Late 2022 saw two separate recognitions in academia for class of 2017 Law graduate Dev Aditya, who was named as Brunel’s Alumnus of the Year in 2020 and has since returned to Brunel as a PhD researcher in Artificial Intelligence (AI) under the supervision of Professor Kate Hone, Head of the Department of Computer Science.
Dev Aditya was recognised as a Top 50 Global Student by the Global Student Prize; a highly prestigious award which saw over 7,000 global applications, with Dev Aditya one of only four students from the UK to have qualified. Prof Kate Hone, who had supported Dev Aditya’s application as his supervisor, shared her thoughts on his academic and entrepreneurial promise in a letter of support for his application, stating:
“Dev Aditya shows exceptional promise, both as a researcher and as an entrepreneur. He has already demonstrated an ability to secure grant funding from highly competitive sources and an ability to deliver projects with global reach. We fully expect this trajectory to continue and offer Dev our full support in developing his vision”
Separately, Dev Aditya was also selected for the prestigious Enrichment Scheme Studentship with The Alan Turing Institute; the premier AI institute in the UK. Typically awarded to PhD students who have completed at least the first year of their PhD or beyond, Dev Aditya was selected within the first 3-months into his PhD studies.
For both recognitions, Dev Aditya’s PhD research has played a central role, currently working to build an AI-driven virtual translator in the form of a humanlike avatar that could translate any spoken or written digital work - audio, video and text - into sign language. Commenting on the recognition for his research, Dev Aditya said:
“We are starting with British Sign Language (BSL), with an aim to expand to other sign languages later in the PhD and are already running two separate studies with direct users across the four nations of the UK. It is humbling to be recognised already at such an early part of my PhD.”
His project has already won over £100,000 in grant funding, including funding support from Innovate UK and is currently being sponsored by the Otermans Institute. It will be exciting to see where this project goes next for our alumnus.