Category / HEIF

The Compound Eye of Calliphora Vomitoria (Bluebottle fly)

“Blood feeding activity of flies at crime scenes can be confounding. Experiments were conducted to investigate the blood feeding activity, and blood artefact patterns created by flies following a blood meal. The trials were undertaken in a staged environment where over 500 flies were exposed to 500ml of horse blood in a sealed gazebo for a period of 72 hours. The resulting patterns, a total of 539,507 fly blood artefacts, were then compared to recreated bloodstain patterns commonly encountered during instances of violent assault. These comparisons focused on overall pattern shape, total stain numbers, stain density per cm2 and the zone where they were deposited. Informal observations and recordings were also made of individual stain colour and stain alignment, but were not measured.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Christopher’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition, where he won second prize.

Christopher Dwen  is currently working as a Research Assistant on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Sherlock’s Window”. This  HEIF-funded project at BU  aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

Research Drove Me to Murder

“As reported by National Policing Improving Agency, the most frequently encountered evidence at the scenes of a crime is footwear impressions and marks. Unfortunately, recovery and usage of this kind of evidence has not achieved its full potential. Due to the cost benefit ratio (time consuming casting procedures, expensive scanners) footprints are often neglected evidence. As technology changes, the capabilities of forensic science should continue to evolve. By translating academic research and technical ‘know-how’ into software (www.digtrace.co.uk) the authors have placed 3D imaging of footwear evidence in the hands of every police force in the UK and overseas.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dominika’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. BU alumni, Dominika,  graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing.  Find our more about her role on the HEIF project.
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

Sherlock’s Window: In search of an odourless growth medium

“A key aspect of forensic investigation is the assessment of the ‘window of opportunity’ during which death took place. Estimations using insects (e.g. blowflies) increase accuracy. Using blowflies to determine post-mortem period requires an understanding of the temperature dependent growth patterns that they develop through their life cycle. In order to understand this, blowfly larvae are reared on growth media in the laboratory.

Sherlock’s Window is a HEIF-funded project at BU which aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Illustrated here is the head of a third instar blowfly larva. Maggots have no eyes, but the protrusions at the tip of the mouth area are palps, used for feeling and manipulating food particles. The rows of black barbs that are visible are used to pull the maggot forward through the food substrate.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dr Andrew Whittington’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”

Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

BU alumni working on serious gaming project

Joshua (Josh) Cook graduated in 2016  with a first in BSc Games Programming.  He is currently working on an innovation project being led by Professor Wen Tang. ” PLUS”   is a gamified training application funded by HEIF,  in collaboration with the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (Strategic Alliance) Police forces in order to provide a virtual learning environment that teaches trainees in a more engaging manner than traditional paper based learning.

As a project team member Wen commented “Josh has been a pro-active and key member of the project team working with both academics , the College of Policing and police forces around the UK to develop this training application.”

Key areas of focus for Josh have included:

  • Making the system more generic, so that the project can later be expanded to multiple areas and more situations with ease
  • Improve the visual environment (of the game) with shaders and animations
  • Include data analytics in order to obtain an understanding as to how trainees are using the game, how long they take, how many mistakes they make etc

Josh didn’t take a placement year during University, so aside from a summer position in a local games position he  did not have much work experience. On being given this opportuntity to work on the projetc Josh commented ” The PLUS project seemed like an interesting project to work on, and when I found out a position was open to work on it I applied. I’ve learned some useful things on this project, such as working from and improving upon an existing code base, what it’s like working directly with clients, implementing and using data analytics, and I’m sure I’ll learn more throughout the duration of my employment.”

This project has received funding from August 2015 with the funding ending in July 2017. (HEIF 5+1 and HEIF 5+1+1)

Read more about this project in full: Serious Games for Police Training. 

College of Policing Research Map

BU alumni supporting innovation projects at BU

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. She graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing

Forensic technology and tools are advancing across the board, with the analysis of digital trace evidence being an exception. The techniques and tools used to capture and analyse footwear evidence have not changed in over a hundred years. This project is already changing the status quo by translating academic research on human and dinosaur tracks into tools for forensic practitioners to use. The product that has been  developed, DigTrace, is an integrated software solution for the capture and analysis of 3D data whether in a forensic context (footwear evidence) or in the study of vertebrate tracks and footprints. One of the  recent successes is the exhibit  the project team are  organising at the very prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, to be held in London in July.

