SoCS Back at Waddington Air Show

The School of Computer Science is once again hosting a stand at this year’s Waddington Air Show. If you are going along then please pop in and say hello. We are in Hanger 3 this year. You can try your hand at controlling a robot arm that copies your own movements! Or come and compete in the robot football games. Also stand still in front of the motion detection camera and watch your image melt away to invisibility! Or log on to Twitter and see how your Tweets compare to others being made around the world.

School Takes Off!

A party of staff and students representing the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science were the guests of RAF Waddington last week. The invitation to tour the base came in response to the School’s donation of £1000 to RAFA, the RAF Association. Highlights of the tour included a visit to the control tower with its panoramic views across Lincolnshire and watching the air traffic controllers landing aircraft and guiding aircraft through the airspace above the base. The party were treated to a rare, close-up inspection inside the E-3D (the Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, or AWAC, pictured here). The AWAC fleet is based at Waddington and when not on service, AWACs can often be seen circling above Lincoln.

The School has recently launched an MSc in Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Management offered jointly with RAF Waddington for serving officers. Along with the now regular stand at the Waddington Air Show, this further cements the partnership with our local air base.

Outstanding Paper award for Cummins Generator Technologies sponsored project

 We all want the machines we use to ‘last’. The $64,000 question is for how long?

“Inevitably, most customers accept that ‘time-expired’ parts will ultimately fail in service but the problems start when components fail ‘early’. A sudden spate of warranty claims can be a nightmare for manufacturers and customers alike, and dealing with them is an expensive and time-consuming business. Obviously, the answer is to make sure it doesn’t fail prematurely by ensuring the highest quality levels. But isn’t there a limit to how much companies can, or should spend on product quality?”

These are the opening lines from an article in Generating Insight, the Cummins Generator Technologies magazine. It discusses the findings from a recent research project funded by Cummins Generator Technologies and undertaken by a Masters student from the School of Computer Science. The student not only presented his research at a top international conference in Thailand, but even won the conference’s “Outstanding Paper Award” for his findings.

Sebastian Olejnik, ICQR2011 Outstanding Paper Award
Sebastian Olejnik, ICQR2011 Outstanding Paper Award

Sebastian Olejnik, a Masters student supervised by Dr Bashir Al-Diri of the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln investigated the material and part selection process and its effects on customer satisfaction and business profit. The authors showed that customer objectives are to get a product that at least satisfies their functional requirements and to have a high Quality Price Ratio; meanwhile, business objectives are to earn maximum possible profits and provide a product that at least satisfies customer requirements. All these objectives were combined for an optimal part selection process which needs to start with a reliability analysis to exclude parts and materials below minimum customer reliability standards.

Head of School Dr David Cobham said “The work is an example of the University’s concept of ‘student as producer’ where the students apply the theory they have learned and are encouraged develop ideas of their own. Students of the School of Computer Science have previously succeeded in getting their papers accepted at academic conferences in places as far afield as China and the USA and they have all been funded to travel and present their work. Sebastian was delighted to discover on arriving at the prestigious International Conference on Quality and Reliability in Bangkok that he had won the award which was presented to him at the Conference Dinner.”

SoCS students visited communications service provider Timico in Newark

A coach with an engaged group of our computing students today took off for a visit to one of UK’s fastest growing communication providers: Timico, based in Newark, Lincs.  It was a great opportunity to meet and chat with experts in the industry of Data Networks, IP Telephony and Mobile Services. Timico’s CTO Trefor Davies and his team shared their first-hands knowledge and experiences about state-of-the-art data centres, network technology, and cloud computing on the large scale. After interesting presentations by the Timico experts a tour of their recently opened new Data Centre and Network Operation Centre concluded an informative and exciting day out.

Trevor JonesMarc Hanheide

University of Lincoln, UK