Tag Archives: Professor Nigel Allinson

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

 

World-first in showing clinical-quality Proton CT for treatment of cancer

An international team of researchers will for the first time be able to demonstrate clinical-quality Proton CT to improve Proton Therapy in the treatment of cancer – moving a step closer to this improved treatment method being used to help those suffering with certain forms of cancer, particularly for children and young people.

Led by Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering Nigel Allinson MBE, from the University of Lincoln, UK, the pioneering PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) project is developing one of the most complex medical instruments ever imagined to improve the delivery of proton beam therapy.

The team has time on the South African National Cyclotron (a type of particle accelerator), near Cape Town, and hopefully later this year will have a world-first in showing clinical-quality Proton CT.

Professor Allinson said: “The uncertainties in where the protons lose their energy and do damage (tumour or healthy tissue) will only be eliminated by using the same type of radiation, Protons, to image and to treat. By delivering clinical quality Proton CT images, this project will greatly improve the treatment of cancer using proton therapy. Such therapy is particularly useful in the treatment of young people, those with brain tumours, and eventually it may help such stubborn cancers as lung cancer.

“It has been an extraordinary engineering feat – certainly the most complex piece of engineering undertaken at the University of Lincoln. It has involved the active involvement of six universities, four NHS Trusts, National Research Laboratories in South Africa, two specialist sub-contractors and numerous UK and European suppliers.

“The system including detectors of the type used in the Large Hadron Collider and CMOS imagers like those to be found in your smartphone but 500 times larger and working 20 times faster. There is enough processed silicon wafers to make more than 25,000 iPhone cameras. The data output of the system is equivalent to over 300 HDTV channels.”

The innovation will assist radiotherapists by helping them to achieve accurate proton CT images. Nearly half of all cancer patients receive radiotherapy as part of their curative treatment, and most radiotherapy is delivered using high-energy external beams of x-rays. Proton beam therapy, however, uses a different type of beam to conventional radiotherapy. It uses a high-energy beam of protons. Like x-rays, protons can penetrate tissue to reach deep tumours. However, compared to x-rays, protons cause less damage to healthy tissue in front of the tumour, and no damage at all to healthy tissue lying behind, which greatly reduces the side effects of radiation therapy.

There are uncertainties in exactly where the protons will lose most of their energy and hence kill the tumour while not adversely affect healthy tissue. For a tumour 20cm deep inside a patient, this uncertainty is about 1.5 cm. Using Proton CT will eliminate all of these errors.

In November 2014 the consortium received a prestigious Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Award, named as the winner in the Model-Based Engineering category.

The project is funded by The Wellcome Trust.

PRaVDA RS Pravda 3 RS Pravda 2

Celebration of Lincoln’s engineering expertise

An exhibit detailing the University of Lincoln’s revolutionary research into cancer treatment will be one of many exciting and thought-provoking attractions as Spark Engineering Festival returns to Lincoln.

The University of Lincoln is working with City of Lincoln Council, Lincoln University Technical College, Lincoln College and a range of the region’s engineering firms to provide opportunities for people to learn about the city’s cutting-edge engineering and manufacturing sector; and to inspire the next generation to consider a career in the industry.

A three-day celebration of the city’s engineering past, present and future, the Spark Engineering Festival is free and will run from Friday, 17th April until Sunday, 19th April 2015.

The University’s input will focus on current engineering research projects, detailing the Lincoln School of Engineering’s work on power generation, systems control, automotive dynamics and manufacturing technologies for the food industry. The displays will highlight how this ongoing research impacts on the city and wider society.

Professor Nigel Allinson, MBE, from the School of Computer Science, will be showcasing the PRaVDA consortium’s revolutionary work into cancer treatment revealing the new technology they are developing for the treatment of cancer using proton therapy. PRaVDA (Proton Radiotherapy Verification and Dosimetry Applications) – one of the most complex medical instruments ever conceived – will let clinicians see in 3D how the protons interact with a tumour. Proton therapy has the ability to deliver high doses of radiation directly to a tumour site with little radiation being absorbed into healthy tissue.

PRaVDA is supported by a multi-million pound grant from The Wellcome Trust, and Lincoln-led consortium consists of six universities, four NHS Trusts and South Africa’s National Research Laboratories.

