The Centre for Machine Vision working on Detection for Early signs of Digital Dermatitis Lesions and Lameness Within Dairy Cattle

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UWE Bristol’s Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) are the academic partner on an innovative project with Hoofcount to detect early signs of digital dermatitis lesions and lameness within dairy cattle.

Hoofcount is a 10-year-old family business, focusing on how to keep cows’ hoofs clean and healthy. The project is aimed at using machine vision to develop an early detection lameness monitoring system. It has won funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme, for feasibility studies combining innovation with research and collaboration with farmers and growers.

Hoof health is a prevalent issue in agriculture, particularly in the dairy industry, as it is one of the main factors leading to poor milk production. Dairy cows are susceptible to a range of hoof issues including Digital dermatitis, sole ulcers, white line disease and overgrown hooves. These generally show a visual change in the underside and back of the hoof. These issues can develop initially without the animal showing visual signs in its gait.

John Hardiman, Software Engineer at Hoofcount explained:

“Lameness is a key issue in dairy herds, with conservative estimates of 25% of dairy cattle suffering from lameness and each lame cow costing more than £300 in loss of production and treatment. The Hoofcount footbath is trusted and recommended by farmers vets and hoof trimmers internationally as they are seeing a continuous fall in lameness on farms using the Hoofcount Automatic Footbath.”

Detecting and treating these issues at an early stage is beneficial to the animal in keeping the hooves healthy and preventing severe lameness which leads to a lower production, increased veterinary and treatment costs, reduced animal welfare, a higher Carbon footprint, and many other issues.

Developing a system that can visualise these changes daily and detect any potential issues early will be of huge benefit to the national herd. Utilising computer vision and machine learning is Hoofcount’s preferred method for monitoring and detecting these issues.

“Collaboration with farmers is core to Hoofcount’s continued innovation and leading reputation in reliable foot-bathing for heard hoof health. Agri-EPI Centre has bolstered our collaboration, with the introduction of The Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) at UWE Bristol and successful application for Innovate UK funding (IUK). CMV has a track record of successful computer vision within agriculture. Agri-EPI has been instrumental in the project funding application and continues to support the project organisation with its network of research farms.”

“As with our automatic footbaths, we know that we will never get rid of Digital dermatitis and hoof health issues completely, however we want to do everything we can to minimise the effects of them and reduce the spread.”

Agri-EPI’s Head of Dairy, Duncan Forbes said:

“This is a great example of the sort of practical collaborations we seek to create, bringing together innovative companies like Hoofcount with leading research experts like the team at CMV at UWE Bristol. Early detection of lameness is vital to meeting the challenge of delivering a substantial reduction in lameness prevalence in dairy herds. UK milk producers will very much welcome the benefits to cow welfare and cost reduction that this emerging technical solution will deliver.”

Wenhao Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Machine Vision at UWE Bristol commented:

“Unique challenges arising from a realistic environment, such as a farm, are often underestimated when developing machine vision solutions to real-world problems. The large set of uncontrollable and dynamic variables in complex scenes cannot be tackled by simply applying tweaks to existing offerings.

Development of on-farm technology needs to be driven by fundamental research examining practical constraints in a bespoke way, in order to produce an innovative approach that is reliable, robust, and practicable. In this project, to solve the problem of object detection and classification ‘in the wild’, the opportunity to co-create this technology with different stakeholders and to informed design choices with the best farming practices and a wealth of inter-disciplinary knowledge is truly invaluable.”

The Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) is part of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. They solve real-world practical computer vision problems. Their particular excellence lies in three-dimensional reconstruction and surface inspection.

Centre for Print Research IMPACT 12 multidisciplinary printmaking conference

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In September 2022, the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) hosted IMPACT 12 multidisciplinary printmaking conference, The Printmakers’ Voice.

IMPACT stands for ‘International Multi-disciplinary Printmaking, Artists, Concepts and Techniques’. Over the past two decades IMPACT has evolved as Europe’s leading academic discourse on printmaking. Printmaking is now integral to the wider academic debate, through practice, theory, visual culture, and is studied across a range of programmes, from undergraduate to PhD around the world.

