Tagged / DEC

DEC PGR receives excellence award

Ahmed M. Romouzy Ali, a Postgraduate Researcher PhD in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing, has achieved more success with the journal article which was voted one of the ten highest-ranked papers emerging from the 2012 Organization Collection’s peer review process.

Ahmed was recently invited to present the journal article “The Barriers that Hinder Rapid Prototyping Deployment within Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Which Should Come First?” at the annual conference of the Egyptian Student Union in the UK and Northern Ireland which was held at the Egyptian Culture and Educational bureau in London.  The fantastic  news is that Ahmed’s contribution to the journal article was honoured by the Union, and was awarded an excellence award!

Congratulations Ahmed!



Fusion Investment Fund: A Cooperative Journey in China

In the early August 2013, I was supported to visit Universities in China by a  successful fusion SMN bid application. The first objective of this trip is to develop a collaboration with a famous China university in Chongqing, i.e.,  Chongqing University, the top 5% universities in China, located in Chongqing, the biggest city in China with a population of 38 million.The second aim is to visit and cooperate with some senior researchers in China, in the area of distributed systems and information fusion.

In Chongqing University (CQU), I provided a seminar on distributed systems, and also  showcased the research in DEC, as well as advertising our MSc programme (MSc in Applied Data Analytics), Research Master programme to attract students in CQU. Also, I met the associate Dean of the college of compute science in CQU, discussing about possible collaborations between DEC and this college, including staff/student exchange, joint PhD co-supervision, visiting scholarship, etc. We also discussed our concerns on undergraduate student degree programme. The associate Dean introduced the their advantage on big data storage and mining, which are useful for research in the DEC computing school.

During this journey, I’ve also visited senior researchers in other universities. I had discussed researches on uncertainty reasoning, event reasoning and their applications with researchers from Peking University and Renmin University (both are top universities in China, located in Beijing), and they had expressed their interest in collaborations for possible funding opportunities.

In Xi’Nan University (in the 211 list), which is also located in Chongqing, I visited a key laboratory and met the chief, Prof. Yong Deng and his colleagues and students. We talked about our research proposals and possible future collaborations. I had also recommended BU’s projects to the students and they had showed interest.

In the future, I will advance the collaborations with these universities /senior researchers for educational and academic involvements. For the educational part, I will work with BU’s international development team and the DEC school to promote BU’s UG and PG courses. For the academic part, I will work with these researchers, trying to work with possible funding applications and joint papers.

BU is open to international cooperation, and any staff in BU should have an international perspective.   And indeed, the world is full of chance, for whoever prepared. I really appreciate the FUSION schema that helps BU staff to go outside and attract international collaborations.


Inventions and Intellectual Property Law comes alive at the Festival of Design and Innovation 2013

The annual Festival of Design and Innovation (FoDI) opened on Thursday 20 June 2013.  It was an opportunity for students from the School of Design, Engineering and Computing (DEC) to exhibit their innovations and creations. “A cake icing pen, a computer game controlled by brain power and a glamping pod were just some of the ground-breaking ideas and inventions on display at this year’s FoDI.”

During the academic year, final year students from DEC are paired off with final year students from the Law Department studying Intellectual Property (IP) Law.  The law students are tasked with advising their DEC clients on the protection and exploitation of their innovative creations.  The DEC clients then incorporate the advice which they have received from the ‘lawyers’ into their final year projects.

The IP-DEC Project brings Intellectual Property law to life.  It gives an opportunity for law students to apply IP Law to real-life inventions and in turn it helps the DEC client to understand the importance of strong IP protection when preparing to protect, market and exploit their various creations.

The IP-DEC Project culminates with Awards for the Best DEC Student; Best IP Student and Best IP-DEC Group sponsored by Paul Turner, a retired Patent Attorney.

The Paul Turner Prize for the best IP-DEC Group was awarded at the opening night of the Festival.  The prize was awarded to Law Students Danielle Foster and Luke Trim and DEC Students Benjamen Armstrong, George Burge, Joseph Carter, Markko Reinberg, Nicholas Cron, Thomas Clements and Thomas Reynolds.

Paul Turner with two of the winning DEC students and law students Luke Trim and Danielle Foster.

The Paul Turner Individual Prize for the Best IP Student went to Gemma Jefferies whilst the Paul Turner Prize for the Best DEC Student was awarded to Coco Canessa.  The Individual Prize winners will officially receive their awards at the Graduation Ceremony in November 2013.

The opportunity to apply Intellectual Property Law to real-life scenarios and to real-life innovations together with helping the DEC clients to grasp the importance of IP law, makes this project truly unique.

The IP-DEC Project is co-ordinated by Dr. Dinusha Mendis (Law); Dr. Tania Humphries (DEC); and Dr. Reza Sahandi (DEC).