 The project team were looking for a dissemination officer to help spread the word about the software and engage user groups both within the UK and overseas.  Dominika’s role involves working with external stakeholder groups, organising dissemination events, developing training materials and events for academics, crime agencies, forensic specialists, and UK police forces.

About working on the project, Dominika comented,  I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the project, which is not only well-aligned with my interests, but has also a huge potential for impact in terms of improving societal security. I’m working with a unique product set which can enhance global security by improving forensic practice, as well as criminal intelligence gathering and ultimately prosecution. The forensic context of the project is what I find most interesting as it links directly to my MSc”

To find out more about the project – click on the link: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

 

Tracks in the sand: tracking criminals

Within our lives we leave thousands of individual footprints – in the snow, on the beach, in the park and sometimes even muddy prints on the kitchen floor!  Tracks are more numerous than any other form of trace evidence, and record a unique snap shot in time about the track-maker.  Not only do they record details of the shoes worn, but information about our body mass, style of walking and the specific wear on the soles of our shoes that record information about the history of our footfall.  Reading these clues digitally provides an important forensic tools and HEIF-funded BU research (www.DigTrace.co.uk) in this area is shaping forensic practice both in the UK and overseas. “

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Professor Matthew Bennett’s  recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

This is the first image to go live on the new Instagram account for HEIF. What not follow to find out more obout the exciting innovations projects past and present at BU.

It can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

Innovation funding now featured on Instagram !

Forming part of a media package to support innovation funding at BU, a new Instagram Account is now live. Oliver Cooke a third year student on the BA Honours Media Production course is developing a number of different media channels to showcase the range of Higher Education Innovation Funded (HEIF) projects at BU.

It can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

This first image to go live comes from Matthew Bennett’s submission to the Research Photography Competition. (Read more about the HEIF project Matthew is leading on here: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

(Research Photography Competition now in its third year.)

Ollie is also working on a short video documentary and website as part of this project.

Ollie’s  experience with HEIF came from the time on his  work placement last year.  He worked within the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) as the Student Engagement Co-Ordinator and had the chance to be involved in a number of initiatives including HEIF. Whilst reflecting on his time in RKEO and ideas for his Graduate Project, it was clear  that there are many interesting projects at BU.

Commenting on his chosen topic Ollie comented “It also struck me that here was an ideal opportunity to create some really engaging media content in order to showcase the innovation journeys and provide more information about innovation and knowledge exchange at BU. This will aim to highlight the people involved with HEIF at BU, as well as the research.”

Ollie has just started filming and the first footage has been shot involving Andrew Whittington (PI)  and BU student Christopher Dwen who are working on the project: “Sherlock’s Window: improving accuracy of entomological forensics at post-mortem criminal investigation using combined cuticular hydrocarbon and internal metabolite analysis.”

(Sherlock’s Window was also featured in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle: Edition 6, January 2017, Page 22.)

Graduate Project – Supporting innovation at BU

Oliver Cooke filming compressedMy name is Oliver Cooke and I am currently in my third year of study on the BA Honours Media Production course. As part of my Graduate Project, I am developing a media package in order to showcase a number of projects that have been awarded Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

My experience with HEIF comes from the time on my work placement that I undertook last year. I worked within the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) as the Student Engagement Co-Ordinator. I learnt about many initiatives at BU including HEIF; so whilst reflecting on my time in RKEO and ideas for my Graduate Project, it was clear to me that there are many interesting projects at BU. It also struck me that here was an ideal opportunity to create some really engaging media content in order to showcase the innovation journeys and provide more information about innovation and knowledge exchange at BU.

The media content I will be producing will include a short video documentary, web content that can be integrated with the BU Research Website and a social media campaign. This will aim to highlight the people involved with HEIF at BU, as well as the research.

