added that: “It has allowed students to develop their commercial literacy and ambition in the University.”
‘Engineering Innovative Products: A Practical Experience' is of benefit to students and staff at universities involved in engineering innovation, as well as anyone considering setting up their own company. Details can be found at Wiley at the following link http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118757734.html.
WifiEAR, a new form of “induction loop” system to help the hearing impaired to improve hearing experience by using WiFi connections developed at the ECIT Institute has been shortlisted for the prestigious INVENT2014 awards which takes place on 2nd October in Belfast. Competing in the Life and Health category the WiFiEAR team headed by Prof Roger Woods will also be up against 11 other teams for overall honours and a slice of the £33,000 prize fund on the night.
The core innovation in WiFiEar deals with latency. This is an easy problem to understand if you’ve ever had a faulty phone call where there is a delay on the line. This latency in signal can make it difficult to maintain a conversation. WiFiEar founder Prof Roger Woods says:
'The problem occurs above a delay time of about 0.4 seconds. Any lower and the delay tends to go unnoticed. Over 0.4 seconds and the delay can be a distraction.'
His team at ECIT is developing a technology that uses the building’s existing WiFi system to relay a low-latency signal to the hearing aid wearer. It offers to beat the current solution on various grounds, including price, sound quality, and ease of installation and testing.
The WiFiEAR project was funded by EPSRC under an EFutures grant and is a collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and the MRC Institute of Hearing Research in Glasgow. The aim of these grants was to offer awards to support UK academics in electronics as they initiate collaborative research across their discipline boundary.
TechWatch's Ben Bland met with Roger Woods to find out more:
The ECIT Institute features in a new NI Space Capability Brochure which has been published by Invest Northern Ireland and launched at Farnborough Airshow by Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster and Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA).
The brochure highlights 24 organisations in Northern Ireland, including the ECIT Institute, which are currently working in and targeting the Space Sector. This complete list is as follows:
The brochure is available to download on the Invest Northern Ireland website here.
At the recent IEEE International Conference on Communications 2014 in Sydney two ECIT researchers, Dr. Trung Q. Duong and Dr. Michail Matthaiou were awarded with the Best Paper award for their paper on 'Mitigating Cross-Network Interference in Cognitive Spectrum Sharing with Opportunistic Relaying'.
The paper was co-authored with Phee Lep Yeoh (University of Melbourne, Australia); Maged Elkashlan (Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom); Nidal Nasser (Alfaisal University, Saudi Arabia)
The paper highligted how cognitive cooperative networks represent an efficient means to improve the coverage, resource usage and reliability of future wireless networks. A big bottleneck in this type of networks is the interference between the primary and secondary networks. In this paper, the researchers statistically characterised these networks in the presence of interference and determined rigorously, using analytical techniques, their performance limits.
Speaking about winning the award Trung and Michail had this to say:
'IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) is a flagship conference of the IEEE Communications Society and represents one of the largest gatherings of researchers and industry professionals in the field of communications in the world. In this instance, this best paper award will offer a notable recognition for us, and also international visibility for ECIT and Queen's University Belfast.'
Queen’s University Belfast has launched a unique new MSc in Wireless Communications that will prepare students to build the wireless Internet of Things. The course combines traditional Wireless Communication with cutting edge technologies such as body sensors, wearable technology and smart grids.
The Masters will be informed by research carried out at QUB’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) based in the Northern Ireland Science Park. ECIT has developed significant expertise and world leading researchers in wireless communications including the areas of wireless, mobile and radio communications, high frequency electronics, digital signal processing, data mining, cryptography and computer security, all of which are particularly relevant to wireless communications.
The ECIT Institute has significant industry links, through its Industrial Advisory Board, to companies such as Xilinx, Infineon and Thales. These engagements have also informed the syllabus of this new course ensuring graduates are well placed to compete for roles in this industry globally.
Queen's School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has invested heavily in the areas of wireless communications and high frequency electronics over the last year, appointing 7 new members of academic staff who bring vitality and enthusiasm to this new course. In line with rapidly evolving technological trends, this course will prepare students to develop innovative new solutions for, and take advantage of the opportunities presented by, 4/5G networks and the Internet of Things.
Dr. Emi Garcia-Palacios, MSc Wireless Communications course Director, said “This new MSc at Queen’s University Belfast which combines the latest wireless technologies with upcoming trends such as sensors, smart grids and security is a unique opportunity for local and international students joining the course. We anticipate a strong demand from industry for graduates.”
The new Masters, which will begin in September 2014 and is open for applications now, aims to train the next generation of engineers who will play a key part in the global wireless internet revolution.
For more information and to apply go to: http://www.ecit.qub.ac.uk/Education/MScWirelessCommunications/
A professor from Queen’s University Belfast, who invented a high-speed silicon security chip that is used in more than 100 million TV set-top boxes, has received the coveted Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal for 2014.
Professor Máire O’Neill, from Glenties, Co. Donegal, is one of only five engineers who have received the medal in national recognition for their contribution to society.
The former British Female Inventor of the Year is one of Europe’s leading experts on digital security, and is currently Professor of Information Security at Queen’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT).
A Queen’s graduate, she is one of Europe’s leading cryptography experts, helping enhance global data security.
Her research involves designing security solutions for communications applications, including email, cloud and mobile technologies. Contributing to the future vision for digital security in Europe, Professor O’Neill was invited by the European Commission to become a member of the Young Advisors Group, which is shaping the future by lending expertise on how to achieve Europe’s Digital Agenda.
Speaking about her Silver Medal award, Professor O’Neill said: “It is an honour to receive this recognition from the Royal Academy of Engineering. Cyber security presents huge challenges for the future. The development of resilient, secure information systems is crucial for everyone - from how we carry out our daily work, to the delivery of public services, to issues of national and international security. It is a hugely exciting and important field in which to work, and I am delighted that my research has been recognised for its impact on wider society.”
Professor O’Neill was the youngest ever professor to be appointed at Queen’s at the age of 32 and was also the University’s first female professor in electrical and electronic engineering. She was instrumental in the creation of CSIT at Queen’s which has established strong links with global security organisations.
Congratulating Professor O’Neill, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Patrick Johnston, said: “This well-deserved recognition of Professor O’Neill’s work serves to illustrate how the research ongoing at Queen’s is often translated into products and systems which have a significant impact on the lives of many people both locally and globally. As a Queen’s graduate, Máire is an excellent role model for any young or aspiring engineer and on behalf of the University, I would like to congratulate her on receiving this prestigious award.”
Alongside her cutting-edge research, Professor O’Neill co-ordinates Queen’s newly-launched Masters in Cyber Security. With its first intake of students in September, Queen’s has created this course to cater for the needs of the IT industry in Northern Ireland and beyond, where demand for highly-skilled cyber security professionals is increasing.
Dervilla Mitchell FREng, Chair of the Academy’s Awards Committee, said, “The Silver Medals recognise individual excellence, not only technically, but also in the ability to turn knowledge and ideas into useful, wealth-creating products and services. This is essential to UK economic prosperity, and this year’s winners are all excellent examples of the kind of world-class entrepreneurs that the Academy is championing through its Engineering for Growth campaign and supporting through its Enterprise Hub.
“The UK boasts world-leading expertise in digital security, computer programming, aerospace, and manufacturing, and our 2014 medallists demonstrate the strength of knowledge and skill in these areas that will enable us to maintain this position for years to come. They are outstanding role models for the next generation.”
Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medallists were selected from a long list of nominations, drawn from all areas of contemporary engineering. They were chosen by a panel of Academy Fellows who have expertise across the range of engineering disciplines, as well as personal entrepreneurial experience.
For more information on the Royal Academy of Engineering visit www.raeng.org.uk
International experts in cyber security are at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), at Queen’s University today for the fourth annual cyber security summit.
The two-day summit brings together the world’s leading cyber security experts and government policy makers for a meeting of minds to combat future threats to global cyber security.
At the Summit Queen’s will announce a new Masters in Cyber Security.
Professor John McCanny, CSIT Principal Investigator, said: “The success of the annual World Cyber Security Technology Research Summit is reflected by the fact that the biggest names in global cyber security are attending so together we can produce a roadmap for the technology needed to secure our digital tomorrow.