BPS Wessex Student Conference

On Saturday, Bournemouth University hosted the Wessex Branch of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Student Conference. This event provided an opportunity for students to showcase novel research and, in addition to BU, attracted Psychology students from a range of institutions (e.g. Universities of Surrey, Sussex, Winchester, and Southampton). The breadth of institution was matched by the breadth of student; with undergraduate research assistants through to doctoral students presenting their work to an audience of approximately 100 delegates.

In total, there were 28 oral presentations and 19 research posters. In addition, we were fortunate to have two thought-provoking keynote speakers. First, Dr. Richard Stephens (Keele University) spoke about the role of swearing on pain tolerance (in short, it helps, particularly if you are normally an infrequent user of coarse vocabulary) and, second, Prof. Clare Wood (Coventry University) delivered a presentation on the effects of text messaging on literacy (in sum, ‘textisms’ are not rotting the brains of our nation’s youth).

The conference sought to emphasise that, rather than a perfunctory assessment exercise, student research is an important part of knowledge creation within our universities. Whilst this was highlighted by the collaborative (student-academic) nature of the projects, it was also evident how the presenters had developed into independent researchers. This apprenticeship model is one employed by the Bournemouth Psychology Research Centre and it was pleasing to see a number of our Year 2 Psychology students presenting data that had arisen from their research assistant placements. There was a large contingent of first and second year BU Psychology students in the audience and helping with conference organisation as volunteers. We hope that they have been inspired to participate in more staff projects and will return next year to present their research.

PhD Student from DEC presenting at the House of Commons, Westminster London

Mayank Anand a Post-Graduate Research Student at School of Design, Engineering & Computing, BU has been selected by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee to present his research work to the Members of both Houses of Parliament at Westminster during National Science and Engineering week. In the current research, Mayank is working with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Head Quartered at Poole, Dorset. The project involves examining the real-time quality of lubricants used in lifeboats of RNLI. This is an industry based PhD in which he spent part of the time at the RNLI HQ working closely with engineering team. The research is also in-kind supported by BP Technology Centre, Pangbourne U.K.

Mayank said, “I see this upcoming event as a great opportunity for an early-stage researcher like me, where one can showcase his/her work and ideas alongside getting invaluable feedback from the judges. Networking will be an added bonus”. He added “the support from the supervisory team at university including Prof Mark Hadfield, Dr Ben Thomas, Sustainable Design Research Team, and the RNLI has been a key in producing good research outputs and gaining confidence to present to a wider mass”.
At the event, Mayank will also be competing against 60 other participants within Engineering and Science session for the prestigious Engineering Medal and 180 others for Westminster Medal for the overall winner as a part of National Competition.

Dr Andrew Mayers’ research on children’s sleep receives excellent media coverage

Throughout November, the work that Dr Andrew Mayers (a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, in the school of Design, Engineering and Computing) has been doing with children’s sleep has been receiving a great deal of attention on national television and on national and local radio. Over the last few years, Andrew has been running a series of sleep workshops with parents, in a unique partnership with Winton Primary School and Barnardo’s Bournemouth Children’s Centres. Over that time, there have been several reports in the local press about the work, but it is only in the last six months that this has received national attention, starting in July with articles in the Times Educational Supplement (TES: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6264998) and Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2180003/Parents-offered-child-sleep-classes-pupils-turn-lessons-tired.html) and a live interview with Talk Radio Europe (http://www.talkradioeurope.com/clients/amayers.mp3). However, it is this last month that the attention has become more intense, with two features on national television and four live interviews on BBC radio (including one session at 12.30am!).

ITV Daybreak, November 1st: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd_OaMieSks

BBC Radio 5 Live, Drive show, November 16th http://www.andrewmayers.info/Radio5Nov162012.mp3

BBC Radio 5 Live, Tony Livesey late night show, November 21st http://www.andrewmayers.info/Radio5Nov212012.mp3

BBC1 Breakfast/BBC News Channel, November 21st http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20423289

BBC Radio Sheffield, November 21st http://www.andrewmayers.info/RadioSheffieldNov212012.mp3

BBC Radio Solent, November 21st http://www.andrewmayers.info/RadioSolentNov212012.mp3

Andrew has been reflecting on these experiences. He said “I am extremely grateful for the incredibly hard work put in to these workshops by Pat Bate at Winton Primary School and Patrick Ives at Barnardo’s – without them this would not have happened. It is also testimony to the effectiveness of a good personal web page. Much of the initial media attention came about because a journalist was conducting research online about children’s sleep, and found my web page. The rest is history!”