I have just started filming and the first footage has been shot involving Andrew Whittington (PI)  and BU student Christopher Dwen who are working on the project: “Sherlock’s Window: improving accuracy of entomological forensics at post-mortem criminal investigation using combined cuticular hydrocarbon and internal metabolite analysis.”

(Sherlock’s Window was also featured in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle: Edition 6, January 2017, Page 22.)

 

Access to Music: Music Technology in Special Educational Needs Settings

Tom Davis project photo 0217

Access to Music is a HEIF funded project situated in the department of Creative Technology and the Emerge Research Group.

The aim of this project is to work collaboratively with local schools for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) to increase access to music technology.

UK SEN schools face multiple barriers when using music and music technology to engage and improve the wellbeing of children with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Profound, Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) or issues such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This project will explore and identify these barriers in order to develop a suitable solution to promote and unlock new avenues for music technology for both children and music specialists in the surrounding SEN schools.

So far we has initiated links with Montacute & Linwood schools to establish collaborative projects working with a range stakeholders within these settings.  Each school has its own unique barriers to content with, so the main challenge is to come up with bespoke solutions for each setting.

Key people involved in the running of this project are Dr Tom Davis, PI,  Phil Hallet Co-I (CODA music coda.org.uk) & Dr Ane Bevan Co-I.

The project is supported by Dan Pierson who has been employed as a research assistant.

Recent activity has been a 2 day hackathon (see photo) to prototype possible technical solutions to issues identified by stakeholders.

Outcomes from this project will be presented in a number of settings including a Festival of Learning event on 8th July 2017.

Spotting an opportunity – A research journey from face blindness to super recogniser

Sarah Bate image

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker[1]

What’s your job? is a question I’m regularly asked by family and friends. For me, one of the easiest ways to explain this is to use some of the research and project collaborations I have the chance to be involved within my role at the university; as examples.

Managing the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) portfolio at BU means I have the chance to work with many innovative and sometimes “quirky” projects. HEIF whilst not the only fund that encourages innovation and knowledge exchange often provides funding where there may not be such a natural fit from some of the more traditional funding sources. Many project teams use HEIF to leverage further research and grant opportunities, having developed relationships and networks with organisations as part of their HEIF project.

Research into Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness) formed part of Dr Sarah Bate’s early years as both a student and academic. Funded by the ESRC and MRC Sarah’s doctoral research examined eye – movement  strategies in people with prosopagnosia.(2009)

Much of  Sarah’s work examines the nature of face-processing difficulties in both adults and children, with a particular focus on ‘prosopagnosia’ or ‘face blindness’, where people cannot recognise others from their faces alone. Including a Roundtable discussion in the House of Commons, development in this area of research subsequently informed policy  with the NHS recognising this as a condition  – NHS Choices Website.(2014)

Sarah’s more recent research  has progressed to the other end of the facial recognition spectrum moving from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognise familiar faces, to super-recognisers who have exceptional face processing skills.

In 2009, the first report of people with extraordinary face recognition skills (so-called “super-recognisers”) was published, followed by a further investigation in 2012. Both papers examined the performance of super-recognisers on laboratory-based tasks, using tests that are typically used to assess those with prosopagnosia.

These so-called “super-recognisers” may be of particular use in policing and national security settings, such as passport control or when hunting for a wanted or missing person. The lab at BU is now developing a specific line of expertise in forensic face recognition.  Funding from HEIF has helped with this development. (2015 – 2017.) Collaborations with organisations such as the police have progressed from  local to national and international  relationships, in addition to the security agencies.

Being agile and adaptable to  look at different  funding opportunities and changes within the external environment has provided Sarah with the opportunity to consider how her research can make an impact beyond the NHS as her research goes form strength to strength to address the practical applications and need,  utilising super-recognisers for policing and border control.

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[1] https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/my-top-10-quotes-on-opportunity

 

Data Science and Analytics Training for Business

logo-czrneData Science and Analytics Training and Engagement Services for Business – HEIF project

We are experiencing an explosive growth of digital content. According to International Data Corporation, there are currently over 2.7 zetabytes of data. It is estimated that in 2020, the digital universe will be 50 times as big as in 2010 and that from now until 2020 it will double every two years.

