All posts by Hannah McGowan

University of Lincoln Awarded EPSRC funding to Improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the Research Sector

The University of Lincoln has been awarded £509,901 funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to improve equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within engineering and physical sciences.

The project forms part of a broader programme of eleven projects within EPSRC’s Inclusion Matters initiative, launched as part of the collective approach by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to promote EDI.

The Advanced Strategic Platform for Inclusive Research Environments (ASPIRE) project will take place at the University of Lincoln’s Eleanor Glanville Centre, a dedicated EDI unit. It will offer an innovative approach to improving EDI within the sector, with a primary focus on long term behavioural and cultural change.

The project will draw together expertise from academics from across the University’s Schools of Chemistry, Social and Political Sciences, Computer Science and the Research and Enterprise Office. It will develop an evidence-based online toolkit to connect best practice with improved ways to measure, monitor and implement EDI initiatives for maximum impact.

The project is being run by the University of Lincoln in collaboration with Vitae, Oxford Brookes University, the Lisbon Council, Emerald Publishing, University of Sheffield, University of Kent University of Trento, Aston University, Coventry University and Towards Vision.

Professor Belinda Colston, ASPIRE Programme Director, said: The research sector has been striving for fully inclusive environments in science and engineering related disciplines for over 30 years. Despite substantial investment, however, broad under-representation and inequalities are still widespread. Reasons for this are complex and often system-wide, but ultimately reflect deep-rooted cultures and attitudes in the workplace.

“ASPIRE will develop a new and more comprehensive impact framework to extend simple metrics-based evaluation and measure genuine and meaningful changes in ED&I attitude and behaviour.”

Vicky Williams, CEO of Emerald Publishing, added: “We are excited to play a role in this project, both from the perspective of Emerald’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity in the workplace as well as our role as a publisher participating and communicating the results of international research collaborations.

“We established an internal group, called STRIDE, in 2015 to create positive change in the inclusivity and diverse leadership of the company. We will be using STRIDE to pilot the ASPIRE platform and really embed change. This tangible action is in line with our mission to support the real impact of research.”

Speaking of the wider Inclusion Matters initiative, Professor Jennifer Rubin, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Executive Champion for equality, diversity and inclusion, said: “UK Research and Innovation is committed to furthering equality, diversity and inclusion for both our staff and for the research and innovation sector more widely.

“The Inclusion Matters initiative illustrates the ambitious, evidence-based approach that we will take across UKRI to strengthen equality, diversity and inclusion across the sector.”

The ASPIRE project will begin in late 2018 and runs for three years.

New App Brings Lincolnshire’s Iconic Vulcan Back to the Skies

Bomber County’s iconic Vulcan Bomber will return to the skies over Lincolnshire this weekend (11th– 12th August) in an augmented reality app as part of the city of Lincoln’s RAF100 celebrations.

In addition to the various activities taking place, which will include aviation displays and a fireworks display on the Brayford, those celebrating the RAF’s centenary will now also be able to witness the legendary aircraft in action wherever they are using the newly launched RAF100Flypast app.

The Vulcan is the latest aircraft to be added to the app which allows users to create their own flypasts, capture and collect aircraft, view them in scaled augmented reality, and learn more about their technical specifications and history. The Buccaneer, Canberra and Lightning F1 are also being added.

The RAF created the free to download app in a military first this summer, working in partnership with the University of Lincoln’s School of Design, School of Computer Science and Lincoln International Business School to bring the realistic 3D planes to life.

Working collaboratively, academics from across the schools came together to develop the concept, game mechanics and design. They were supported by students from the schools who gained valuable experience in helping to come up with ideas, developing prototypes for user experiences and collating historical information.

Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, Julian Free, said: “The iconic Vulcan has long been associated with Bomber County and it’s wonderful that this app will now allow people to enjoy seeing it in the skies once more.

Image credit: RAF MOD
Image credit: RAF MOD

“The team at Lincoln has combined their respective expertise to deliver a first class product for the RAF, and the project demonstrates the University’s commitment to its Student as Producer ethos, engaging students in real-world briefs.

“The app has been a fantastic collaborative project between the University of Lincoln, the RAF, and Harmony Studios, driven by the ideas and creative designs of our academics and students as part of their courses. It is a great example of how younger audiences can be engaged with through the use of digital heritage, augmented reality and hand-held devices.”
Lydia Rusling, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln, said: “RAF100 Weekend is one of the biggest events for the region this summer. Visitors will experience an unforgettable programme of events, with activities in 13 different parts of Lincoln from the Cathedral down to the Brayford Waterfront. Lincoln’s uphill will be transformed for the popular 1940s weekend, re-enactments will be taking place across the city, along with music, markets and plenty to see and do for the family. To have the addition of University’s augmented reality app, alongside flypasts over the weekend, is the icing on the cake and will be an exciting and innovative addition.”

Air Commodore Chris Jones added: “The RAF100Flypast app allows users to experience the wonders of RAF aircraft in augmented reality, which is really exciting. The app is a fun way to showcase how the RAF has grown through innovation and technology, and we hope it will inspire the next generation of aerospace pioneers. Users are able to collect planes and find out about their history through the app, as well as being able to create their own flypasts. With the Vulcan now added to the app alongside the Red Arrows, Typhoon, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Sentry, we hope there are plenty of favourites to get the young and old of Lincolnshire excited.”

The RAF100Flypast app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

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intLab Members Attend 2018 ACM Interaction Design and Children Conference, Trondheim

intLab members, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Dr Elisa Rubegni and PhD student, Grace Ataguba, attended the 2018 ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) Conference hosted at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway.

The annual conference provides a fantastic opportunity for research and addresses the design, development and use of interactive technologies for children.
Dr Rubegni is a well established member of this community and was paper chair of the conference. She presented her research on children as authors of digital storytelling and how to increase their awareness on gender issues.
Grace also presented a work in progress paper on how to maintain long-distance relationships with children by exploring autobiographical designs and life-logging.
The best paper of the conference will be published in the Elsevier International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction.

Call for Participants in New Retinal Imaging Study

Principal Investigator, Dr Bashir Al-Diri and colleagues at the School of Computer Science are conducting a research project to collect 2D fundus images and 3D Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) images using a fully automated user-friendly retinal-imaging camera (3D OCT-1 Maestro).

This study, titled ‘Automated Retinal Imaging Lab (ARIAL), will look towards finding and analysing new signs in the retinal vascular system photographed at the back of the eye, which might be changed due to disease. These signs can then be monitored and measured over time to detect signify disease progression.

OCT images are the most common techniques used for detecting eye diseases affecting the macula; OCT images are using in routine clinical practice and for diagnosis and monitoring diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure as well as other systemic diseases.

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All images will be reviewed and stratified by a Consultant Ophthalmologist Surgeon. Any abnormality will be reported directly to you and your registered GP with clear advice on further action if needed.

For this study, we welcome everyone with or without any known eye disease or diagnosed with any chronic systemic diseases. OCT images and lifestyle data will be captured and collected every 6 months for the duration that you are available; each visit will take no longer than 30 minutes.

There has been no such dataset available for the research community in the past, so this project will be of great scientific interest.

Further information can be found here. To participate, please contact Dr Bashir Al-Diri: 

T. 01522 837111 / E. baldiri@lincoln.ac.uk