The hybrid event hosted online and in Bristol city centre aimed to have a therapeutic function, enabling attendees to listen to voices of other artists as well as sharing their own experiences.

The conference focused on six key themes:

  • Post-pandemic Voice
  • Touching and Touched
  • Printability and transmutability
  • The Printmakers’ Garden
  • Breaking Boundaries
  • Merging and Metamorphosis

The conference was attended by over 290 in-person delegates and over 100 online delegates. 41 Countries were represented by delegates at the event including participants from Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong and Australia.

Across our campuses and Bristol City Centre locations there were 120 solo and group exhibitions, private view events across the 3 days, and 17 virtual exhibitions. There were 3 key notes as well as 30 panels sessions across the event.

Experience the conference for yourself with the following videos:

Carinna Parraman, chair of Impact and director of the CFPR said, “The conference was an extraordinary coming together of printmakers across the globe – both in person and online. It was a great opportunity to listen to each other’s voices again by sharing and discussing ideas, seeing new works of art and curated exhibitions, and experiencing the richness and diversity of printmaking. It could not have happened without the effort and imagination of the CFPR team and the contribution made by the artists and delegates. Congratulations to all involved in this wonderful event.”

View all the recordings from the event.

For those of you who enjoy the detailed data here are the numbers:

At IMPACT there were 293 in-person registrations, 111 online registrations, of which 41 Countries were represented: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Iceland, India,  Italy, Ireland, Japan, Macau, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Namibia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands and Wales. 

  • 120 solo and group exhibitions, 
  • 5 curated exhibitions, 
  • 3 keynote exhibitions, 
  • 17 virtual exhibitions, 
  • 3 keynote presentations, 
  • 30 panel sessions, 
  • 1 kick-off procession

The on-line REMO platform

  • Lecture Theatre 1 was live for the full duration of the event (4 days). On average users spent around 441 minutes/7.3 hours on the platform. 1340 minutes/22.3 hours of broadcasting. 217 chat messages were sent. 90 clap Remojis were used.
  • Lecture Theatre 2 was live for the full duration of the event (4 days) through 3 links, Friday, Saturday Morning and Saturday Afternoon. On average users spent around 356 minutes/6 hours on the platform. 505 minutes/8.4 hours of broadcasting. 124 chat messages were sent. 43 clap Remojis were used.
  • The Garden was live for socialising for the full duration of the event (4 days). On average users spent around 54 minutes on the platform. 27 minutes of broadcasting (Picnic Talks). 19 users (15) viewed Yoga.
  • The Gallery was live for the full duration of the event (4 days) and consisted of 3 rooms of 23 virtual exhibitions and links to the Summer of Print and Books digital content. On average users spent around 82 minutes on the platforms. 32 minutes of broadcasting (Exhibition Walks). 

Future Textiles Conference 2023

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Image: Conference speakers.

Bristol and online, 28 February – 2 March 2023

The Centre for Print Research (CFPR) is excited to announce the Future Textiles Conference 2023, Bristol and Online, 28 February – 2 March 2023, focusing on Future Clothing for the Next Generation.

Textiles are so ubiquitous, yet their functions have not been changed much since the dawn of civilization. Additionally, textiles have received widespread attention as a versatile platform in recent years for future wearable electronics applications. However, they are still far from the requirements of modern-day electronics.

The global textile industry is also often cited as the second most polluting industry after oil, responsible for ~8-10% of global CO2 emission, ~20% water pollution and ~35% microplastic pollution.

Therefore, radically new approaches are needed at both materials and manufacturing level to transform textiles into highly innovative, sustainable, and intelligent clothing.

Sustainable clothing research from Smart wearable e-textiles research from Graphene Application Laboratory at CFPR

This conference will provide a forum for collaborative discussions to address such key challenges at both academic and industry level to develop future clothing for the next generation and facilitate the rapid transition of such textiles from lab to market.