“At Queen’s, we listen to the needs of industry and with an increasing demand for cyber security professionals, we are complementing our technology research centre by developing a Masters degree in Cyber Security to cater for that need. Queen’s graduates have gone on to be industry leaders and we expect through this new Masters that the number of our graduates gaining significant roles in the world of cyber security will increase.”
The new Masters, which will begin in September 2014, aims to develop the next generation of industry leaders and address the shortage of cyber security professionals globally. Currently, the demand for cyber security experts is growing at twelve times the rate of the overall job market.
Minister of Finance and Personnel, Mr Simon Hamilton MLA, said: “Today’s conference at Queen’s is an excellent opportunity to bring together top academic, industry and government cyber security experts, from over a dozen countries, to share their knowledge and to consider the cyber security challenges in the future.
“My Department is responsible for the information technology security for the whole of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and some other public sector bodies. It is vital that we are fully aware of and take the most appropriate steps to mitigate against the known risks, which are increasing in prevalence and scale across the globe. We use the best available technologies to provide resilient, secure systems, which enable us to carry out our daily work and to deliver public sector services more effectively.”
Professor Maire O’Neill, who will deliver a keynote address at the Summit Cryptography in a post quantum computing world and is Co-Ordinator of the MSc in Cyber Security, said: “The emphasis of the MSc is to provide graduates with a comprehensive understanding of the cyber security challenges facing industry and society, today and in the future, and equipping them with the skills necessary to address those challenges. The Summit is illustration of the need to identify, map out and ultimately combat the biggest threats to our online security.”
PwC in Belfast operates a global forensics centre of excellence, advising organisations, multinational corporations and national governments on financial and non-financial investigations. Director for Forensic Technology at PwC, Craig McKeown, said: “The industry needs more qualified forensics professionals. Nearly half of CEOs worldwide say they are concerned about cybercrime and data fraud, with the UK’s largest companies experiencing an almost daily attack on their computer systems. Tackling cybercrime needs more professionals and this new Masters at Queen’s will help deliver them.”
Attendees at this year’s Summit include representatives from Facebook, Intel, Sophos, IBM, US Department of Homeland Security, Korea Information and Security Agency, Estonian Information System’s Authority and McAfee.
Media inquiries to Claire O’Callaghan, Queen’s University Communications Office, Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5391 email: email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
Professor Maire O’Neill and Stephen Wray from CSIT are available for interview. Interview bids to Claire O’Callaghan, Queen’s Communications Office, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 44 (0)28 9097 5391
The Summit takes place on 13 and 14 March 2014. For further information visit: http://www.csit.qub.ac.uk/Belfast2014/
For further information on the MSC in Cyber Security visit: http://www.csit.qub.ac.uk/msc
Key elements from this years report include:
On 12th December 2013 the Republic of Ireland's Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, TD, launched the report of the IAE/Intel Labs Europe Lecture Series on "Engineering Research and Innovation" at the Engineers Ireland offices, in Dublin. This lecture series was launched by the Minister in University College Dublin in October 2011 and the lectures were delivered at university venues in Belfast and in Dublin over the academic year 2011/2012.
ECIT Director and CSIT Principal Investigator Professor John McCanny was honoured to have been invited to deliver one of the four lectures - "Research and Innovation – Successful Models for Economic Impact" - on February 21st 2012 in Queen's University Belfast.
His lecture focused on the activities at ECIT as the NI Science Park’s research flagship and the models used to accelerate the translation of innovative research into business opportunity and application. These models include ECIT’s unique approach to bridging the gap between leading edge academic research on the one hand, and new advanced technology and business opportunities on the other.
Professor McCanny was joined on the lecture series by three other distinguished engineers who have made their names in the international world of engineering innovation. They were:
In closing his lecture Professor McCanny said:
“When I was asked present this invitation lecture I was very enthusiastic to do so as I felt that what is highlighted is very strongly consistent with our experiences here at Queen’s in the creation of ECIT and CSIT. I believe what we have done has been to create a novel “Open Innovation Model” where there is much stronger coupling of academic and industrial research than is the norm.”
The Academy believes that they merit a wider audience than they had in Ireland, great indeed though it was, and accordingly, it is pleased to launch them on the World Wide Web for the benefit of the international audiences which these lectures deserve and where they will be appreciated.
This particular publication focuses on the vital role of research in industrial innovation and identifies the specific contributions which the various sectors make:-
The report is available to download on the Irish Academy of Engineers website here:
The Job purpose is as follows:
To play a key role within QUB’s £30M strategic Centre for Secure Information Technology (CSIT) researching emerging security issues for information and communications technology systems supporting Critical Infrastructure. To actively research cyber-security threats relating to SCADA and Industrial Control Systems networks. To research vulnerabilities in SCADA control protocols (IEC, IEEE, etc) supporting essential electricity (smart-grid), water, and energy production facilities and infrastructure. The post requires the research and development of tools for real-time IP traffic analysis, packet filtering, stateful SCADA protocol inspection, intrusion detection, network behaviour profiling, and the investigation of security vulnerability assessment frameworks, suitable for SCADA/ Industrial Control System environments. Research will be conducted as part of a number of on-going European research programmes in collaboration with leading equipment manufacturers, infrastructure operators and research institutes.
For more information and details of how to apply click here.
Mr. Yuan Ding, a PhD student at ECIT has been awarded IET Best Student paper at the recent LAPC 2013 event which was held on 11thand 12thNovember 2013. Yuan recieved this award for his paper on 'Sidelobe Manipulation using Butler Matrix for 60 GHz Physical Layer Secure Wireless Communication'.
Yuan Ding had this to say about winning the award:
'It feels great for receiving this IET Best Student Paper Prize in the first conference I attended.I would thank all my colleagues, especially my supervisor Prof. Vincent Fusco, who lead me to this award.'
Together with the prize, Mr. Yuan Ding from High Frequency Electronic Cluster also received free one year IET Student Membership and £100 IET Book Token.
Congratulations from everyone at ECIT.
The ECIT Institute has recently welcomed one of the largest cohorts of PhD students to begin their research here. Eleven students in total have joined across ECIT and CSIT with research spanning topics such as Homomorphic Encryption, Advanced Data Mining for Anomaly Detection in Physical and Cyber Security, Quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) and SCADA and Network Security.
In the short video below nine of them introduce themselves and their research topics:
The full list of new PhD students is as follows:
S Ki Yoo
A Al Balushi
Lecturer in Secure Digital Systems
Applications are invited for Lectureships in Secure Digital Systems to undertake research in Data, Network and/or Malware security within the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), which is part of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS). Candidates will also be required to undertake lecturing duties at undergraduate and post-graduate level and to actively engage in major research with industry.
Applicants must have at least a 2:1 Honours Degree (or equivalent) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics or closely related discipline and a PhD, or expect, within 6 months, to obtain a PhD, in a relevant subject. Evidence of high quality research in a relevant field commensurate with stage of academic career, or extensive industrial experience in a relevant area, is essential. Applicants with research expertise in one or more of the following areas are strongly encouraged to apply: applied cryptography, side channel analysis, security protocols, malware/botnet analysis, network forensics, cloud security, threat and attack mitigation, insider threat behaviour, software security.
Further information :
Belfast – 30 September 2013
A team from the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), based at Queen’s University Belfast’s ECIT Institute, which is developing novel new mobile biometric verification technology has been named the winner of the Software and Digital Media category of the 25k Awards 2013. The Liopa team went head to head with Columbus, another team from CSIT, over the final stages of the competition.
The prestigious annual 25k awards, which are sponsored by Bank of Ireland, are made under the NISP CONNECT entrepreneurship programme, based at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The awards are designed to showcase the most innovative research and intellectual property from the publicly funded institutions in Northern Ireland.
Liopa won the Software and Digital Media category for the development of their biometric technology that authenticates people using lip movement, replacing passwords. This technology will enable more robust authentication and verification solutions designed for preventing fraud and theft in mobile commerce.
Commenting on the success David Crozier, Liopa co-founder and Technical Marketing Manager of CSIT said:
“We are delighted that our technology and potential has been recognised by the judging panel of the 25k Awards. The support we have received throughout this process has enabled us to bring Liopa to a point where we are actively engaging with potential new customers globally. I would also pay credit to my fellow team members – Dr Darryl Stewart, Dr Michael Loughlin and Dr Fabian Campbell West – without their research and engineering Liopa would never have become a reality”
Philip Mills, Columbus co-founder and Business Development Manager at CSIT said:
“The maturity of our technology is a number of years behind that of the Liopa team. Notwithstanding, getting to the 25k Award finals has helped our team to explore commercialisation approaches for this research as well as understand the competitive environment into which it will eventually be launched.
