The Engineers Without Borders award-winning Engineering for People Design Challenge prepares students, the engineers of the future, to become globally responsible engineers. This year, a team from UWE Bristol made the finals, as Maryam Lamere tells us in this guest post.
I am really proud of our L1 students who took part in the Engineering for People Design Challenge last week.
This year, 6500 students from Universities across the UK took part in the challenge organised by EWB-UK. Fewer than 200 got through to the Grand Finals. The UWE team (Amelie, Marwan, Liberty, Conrad, Caner and Nicholas) were amongst the talented few. They presented their PEEPOWER inspired solution with much enthusiasm.
The judging panel particularly gave good feedback on UWE integrating high impact research (innovative PEEPOWER technology) into undergraduate teaching. Students were introduced to the technology by Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos and Dr Tosin Obata of the Bristol BioEnergy Centre at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.
The students very much enjoyed their experience in London at the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Well done to them for doing
On Tuesday 21st May an autonomous vehicle was used by older people around the St Monica Trust’s Cote Lane retirement village, bringing a world-leading research project to a close.
The £5.5M project, “Flourish”, is delivered by a consortium of organisations including UWE Bristol and is the only Innovate UK funded project focused on older people. Launched in 2016, the project aims to develop a driverless vehicle integrating older people’s mobility needs with a secure and connected infrastructure.
The project works across three specialist areas at UWE Bristol, including the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. The demonstration explored how driverless vehicles, known as CAVs (connected and autonomous vehicles) could make a difference to older people’s everyday lives.
More information is available through UWE Bristol news.
Professor Alan Winfield will be starting a new five year EPSRC funded project with Professor Marina Jirotka (University of Oxford), staging mock human-robot accidents in order to deeply explore the problem of robot accident investigation and develop both technical (i.e. data logging and explainer systems) and process solutions (i.e. frameworks for how to responsibly conduct such investigations).
The team will explore three scenarios, likely to be: assisted living (care) robots; robot toys and Autonomous Vehicles – with human volunteers role playing as the subject of, witnesses to, and the investigators of the accident. Alan believes this will be the first research project in the world to fully and systematically study this important aspect of real world robotics.
After being interviewed last month, Dr Appolinaire Etoundi, Senior Lecturer in Mechatronics from Bristol Robotics Laboratory has been featured on a BBC Radio 4 programme, and gained other media attention. His work using AI to improve prosthetics was featured in Business Insider. Appolinaire’s robotics were also displayed in a Bristol Museum exhibit related to Leonardo Da Vinci’s robotics.
The Great Science Share is a national event nurturing children’s natural curiosity by encouraging them to share their original science investigations with scientists, with the regional Bristol and Bath event taking place at UWE Bristol in June:
10 am – 2 pm
Filton Road, UWE Bristol
Scientists and engineers are invited to attend, to find out what local children aged 8 – 13 have come up with, and to inspire participants with their research, demos and cutting-edge technology.
To bring an outreach activity, please email email@example.com. Further information about what schools will be bringing can be found on the Curiosity Connections website.
Please contact Louisa Cockbill for more information and feel free to pass on to anyone you think would be interested.
In this guest post, Katie Winkle of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory tells us about an opportunity to get involved in her exciting research.
I’m going to be
running an ambitious (and exciting!) research study over the summer
period and am putting out a first call for participants. This will be my
final big study as a PhD student and brings together all of my previous work to
date – some of you may have taken part in my previous experiments e.g. doing
wrist turns with Pepper or arm exercises with the NAO robot. I would really
appreciate it if you would consider taking part and/or share with friends
and family etc. who may be interested.
We will be installing a Pepper robot (picture below from one of my previous studies) in the Wallscourt Gym here on campus and using it to guide people through the NHS designed ‘Couch to 5k’ programme (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-running-with-couch-to-5k/) designed to help people work up to running 5 km. Over the course of the programme, we will be investigating the use of supervised machine learning to have a human fitness instructor train the robot on how to be an encouraging ‘coach’.