Dr Colin Dowding, Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Lincoln, has also created a number of hands-on activities that will show young people the fundamental physical relationships that affect our everyday lives.

Dr Dowding said: “The Spark Engineering Festival has been developed to showcase the engineering expertise in Lincolnshire and to inspire the next generation to pursue a career in the engineering sector, contributing to finding solutions to many of the challenges we face as a society.

“The engineering courses offered by the University of Lincoln are unique in that the electrical and mechanical disciplines are not segregated. Graduates achieve a distinct degree qualification with emphasis on their chosen discipline but each student is constantly exposed to key elements of the alternate discipline. In this way Lincoln graduates are grounded in the core engineering sciences, ensuring that they are prepared for the modern team-based approach to problem solving. The School of Engineering offers a wide breadth of expertise and the University continues to build an academic community to help inform industry and develop new avenues of research.”

Alongside a giant pendulum hanging from the cathedral roof, other displays will include racing cars, a steam engine, model tank and 3D printing.

Aspiring engineers can take part in a Scaletrix challenge, build wind turbines using K’Nex and test propellers in a wind tunnel.

And be sure to see the engineering timeline – a 50ft long display of the history of engineering, how it has impacted the world and how Lincoln has played a vital part in its heritage.

From Formula One cars to jumbo jets, products made in Lincoln and Lincolnshire are used in planes, trains and automobiles around the world, with companies including Siemens, Dynex and Micrometric choosing to base their operations in the city.

Admission to the festival is free.

PRaVDA
PRaVDA

Cancer treatment researchers shortlisted for global engineering award

PRaVDA exhibition, an international research team developing world-first technology for use in cancer treatment, has been named as a finalist in a global competition to recognise the best innovations in engineering, science and technology.

The PRaVDA project, headed by Professor Nigel Allinson MBE of the University of Lincoln, UK, is a finalist in the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards. It is shortlisted in the Model-Based Engineering category.

PRaVDA is a unique medical imaging and dosimetry instrument for use in treatment of cancer with proton therapy. It is funded by a £1.6m Translation Grant from the Wellcome Trust.

Currently at the prototype stage, the system will be one of the most complex medical imaging devices ever built. It will provide the Holy Grail for radiotherapists – namely, accurate proton CT (computerised tomography) images, eliminating the potential targeting errors of this new radiotherapy method.

Professor Allinson, Distinguished Professor of Image Engineering in Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, said: “It is a tremendous honour for the PRaVDA team to be shortlisted for an IET Innovation Award. We are mid-way through our three-year project to create world-first technology which will make proton therapy a viable treatment option for many more cancer patients. With two new government-funded proton therapy centres due to open in the UK by 2018, and the number of centres worldwide expected to double in the next decade, PRaVDA has the potential to make a profound contribution to the global fight against cancer.”

Over half of cancer patients receive radiotherapy as part of their curative treatment. Most radiotherapy is delivered using high-energy beams of x-rays. Proton therapy provides a precision alternative, using a high-energy beam of protons to penetrate tissue and reach deep tumours.

The behavior of protons is very different x-rays and offers a number of advantages in radiotherapy. The proton beam does far less damage to healthy tissue when it passes through the body. This reduces the side effects of treatment, meaning higher doses of radiation can be delivered to the tumour site in a single treatment.

This offers particular benefits for treatment to cancers of the brain, eye and spinal cord, and cancers in children, where it reduces the risks of secondary cancers occurring later in life. However, proton therapy’s added potency vastly increases the importance of dosage accuracy.

PRaVDA is a unique instrument (patent-pending) that not only will provide accurate dosimetry and individual pre-treatment set-up, real-time monitoring of dose, dose profile and position during treatment but also provides, for the first time, quality proton CT images.

The team developing the system is an international consortium consisting of six universities, four NHS health trusts, two companies and the National Research Foundation of South Africa.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Innovation Awards recognise excellence across 16 categories from sustainability and transport to communications and healthcare technologies. The free-to-enter, international, annual awards scheme provides a unique opportunity for engineering inventors to showcase their brightest ideas.

Winners of the IET Innovation Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London on 19th November 2014, hosted by technology writer and TV presenter Kate Russell.

Find out more about the IET Innovation Awards here: http://conferences.theiet.org/innovation/ceremony/index.cfm