Less than 100 images – Gravity Fields festival 2016

Professor Nigel Allinson, Distinguished Chair of Image Engineering at the University of Lincoln, will deliver a fascinating talk as part of the pioneering Gravity Fields festival.

Gravity Fields Festival 2016
Professor Nigel Allinson to talk proton therapy at Gravity Fields Festival
  • Date: Saturday 24th September 2016
  • Time: 1:30pm
  • Venue: Woolsthorpe Manor
  • Ticket Price: £6 (£5)
  • Suitable for age 14+
  • Book your place online

Based in Grantham, Gravity Fields explores the physical sciences through science, arts and heritage events and celebrates the area’s close links with one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Sir Isaac Newton.

Professor Allinson – who leads the ground-breaking PRaVDA medical imagining project which aims to make proton therapy a viable treatment for many more cancer sufferers – will invite festival goers to take a fascinating look at imagery throughout history.

Images are everywhere with nearly 150,000 images posted on Facebook every minute. Professor Allinson’s talk, Less Than 100 Images, will begin in 10th century Basra in Iraq. He will talk his audience through some local heroes (not just Newton, but also a medieval bishop and a humble engineer), to what the future holds; from seeing around corners to holographic television in a tour de force of entertainment and education.

Less Than 100 Images takes place at Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton, at 1:30pm on Saturday 24th September 2016. Places can be booked online.

Inspired by the genius of Sir Isaac Newton, the Gravity Fields festival has special significance in 2016; the 350thanniversary of his ‘Year of Wonders’  – or ‘Annus Mirabilis’ – of huge scientific advances with his work  on light, mathematics and gravitational forces.

The festival commemorates 1666, the year Newton spent at his Lincolnshire birthplace at Woolsthorpe Manor having fled the plague in Cambridge.

A packed programme of  science, arts, heritage, music, drama and outdoor events  takes the theme of ‘Genius’ to celebrate Newton’s legacy,  ranging from the dazzling LED umbrellas of international creative artists Cirque Bijou to the genius engineers of WW2.

From 3D-printed blacksmith artefacts to proton therapy

LiGHTS Nights is coming to Lincoln and the School of Computer Science is putting on a variety of workshops and lectures you don’t want to miss.

Produce real blacksmith artefacts with the latest 3D-printer technology, find out how Lincoln research is improving proton therapy for cancer sufferers, and get up close and personal with our all-seeing robots, all for LiGHTS Nights on September 30th.

Computer Science does Lights Nights
Computer Science to showcase 3D printing, robotics and proton therapy research
More than 40 scientific workshops, talks and exhibitions will take place as part of the action-packed LiGHTS Nights (Lincoln – Get Hold of Tech and Science) event, which will invite people of all ages to learn more about research projects that are changing the world we live in today.
LiGHTS Nights – a celebration of how science and technology impacts on our daily lives –will take place on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus and in venues across the city.
Visitors to LiGHTS Nights will be introduced to Lincoln’s ensemble cast of robots – the focus of exciting studies into artificial intelligence – and invited to experience the latest developments in Virtual Reality, the technology trend taking the world by storm.
Get 3D-printing real blacksmith artefacts from 12-6pm in the Minerva Building, Atrium with Dr John Murray.
A workshop called ‘See Humans Through a Robot’s Eyes’ will run at 1pm, 4pm and 7pm throughout the day in the LLMC Lecture Theatre, David Chiddick Building with Dr Marc Hanheide.
Professor Nigel Allinson will give an insightful talk into his Proton Therapy research: ‘A positive beam of hope for cancer treatments’ at 3pm in the Stephen Langton Lecture Theatre (Emmtec).
LiGHTS Nights is free to attend but bookings for individual sessions should be made in advance. More more information is available and bookings can be made online.

