2018 Archive

Monday 6th August – Dr Robert Attwood – A small segment of Diamond Light Source

Diamond Light Source – using extreme X-rays to see what happens during freezing, melting, boiling, and breaking

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron, using particle accelerator technology – not for “smashing atoms” to probe the fabric of the universe, but to generate beams of intense light of all wavelengths – teraherz, infrared, ultraviolet, soft and hard X-rays. The individual beamlines radiate like the spokes of a bicycle wheel from the accelerator ring; each beamline dedicated to a certain range of the spectrum and certain techniques – spectroscopy, diffraction, scattering and imaging. These techniques are used to gain insights in a broad variety of research areas.
Beamline ‘I-12’ specializes in the highest energy range of X-rays, which can penetrate dense materials, allowing full 3-dimensional imaging of processes taking place in metals and rocks. A three-dimensional image may be obtained in as little as 1/20 of a second. Manufacturing processes such as the development of metal crystal structures during casting and the production of tasty texture in ice-cream have been studied, and in the natural world, the build-up of gases in volcano lava that can result in explosive eruption is being studied. The problems inherent in novel 3-d printing of engineering materials have been recorded as they happen, and combining diffraction and imaging can monitor the progress of cracks and the stress around them. These studies generate some amazing movies of never-before-seen processes, but more importantly, measurement and analysis of the processes will help to improve manufacturing, eruption prediction, and even allow tastier ice-cream.

Robert Atwood obtained undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Metallurgy and Materials Science at University of Toronto, studying the patterns formed in low-melting-point two-component alloys during freezing – looking at the results with light microscopes on a cut surface. He moved to London and joined the Royal School of Mines at Imperial College, obtaining a PhD based upon the computer simulation of the three-dimensional solid and gas bubble formation during the freezing of aluminium, as used for industrial products such as automobile engines and airplane wings. Sometime in the 2000’s it began to be possible to directly observe the inner structure of such processes with X-ray micro-tomography, and since 2008 he has specialized in helping the scientific community make use of synchrotron-based imaging at Diamond.

Monday 2nd July – Professor Jakub Bijak – CPC- University of Southampton, – ‘The Uncertain World of International Migration’

Besides remaining a hot and politically-charged topic, international migration is a fascinating area of study for demographers, being one of the most uncertain, complex and multidimensional population processes.  In this talk, Jakub will sketch the current broad state of knowledge on migration, with focus on the key areas about which we do not know much, and possibly never will.  To that end, we will explore possible responses to migration, which take its uncertainty and complexity for what it is: neither something to ignore, nor necessarily to fight against, but rather an inherent feature of population mobility which needs to be acknowledged and managed.

Jakub is a statistical demographer, with 17 years of work experience in academia and international civil service. His research mainly focuses on demographic uncertainty, population models and forecasts, and the demography of armed conflict. For his work on migration modelling and forecasting he has been awarded the Allianz European Demographer Award (2015) and the Jerzy Z Holzer Medal (2007). Currently he leads an ERC project on Bayesian agent-based population studies, developing innovative simulation models of migration.”

Mon 4th June – Jediah Clark – “The driverless future: can we design vehicles to be our co-pilots?”

The ‘roadmap’ towards a driverless future remains unclear. In this talk, Jed will take you through the current challenges in autonomous vehicle technology, with a particular focus on what it means for us, as humans, to work with and trust our autonomous counterparts in the years to come.

Educated as a psychologist, Jed is now a member of the ‘Human Factors Engineering’ team at the University of Southampton working on his PhD. His research involves taking psychological concepts and applying them to driverless car in-vehicle technology. He is focusing on how to better the communication process between the automation and the driver in automated systems that require input from both human and vehicle (like that of aviation).

Monday 21st May 2018 – Dr Alan Costley – “Faster Fusion: Fact or Fantasy?”

The need for carbon free sources of energy is well established and fusion power – often billed as safe, everlasting and potentially available to all – is one possible solution.  But experimental fusion devices are large and expensive and, in consequence, fusion is taking decades to develop.  Recent re-evaluations of the underlying physics combined with new emerging technologies are opening development paths based on much smaller fusion devices which will be cheaper and faster to build.  But are they feasible, will they work?  In “Faster Fusion: Fact of Fantasy?” we explore the answers.

