All posts by Hannah McGowan

World Leading Engineer’s Proton Therapy Recognised by IET

An engineer who is building one of the most complex medical imaging systems ever developed has been recognised for his work by the UK’s Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Nigel Allinson MBE, Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering at the University of Lincoln, has been awarded the J J Thomson Medal for his significant achievements in the advancement of electronic engineering, including his work on complex medical imaging instruments for the optimum treatment of cancer using proton beam therapy.

The instrument uses the same proton beams that treat the cancer to create three dimensional images of a patient’s internal anatomy. These images can then be used to help reduce dosage and targeting errors during therapy by showing how radiation interacts with the tumour site. Accurate proton CT images have been dubbed the ‘Holy Grail’ for this form of treatment, potentially making it a viable option for many more cancer patients, especially children.

Earlier this year, Professor Allinson was awarded a major new grant from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to build OPTIma* (Optimising Proton Therapy through Imaging), one of the most complex medical imaging systems ever developed. It will be installed in the Research Room at the new NHS proton beam therapy centre at The Christie in Manchester.

His team also developed the world’s largest CMOS imager for medical applications, which in turn led to the formation of ISDI Ltd – a leading CMOS design house.

In addition, his work on the transmission of fingerprints from crime scenes to bureaus is used by UK Police, reducing time-to-indent from days to minutes.
The IET Achievement Awards, which took place on Wednesday 14th November 2018, provide over £1million in awards, prizes and scholarships to celebrate excellence and research in the sector and encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians.

Professor Allinson said: “I am humbled to be recognised alongside incredible engineers and technicians for the work we do to advance the world around us. These innovations have the power to make an incredible difference to people’s lives and it is an honour to be recognised for my contribution.”

He joins 13 other winners who were nominated by their peers as leading engineers and technicians in their field.

Mike Carr, IET President, said: “We are honoured to present these talented individuals with our top Achievement Medals. They have each excelled in their professions and have made a vast contribution as pioneers of important areas in the engineering and technology industries. They should all be very proud of their achievements – with each award being extremely well-deserved.”

Find out more about the IET Achievement Awards here:
www.theiet.org/achievement

Reblogged from: https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2018/11/1498.asp

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.