VR blacksmith project wins at East Midlands Heritage Awards 2017

On Friday 9th November 2017, Dr John Murray of the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln, attended the East Midlands Heritage Awards 2017, where he received an award for his virtual reality blacksmith project.
Dr Murray and his team, Andrew Cardwell and Liam Wilson, students in Games Computing at the University, received a Heritage Lottery Fund for a Virtual Reality blacksmith project, which aimed to revive the process of traditional blacksmith crafting techniques and craftsmanship for a new generation.
The project was shortlisted for an innovation award (and won), in partnership with the Blacksmith museum Friends of Chain Bridge Forge in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
A short clip from the blacksmith simulator can be seen below.

Heritage crafts played an important role for the local community, but many, including blacksmithing, have been in decline since the early 20th century. The project will hopefully pass on the knowledge and skills that were held by blacksmiths to help conserve the craft.
Geoff Taylor, from Chain Bridge Forge, said: “We aim to allow people to try blacksmithing for themselves without the need to use dangerous and heavy equipment, or indeed without many years training as an apprentice. This project will allow schools to bring back exposure of these crafts to pupils in a new, modern and safe way.”
Find out more about the School of Computer Science, University of Lincoln.

Luke’s Graduate Scheme success

School of Computer Science graduate, Luke Thompson, recently attended the Find Your Feet Careers Fair at the University of Lincoln.

We were delighted to see Luke back on Campus and caught up with him about his new role on the IT Leadership Programme (Graduate Scheme) at Dunelm.

Luke at the Find Your Feet Careers Fair, 1st Nov 2017
Luke at the Find Your Feet Careers Fair, 1st Nov 2017

Read on to find out how Luke’s experience at Lincoln helped prepare him for the world of work!

“I am currently on a 2 year rotational programme with Dunelm. The scheme is designed to encourage future leaders of the business and expose us to all areas of what is a very interesting and diverse, yet still relatively small business.

The first part of the scheme, which I have recently completed, was a placement in store as part of the management team in one of our 160+ retail stores. Not what you would expect for an IT grad, however, as a business we put the customer first and understanding all of the differing technologies that enable our stores to sell efficiently is integral. This experience will form my first report to the directors board who take an active role in the development of all the graduates.

From there, I moved to a project that has been working on the onboarding a recent acquisition of an online business, including 3 brands. Once I have completed this rotation, I will move onto specific IT rotations across IT Programmes, IT Services, Online services and Architecture and security. It’s likely I will be working on some of these integrations as well as upgrades to ensure that the customers, in store or online, have new and inspiring ways to shop.

My time at the University of Lincoln was amazing, but not without challenge and hard work. Having recently been back at Lincoln to attend the Find your Feet Careers Fair, I remember the position I was in only a year ago applying for jobs and pretending my final year project didn’t exist- it did and that deadline will come however much you put it off! However, I can honestly say the hard work was worth it and I was in the lucky position to be able to choose from graduate offers to get the right role for me. I look at the facilities now and I am amazed at how things have come along and what a great position students of the School of Computer Science are in today to be employable when they reach the end of level three / four.

However far away that seems, try and spend some time applying and practicing for interviews, show off your skills and work on your weaknesses, there is so much support available in the University, you just have to access it!”

It’s great to see Luke is applying his skills and knowledge learnt during his time at Lincoln and we wish him the very best in his future career!

You can find out more about the School of Computer Science online.

Research Seminar, Fr 10/11/17 2pm: Modelling and Detecting Objects for Home Robots

Everyone interested robotics, computer vision, and computer science in general is cordially invited to the School of Computer Science research seminar

on Friday, 10/11/2017 at 2pm

in room JUN0001 (The Junction).

Modelling and Detecting Objects for Home Robots

Markus Vincze, Technical University Vienna


In the near future service robots will start to handle objects in home tasks such as clearing the floor or table, making order or setting the table. Robots will need to know about all the objects in the environment. As a start, humans could show their favourite objects to the robot for obtaining full 3D models. These models are then used for object tracking and object recognition. Since modelling all objects in a home is cumbersome, learning object classes from the Web has become an option. While network based approaches do not perform too well in open settings, using 3D models and shape for detection in a hypothesis and verification scheme renders it possible to detect many objects touching each other. Finally, the models are linked to grasp point detection and warping, so that objects with small differences can be handled and the uncertainty of modelling as well as the robot grasping are taken care of. These methods are evaluated in settings for taking objects out of boxes, to pick up objects from the floor and for keeping track of objects in user homes.

