October 2011: Dr David Grace, Head of the Communications Research Group, has been made a Guest Professor at Zhejiang University, China, which is similar to the Honorary Visiting Professor that is awarded at York. This was awarded to him recently in a simple ceremony at Zhejiang by the Dean of Faculty, having been signed into force by the Zhejiang President. With this position it should enable him to further strengthen the deep collaboration we have with Zhejiang University via the joint lab on 'Cognitive Radio and Green Communications'. Professor Honggang Zhang, his opposite number at Zhejiang, was made Honorary Visiting Professor at York last year.
July 2011: Professor Andy Marvin, leader of the Physical Layer Research Group and one of the first academics appointed to the Department of Electronics at York has been elected to receive the prestigious honour of a fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering. The citation in particular mentioned his distinguished academic career; his founding and directorship of the world-renowned EMC company, York EMC Services Ltd; his commitment to continuing professional education initiatives, and leadership in international standardisation activities.
This award is the second honour Andy Marvin has received recently, following his election to the rank of fellow of the IEEE in November last year.
June 2011: This month we are proud to co-host the JSPS York-Tohoku Research Symposium on Magnetic Materials and Spintronics, with the keynote Cantor Nanoscience Lecture given by Prof. Hideo Ohno of Tohoku University. The symposium has been jointly organised by Atsufumi Hirohata of York and Prof. Koki Takanashi of Tohoku. Spintronics is one of the most important emerging fields in condensed matter physics and the technology has been extensively applied to magnetic recording in hard disk drives. In spintronics, Japan has a leading position in device fabrication, whereas the UK leads in characterisation and modelling. The symposium will offer an opportunity for U.K. and Japanese researchers to access the latest research results, and discuss their work with other world-leading workers.
June 2011: The best paper award of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference 2011-Spring (VTC 2011-Spring) in the area of Signal Processing for Wireless Communications was awarded to Sheng Li and Rodrigo de Lamare from the Communications Research Group at York, for their paper entitled "Blind Reduced-Rank Receiver with Column Adaptation for DS-UWB Systems Based on Joint Iterative Optimization and the CCM Criterion". VTC is the foremost event in the area of mobile and wireless communications of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and attracted over 1200 submission this year. This paper is part of the PhD dissertation of Sheng Li who was also awarded the Kathleen M. Stott Prize for excellence in research in 2010. The dissertation was supervised by Rodrigo de Lamare.
May 2011: Jez Wells from the Audio Lab at York has recently won a fellowship to study the role of engineering in music production. The research will be funded by a grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering under their Ingenious scheme, which has been designed to make engineering more accessible to the public. In a unique collaboration, Jez will be working with sociologist David Beer to discover how people relate to the sound recording industry, and explore the relationship between music technology, audio engineering in particular as applied to music, and other forms of engineering.
May 2011: The Evostar award, given for Outstanding Contribution to Evolutionary Computation in Europe, has been awarded to Julian Miller of the Intelligent Systems Research Group at the Department of Electronics at York. The Evostar group of conferences and workshops is held annually, and is the main event in European research in evolutionary computation. The annual award has been presented since 2005, and is decided by vote of the Evostar organising board. This year's conference was held in Turin, Italy, on 27-29th April.
May 2011: This month, the Guardian newspaper published its annual guide to universities in the UK, including league tables for each subject. Once again, the Department of Electronics at York was ranked in the top ten, this year rated 8th out of the 62 departments listed under "Engineering: Electronic and Electrical". In the important category "satisfied with teaching" the department did even better, being rated as number four in the country. We are very pleased with this result, it is another validation of the work we put into all of our courses.
May 2011: The Department of Electronics has recently been recognised by the award of three Silver Awards in the new Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Achievement at the University of York. These awards are a new initiative by the University to encourage and recognise some of the outstanding individuals working here.
The award winners from the department are David Grace, who received his award for his work in the establishment of sustained research partnerships notably the WUN Cognitive Communications Consortium and the York-Zhejiang Lab for Cognitive Communications and Green Radio; Yongbing Xu, in recognition of his promotion of York internationally and forming strategic partnerships including initiating the Nanjing-York Joint Center and the WUN spintronics consortium; and Helen Ayre, Tim Clarke, Andy Hunt and Paul Mitchell for instigating, championing, and realizing policies, processes and relationships that have allowed the Department of Electronics to achieve sustained excellence in student experience.
February 2011: Aglaia Foteinou, a PhD researcher in the Audio Lab, has been selected to present a poster related to her research at the Set for Britain Awards at the House of Commons on Monday 14th March. Her work is entitled 'Virtual Acoustic Reconstruction of Heritage Sites', and attempts to answer such questions as: what did it sound like to stand within Stonehenge when it had just been built?
Various methods can be applied for measuring and reproducing the sound of existing spaces, and these methods can also be used to predict the behaviour of modern buildings at the design stage. However, when a space no longer exists or exists only in part, the accuracy of these techniques cannot be verified. The aim of Aglaia's work is to explore how the accurate virtual reconstruction of the acoustics of a historical space might be attempted. The initial stages of this project involved taking acoustic measurements in an actual medieval English church - St. Patrick's in Patrington, Humberside - and comparing the results with those obtained from an acoustic reconstruction of the building using a 3D computer model. Based on these results recommendations can be made for optimizing these computer models.
February 2011: We are pleased to announce that a team from the Intelligent Systems group is part of a new European funded project focussed on the development of cognitive swarm robotic systems. The project, CoCoRo (Cognitive Collective Robotics) aims at creating a swarm of interacting, cognitive, autonomous robots. It will develop a swarm of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that are able to interact with each other and which can balance tasks (interactions between/within swarms).
These tasks are: ecological monitoring, searching, maintaining, exploring and harvesting resources in underwater habitats. The project is led by the Artificial Life laboratory at the University of Graz in Austria, with other members of the consortium being the University of York, University of Stuttgart (Germany), UniversitÃ© Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Italy. The York team is led by Prof Jon Timmis and Prof Andy Tyrrell and will begin in April 2011 and last for 3 years.