The conference key themes are:

  • New Materials for Textiles
  • Wearable Electronic Textiles (E-textiles)
  • Digital Manufacturing (Industry 4.0)  
  • Sustainable Textile Manufacturing 
  • Circular Economy  
  • Smart Functional Textiles  
  • Protective Medical Clothing 
Smart wearable e-textiles research from Graphene Application Laboratory at CFPR

The conference will have varied speakers from across the industry. Keynote speakers include Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov FRS from the National University of Singapore (NUS), who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 for isolating graphene at The University of Manchester in 2004.  He is an expert in condensed matter physics, mesoscopic physics, and nanotechnology. Every year since 2014, Kostya Novoselov has been included in the list of the most highly cited researchers in the world.

Other confirmed keynote speakers include Prof Stephen Russel and Prof Chris Carr from Leeds Institute for Textiles and Colour (LITAC), The university of Leeds, Prof Stephen Eichhorn from the University of Bristol, Prof Zijian Zheng from the Institute of Textile and Clothing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Mr James Baker CEng FIET FRSA, CEO- Graphene@manchester, the University of Manchester, Professor Melik Demirel from Penn State University, USA, Anne Marr from University Arts London (UAL), and Dr Jun Chen from UCLA.

On behalf of the organising team, I am delighted to welcome you all to the first international conference on future textiles. The global textiles industry is currently facing a number of challenges in terms of materials, manufacturing and sustainability.  Addressing these challenges, the Future Textiles Conference will provide us opportunity for collaborative discussions to propose strategies for next generation clothing which is smart and sustainable. We very much look forward to hearing from you about your exciting research around new materials, digital manufacturing and sustainability for future textiles.” says Dr Nazmul Karim, Conference Chair and Associate Professor at CFPR, UWE Bristol.

The first Future Textiles Conference is one of the key outcomes of £7.7M of funding from Research England for Expanding Excellence in England awarded to the Centre for Print Research, which has enabled us to build a brand new Graphene Application Laboratory, attracting a  world-leading group of scientists to UWE Bristol including academics, fellows and PhD students, investigating novel applications and related technologies deriving from new materials, including graphene and other graphene-like, two-dimensional materials.

Dr Shaila Afroj, Co-organiser of the conference, says “This conference is going to be a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the great academics and industry experts who are leading the future textile industry, bringing all the exciting functionalities into your everyday clothing, yet care very much about the beautiful earth we live in. Eagerly looking forward to see all the great minds buzzing with new ideas, exploring new collaboration and getting excited to talk about all the new innovation. Hope to see you there …

More information on the Future Textiles Conference.

Centre for Print Research Artist Residencies

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Image: IMPACT12 opening procession from City Hall Bristol, led by resident artists the State of Print with the Sambistas band.  

UWE Bristol’s Centre for Print Research (CFPR) presents a truly exciting opportunity for collaboration and the enrichment of the CFPR’s research activities.

Artists and designers will make a body of work that contributes to the CFPR archive and the editions portfolio. They will bring a curiosity and range of interests in areas such as fine art, print, product design, robotics, electronics, software, manufacturing, and materials science, encouraging new and productive research partnerships. As well as producing a body of work, resident artists will deliver a range of inspiring talks and participative sessions to our researchers and student community. 

Carinna Parraman, Director of CFPR commented:

“We had an amazing summer of residencies coinciding with the IMPACT 12 multidisciplinary printmaking conference. Resident artists the State of Print, Rodrigo Arteaga and Tracy Hill delivered fantastic keynote presentations, and we were able to employ interns from UWE’s Fine Art and Illustration undergraduate courses to support the artists.

We were very excited to collaborate on resident artist exhibitions with our city partners: the School of Art and Design, Arnolfini and Spike Print Studio, and look forward to working together more as the programme progresses.”