Congratulating both teams Prof John McCanny, ECIT Director and CSIT Principal Investigator commented:
“As an Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC), CSIT’s remit is to accelerate the commercialisation of world class science and emerging technologies into new products, processes or services. Both Liopa and Columbus are exemplars of the cross-functional approach we take to driving innovation featuring team members from across our research, engineering and business development disciplines. Well done to Liopa for winning the category and well done to Columbus for getting to the final too.”
Find out more about Liopa here: http://www.liopa.co.uk
Find out more about Columbus here: http://www.columbus.ie
Derek Gallaher, UK National Contact Point for Security, will deliver a presentation on European research funding opportunities for the security sector on Tuesday 10 September 2013.
The event will take place at Queen’s Institute of Electronics, Communication and Information Technology (ECIT) it will run from 10.30am to 1.00pm and will include a buffet lunch. A more detailed programme will be available nearer the date.
Mr Gallaher will be available for some one-to-one meetings with attendees who may wish to discuss a proposal concept.
If you would like to attend this event please contact the EU Office by 30 August 2013. Limited parking will be available, if you require a parking permit you should mention this when contacting us.
Michael Major, one of ECIT’s electronics technician’s has been shortlisted for the IET Technician of the Year award. This prestigous award is made to the technician who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to engineering or technology in their organisation. This contribution may be in the form of the development of a product, service or process and also have demonstrated exceptional commitment to engineering or technology through their technical or professional development.
Michael is a professional electronics technician, working at the Institute of Electronics, Communications, and Information Technology (ECIT), where he provides prototyping and measurement support to staff and students from the High Frequency Electronic Circuits research group, working mainly on novel microwave front-end circuits and antennas for next generation mobile wireless solutions.
Michael had this to say about being shortlisted for this prestigious award “I am deeply honoured to have been shortlisted for the prestigious award of 'IET Technician of the Year 2013', which I feel gives considerable recognition to the important supporting role that engineering technician's play in industry and academia, and the impact of this role within the wider economy. If I am successful, hopefully I can use the recognition to help inspire others to consider an exciting career in engineering, and more specifically to consider a career as a professional technician. I would also like to promote the benefits of IET membership, and EngTech professional registration for technicians throughout the University.”
Queen's University Belfast has been appointed part of a UK group who will build one of the key instruments on Europe's next-generation of weather satellites.
The research, by Queen’s University’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), on Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) structures has led to major advances in the design and manufacture of the next generation of Earth observation satellites. The new technology makes it possible to combine different functions into one instrument reducing costs by £30million.
The UK’s Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, announced last week at the UK Space Conference in Glasgow that the UK has secured the key MetOp Weather satellite contract.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has appointed satellite services provider Astrium UK to make a follow-on technology to the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS), which feeds data into multi-day forecasts. Depending on how many units are purchased, the contract could be worth up to £150m (170m euros). The new instrument, to be known as the MicroWave Sounder (MWS), will have significantly improved performance.
MWS production will be led from Astrium's Portsmouth facility, but key contributions will also come from Queen's University Belfast, SEA Ltd, JCR Systems Ltd, and the Rutherford Appleton Lab in Oxfordshire.
Queen’s University’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) is developing the Quasi Optical filter technology which will be used in the microwave receiver of the instrument to separate the thermal emissions collected by the antenna from Earth. The team from ECIT working on the technology is led by Dr Raymond Dickie, Dr Robert Cahill and Professor Vince Fusco.
The new MWS instrument will measure temperature and water content at different altitudes. It is fundamental information needed by the computer models that look at what the weather is likely to be several days ahead.
Dr Robert Cahill from ECIT at Queen’s said: “I am very pleased that Queen’s has been selected by ESA to develop and breadboard the microwave FSS devices which are the critical components that form the core of the radiometer instrumentation. This is a result of a decade long partnership between Queen's and ESA, the UK Space Agency, Astrium and RAL Space to exploit the patented PhD research work of Raymond Dickie who is a key member of the project team.”
A statement from Astrium said: “Queen’s University has made a significant and recognised contribution to the growth of the UK space industry by developing their new technologies. Queen’s research contributed directly to the UK space industry securing a multi-million pound contract for advanced instrument development.”
For more information contact +44 (0) 28 9097 1700
Professor John McCanny, ECIT Director and Principal Investigator of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), was recently invited to brief visitors in Northern Ireland to attend the G8 Summit on investment and growth of the digital industries taking place in the Belfast dockyards. The video below was produced by the UK Prime Minister's Office as part of that briefing.
For more information on the G8 Summit visit gov.uk/g8
ECIT was pleased to welcome Sir Paul Nurse to visit the Institute on Thursday 13th June. During his visit Sir Paul was given an overview of CSIT's unique Open Innovation model as well as seeing demonstrations of technologies being researched and developed here including Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF), Internet and Traffic Content Analysis (ITACA) and Liopa.
Sir Paul Nurse is the President of the Royal Society. He took up the post to start his five year term on 1 December 2010.
Paul Nurse is a geneticist who works on what controls the division and shape of cells. He was Professor of Microbiology at the University of Oxford, CEO of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research UK and President of Rockefeller University New York. He is currently Director and Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2001 and the Royal Society Copley Medal in 2005.
A major new strategic partnership aimed at combating the global cyber security threat has been signed between Queen’s University Belfast and InfoSys, a global leader in consulting and technology.
The collaboration brings together Infosys with Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), one of UK’s largest and most prestigious university cyber security research labs, and Invest Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland government’s regional business development agency.
The partnership will establish a research, education and commercialisation model, to develop solutions and intellectual property for combatting cyber security threats arising out of the rise of digital and Cloud-based business models. Infosys and CSIT will work jointly on a range of topics including combatting malware, security of mobile and cloud infrastructures, and privacy issues for financial markets.
The three-year agreement will lead to the establishment of a CSIT-Infosys Cyber Lab that will become part of a global network of companies and institutions developing security technologies. As part of the CSIT advisory and governing board, Infosys will play a key role in developing the centre’s research roadmap and gain access to its research and technologies for commercial usage.
Infosys and CSIT will also promote joint research projects and sponsor PhD scholarships, internships, faculty sabbatical and exchange programs. They will impart training and education on advanced concepts in data privacy, cloud, contemporary web application and wireless security as well as intelligent surveillance systems. Together, the partners will also jointly seek funding from agencies in India and Europe for relevant projects.
Welcoming the agreement, Senior Vice President, Infosys Labs and Products R&D, Subu Goparaju said: “The rise of cloud and mobility solutions has only increased the need for greater cyber security. This is a top concern we hear from executives around the globe. Our partnership with Queen’s University will provide Infosys insights into cyber-crimes and access to the important work being done at CSIT. We believe the outcome of this partnership will not only result in stronger products for our clients, but in a safer digital world.”
Signing the strategic partnership Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, Professor Sir Peter Gregson said: “Queen’s both welcomes and values its partnership agreement with Infosys, one of the India’s leading technology companies. Cyber security affects us all. Be it via smartphones and their apps, online banking or through developments in cloud based services, we are all at risk of cyber security attacks.
“Queen’s agreement sees InfoSys join with over 20 other industrial partners, including many global players who have committed to supporting CSIT in its quest to solve some of the real world security challenges of the future. It is intended that through this partnership society will be the real winner.”
Today’s announcement comes after Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent visit to India when he signed the UK-India cooperation deal that will see the creation of a joint task force to exchange and share information to identify and counter cyber security threats.
Commenting on the Queen’s Infosys partnership, Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: “The UK is recognised as a world-leader in combating cybercrime and has real competitive and technology advantages in this field. The work at Queen’s University’s CSIT, which I have seen at first hand, is a tangible example of our expertise in this area and I welcome its latest partnership with Infosys. It will be good for Infosys, good for Queen’s University and good for the interests of all our households and businesses in both our countries.”
Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster commented: "I am delighted to see that the initial introductions made by Invest Northern Ireland's team based in India, linking Queen's to Infosys' Global Internship Programme and Infosys Labs, have developed and grown into a viable and important business partnership.
"This partnership between Queen's and Infosys is an excellent example of collaborative working. By pairing knowledge and research contained within our world class universities with business we can work together to provide practical solutions to commercial challenges. Such partnerships are of real importance to growing our economy. I look forward with interest to how this partnership between Queen's, Infosys and Invest NI develops.
"This is also an excellent example of the global opportunities that exist for Northern Ireland. If we are to grow our economy we must look beyond our own shores. This partnership between Queen's in Belfast and Infosys in India just goes to show that there really are no limits to how far we should look for opportunities."
- End -
Notes to Editors
Infosys partners with global enterprises to drive their innovation-led growth. That's why Forbes ranked Infosys 19 among the top 100 most innovative companies. As a leading provider of next-generation consulting, technology and outsourcing solutions, Infosys helps clients in more than 30 countries realize their goals.
Visit www.infosys.com and see how Infosys (NYSE: INFY), with its 150,000+ people, is Building Tomorrow's Enterprise® today.
ECITs Professor John McCanny will be speaking at Innovate UK 2013 on 11 March on the subject of IKC’s and building early stage critical mass. Innovate UK 2013 is a joint venture from the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade & Investment which sees the two organisations unite the highly successful Innovate and TechWorld events. The event takes place on 11-13 March in the Business Design Centre, London.
Professor McCanny will deliver his talk as part of the 'Great Technology Commercialisation' track of the event. The subject will be 'IKC’s & building early stage critical mass' with Professor McCanny highlighting the progress that The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), the UK’s lead university centre for cyber security research, an innovation and knowledge centre (IKC) based at Queen's University of Belfast's, Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) has made in terms of developing new and disruptive technology and building a critical mass of expertise. He will also talk about CSITs highly successful 'Open Innovation' model and its vision to establish a global innovation hub in cyber security.
You can find out more about Innovate UK 2013 on the event website here.
The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), the UK’s lead university centre for cyber security research based at Queen's University Belfast, has today announced that it has been shortlisted for the prestigious SC Magazine Awards in the industry category of “Information Security Consultancy of the Year”. The winners will be announced at the SC magazine Awards Europe 2013 which takes place on 23 April in The London Hilton on Park Lane, London.
The SC Magazine Awards honour professionals working to secure enterprises of all sizes, vendors and organisations that deliver innovative security technologies. The panel of judges are selected for their experience and impartiality and are drawn from the senior ranks of the information security profession.
Commenting on the announcement Stephen Wray, Commercial Director of CSIT said:
“CSIT is a centre of excellence with a remit to accelerate and promote business exploitation of emerging research and technology in the field of cyber security. Our vision is to create a global innovation hub in cyber security. We are honoured to be shortlisted for this prestigious industry award. It highlights how our unique approach to fast streaming applied research into industry through our unique Open Innovation membership model is gaining recognition and traction in the global information security market.”
An example of CSIT’s recent information security consultancy work which was cited in the award nomination is the on-going collaboration with CSIT member company Q1 Labs (IBM) to transfer, evaluate, demonstrate and exploit our research on malware detection methods for fixed and mobile networks within their enterprise Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) tool QRadar.
Chris Meenan – Senior Product Manager of the Q1 Labs Product Suite at IBM commenting on the on-going engagement with CSIT said:
"The Zeus botnet research carried out by CSIT coupled with the QRadar Security Intelligence Platform capability has provided an excellent proof point of how a combination of leading edge security research and security technology platforms can deliver excellent customer value"
CSIT will be exhibiting at this year’s Infosecurity Europe event, which will take place at Earls Court, London on the 23rd – 25th of April. The exhibition is a great opportunity to meet with the CSIT commercial team to discuss how your organisation can engage with the Centre through a broad range of activities including – CSIT Membership, Contract R&D, IP licensing, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and large scale cyber security public/private sector project consortia.
For more information please contact David Crozier – Technical Marketing Manager at CSIT
Tel: 028 9097 1754Email: email@example.com
Applications are invited for a number of DEL PhD Research Studentships funded by the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) to commence October 2013 in the area of Data Security, Network Security, Wireless Enabled Security and Intelligent Surveillance Security Systems. The studentships provide fees and a maintenance grant of £13,590 for 2011/12 and are open to UK and EU citizens, subject to eligibility. Some studentships have also been supported by CSIT partner and member organisations with top-up sponsorships available.
Please note that NOT all available projects are funded.
The required minimum academic qualification for the above studentships is a 2:1 honours degree or a qualification considered equivalent by the University. The qualifications must be obtained in Computer Science, Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Physics or a related discipline. Candidates must have official, final results of all qualifications to be used to meet the academic requirements before the start of the studentship.
You can find out more about the upcoming studentships and information on how to apply on the Education section of the CSIT wesbite here.
A separate application for funding must also be completed for each project applied to. Application for admission to study that does not also have an application for funding may not be considered for an award.
The deadline for applications is Friday 15th March 2013.
I once heard a Research Director talk of ECIT as the ‘mothership’. I think this sums ups well what our Institute is all about. A term that has achieved prominence in science fiction and UFO lore, a mothership typically takes up station in an area and remains there for long periods, while smaller ships sortie to interesting destinations. A mothership provides the sustaining environment that will nurture and fuel more focused targeted agile expeditions.
ECIT has taken up station in the area of Electronics, Communications and IT and with its unique mix of people, resources and networks has created a dynamic environment that fosters entrepreneurship. The Vision of ECIT is to ‘create wealth through Research and Innovation’. As we continue to drive that vision forward, we have recognised more focused sorties are needed and those sorties have to be in partnership with strong Industry connections that live and breathe the destination.
The approach is working. Measurable outcomes that include; winning over £6Million new research funding in 2012 (FP7, EPSRC, TSB, Industry contract etc), helping local SMEs bid for and win new tenders beyond their own capability, having numerous pieces of IP delivered to industry, having another spin-out company (Microsense) established, highlight we are continuing to build the right capability and are applying that to relevant and appropriate markets.
In 2009 the ECIT mothership launched CSIT, a £30M Innovation and Knowledge Centre focused on Cyber and Physical Security Technologies. CSIT has proven success in vision fulfillment of ‘creating wealth through Research and Innovation’. CSIT is now the UKs largest university cyber security research lab and is acknowledged by GCHQ and BIS as an Academic Centre of Excellence. ECIT will continue to provide the infrastructure and environment where centres of this caliber can develop and thrive. Strategically we are now also nurturing new centres in:-
These are all at different stages of development but we aspire to have them follow the proven model of Open Innovation that has been crucial to the success of CSIT.
CSITs Open Innovation Model involves partner companies committing £30k per annum to inform CSIT research roadmaps and access CSIT technology to evaluate for exploitation. Member Companies (including BAE Systems, Thales, Q1 Labs, IBM, Altera, Cisco, McAfee, Intel), Associates (RepKnight, TitanIC Systems, Seven, Qosmos, Tyco) and government stakeholders (including DSTL, GCHQ, CESG, CPNI) have access to direct, absorb and bring to market over £30Ms worth of applied research in their specific market.
CSIT’s Open Innovation Model provides centralised and aggregated market intelligence, including access to articulated problem statements, a deeper knowledge of market trends and opportunities and access to problem-owners, customer bases and end users. It also provides an ability to build strategic alliances with partners in industry, government and academia, a platform to showcase our capabilities to the wider national and international community, and a mandate from our represented constituents to influence and inspire UK government future direction and funding for research.
Capital Markets Engineering
The Captial Markets Engineering collaborative research program is in conjunction with ISRC at Magee Campus University of Ulster. Member companies include (Citi, NYSE Technologies, Fidessa, Kofax and First Derivatives), Member companies pay £20k per annum and ECIT and ISRC are leveraging this to fund 10 PhDs in Big Data analytics, sentiment analysis and hardware acceleration of high frequency trading algorithms. ECIT are working with colleagues to grow the potential of this initiative and have submitted an application for InvestNI Collaborative Network Support and Competance Centre funding (£1M per annum for 5 years).