European Researchers’ Night is an annual Europe-wide initiative that takes place on the last Friday of September. The Lincoln showcase is one of more than 250 events occurring simultaneously in major cities across the continent this year, each inviting members of the public to meet ‘heroes of science’; the researchers from different disciplines whose work has the potential to change our world.

LiGHTS Nights will see academics from the University’s Colleges of Science, Arts and Social Science present their pioneering studies and invite visitors to become scientists for the day by participating in a range of different activities and experiments.

The programme of events, which features exhibitions, tours, public lectures, workshops, screenings and performances, begins at 11am and runs until 10pm. Visitors are encouraged to attend several events and make the most of the variety of activities on offer.

Read the full article here


Simplify travelling round Lincoln with Lincoln Bus

Travelling on a bus in Lincoln just got easier thanks to a website created by a University of Lincoln student.

Lincoln Bus Website

Lincoln Bus has been created by third year Computer Science student Jacob Ellis and is an all-in-one bus timetable viewer for travelling around Lincoln. The website hopes to help people check all bus services, routes and departure and arrival times.

Jacob Ellis said: “Lincoln Bus does the work for you, select your bus service and your current location and then it will show you an estimated time for your next bus, plus all other bus departures from your location throughout the day.

“Bus timetables can often be confusing especially with long haul journeys or services where departures are at different times on different days of the week.”

Jacob built the site using the programming skills he’d learnt during his Computer Science degree and says it’s helped him to set up the bus timetable database and website.

“There’s a lot of programming in Computer Science and as such the course has taught me how to teach myself other programming languages.” He said.

Lincoln Bus is predominantly programmed in PHP for web browsers, but I hope to release an Android app later. The database was made using SQL and the data is displayed to the user using SQL queries buried in PHP code.”


The website gives you the option to find bus routes depending on your location and you can choose whether you’re travelling from Lincoln or to the city.

The Lincoln Bus logo, created by Fine Art and Illustration student Bryony Loveridge, features the Lincoln skyline including the Cathedral, Lincoln Castle and other city landmarks.

The site gives you a variety of bus routes all in one place, and clicking on this with your location will give you the next bus time and the rest of the services for that day.

Jacob added: “My website recognises days of the week. So, for example if it is a Sunday, the estimated time box will display only the Sunday service timings throughout the day with the code ‘S’ to remind users that this journey is applicable only on a Sunday.

“Sometimes a bus service doesn’t run its full route. For example, the Service 1 Lincoln to Grantham at every other iteration goes as far as Wellingore, sometimes only Waddington if it’s a Sunday. In cases like this, Lincoln Bus will display a message such as WADDINGTON ONLY to show users that their next bus is not a full service.”

The website is currently in beta testing stage, but all Lincoln bus services will be added over the next few months along with new features users are to look forward too.

“The Journey Planner feature would allow the user to see their bus services and departures timings for multiple locations. For bus users new to the bus services in Lincoln, I am planning to add a feature whereby they select their location and the website displays which bus service they need as currently the user will need to know their bus service to make use of the website. This will be added as part of the Journey Planner.”

Jacob even hopes to include traffic information from Google to improve the estimated arrival and departure times in case of Lincoln congestion.

Great work Jacob – check out the site here and catch your bus with Lincolnbus.co.uk  

Presenting the future of proton therapy

A leading scientist making major strides in medical imaging, which could make proton therapy a viable treatment for many more cancer sufferers, will present his latest findings – including a new type of proton imaging – at a prestigious conference next month.

PRaVDA2 sml
Professor Nigel Allinson MBE, Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering at the University of Lincoln, UK, will appear among other world-leading experts at the Proton Therapy Congress in London this September.

Proton therapy is a form of radiation treatment that uses protons rather than x-rays to treat cancer. It has several benefits, including less radiation damage to the normal healthy tissues around the tumour and potential to deliver a higher radiation dose to the tumour (increasing the chances of destroying tumour cells). Proton therapy is particularly important in treating children.