The commercial world has been transformed by Big Data with companies competing on analytics. Data has become a commodity referred to as the ‘new oil’. We are entering a new era of predictive analytics and data intensive computing which has been recognised worldwide with various high profile reports. In a recent UK-wide report commissioned by SAS UK (one of our key industrial partners) it has been estimated that there will be about 132,000 big data job opportunities created in the UK economy between 2012 and 2017. McKinsey’s report states that by 2018 the US alone will face a shortage of between 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, while in the UK such shortage will be in the region of 58,000 (e-Skills UK5). Another SAS commissioned report focusing on “data equity” and its impact on the UK, states that increasing adoption of big data analytics will result in cumulative benefits of £216 billion over the years 2012-17.

Following the success of recently launched MSc in Applied Data Analytics, this HEIF project seeks to take advantage of a large demand for and addresses the widening advanced analytics skills gap. Our HEIF project focuses on:

  1. Engagement with industry through a provision of an on-going opportunity for contact, information and advice in the Data Science Surgeries which are open to businesses of all sizes as well as university staff and students. This service is to support the creation of Knowledge Exchange professional network in the Data Science and Analytics area helping to identify potential skillset needed as well as transfer of knowledge and collaborative research opportunities.
  2. Development of a portfolio of CPD/short courses within an area with acute UK-wide shortage of skills and where, within the Data Science community consisting of over 50 academics from four faculties, BU has a wealth of expertise and excellent track record.

Over time, the Data Science Surgeries and CPD courses will facilitate engagement between industry and the broader BU Data Science community, enabling us to build bridges and develop relationships with industry, as well as interdisciplinary research collaborations.  The new perspectives developed through this interdisciplinary collaboration will not only help to give a better understanding of some of the complex problems facing our society, but also help to inform both the teaching and professional practice undertaken by our academics -supporting the vision of Fusion at BU.

SHIVA project progresses with innovation funding

shiva2-1024x500

The SHIVA Project has received Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) that runs for 12 months from August 2016 until July 2017. (HEIF 5+1+1.)

The HEIF funding will be critical in terms of supporting the development of networks locally, nationally and beyond. The key aims will be to link user groups and stakeholders in education, health and wellbeing related to children, young people and adults, through the creative digital innovations offered by the SHIVA project.

This project which brought innovative virtual sculpting tools to children with complex disabilities, enabling them to partake in creative digital activities from which they had previously been excluded was recognised in the Time Higher Awards last November winning the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research Category.

Originally the SHIVA project on 3D modelling and 3D printing for young people with disabilities was funded by the EU Interreg programme with the duration from 2010 to 2015.

The original project team worked with the Victoria Education Centre (VEC) in Poole.  As the project ended in 2015, it was clear there was scope to take this project beyond the initial funding and the SHIVA project has successfully been awarded impact acceleration funding and more recently HEIF funding.

A new Research Assistant, Michelle Wu, an NCCA graduate (2016), is the latest member to join this team. Michelle will be involved in turning the SHIVA system into a deployable product with proper installation, configuration and usage instructions. This area of work will help make SHIVA accessible to all potential users in the UK and further afield and strengthen the potential for developing networks that will benefit from this award winning technology.

For more information on this project contact Alexander Pasko or Oleg Fryazinov within the Faculty of Media and Communication.

Jayne Codling within RKEO co-ordinates the HEIF project portfolio for BU. Feel free to contact Jayne if you have any questions regarding HEIF at BU or knowledge exchange activities including business engagement and innovation funding.

Welcoming Dr Caitlin Potter to the BU Eco-Coding team

ecocoding-with-subtitle

We would like to welcome Dr Caitlin Potter who joined our Eco-Coding team from Bangor University on the 31st October. Her previous work has been on microbial communities of peatlands using metagenomic techniques and she will bring expertise and experience to the Eco-coding project.

Now that Caitlin is with us we look forward to the next stage of the project; discovering what our urban pollinators have been feeding on.

Click here for more information on this project and check out our new project page on the BU Research Website.

CaitlinPotter