The current artists in residencies include:

Rodrigo Arteaga

Rodrigo is a Chilean artist who completed a MFA in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2018.  His practice is concerned with the complex relationship between nature, culture and representation. His interest in working across different areas of thought has led him to collaborate with specialists in fields such as Microbiology, Bio-Fabrication, Mycology, Natural History, Botany, and Architecture.

Rodrigo’s work at the exhibition Forest: Wake this Ground, Arnolfini, Bristol (2022)

State of Print

The State Of Print (SOP) is a proposition; it is an evolving visual declaration initiated by a collective of artists beguiled and amused at the catastrophe of current social and political thinking and the comedy of established systems of governance. The artists have therefore elected to cast adrift on a nonsense of their own (print)making—a makeshift non-geographical region built upon a fluid statute of ink and a constitutional raft of recycled cardboard. The intention has been to explore the current state of nations through the proposition that everything that formalises a nation state is printed – currency, maps, laws, passports, governance, news and information, cultures, doctrines and communications and so on.

Tracy Hill

Tracy Hill studied Fine Art at Bournville School of Art, Birmingham, Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Central Lancashire, Preston. She is the joint research lead of the Artlab Contemporary Print Studios at the University of Central Lancashire, which tests the relevance of printmaking in contemporary, mainstream art by innovation and expanding print practice through a process of continuing collaborative dialogues with artists. Her cross-disciplinary practice investigates and reconsiders the relationship between our developing digital capabilities and the aesthetics of the traditional hand created mark.

Tracy Hill Ephemeral Bodies Exhibition

Matt Smith

Matt explores how history is a constantly selected and refined narrative that presents itself as a fixed and accurate account of the past. Using techniques of institutional critique and artist intervention, his work investigates how museums can be reframed from an outsider, often LGBTQ, perspective by taking objects and repurposing them in new situations, or creating ‘lost objects’. Solo shows have included Queering the Museum (2010) at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Flux: Parian Unpacked (2018) at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Losing Venus (2020-2022) at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. In 2016 Matt was awarded an AHRC funded practice-based PhD from the University of Brighton exploring the intersection of contemporary art practice and queer identities. From 2017-2022 Matt was Professor of Craft at Konstfack University in Stockholm and in 2016 was artist-in-residence at the V&A where he explored how historic figurines could address questions of representation within the museum. His residency at the CFPR will build on this work.

View the full current artist residencies.

Centre for Print Research collaboration exhibited in New York  

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Image: © Do Ho Suh. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London. Photos by Daniel Kukla

A large-scale sculpture created in collaboration between the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) collaboration and artist Do Ho Suh is being exhibited in New York Lehmann Maupin Gallery. 

Do Ho Suh is a London based sculptor and installation artist, originally from South Korea. He also works across various other media, including drawing, photography, and film. Suh engages ideas of home, memory, psychic space, and displacement, drawing from his life experiences, including the homes he has lived in and the people he has met.  

Some of his works are currently on exhibition in the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York, one of the key pieces being the “Inverted Monument”, which was created in collaboration with the robotics team at UWE Bristol’s Centre for Print Research. The large-scale sculpture, which arose over the course of the pandemic, is made of extruded thermoplastic polyester, and was developed as part of an ongoing research project. The intricately rendered sculpture combines robotic and analogue techniques, drawing on generalised ideas of an “ideal” monument based on the lexicon of Western statuary and the power structures it upholds. The requisite commemorative figure is positioned upside down within the body of a classically proportioned pedestal, the top of the figure’s head touching its base. The viewer’s eye is redirected from the top of the pedestal to its bottom, turning the logic of the public monument upside down and challenging what and who we choose to elevate in civic spaces. 

Being a great admirer of Do Ho Suh’s art, Fabio D’Agnano, the project leader at the CFPR, is very happy to see the work installed in New York: “[…] it makes me proud to have collaborated with his studio and the CFPR team on this work.” He goes on to explain how the role of the artist is to push the limits and how the task of creating the piece was undoubtedly challenging: it required a lot of technical expertise, due to the non-traditional approach to 3D printing, which was based on a fully three-dimensional print and not on a combination of 2D slices, as usual. Creating the sculpture entailed many difficulties, particularly in the handling of supports during printing because of the enormous size of the object.  