Biography of Markus Vincze

Markus-Vincze-e1504228193491Markus Vincze received his diploma in mechanical engineering from Technical University Wien (TUW) in 1988 and a M.Sc. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA, 1990. He finished his PhD at TUW in 1993. With a grant from the Austrian Academy of Sciences he worked at HelpMate Robotics Inc. and at the Vision Laboratory of Gregory Hager at Yale University. In 2004, he obtained his habilitation in robotics. Presently he leads the “Vision for Robotics” team at TUW with the vision to make robots see. V4R regularly coordinates EU (e.g., ActIPret, robots@home, HOBBIT) and national research projects (e.g, vision@home) and contributes to research (e.g., CogX, STRANDS, Squirrel, ALOOF) and innovation projects (e.g., Redux, FloBot). With Gregory Hager he edited a book on Robust Vision for IEEE and is (co-)author of 42 peer reviewed journal articles and over 300 reviewed other publications. He was the program chair of ICRA 2013 in Karlsruhe and will organize HRI 2017 in Vienna. Markus’ special interests are cognitive computer vision techniques for robotics solutions situated in real-world environments and especially homes.

Isaac Newton Building to inspire scientists of the future

The University of Lincoln’s Isaac Newton Building, which has become home to thousands of scientists, engineers and mathematicians of the future, has been officially opened today (Thursday 19th October) by the UK’s most senior scientist, Professor Sir Mark Walport.Sir Mark, the Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), visited the University’s Brayford Campus as special guest at a ceremony marking the official opening of the major new science and engineering facility.

As the new home of Lincoln’s Schools of Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics and Physics, and the base for the University’s growing strategic partnership with Siemens, the £28 million Isaac Newton Building represents a vibrant hub of academic teaching and learning, pioneering research, and collaboration with international industrial partners.

Credit: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite.
Credit: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite.

The building – named after one of Lincolnshire’s most famous sons, the great 17th century mathematician and physicist who was born at Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth near Grantham, Lincolnshire – highlights the institution’s significant growth, support for industry, and commitment to the provision and advancement of key STEM subjects.

Sir Mark said: “It was an honour and a pleasure to open the Isaac Newton Building today. This splendid building brings together researchers from the Schools of Computer Science, Engineering, and Mathematics and Physics. It has been designed to foster collaboration between these disciplines – and importantly to bring in the arts and design skills of the University of Lincoln.

“The University, through its partnerships with Siemens and other businesses, both large and small, and with the city and region, is building on the engineering and technological heritage of Lincoln and Lincolnshire. It epitomises the importance of the city and regional partnerships that are necessary to underpin local and regional growth and productivity.”

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, added: “The Isaac Newton Building represents the latest in a series of major new developments to support our growth in science and engineering capabilities. It shows what can be accomplished by listening and responding to the skills and innovation needs of industry, both locally and nationally, and we are grateful to our partners and our funders for the faith and vision they have shown in this endeavour over the past eight years.

“It’s fitting that it is named in honour of perhaps the greatest scientific mind of all time, and one of Lincolnshire’s own, Sir Isaac Newton. We hope that by giving our students and staff the best environment possible to pursue their studies, we can equip and inspire future generations of pioneering thinkers to follow in Newton’s footsteps. It is the discoveries, large and small, that will be made in the Isaac Newton Building over the coming years that will be the biggest tribute to his legacy. We are delighted that the UK’s most senior scientist, Professor Sir Mark Walport, has opened the new building where we will develop scientists, engineers and mathematicians of the future.”

The building includes new teaching spaces, specialist robotics facilities, scientific laboratories and workshops, offices, and advanced research equipment. It also houses a 500-seat lecture theatre – the largest lecture theatre on campus – and a new café. With an overall internal area of approximately 7,000 square metres, the facility represents the largest building on the University’s Brayford Pool Campus.

Professor Andrew Hunter, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: “Over the last decade we have made major investments in science in the form of new buildings, courses and academic departments. The aim has been not only to offer new opportunities for students, but to provide the skills, expertise and facilities our region needs now and in future for economic success. We are already seeing the results, from award-winning industry collaborations to national excellence in teaching and world-leading research.

“The Isaac Newton Building makes even more of this possible by bringing engineering, mathematics, physics and computer science together under one roof. It will provide fertile new ground for ideas to grow, particularly at the intersections of subject disciplines where the most innovative and influential ideas are often found through disciplinary convergence.”

The new building will ultimately provide a backdrop for an apple tree grown from a rare cutting taken from the tree which was thought to have inspired Sir Isaac Newton. The University of Lincoln was gifted a graft of the tree, from which it is reputed Newton saw an apple fall causing him to speculate upon the nature of gravitation during the ‘Year of Wonders’ (1665-66), when he achieved his most notable works. Since being donated to the University by Woolsthorpe Manor, which is managed by the National Trust, the cutting has been nurtured by scientists and once suitably mature will be planted next to the new Isaac Newton Building.

Story Credits
Cerri Evans - PR OfficerCerri Evans – PR Officer
E-mail: cevans@lincoln.ac.uk
Telephone: 01522 886244

University of Lincoln, UK