The programme is
made up of 3x ~30 minute exercise sessions per week over 9 weeks – so
participants should be available and able to visit campus over the summer
period (approx.3rd June up until 18thAugustbut there
is time built in for participants to take a week or two off for holidays etc. We
will make the robot and exercise instructor available at set times each week
and set-up an online booking system for participants to choose slots from. One
reason for starting to recruit now is so that we can make sure these time
slots work for as many people as possible.
An initial information sheet is attached above, but essentially we are looking for participants who are:
– over 18, fluent
in English, with no health conditions that might prevent engaging in the
Couch to 5K programme
available and able to attend 3x ~30 minute weekly exercise sessions
at the Wallscourt Gym on Frenchay Campus from early June
– interested in
signing up for a long-term exercise programme to get running!
If you are interested in taking part please drop me an email and/or go ahead and complete this poll to give an idea of what day/times you might be available to work out! https://forms.gle/PG7zjHA1DVBqUmEx9
As part of the Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol’s new module, Engineering in the Community, students on one project are working to design new thermal insulation materials to help compost heaps work better.
This Group Project Challenge aims to set some real-world challenges for the engineering students on our Postgraduate Diploma course. The students are now working in groups to come up with design solutions to a community problem to make a difference in the local area. The improvements to composts bins are being carried out for Incredible Edible at Speedwell allotments.
The module provides a broad comprehension of the competencies and social responsibilities required for ‘engineering citizenship’ in order to be a professional engineer. It introduces the wider social considerations needed to enact Corporate Social Responsibility in the modern engineering industry.
Each group has been given an engineering challenge for which they have to develop a socially acceptable solution for their assigned community group. They are learning about a variety of engagement strategies utilised by professional organisations and Chartered Engineers, as well as the variety of audiences with which these skills can be practised and explored.
Engineers also need to recognise and value the need for them to work effectively with both modern technologies and people in their social or organisational contexts – a hybrid challenge employing engineering ideas in practice.
We have 15 engineers out in the community (12 engineers from Airbus, two from Babcock and one from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)). They are working with four community groups across five projects; as well this project improving composting for Incredible Edible community gardens there are also teams working on:
The development of technology is accelerating in many fields and affecting multiple aspects of our day-to-day lives. Meanwhile, both AI and universities are black boxes, but they don’t need to be. A series of four workshops aimed at mutual learning, networking and grant writing aimed at researchers interested in emerging technologies are to be held at UWE Bristol.
Please contact Aleksandra (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mehdi (email@example.com) for more information.
There’s still time to sign up for two FREE events, hosted by UWE at the Bristol and Bath Science Park tomorrow (please note the change of venue; these events were originally scheduled to be held at UWE):
Women Like Me – Boosting mentoring for women in STEM in the West of England
Wednesday 3rd April, 12:00-14:00
This event brings together our leading players in women’s mentoring across the West of England, to explore how we can support each other and learn from best practice. Organised by UWE Bristol’s Women Like Me project for engineering mentoring, the network also connects with Women in Science and Engineering Bristol, the Women’s Engineering Society centenary and Curiosity Connections Bristol.
Extraordinary Women in Engineering: A WES Wikithon – UWE Bristol
Wednesday 3rd April: Training 09:30-10:00 | Wikithon drop in 10:00-14:00
Come and join us to develop your digital skills and learn more about editing Wikipedia. Help to celebrate brilliant women engineers by creating and improving their pages on the world’s favourite online historical record.
Complete beginners and experienced editors, all are welcome to attend – we’ll provide training for anyone new to editing. If you already have some wiki editing experience, we can help you improve your skills and learn a few new tricks. If you’ve spotted an article that needs improving, bring along your queries and we’ll see what we can do to help. Suggestions for articles to improve and create will also be provided, along with research resources.
On 22nd March , Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, toured Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) and the University Enterprise Zone (UEZ) as part of a visit to UWE Bristol.
He received a guided tour of the UEZ and a tour of the Assisted Robotics Laboratory, Nuclear Decommissioning Suite and Driverless Car Workshop and Simulator.
Read more on the UWE Bristol news page.