ECIT provides world leading capability and research excellence in Earth Observation and Satellite Antenna and Front-end Technologies. ECIT have entered into close discussions with the TSB Satellite Applications Catapult Centre to be a strategic partner. We believe we can contribute strongly to its establishment at Harwell, Oxford. ECIT can provide thought leadership, industry insight, a strong team of engineering capability and research excellence to contribute to programs of work.
Another core area of competence within ECIT is based around communications technology particularly with respect tracking, identifying and utilising people and assets within a wireless scenario. This is at an early stage however Prof William Scanlon as DigiComms Diretor of Research is beginning to nuture and develop potential to build a Centre of market focused competence in this area. William is engaging heavily with the Northern Ireland Connected Health activities to understand how ECIT can bring our research and capabilities into this market informed opportunity area.
Of course there are numerous other projects and research activities taking place at ECIT that have nothing to do with the above highlighted sorties and this is entirely in keeping with the ECIT mothership taking up station in such a wide a diverse area as Electronics, Communications and IT. ECIT is a Research Institute after all, and an element of horizon scanning is healthy and appropriate and it is important academic experts in their field have the freedom to follow their own path.
Who knows what PhD or unique and novel piece of research will inspire the next major expedition?
So I think this term sums us up very well - ECIT is a Mothership, and it is this environment, this unique mix of personnel and this strategic approach to market informed sorties that set ECIT apart as visionary. A vision we believe that will lead to a globally acknowledged Innovation Hub in Cyber Security and also in whatever other major ‘market informed expeditions’ we may strategically take.
Stephen Wray has 15 years IP Commercialisation experience with significant international technology licensing, negotiating, business development and marketing expertise. Previous roles include Global IP Business Manager at Amphion and VP Licensing at APTX, where he licensed technology to Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Google, NEC and Panasonic amongst many others. Stephen was instrumental in the trade sale of both companies, Amphion to Conexant (2006) and APTX to CSR (2010). He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh with an Honours degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. He tweets at @wr4y.
This week we talk to Yun Wu who is carrying out his PhD research on Soft-Core Streaming Processor Design on FPGA at the ECIT Institute.
With his research he aims to to design reconfigurable parallel processing units on FPGA with a high performance, low cost novel ESL synthesis toolset.
PhD recruitment for projects beginning in September 2013 has started at ECIT. You can find out more information about available projects in our PhD area here.
Research projects include:
To find out what it is like to carry out research here at ECIT we continue with our series of featured PhD students.
This week we talk to Dr Robin Todd who researched Multiband Antenna Feeds for Satellite Communications at the ECIT Institute.
We are currently recruiting a number of new Readers, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Engineers, Senior Engineers and Researchers across a number of disciplines at ECIT.
PhD recruitment for projects beginning in September 2013 has started at ECIT. You can find out more information about available projects in our PhD area here.
Research projects include:
To find out what it is like to carry out research here at ECIT we continue with our series of featured PhD students.
This week we talk to Jonathan Kelly who is researching Embedded Software Product Families and is based here at the ECIT Institute.
Professor Vincent Fusco, Research Director of High Frequency Electronics at Queen’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), has been awarded the Mountbatten Medal for outstanding, dedicated, lifetime leadership in establishing the field of active antenna technology for advanced wireless applications, and for his seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of self-tracking antennas and non-linear phase conjugating surfaces.
The Mountbatten Medal celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding contribution, over a period, to the promotion of electronics or information technology and their application that benefits the UK and was presented to him at the Mountbatten Memorial Lecture which took place on Thursday 15 November 2012 at the IET London: Savoy Place.
Professor Fusco’s work has provoked step change developments in high data rate wireless communications and has influenced many programmes in both industry and academia worldwide. This has impacted upon the development of low cost self-aligning satellite communications terminals for next generation mobile broadband internet.
Speaking after receiving the award Prof Fusco said: “I am deeply honoured and humbled that the IET have awarded me the 2012 Mountbatten Medal. It is recognition of career achievements in the important topic of microwave wireless communications, a key economic driver for mobile radio systems. Many of these achievements would not have been possible without the help of research colleagues and students; I would like to thank them also.”
Suzanne Flynn FIET, Chair of the Awards and Prizes Committee of the IET said: “The IET is proud to award the Mountbatten Medal in collaboration with the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Fusco, of Queen’s University Belfast, a pioneer researcher and talented communicator, is a very worthy winner and joins an illustrious list of recipients which includes Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Hermann Hauser and IET President, Professor Andy Hopper.”
Commenting on the award Professor John McCanny, Director of the ECIT Institute said “The award of the Mountbatten Medal by the Institution of Engineering and Technology reflects the many outstanding and pioneering contributions that Professor Fusco has made in the field of Microwave and Millimetre wave technology. This includes his research on self-tracking antennae that has resulted in a new class of communication systems that ensure reliable wireless communications in difficult propagation environments and his research on semiconductor based antennas that are world-leading in terms of the performance they have achieved.”
“This is also a very fitting tribute to the very high calibre research team that he leads here at Queen’s. His work is being used by major companies world-wide. These include Infineon Technologies (Austria), OMMIC (France) and by the European Space Agency. It has also led to the creation of two new spin-out companies here at the Northern Ireland Science Park, creating economic and employment opportunities locally”
Presentation of the Mountbatten Medal to Prof Fusco and the following Lecture are available to view online here: http://scpro.streamuk.com/uk/player/?g=d022168
The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham has agreed in principle to sponsor a PhD/Doctoral Studentship at The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at ECIT in the area of Novel Application of Advanced Machine Learning Techniques for use in Side Channel Analysis Attacks.
This GCHQ-sponsored PhD studentship provides funding for 3.5 years and commences on 31 September 2013 with a proposed end date of March/April 2017. GCHQ will cover the costs of university fees and will provide an annual stipend to the student corresponding to the National Minimum Stipend (currently £13,590 per annum) plus an additional sum of £7,000 per annum (both tax free). For comparison this is equivalent to approx. £26,555 annual salary. A further £5k of funding will also be available per annum for travel to conferences, collaborative partners, and GCHQ visits.
The studentship is only open to UK nationals and the successful candidate will be required to spend in the region of 2 - 4 weeks per year at GCHQ headquarters in Cheltenham. To be considered for this studentship, candidates must therefore be prepared to undergo GCHQ's security clearance procedures.
We will shortly be launching recruitment to our PhD Studentships beginning in September 2013. To help potential applicants find out a little more about what ECIT is like as a place to carry out research we will be running a series of profile pieces on current and past PhD students.
This week we begin with Colm Kelly who is carrying out research on "Programmable Architectures on FPGA for Image Processing" with our Digital Communications research cluster.
Queen’s has received its first Investors in People Awards which acknowledge good practice in the management and development of staff.
The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and the Human Resources Directorate are the first departments within Queen’s to receive the nationally recognised award.
Investors in People is a framework, or set of standards, based on improving how people contribute to the achievement of organisational objectives – it is about effective management and development of staff.
Both areas have been working towards the achievement independently and were assessed separately with intensive on-site visits from external assessors.
Through meetings with a cross-section of staff from the two teams, management presentations and analysis of supporting records, the assessors were satisfied that the appropriate level of good practice in the management and development of staff was being demonstrated in each department.
In Human Resources, the assessor noted the enthusiasm and professionalism with which staff spoke about their roles, the pride shown those working for the Directorate and Queen’s, and the focus on HR services provided and in working with each other.
Sean McGuickin, Director of Human Resources, said: “It is particularly pleasing that this award recognises that managers are effective in leading, managing and developing people and that all staff are supported with their learning and development.”
In ECIT, the assessor highlighted the excellent opportunities for learning and growth, the growing sense of teamwork and the fact that staff were very focused, felt valued and recognised, and were very committed.
Commenting on the awards, Prof John McCanny ECIT Director said: “This is the manifestation of the hard work and dedication by all here at the Research Institute, since opening in 2004, to foster an environment where teamwork and commitment is rewarded and is key to achieving the very challenging targets we set for ourselves.”
"We set up ECIT with the aim of being a truly internationally leading Research Institute focused on tackling much bigger, more ambitious advanced technology challenges than is traditionally the case in a university setting. That position can only be retained and built upon by recruiting, developing and retaining world leading researchers, academics, engineers and support staff in a very competitive global marketplace. This award will help us to do that."
