New touch screen technology beats the ‘dragons’ to win ICT pioneer award

29 March 2011

Elevator pitchFrom over 80 competition entries, 20 shortlisted research projects impressed everyone at an awards ceremony hosted by EPSRC and IBM and sponsored by BCS.

The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) began the search for the next UK ICT pioneer to join the likes of Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage and Sir Tim Berners-Lee with the launch of a competition to recognise some of the exceptional UK PhD students in ICT-related topics.

Director of the BCS Academy of Computing, Bill Mitchell, along with representatives from the other competition sponsors (HP, ARM, Imagination Technologies and the IET), took part in judging the finalists, who were shortlisted for their innovative research that could also be a driver for economic growth.

Entries were split by categories:

  • Technology Everywhere
    Winner: Zdenek Kalal, University of Surrey, for his smart camera that learns from experience by addressing challenges in visual tracking.
  • Innovation for Sustainability
    Winner: Jens Christensen, University of Cambridge, for his research into acoustic pulse recognition as a new approach to touch screen technology.
  • Transforming Society
    Winner: Tom Kelly, University of Glasgow, for his ‘City Sculpt’ project that develops a procedural modelling system for use in architecture.
  • Information Overload
    Winner: Behrad Gholipour, University of Southampton, for his research into chalcogenides for the future, taking us beyond the limits of the silicon chip.
  • Connected World
    Winner: Sithamparanthan Sabesan, the University of Cambridge, for a low-cost ubiquitous passive radio frequency identification real time location sensing system.

The winner from each category then took part in a ‘live’ elevator pitch – a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch to the judges, with only a couple of minutes to sell their idea and deal with tough questioning from the panel.

The overall winner was Jens Christensen.

Read more from EPSRC