 

Dr Alan Costley has worked in fusion for more than 40 years and published extensively in the field.  He has held senior positions at the JET project, Culham, and on the international ITER project in Cadarache, France.  He is now a consultant in the field working mostly for Tokamak Energy Ltd, a private UK company developing a faster route to fusion power.

Mon 16th April 2018 – Dale Lane – IBM – “Can computers be creative? Using AI to design  new meals and dishes”

Artificial Intelligence is about whether computers can demonstrate intelligence. In this talk, Dale will look at one element of this – whether computers can be creative. This will be an introduction to our understanding of creativity, and a demonstration of some of the work that has been done to build creative computers.

Dale is a developer for IBM at the local offices in Hursley Park, working for several years on IBM’s artificial intelligence platform “Watson”.

Mon 5th March – Dr. Fayyaz Rehman – “An overview of Additive Manufacturing Technology and its applications”

Recent advancements in the field of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology and its applications have opened exciting opportunities for the manufacturing industry to adopt this technology as the future of manufacturing. The successful application of this technology in some sectors has forced industry and academia to do research and explore its application in wide range of sectors like consumer products, automotive, aerospace, medical, engineering/construction and many more areas. This talk will give an overview of Additive Manufacturing fundamentals, some key sub-processes/technologies which are being used successfully in the industry as well as application and future of Additive Manufacturing (AM) in different sectors.

Dr. Fayyaz Rehman is an Associate Professor in the Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering at Southampton Solent University (UK) and is the lead tutor and researcher in the area of engineering design. Before joining academia Fayyaz worked as material handling equipment and supporting steel structure designer in industry for over 5 years. Fayyaz has over 15 years of experience in teaching and research in the fields of engineering design and manufacture both in UK and overseas. He worked on an internationally funded advanced engineering design and manufacture education related project in collaboration with six other universities of the world. His research interests are Concurrent Engineering, CAD/CAM/CAE, Advanced Manufacturing Techniques especially Additive Manufacturing Techniques and their applications.

Mon 5th February 2018 – Dr. Rick Stafford, Bournemouth University – “The ecology of marine fisheries and its role in a changing political landscape”

Fish are a vital part of the marine ecosystem, and understanding their ecology should play a vital role in managing the marine environment, and especially the fishing industry. This talk will examine the basics of fisheries science, but also explore new research which suggests that overexploiting fish stocks can have unforeseen consequences, such as directly contributing to climate change. It will also examine the relationship between fisheries science, ecology and politics, and explore whether political changes such as Brexit may help or hinder the recovery of UK fish stocks.

Dr Rick Stafford is a Principal Academic in Marine Conservation at Bournemouth University, working both in the natural and social science aspects of conservation. His interests are in the effective protection of biodiversity, biomass and ecosystem function in the marine environment, and has conducted work on the wider ecological issues of fishing, and the effectiveness of solutions such as marine protected areas worldwide.

Mon 15th January 2018 – Prof Tim Underwood – From genome to clinic – tales from the oesophagus

Tim will illustrate how early detection of oesophageal cancer is enabled by genome sequencing, and how large-scale sequencing of patients is uncovering the biology behind this disease, enabling life-saving surgery and treatment to be targeted to the individual.

Tim Underwood is a surgeon at University Hospital Southampton with a special interest in oesophageal cancer and minimally invasive surgical techniques, and also Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the University of Southampton.

Following a Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinician Scientist Fellowship, he became a Cancer Research UK & Royal College of Surgeons of England Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellow in April 2017.

Professor Underwood leads a programme of research studying the role of the tumour microenvironment in cancer development and progression. His team develop and apply advanced technologies to understand tumour complexity in oesophageal cancer including highly parallel genome-wide expression profiling of single cells using nanoliter droplets (DropSeq) and the generation of multicellular organoid models.

Professor Underwood is a member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Upper GI Clinical Studies Group and he is a member of the Steering Committee of the Oesophageal Cancer Clinical and Molecular Stratification (OCCAMS) consortium. He is a past Chairman of the Oesophageal Cancer Westminster Campaign and a trustee of Heartburn Cancer UK.