What is more is that, along with the technical challenges, there is always the visual component that has to express the artist’s vision.   

The result speaks for itself: “Monument” is a visual and technical success as Fabio D’Agnano will testify: “This combination of craft and technology is the signature of the Centre for Print Research and what I am passionate about in my career, always balancing technology and creativity.” 

The Do Ho Suh exhibition will be on show until October 29, 2022 at Lehmann Maupin New York.  View the online exhibition.

New research network co-led by UWE Bristol to help agri-food industry reach net zero

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Adapted from this news release.

Dr Angelina Sanderson Bellamy, Associate Professor of Food Systems at UWE Bristol, is co-leading a network of researchers that has been funded to explore effective ways to support the industry to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and improve its environmental sustainability.

Angelina is working with Professor Tim Benton of the University of Leeds; Professor Sarah Bridle of the University of York; and Professor Neil Ward of the University of East Anglia to drive the network and bring together researchers, industry leaders, government and members of the public.

Almost a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the agri-food industry, according to the latest research. This provides the industry that is contributing to the problem, a chance to be part of the solution.

Dr Angelina Sanderson Bellamy said:

“This is a hugely important and exciting initiative, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to build a network to move the agrifood system towards net zero.

We are really pleased to have been able to bring together such an extensive network team around a shared vision and plan of action. The 2020s is the decade of action. The three-year period of this project will be absolutely critical for the decade and jump-starting coordinated research and action.”

The network is being funded by UK Research and Innovation and four of its research councils: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Read the full story.

UWE Bristol researchers develop new method to detect date rape drug in drinks

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UWE Bristol Researchers have developed a smartphone-based sensor for the determination of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB); a popular recreational drug. Its strong sedative and amnesic effects have led to drug-facilitated sexual assaults, poisonings, overdose, and even death, something widely reported in the news amidst a recent rise in cases of drink spiking incidents.

As a result, legislation has restricted its availability, leading to GHB consumers switching to its pro-drug, gamma-butyrolactone (GBL). A pro-drug is a medication or compound that, after administration, is metabolised into a pharmacologically active drug. There is a growing need for methods capable of determining GBL in complex samples such as beverages. It was shown possible to quantify both, GBL and GHB, using the camera of a smartphone to record images of the purple colour developed following simple chemistry.

A downloadable free App available from the Apple App Store (Color picker and helper, version 1.1.6) was used to extract the numerical values of the Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) colour components of the purple colour.  Using these values, it was possible to determine the concentration of the drugs present in fortified lager samples; indicating the method holds promise for the determination of both GBL and GHB in such drinks.

The findings were recently published in a paper:  Procida, A., & Honeychurch, K. C. (2022). Smartphone-based colorimetric determination of gamma-butyrolactone and gamma-hydroxybutyrate in alcoholic beverage samples. Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Copies are available via the UWE Repository at: https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/9282890

Applications open for Partnership PhD scheme

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UWE Bristol has recently announced another application round of its successful Partnership PhD programme.

A Partnership PhD bridges the gap between external organisations and university. It enables an organisation to gain access to cutting-edge real-world research that can help transform it.

The Partnership establishes a relationship between an organisation and UWE Bristol, based on a specific project that is mutually beneficial.

Organisations have the opportunity to choose a relevant research area and gain access to cutting-edge research. The researcher will work extensively with the organisation to provide a tailored piece of research.

In turn, the researcher will gain an opportunity to pursue their research in a real-world setting, developing transferable and interdisciplinary skills whilst gaining cross-sector experience.

Over the past two years, the Graduate School, part of the Research, Business and Innovation team at UWE Bristol, has been developing the Partnership PhD scheme. Through it, UWE’s investment in Post Graduate Research has been matched by over £1.5m from 40+ partner organisations.

