Headline speaker synopsis

With the recent COP26 held in Glasgow, sustainability and climate adaption is on everyone’s minds. The main outcome of this has been an agreement to strengthen 2030 targets by the end of 2022.

This February’s Turing Talk will discuss the role of the Internet of Things, specifically sensor-based technologies, in both providing data to better understand resource usage for optimization and reduction, as well as providing ground truths to track those targets are being met.

To do this this technology needs to be embedded in our transport, our factories, our homes even, and with this brings a new set of challenges around privacy and security.

Indeed, such systems are core to building the Digital Twins that drive decision making, but what happens when such systems go wrong?

Join us when we welcome Prof. Julie A. McCann, Professor of Computer Systems, Imperial College London, to explore this and potential solutions to such scenarios and illustrate where the technologies are heading with a future look.

Read our interview with Julie: What are smart cities and how will they work?

Insight speaker (Belfast) synopsis

Digital Twins: Engines for Sustainable Future Growth
While computer modelling is as old as computing itself, technologies that have come to their fruition in just the last few years (including IoT, advanced networking, scalable AI, advanced networking, and immersive technologies) have made Digital Twins of complex physical systems possible.

This opens enormous possibilities for more sustainable, resilient, and efficient design and operations across numerous sectors, from energy to manufacturing to agriculture, and more. However, there are substantial barriers to both adoption and innovation in Digital Twins.

This talk will discuss the promise and problems of Digital Twins, and introduce the Design Smarter Digital Twin centre, a collaboration between DC, Northern Ireland universities and industry partners such as Thales and Artemis, that will attempt to overcome barriers and lower the time, cost, and risks of Digital Twin technology, building a unique national capability for Northern Ireland.

About the speakers

Headline speaker:
Prof. Julie A. McCann, Professor of Computer Systems, Department of Computing - Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London

McCann’s body of practical work unifies decentralised algorithms, protocols, cross-layer, dynamical solutions, with a particular focus on low-powered, low-resourced devices that can act as modern wireless sensor-based systems or future smart dust.

She applies this to Space, Agri and Infrastructure Engineering challenges (encompassing the Internet of Things and Cyber-physical systems). Her interests lie in harnessing the various interactions between the cyber and physical to improve performance, resilience and to make secure.

Insights speaker (London):
Eneni Bambara-Abban, Robotics Engineers and STEM Communicator

Eneni Bambara-Abban is a Multi Award-Winning Robotics Engineer and STEM Communicator. She founded The Techover Foundation, an international NGO that focuses on encouraging, educating and supporting individuals from underserved communities into technology. Her most recent outreach program includes teaching girls from Rural Nigeria how to build their first robot through sustainable and renewable materials, which was sponsored by accredited engineering organisation, Arduino.

She has worked in multiple technology sectors from developing algorithms for self-driving cars to data analysis and optimization for some of the biggest gaming apps in the World. She currently works as a Product Owner for an E-commerce Tech Startup based in Ghana whilst on a Scholarship Post-Graduate degree in Data Science at The University of the West of England.

Insights speaker (Belfast):
Dr Robert Smith PhD FRSA - Head of Technology for AI/ML at Digital Catapult

Dr Robert Smith PhD FRSA is the Head of Technology for AI/ML at Digital Catapult, an organization charged with accelerating the early adoption of advanced technology for the benefit of the UK. Dr. Smith is a technologist, complexity scientist, entrepreneur, writer, and sought-after public speaker. He has worked with clients, companies, and institutions across the private and public sectors.

Dr. Smith has authored over 100 academic papers on complex-systems-based artificial intelligence and knowledge representation, and numerous articles in the popular press. He has conducted research and development projects for all branches of the US military, Los Alamos National and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, NASA, Boeing, NSF, EPSRC, The European Union, DERA, British Aerospace, Airbus, British Telecom, The Bank of England, The UK Competitive Market Authority, and others.

He is a former Associate Editor of The IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation and the journal Evolutionary Computation. He is the author of Rage Inside the Machine, which was shortlisted for UK Best Business Book of 2020. He is a Founding Trustee of We and AI, an NGO dedicated to improving AI’s effects on society.

He is a Senior Fellow of the Computer Science Faculty at University College London where he co-founded the Centre for Decision-Making Uncertainty. He also co-founded and co-created BOXARR Ltd., a company whose Digital Twin technology has been used globally by Blue Chip Companies to help people cope with some of the world’s most complex industrial challenges.

Julie McCann

Eneni Bambara-Abban

Robert Smith