Andrew’s website can be found at: www.andrewmayers.info

Andrew also said “Once a website like this is established, it is important to keep it updated, especially when there is a chance of media attention. A few days after the BBC features, I noticed that visits to my website increased six-fold in the first day, and is still well above normal levels of traffic. As a result of the media attention and increased web site visits, I have established several potentially very lucrative new partnerships with leading academics in the field, some with a very high profile media presence. I also received support and requests for collaboration with several educational psychologists and other professionals across the UK”.

Research by BU’s Dr Andrew Mayers will appear on ITV Daybreak this Thursday

In a bid to tackle children’s sleep problems, BU’s Dr Andrew Mayers in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing, has been running workshops for parents at Bournemouth primary schools for several years now. The workshops started because staff at Winton Primary School noticed that pupils were struggling to get through the day without falling asleep, and were often difficult to engage because of tiredness. Andrew welcomed the opportunity to work with the school, an activity that reflects the ambition of the university to undertake more public engagement. The success of these workshops have been receiving a great deal of national media attention, with previously reported features in the Daily Mail, TES, and an interview with Talk Radio Europe. To follow on from that, Andrew’s work with children’s sleep at Winton Primary School will feature on ITV Daybreak on Thursday November 1st, as part of a series that the channel is showing across the week. It is due to be aired at around 6.50am. While Andrew welcomes the media attention, he hopes that this will help publicise his ambition to develop a professional online resource for children’s sleep, working in collaboration with some of the leading UK sleep charities.

Intranasal inhalation of oxytocin improves eye-witness identification: RDF grant report

In 2011 myself and Ben Parris from the Psychology Research Centre were awarded a small RDF grant to investigate whether intranasal inhalation of the hormone oxytocin can improve eye-witness identification.  We designed an experiment where participants viewed a short video-clip of a perpetrator stealing a wallet from someone’s bag.  Participants then inhaled either an oxytocin or placebo nasal spray, and after a 45 minute interval to allow central oxytocin levels to plateau, were presented with a line-up of ten faces from which they had to either select the perpetrator or state that he was absent.  To date we have tested 70 participants and found a facilitation in the oxytocin condition.  In a second experiment, we asked participants to complete the ‘One-in-Ten’ task, a test of spontaneous eye-witness memory that has been well-used in previous work.  Again, we found a clear facilitation in performance in the oxytocin condition.

These findings follow recent work that has demonstrated that oxytocin can improve face recognition performance in standard cognitive tasks in lab-based settings.  In addition, work from our lab is currently under review for publication demonstrating that oxytocin can improve face recognition in individuals with prosopagnosia (face blindness).  This RDF grant has therefore given us the funding to carry out key investigations demonstrating novel applications of oxytocin inhalation in more applied settings.

I also presented findings from the oxytocin project at the April meeting of the Experimental Psychological Society, and was delighted to meet Dr Markus Bindemann from the University of Kent who is something of an expert in eye-witness identification.  We are now collaborating with Markus, and have plans to develop a bid to the Leverhulme Trust on the back of the publications that we hope will result from these investigations.  We are also about to welcome a new PhD student to our lab, who will be further developing the forensic aspect of this work in more real-world national security settings.

The pump-priming that was made available to us via the RDF scheme has provided us with the opportunity to collect the initial data and publication basis that we need to develop a large external bid, and we hope that this is the beginning of a fruitful line of research for our laboratory.

Reducing sleep problems in children – BU’s Dr Andrew Mayers’ research features in the TES

Over the past couple of years BU’s Dr Andrew Mayers in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing, has been working with Bouremouth primary schools to try and reduce sleep problems in school children. Working in schools, sleep is probably the most common problem that is reported by teachers, head-teachers and staff, and Andrew stresses the importance of all children receiving enough sleep to prevent adverse effects on their education and health. He is currently studying the effects of CBD Gummies For Sleep after school staff noticed pupils were struggling to get through the day without falling asleep.

Andrew is currently exploring the possibility of conducting studies that examine the mental health and well-being of children, including how poor sleep affects their emotional, cognitive, social and educational development. He hopes the outcomes will help to offer a clearer understanding of the implications of sleep deprivation in children.

You can read the full TES article here: Can’t sleep, won’t sleep (published 27 July 2012).

Andrew’s research also featured in the Daily Mail: Parents offered ‘get your child to sleep’ classes as pupils turn up to lessons too tired (published 27 July 2012).

Andrew’s website is available here: http://andrewmayers.info/

Find out about the ‘Wayfinding & Spatial Cognition’ Lab in Psychology

Successful spatial navigating is one of the most fundamental behavioural problems and requires complex cognitive operations. To navigate in both familiar and unfamiliar environments, we need to monitor various internal and external cues, build, access, and update mental representations of space, plan and execute movements. In the Wayfinding & Spatial Cognition Lab we conduct research into the psychological processes underlying navigation and wayfinding behaviour addressing both fundamental and applied research questions. We make use of a variety of methods including behavioural navigation experiments, virtual reality techniques, static and mobile eye-tracking and cognitive modelling.