Future application deadlines

  • ​1 October
  • 1 January
  • 1 April
  • 1 July

Email uwebusiness@uwe.ac.uk to find out more.

Please find below full Partnership PhD guidance, costings, useful information and the flyer for businesses:

See below for our slides for businesses:

Email uwebusiness@uwe.ac.uk to find out more.

Academic Spotlight – Dr Nazmul Karim

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Dr Karim is an Associate Professor at Centre for Print Research (CFPR), UWE Bristol, and currently leading a research team to investigate into graphene and other 2D materials-based technologies for developing next generation wearable electronic textiles, environmentally sustainable functional clothing, and fibre-reinforced composites. Prior to that, Dr. Karim was a Knowledge Exchange Fellow (graphene) at the National Graphene Institute of the University of Manchester. He has about 13 years of industry and academic experiences in graphene and textile-related technologies, and a passion for getting research out of the lab and into real world applications.

His current research interests include wearable electronic textiles (sensors, energy generating and storage devices), printed graphene and other 2D heterostructure-based electronics, sustainable and functional protective clothing, recycled materials-based textiles and composites, smart fibre-based composites and natural fibre composites.

Dr Karim is part of a group of world-leading scientists investigating novel applications and related technologies deriving from new materials, including graphene and other graphene-like, two-dimensional materials.

Their research spans wearable technologies, sustainable clothing and smart composites. They are researching the development of next generation wearable electronic textiles, that can generate and store energy, and continuously monitor vital medical signs, including body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. Despite their novelty, such textiles can be washed, worn and produced like any other piece of clothing.

By developing sustainable clothing from recycled plastics, their research is addressing one of society’s most pressing environmental issues: plastic pollution. They are also exploring how graphene could be used to create stronger, lighter, more sustainable composite materials with added functionalities. The potential applications of such composites are vast in number and could benefit a wide range of sectors such as transport and the environment.

Thus, their academic expertise could be applied for various industrial sectors including healthcare, textiles, advanced materials and composites.

To find out more and connect with Dr Karim visit LinkedIn

UWE Bristol Academic Spotlight: Mehmet Aydin, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science

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Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Working with Flexys to integrate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology within debt resolution software, to enable more effective management of debt resolution and improvement of customer relationships and retention.

Research Interests

Dr Mehmet Aydin is Senior Lecturer in Computer Science with long-standing experience in solving real-world problems using AI, machine learning and soft computing methods. He has led and taken part in numerous research and industrial projects involving data analysis and modelling and problem-solving aspects in supervisory, consultant and researcher capacities. His research resulted in a long-list of publications in internationally peer-reviewed and well-recognised journals and conferences, and the impact of his research can be evidenced with citation metrics.

He has conducted guest editorial of a number of special issues for internationally peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Production Research, European Journal of Industrial Engineering and International Journal of Fuzzy Systems. In addition to the membership of the advisory committee of many international conferences, he is associate editor and member of the editorial board of peer-reviewed international journals. He is currently a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, member of EPSRC Review College, member of The OR Society UK, ACM and IEEE.

Business/Sector Interests and a brief description of how your academic expertise could be practically applied for a business partner

Mehmet has experience of being the academic supervisor on two KTP projects.

One, still in progress, concerns data analysis and machine learning to understand customer behaviours in the area of debt management. The other, recently successfully completed, was with Lyons Davidson. This concerned the use of artificial intelligence for natural language processing and task-oriented dialogue management, creating automated systems for answering customer queries.

These, combined with his extensive experience of modern software development practices (for example, he is module leader for UWE’s final year module ‘Enterprise Systems Development’) provide him invaluable experience with project management and tools throughout the workplan. In particular his research experience and wide experience of formulating problems as learning tasks, then designing, implementing and evaluating machine learning-based solutions, give him the expertise needed to support collaborations.

For more information about Mehmet’s work please click here

For more information about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships click here

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