"We will not be complacent, however, and will continue to review our performance and take the necessary action to ensure ECIT continues to grow and deliver ground breaking research of widespread benefit to the economy as is evidenced, for example, by the growth in numbers of people working at the Institute and the growth in high technology business that has and is occurring on the Northern Ireland Science Park."
If any other departments would like to learn from the experiences of ECIT and Human Resources, the contact points are: Francis Guinane, Training and Development Manager, Human Resources and Lesley Moreland in ECIT.
Professor John McCanny, Director of Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), welcomed Sir John Parker, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, back to Queen's Island on 27th September as he began a two day visit to Northern Ireland to take part in the Northern Ireland Science Park's Festival of Innovation.
Sir John is a former Chief Executive of Harland & Wolff and this visit was the first time he has returned to the Queen's Island site, which is now home to ECIT and the NI Science Park, since leaving the company back in 1993.
Sir John was accompanied by Philip Greenish, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Dr Tony Barry, President of the Irish Academy of Engineering, during his visit to ECIT where they had lunch with Northern Ireland Fellows prior to touring the Institute and its facilities.
During the tour Sir John met with senior researchers, engineering and commercial staff who demonstrated some of the world class engineering research carried out at the Institute as well as founders from several ECIT spin-out and spin-in companies such as ACT Wireless and Aetopia.
A grand place for innovation
Speaking during his visit Sir John said: "There has been a tremendous transformation on Queen's Island since I left here 19 years ago. It’s wonderful to see. It’s even more exciting to see the tremendous amount of scientific, engineering and research talent that has been assembled on this site, and the way it is creating tomorrows companies."
"Northern Ireland deserves to be promoted as a good place to do science, a great place for research in our universities and a grand place for innovation."
"We are all in this together and because we can do so much more collectively, I believe in an industrial policy which is underpinned by a stronger relationship between industry, government and our universities."
Taking research out of the ivory tower
Commenting on Sir John's visit to ECIT, Professor McCanny said: "It is a great honour to welcome Sir John Parker back to this part of Belfast where he founded his career at Harland & Wolff, a company renowned for its use of advanced engineering."
"Things have changed considerably since then with the ECIT Institute now playing a key role in the development of the advanced technology economy with its unique university model where academic researchers, experienced engineering and commercially focused staff work side by side to accelerate the impact of university based research into wider economic impact."
"What we showed Sir John today is how we are taking the research base out of the University, out of the ivory tower, and bringing it much, much closer to business to accelerate the whole impact of research, engineering and its impact on economic development."
During his visit, Sir John also visited the NI Science Park, University of Ulster, and the annual £25K Innovation Awards organised by NISP. Sir John returned to ECIT on 28th September to take part in an Open Discussion: “Optimising the contributions of our World-class Research Institutions within our Economy” facilitated by Dr Norman Apsley and featuring presentations from Professor John Boland, Director of CRANN at Trinity College Dublin, Prof John McCanny Director of ECIT and Mr Kieran Flynn, Head of Business Development of Tyndall Institute at University College Cork.
Sir John Parker has chaired five FTSE100 companies, including National Grid, from which he stepped down in December 2011, and is currently Chairman of the mining conglomerate Anglo American. He is Vice Chairman of DP World (Dubai) and a Non-Executive Director of Carnival Corporation and EADS (AIRBUS).
The announcement comes as leading figures from UK and European space agencies gather for Northern Ireland’s first Space Summit at Queen’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) this week (Wednesday 12 September).
Currently, the UK’s space industry contributes £9.1bn annually to the economy. The aerospace, defence, security and space sectors contribute over £1bn to the NI Economy.
Those attending the Space Summit at ECIT are aiming to increase this share by outlining future research requirements for antennas and related technologies, and highlighting potential commercial opportunities for both local and other UK-based companies involved in the space industry.
One ECIT research project being highlighted at the event could eventually lead to a huge increase in the number of people able to access the internet around the world, particularly in rural areas and other sparsely populated regions of the planet.
Overseen by Professor Vince Fusco, Director of Research at ECIT’s High Frequency Electronics Cluster, it is sponsored by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Professor Fusco, who has recently been appointed to the UK Satellite Applications Catapult Centre's Applied Research Group (SAARG), said: “At the present time, only 30 per cent of the world’s population is able to get online. The aim of our work is to test ways to increase the telecom and antenna capabilities of satellites. One potential consequence of this work is that it could ultimately lead to greatly increased internet access via broadband satellite connections, so the benefits could be very significant.”
“ECIT is well known within the European space industry for our expertise in this highly specialist field and we are the main supplier of various types of sophisticated components both to the UK space industry and to the European Space Agency. We now have 30 researchers working at the Institute who have been involved in numerous high-monetary value programmes for UK and European clients in recent years.”
Paul Febvre, Project Director of the UK Satellite Applications Catapult, a new technology and innovation centre currently being established at Harwell in Oxfordshire, is among the key speakers at the Summit, he said: “The rapid growth of the space sector continues to be driven by innovation in technology and applications. The strong heritage of satellite-based research witnessed at ECIT places the Institute in a strong position to collaborate with industry and other partners across the UK and Europe.
“ECIT at Queen’s provides Northern Ireland with a focal point for the development of novel and innovative satellite applications and technologies, leading to significant potential for commercial exploitation and growth.”
More information on the ECIT Space Summit can be found at http://www.ecit.qub.ac.uk/Space2012
For media enquires please contact David Crozier - ECIT Technical Marketing Manager on +44 (0)28 90971754
Research produced by Dr Simon Cotton, Lecturer at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), and colleagues took centre stage at the recent “UK research: building bridges, building prosperity” event held at The Royal Society, London. The event, jointly organised by the Royal Society, Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy and Royal Academy of Engineering, featured Dr Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with responses from Roland Aurich, the UK CEO of Siemens, and Paul Nurse.
Only eight institutions were invited to showcase their research at the event. The fact that Queen’s University Belfast’s ECIT was one of the two institutions invited by the Royal Academy of Engineering is testament to the quality of the research carried out at the Institute.
Dr Cotton used the event as an opportunity to demonstrate his latest work on body centric communications and how the research is already being adopted for use in commercial products for the real-time localisation market. He commented “It was a great honour to be invited to such a prestigious event organised by some of the UK’s leading Academies and being able to show case some of the cutting-edge research being conducted in ECIT as well as our strong links with Industry.”
Dr Cotton added “It was also nice to be able to demonstrate some of the entrepreneurial aspirations of the Institute, through the promotion of QUB/ECIT spin out company ACT Wireless of which I am a co-founder especially in the context of a meeting of so many prominent figures such as the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable.”
Speaking about the event Prof. William Scanlon, Director of Research, Digital Communications Cluster said “This event highlighted the link between world leading research and its transformational impact on our society and our economy. I am therefore delighted that the Royal Academy of Engineering chose Dr Cotton’s research on wireless communications as an exemplar for this event.”
More information on the “UK research: building bridges, building prosperity” event can be found on the Royal Society website here: http://royalsociety.org/events/2012/uk-research/
The High Frequency Electronics Research Cluster (HFEC) of ECIT co-received the Antenna Theory Award of the 2012 European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2012), which took place in Prague, Czech Republic, between 26-30 March 2012. The award was received for the paper:
M. García-Vigueras, P. DeLara-Guarch, J.L. Gómez-Tornero, R. Guzmán-Quirós, G. Goussetis, “Efficiently Illuminated Broadside-Directed 1D and 2D Tapered Fabry-Perot Leaky-Wave Antennas,” European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP), 26-30 March 2012, Prague, Czech Republic which Dr. George Goussetis of HFEC co-authored in collaboration with the group of Dr. Jose-Luis Gómez-Tornero in UPCT, Spain. Maria García-Vigueras has been a visiting researcher with the HFE cluster of ECIT during 2011 and again 2012.
EuCAP is the major Antenna and Propagation conference in Europe. The total number of papers received for EuCAP 2012 has been 1237 from 61 countries with the total participation of 3693 authors.
Further information on the work of the High Frequency Electronic Circuits Research Cluster of ECIT can be found online at www.ecit.qub.ac.uk/Research/HighFrequencyElectronicCircuits
The School is currently seeking a number of academics at all levels to help it achieve its ambitious growth targets.
If you are at the start of a promising career or an established leader in innovation we want to hear from you.