Click on image to see a short video of our virtual reality setup that we now combined with a head mounted (mobile) eye-tracker. This allows us to study visual attention across a large field of view while participants solve navigation tasks in highly controlled virtual environments that are build to exactly match the experimental demands.

The “Wayfinding & Spatial Cognition Lab” is currently involved in a number of fundamental and applied research projects:-





  • We just received funding from “Army of Angels” and the BU Foundation to start an exciting new project investigating the relationship between PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and navigation.


Dr. Jan Wiener in the Psychology Research Centre leads the “Wayfinding and Spatial Cognition” lab. For more information about our projects, the team, and our publications, please visit our lab page at www.spatial-cognition.org. You can also follow us on Twitter.

We are always eager to discuss new project ideas and collaborations, so please get in contact by dropping me an email: jwiener@bournemouth.ac.uk

DEC are awarded funding for an industry visiting professor from the Royal Academy of Engineering!

Dr Tania Humphries-Smith has successfully bid to the Royal Academy of Engineering for an industry visiting professor. This  project will fund a Visiting Professor in Employer Engagement (£80K)  and will last for four years. The RAE Visiting Professor is Simon Vaitkevicius, an engineer with over 15 years of experience working globally for Nokia. The VP will be an important element in enabling the Design and Engineering group with the School of DEC to develop exceptional levels of real-world learning opportunities.

The role of the VP will be comprised of a number of activities:

  • Broker relationships between BU and new industrial enterprises for the purpose of – providing ‘live’ undergraduate projects both for 1st and 2nd year entire cohort project briefs and for final year individual project briefs; providing potential masters level ‘live’ research projects and for developing proposals for match funded PhD projects.
  • Deliver lectures and presentations to undergraduate and postgraduate students on current industrial practice particularly with respect to the innovation process and developing a better understanding of innovation and the process of taking a product to market.
  • Broker relationships with industrial enterprises for the purpose of engaging external industry based speakers for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
  • Help identify potential research and consultancy services needed by local SMEs.
  • Provide input from an industrial practice perspective, particularly with respect to ensuring currency of practice for the review of all courses in the Design and Engineering group scheduled for academic year 2013/14.
  • Provide business guidance and support for students seeking to exploit innovative ideas, including, promoting and mentoring undergraduate and postgraduate students for the Innovation Hothouse http://theinnovationhothouse.net/.

This is fantastic news and will significantly support the Design and Engineering group to achieve Fusion between education, research and professional practice. Congratulations, Tania!

The impact of sustainable tribology

I authored a paper with colleagues from the General Engineering (Unit of Assessment 15), including Prof. M. Hadfield, Dr. B. Thomas, S. Martinez Noya, and our research sponsors Mr. I. Hensaw (Energetix Group PLC) and Mr. S. Austen (RNLI). The publication is titled “Future Perspectives on Sustainable Tribology” and was submitted to Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Journal. It has recently been accepted (22 Feb 2012) for publication. The article is the result of a two-month support for impact (REF) exercise which took place last summer (June-July 2011) and was sponsored by the Research Development Unit (R&KEO) of Bournemouth University.

The interesting fact about the article is that the particular journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews has an impact factor of 5.367 (last five years) and is 9th out of 2009 Engineering Journals Worldwide (according to 2011 impact factor rankings) while its overall Ranking Worldwide among any Journal Indexed on Scopus is 268 out of 18854 Journals.

I would like to post this success on the Research Blog in order to show that support for impact at least in my case was worthwhile as it triggered my interest to write this “impact” paper with colleagues from Sustainable Design Research Centre (SDRC). The paper highlights the future perspectives of Sustainable Tribology by examining the economic, environmental and social impact of three tribological case studies worldwide. Each case study highlights one aspect of a number of ongoing interlinking research strands developed by the SDRC at Bournemouth University. The importance of Environmental Engineering through Sustainable Tribology solutions in our epoch is emphasized, showing that sustainability can be achieved to a significant extent through effective sustainable and environmental friendly engineering solutions, stimulating sustainable development and providing stability to our world embracing an anthropocentric and viable growth to our societies through effective sustainable solutions (figure 1).

To conclude, I would like to thank all the co-authors for their valuable help and contribution to the specific article while I would also like to express my regards to Prof. Mark Hadfield for the position he offered to me as a research assistant for REF support during that period and for his valuable guidance. I strongly believe it was a really beneficial project for myself as well as for Bournemouth University.



Using computational intelligence to develop predictive modelling that benefits organisations

Watch this excellent short video from BU’s Professor Bodgan Gabrys on the Computer Intelligence EU grant (INFER project) used to develop predictive modelling that’s applicable to multiple industries.

To see other BU videos on YouTube go to the BU YouTube page!