The Congress will bring together researchers, clinicians, manufacturers and many more in the proton therapy sector to examine the future of proton therapy. It will take place in London on 20th-21st September 2016.

Nigel AllinsonProfessor Allinson, based in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, leads the groundbreaking PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) project. He and his multinational team are developing one of the most complex medical instruments ever imagined to improve the delivery of proton therapy.

The PRaVDA instrument is being designed to produce detailed 3D images of a patient’s anatomy using protons rather than x-rays, which has never been done before. To produce these Proton CT images, the world-first technology will use the same high energy particles that are used to destroy a tumour during proton therapy treatment.

Using protons to form an image of the patient will greatly improve the accuracy of the treatment. Using current methods, there could be a discrepancy of up to 1cm in terms of where the protons release most of their energy after passing through 20cm of healthy tissue. By using Proton CT, this margin for error can be reduced to just a one or two millimetres.

The PRaVDA researchers believe that Proton CT will soon be used as part of the planning process for cancer patients, as well as during and after treatment.

Click here to read the full article

More information on the PRaVDA presentation and the wider Proton Therapy Congress is available online.

Robots emerging as agricultural co-workers

fig1Advanced engineering could be the solution for the sustainable intensification of agriculture, as technology for producing service robots reaches maturity. An expert in robotics from the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, UK, will discuss the latest developments in the sector during Agri-Tech East’s ‘Pollinator’ event on 11th October 2016.

Professor Duckett, who leads the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems, will present at the event – Robo-Cropping – The Potential for Precision Robotics in Agriculture – alongside Dr Andre Rosendo from the University of Cambridge and Professor Simon Blackmore from Harper Adams University.

Professor Duckett says that agricultural robotics bring benefits of reduced labour costs, economic sustainability, less waste and better use of natural resources. The technology has the potential to be deployed at any time of day and impact positively on the productivity and life quality of agricultural workers.

His Lincoln team, part of the University’s Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology, has been working on multiple projects in this area including 3D mapping techniques for improving the precision of agricultural sprayers and a new project in 3D imaging for broccoli harvesting, which is producing strong results and attracting interest from end users such as the Brassica Growers Association.

Professor Duckett said: “Already we can envisage agricultural robots that could perform multiple tasks, for example, inter-changeable tools would allow switching between tasks such as seeding, tillage, spraying and harvesting. You could also have robots for agriculture and food production that would perform other useful tasks at the same time such as surveillance, keeping a watchful eye on crops, livestock and expensive farm machinery, while carrying out their primary duties on the farm or in the factory.”

A number of machinery companies are investing in the technology and a project in 3D imaging for robotic weeding is currently being carried out with a local company, Garford Farm Machinery, world leaders in automated weeding equipment.

Professor Duckett believes that the underpinning technologies for robotic perception, learning and action are already reaching the required level of maturity to leave research laboratories. So what steps need to be taken to transition from lab to work on the farm or in the factory?

“The big challenge now is how to cross the so called ‘Valley of Death’ between the development of useful prototypes by researchers and the mass production of agricultural robots which are available to the farmer, “ he said. “We need investors to come forward and believe in what we are doing. There is also a need to convince farmers that we can produce robust and effective machines that can really do the job.”

Rather than full automation, Professor Duckett sees a future of environmentally friendly ‘robot helpers’: “Robot helpers will increase the productivity and life quality of agricultural workers and help to deliver the sustainable intensification of agriculture that will be needed to help feed a growing population while minimising the impact on the environment. Smart robots that run on battery power rather than fossil fuels could also be part of the solution for a cleaner, greener future.”

Professor Duckett, Dr Rosendo and Professor Simon Blackmore of Harper Adams University are scheduled to speak at NIAB Park Farm, Cambridgeshire for the Agri-Tech East ‘Pollinator’ event on 11 October 2016: ‘Robo-Cropping – The Potential for Precision Robotics in Agriculture’.

Computer Science in Lincoln