This is an exciting time to join the School of EEECS at Queen's University Belfast. Ranked among the top 100 in the world for Electrical and Electronic Engineering (QS World Rankings), the School is also consistently ranked in the top 10 in UK University League tables for its subjects. We are entering an exciting and challenging period of growth, due to significant investment over the past several years, and you can play a key part in that.
The School's £40m Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) is a new world-class centre specializing in key areas of advanced digital and communications technology, with a unique focus on blue skies, strategic and industrial research projects. ECIT is also home to the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), a £30m innovation and knowledge centre, which develops secure solutions to problems such as the protection of mobile phone networks and the creation of secure "corridors" for the seamless and rapid transit of people. EEECS is not only about electronics and computing - we are also a member of the UK Power Academy, made up of the top 7 UK Universities for Electric Power Engineering.
Interested? Why not consider joining us at this exciting time and help to shape your future and ours. So if you are at the start of a promising career or an established leader in innovation, we want to hear from you. We are interested in recruiting to all areas of the School but would encourage applications from academics in the fields of Cyber Security, Vision Systems, Energy and Intelligent Control.
See further details on opportunities in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at qub.ac.uk/jobs
The Irish Academy of Engineering is currently involved in a campaign to promote its belief that the key to economic recovery and future employment opportunities lies in the contribution which engineering research can make to economic development and job creation. It further believes that much closer integration of our Universities’ research programmes with industry is a vital component in a national economic recovery strategy.
As part of their campaign the Academy, with the generous support of Intel Labs Europe, has arranged a series of public lectures by internationally renowned speakers on this subject. The third lecture in the series will be delivered at the Great Hall, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast at 6.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 21st February 2012 and everyone interested in engineering research and its contribution to future job opportunities should attend. The speaker will be Professor John V. McCanny, CBE FRS FREng FIAE.
Prof. McCanny is Director of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) at Queen’s University Belfast and founder of several high technology companies. His awards include the Institute of Engineering & Technology’s Faraday Medal, the Royal Irish Academy’s Cunningham Medal and the Royal Dublin Society/Irish Times Boyle Medal. His lecture will be on “Research and Development: Successful Models for Economic Impact”, a subject upon which he is internationally recognised.
For any further information contact the IAE at www.iae.ie or Prof. John Kelly at +353 86 8327462
Flish, a team from Queen's University Belfast who have developed a low cost, low power antenna capable of picking up satellite signals automatically, which could make satellite dishes a thing of the past, are 'flying high' after being announced as the 'the next big thing' to come out of Northern Ireland's research community at the NISP CONNECT £25K Awards last night.
They have walked away with a total prize fund of £13,000 as overall winners of the technology entrepreneur awards which are sponsored by the Bank of Ireland UK, QUB, University of Ulster and AFBI (Agri Food and Biosciences Institute) and supported by NI's Health and Social Care Trusts. Designed as a commercial experience the Awards aim to encourage researchers to act on their talents, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow's leading commercial opportunities.
The innovative equipment developed by Flish is a high gain antenna which has the ability to 'point' to distant signals such as a satellite. It does not need to be aligned, like a satellite dish, and has no moving parts.. It enables satellite dishes to be replaced with flat panels on walls or roof tiles that need no set-up or calibration and will have particular relevance to the commercial satellite broadband market with the long-term aim of replacing the cumbersome domestic satellite dishes. It also has potential application in transportation as it can fit around the curves of vehicles or aircraft. The more compact antenna which has the ability to point to a signal in milliseconds has further application in the military and disaster relief market when a team may only have minutes to setup a lifesaving video link.
Neil Buchanan from Flish said: "It is a great honour to be crowned the overall winner of the £25K Awards. We have worked in conjunction with the European Space Agency to fine tune our unique analogue circuit design and have been able to produce an end product that is more power efficient, lighter and less costly than anything else currently available. The global market value of antennas was estimated to be $10.1billion in 2009 and expected to increase to $13.3billion in 2014 and we believe our innovation has the potential to be a real game changer for the industry. We plan to capitalise on our learning experiences from the £25Ks to seek funding to see the business through to profitability."
The £25k Awards category winners were as follows, each picking up a cheque for £2,500:
NISP CONNECT Director, Steve Orr, said: "The £25K Awards offers a showcase for regional research talent to display their world-class innovations while providing a valuable training and development process towards commercialisation of their innovations. I would like to congratulate all the category winners for their innovative entries however special acknowledgement must go to the overall winners, Flish, who wowed the judges with their pioneering antenna device, which offers great commercial potential.
"This is an extremely exciting time for the team and moving on from the initial stages of business development I have no doubt that Flish will be able to benefit from other NISP CONNECT programmes which are designed to inspire, encourage and nurture local technology entrepreneurs during idea conception, growth and improvement stages."
Clare Guinness, Regional Business Manager, Bank of Ireland UK added: "Once again the £25K Awards have been a resounding success with the spotlight shining on Northern Ireland's research community who have worked hard to produce truly innovative projects with real commercial potential. At Bank of Ireland UK we are delighted support the Awards and look forward to developing our relationships with the teams and other local entrepreneurs who are committed to the commercialisation of knowledge for the benefit of our local economy."
The awards were presented at a gala ceremony in the Titanic's Dock & Pump-House at the Northern Ireland Science Park.
Leading Security Intelligence provider joins BAE Systems, Thales and Altera on Industrial Board
Waltham, Mass. and Belfast, NI – Aug 11, 2011 – Q1 Labs, the global provider of total security intelligence solutions, today announced that it has become a member and official partner of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This builds on the company's existing European efforts out of its distribution, R&D, sales and support centre, also located in Belfast.
"Over the past 12-18 months, we have added 25 jobs in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with many more across the rest of Europe, to increase our European presence while also trying to educate customers on security best practices," said Brendan Hannigan, CEO of Q1 Labs. "We took a keen interest in CSIT as the national centre for cyber research, because its efforts greatly align with our own – to provide IT users with the security intelligence necessary to safeguard their infrastructures."
The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) is a new innovation and knowledge centre and is based at Queen's University of Belfast's, Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) in the Northern Ireland Science Park, Belfast. CSIT's purpose is to create the security infrastructure needed to safeguard the trustworthiness of information stored electronically.
"As well as informing our pioneering research, CSIT membership provides access to that research. We look holistically at cyber security to develop ground-breaking security technologies and we act as an honest broker in the industry, bringing together industry leaders, government policy makers and the best of academia." said Stephen Wray, Commercial Director for The Centre for Secure Information Technologies, Queen's University Belfast.
"We are eager to work with Q1 Labs because of their dedication to providing security intelligence and thereby providing the most visibility available from the network security marketplace."
Q1 Labs, as a sponsor and board member, will contribute extensively to CSIT's research projects taking place at Queen's University Belfast, including the implementation of the QRadar Security Intelligence platform in CSIT's research lab.
For more information on CSIT, please click here.
About Q1 Labs
Q1 Labs is a global provider of high-value, cost-effective next-generation security intelligence products. The company's flagship product, the QRadar Security Intelligence Platform, integrates previously disparate functions - including SIEM, risk management, log management, network behaviour analytics, and security event management - into a total security intelligence solution, making it the most intelligent, integrated and automated security intelligence solution available. QRadar provides users with crucial visibility into what is occurring with their networks, data centers, and applications to better protect IT assets and meet regulatory requirements. Q1 Labs is headquartered in Waltham, Mass., U.S.A., and the company's global customer base includes managed service providers, healthcare providers, energy firms, retail organizations, utility companies, financial institutions, government agencies, and universities, among others. For more information, visit Q1Labs.com, e-mail info@Q1Labs.com , or call 781-250-5800.
Queen's University Belfast's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) is becoming a major force in European research. A team from the Institute led by Dr. Charles Gillan and Dr. David Linton, became the first from Northern Ireland to co-ordinate and win an FP7 security proposal.
Dr. Charles Gillan said, "The ECIT Institute is delighted to be coordinating HANDHOLD, a project that will deliver a mobile device to provide enhanced detection facilities at border crossings and airports. While the dog will remain a central part of the detection process the time is right to develop substantially improved mobile detection devices that can complement the role played by dogs".
The HANDHOLD consortium consists of nine partners who bring complementary expertise in all the fields needed to develop a mobile network based, low power CBRNE sensor system. Irish involvement in the consortium includes the Irish Customs Authority, Scorpion Networks, Tyndall National Institute Cork and NUI Galway. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany and representatives from law enforcement from around Europe give the team a strong multi-national flavour.
The addition of ECIT based firm Capna DSP in the consortium further highlights the strengths in Northern Ireland and indeed the ECIT Institute environment for international security research and development.
Partnerships involving businesses and academic groups from the Island of Ireland featured in five of the 11 successful projects in the EU Seventh Framework security research programme for 2010-2011.
According to figures from Enterprise Ireland, the indicative total European Community expenditure for security research in the period is €242,822,043. The aim of the research is to develop technologies and knowledge needed to ensure the security of EU citizens from threats such as terrorism and crime, natural disasters and industrial accidents.
Northern Ireland, is estimated to have won 0.98pc or €2,240,367 of the EC's total expenditure. (The final figure may even be higher, since the calculations were done manually and some of the allocations may have been misattributed to mainland UK).
If Northern Ireland were a country then on a cash-per-capita basis it would be third among the EC-27, behind Luxembourg and Belgium.
Appropriately in a year where cyber attacks have become centre stage, Queen's University Belfast's ECIT Institute also landed part of the PRECYSE project (Prevention, protection and REaction to CYber attackS to critical infrastructures).
Weiqiang Liu, a PhD student from the Data Security Systems Group at CSIT, was a best paper finalist at the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 2011.
He presented his paper on 'Design Rules for Quantum-Dot Cellular Automata (QCA)', as part of a Special Session on QCA Circuit Design. He also presented a poster of his research as part of the best paper competition. His research work is carried out in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin.
The ISCAS conference, sponsored by the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, is the world's premier networking forum for research in the theory, design and implementation of circuits and systems. Over 700 papers were presented at the conference and Weiqiang was one of only 8 finalists in the student best paper competition.
With Invest NI, the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast, five of the world’s leading capital markets firms - CITIBANK, FIDESSA, FIRST DERIVATIVES, NYSE Technologies and SINGULARITY have come together to establish a research collaboration in Capital Markets Engineering. Funded by the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) and the collaborative companies these 3 year PhD studentships commence in October 2011 and provide fees and a maintenance grant of £18,590 for 2011/12. The studentships are open to eligible UK and EU citizens
The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer now invite applications for 5 of these PhD Studentships to be based at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), Queen’s University Belfast. It is envisaged that the students will also spend a considerable amount of time at the company locations.
Candidate should hold, or expect to hold by 15 August 2011, a first class or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant branch of engineering, mathematics, physics or computer science. An appropriate degree at Master’s level will be an advantage.
Applicants should apply electronically through the Queen's online application portal at https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/
The deadline for submission of applications is 13 June 2011
Click here for further information on these projects.
The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science invites applications for a number of fully funded 3 year research studentships, commencing in October 2011. The studentships provide fees and a maintenance grant of £13,590 for 2011/12 and are open to UK and EU citizens, subject to eligibility.
Further information on studentships and individual projects available can be viewed at http://www.ecit.qub.ac.uk/Jobs/Studentships/
Please note that NOT all available projects are funded.
The required minimum academic qualification for the above studentships is a 2:1 honours degree or a qualification considered equivalent by the University. The qualifications must be obtained in Computer Science, Electronics, Electrical Engineering or a related discipline. Candidates must have official, final results of all qualifications to be used to meet the academic requirements before the start of the studentship.
Applications should be made electronically through the Queen's online application portal at https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/
A separate application for funding must also be completed for each project applied to. Application for admission to study that does not also have an application for funding may not be considered for an award.
The deadline for applications is Monday 28 February 2011.
For further information please contact Yvonne McKnight (firstname.lastname@example.org)
|28/10/2014||:||ECIT welcomes 14 new PhDs|
|11/09/2014||:||ECIT academic awarded Best Paper Award at the 9th International Conference on Communications and Networking in China|
|11/09/2014||:||Passive Intermodulation talk at ECIT|
|09/09/2014||:||Lessons in Engineering Innovation|
|03/09/2014||:||ECIT team WifiEAR finalists at INVENT2014|
|23/07/2014||:||ECIT featured in NI Space Capability Brochure|
|18/06/2014||:||Dr. Trung Q. Duong and Dr. Michail Matthaiou win ICC 2014 Best Paper Award|
|29/05/2014||:||Queen’s MSc prepares students to build wireless Internet of Things|
|29/04/2014||:||Prof. Maire O'Neill secures place among UK's top engineers|
|13/03/2014||:||Queen’s to plug cyber security gap|
|03/01/2014||:||CSIT Annual Report 2013 published|
|19/12/2013||:||Publication of IAE/Intel Labs Europe Lecture Series|
|26/11/2013||:||We're Recruiting- Research Fellow (Secure Digital Systems)|
|21/11/2013||:||Yuan Ding wins IET Best Student Paper award at LAPC 2013|
|14/10/2013||:||ECIT Institute welcomes new 2013 PhD Student cohort|
|07/10/2013||:||We're recruiting- Lecturer in Secure Digital Systems|
|30/09/2013||:||Liopa secures category win at 25K Awards|
|25/07/2013||:||Horizon 2020 Security Information Day|
|25/07/2013||:||Michael Major shortlisted for IET Technician of the Year|
|16/07/2013||:||ECIT makes key enabling technology for Europe's next generation weather satellite instruments…|
|26/06/2013||:||G8 Summit - John McCanny on Digital Technologies Growth and Investment|
|17/06/2013||:||Sir Paul Nurse visits ECIT|
|16/04/2013||:||CSIT partners with InfoSys to combat cyber security threats|
|06/03/2013||:||ECITs Prof John McCanny to speak at Innovate UK on IKC’s & building early stage critical mass|
|12/02/2013||:||CSIT shortlisted for prestigious industry award|
|25/01/2013||:||Fully funded DEL CSIT PhD Studentships|
|07/01/2013||:||Stephen Wray's Blog - ECIT - A vision of the mothership|
|07/01/2013||:||Five minutes with - PhD student Yun Wu|
|03/01/2013||:||Five minutes with - Recent PhD student Dr Robin Todd|
|03/01/2013||:||We're hiring - Reader, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Engineers and Researchers|
|11/12/2012||:||Five minutes with - PhD Student Jonathan Kelly|
|19/11/2012||:||ECIT's Prof Vincent Fusco awarded prestigious 2012 Mountbatten Medal|
|16/11/2012||:||GCHQ CSIT PhD Studentship in the Novel Application of Advanced Machine Learning Techniques for use in Side Channel Analysis Attacks|
|13/11/2012||:||Five minutes with - PhD Student Colm Kelly|
|01/11/2012||:||First Investors in People Awards for ECIT and Queen’s|
|04/10/2012||:||From ships to silicon chips - ECIT welcomes Sir John Parker back to Queen's Island|
|12/09/2012||:||Northern Ireland's space industry set for lift off|
|01/08/2012||:||ECIT Research takes centre stage at Royal Society Event|
|18/05/2012||:||McCanny IAE-Intel lecture “Research and Innovation – Successful Models for Economic Impact” transcript now online|
|18/05/2012||:||Winning review of Prof McCanny lecture produced by QUB PhD student|
|04/05/2012||:||ECIT to host EU COST Action Working Group Meeting from 17-18 May 2012|
|05/04/2012||:||Antenna Theory Award for ECIT Researchers at EuCAP 2012|
|02/04/2012||:||UK more resilient to cyber attack thanks to Queen’s University researchers|
|28/02/2012||:||Job Opportunities – School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science|
|14/02/2012||:||Professor John McCanny to deliver public lecture on “Research and Development: Successful Models for Economic Impact”|
|03/10/2011||:||£25K Awards Signal Major Success for Flish|
|15/08/2011||:||Q1 Labs and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) Collaborate on Groundbreaking technology|
|15/07/2011||:||ECIT Institute a major force in EU FP7 security research|
|15/06/2011||:||CSIT PhD student a best paper finalist at ISCAS 2011|
|19/05/2011||:||5 DEL CSIT PhD Studentships in Capital Markets Engineering|
|16/03/2011||:||First ever World Cyber Security Summit at Queen's|
|08/02/2011||:||Postgraduate Research Studentships for 2011/12|