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Research Festival: Digital

Digital Futures, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data: Programme of events


Institute of Digital Futures Virtual Environment Showcase

Designed by a team of Brunel digital media graduates, the Institute of Digital Futures showcase is in a digitally twinned virtual environment that replicates the concourse and planetarium of Brunel’s Wilfred Brown building, enabling participants to view 32 stands of recent research, network with each other and enjoy the 360° 3D projection dome in virtual reality. 

To join this showcase, please click HERE, and navigate from the tutorial room to the showcase rooms. 

Digital Research and Enterprise: Exploiting innovation to generate impact

Ever wondered how digital research might be transformed into a successful commercial venture? 
Join us to hear from Dr Alexander Reip, Brunel’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Alumni and CEO of Oxford nanoSystemsand Dr David Bell, Reader, Department of Computer Science, on their experiences transforming scientific innovations into successful spin-outs. 

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) Treasure Hunt

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest buzzwords in industry and business. The concept has changed over time and has been applied from sentient, sci-fi machines to systems that detect cats in pictures. At the core, there has always been the idea of building machines that are capable of thinking. This interactive event will be a unique chance to look at different areas of research in the Computer Science Department that will challenge your understanding of what intelligence really means. 

The event is a virtual treasure hunt challenging participants to solve AI-related clues by taking them through a range of virtual activities ranging from exciting tools from our research groups; online games demonstrating AI applications; demos and short talks. With each activity, participants will get one step closer to winning a prize and understanding the exciting cutting-edge applications of AI, and computer science in general.

  • AI for Social Good: Detecting and Mitigating Online Harm
  • Fake News Article Detection
  • Simulation Modelling and AI for Pandemic Crisis Management
  • Disease Progression Modelling
  • Molecular Dynamics to inspire Drug Design
  • Explainability vs Interpretability in AI
  • AI for Software Optimisations
  • Deep Learning for Personalised Marketing
  • Virtual Reality: The impact of immersive technologies on learning and education

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Professor Abdul Sadka, Director of the Institute of Digital Futures, is joined by Dr Marco Davare, Reader in Physiotherapy, for a #BrunelCuppaScience discussing topics that will include the importance of research into digital sciences and technologies, and how the field could impact on health and wellbeing. Professor  Sadka will also outline how the Institute will facilitate research pathways to impact, business outreach and public engagement. Finally, exploring current hot topics in the field will be debated, including advice for early career researchers will be given.  

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Welcome to the Research Support and Development Office (RSDO) 

This informal introductory event is for all staff (particularly new joiners) undertaking research at Brunel across all disciplines, and at all stages of their research career. It is also for staff who would like to familiarise themselves with University practice and policy on research grants and would like to understand more about internal policy and processes.  
The event will give an overview of the following:  

  • How to find funding opportunities  
  • Applying for funding  
  • Grant approvals process  
  • Internal research award schemes  
  • Where to go for help  
  • An overview of College research support   

Institute of Digital Futures: Highlights of key research and innovation activities

Professor Abdul Sadka, Institute Director presents:

Meet the Institute’s Research Centre Directors who will be presenting highlights of Centre project activities and recent research successes in their respective centres

  • Centre for Artificial Intelligence: Social and Digital Innovation : Dr Tatiana Kalganova and Professor Ashley Braganza, Centre Directors
  • Smart Technologies and Quality Engineering: Dr Alireza Mousavi & Dr QingPing Yang
  • Intelligent Digital Economy and Society (IDEAS): Professor John Cosmas, Centre Director 
  • Smart Technology Advancements in Health and Rehabilitation (STAHR): Professor Dido Green, Centre Director


Spotlight on Digital Research 

Brunel University London is home to a vibrant and stimulating research community. An opportunity to hear from some of our Doctoral Researchers about their exciting “Digital” research activities.


Open Lecture, Dawn of the Fourth Generation 21st Century Industrial Systems: The digital transformation of societies 

Dr Alireza Mousavi, Reader, The Systems Engineering Research Group, CEDPS – Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  
Dr Mousavi will claim that we are at the brink of a new era of Manufacturing Technology. This era will transform the current approach, philosophy, and engineering to:  

  • Zero defect Systems, Zero Waste Manufacturing,  
  • Zero Breakdown machines and processes that guarantee nominal capacity and production flow of Zero Delay Production,  
  • Predictive Adaptive Plants working at their expected capability, efficiency, and effectiveness in an ever-changing environment,  
  • Plants that produce much less Green House Gas emissions, and  
  • Processes producing products with maximum Circularity potential.  

To achieve this, we need to accumulate and link the knowledge and know-how of:  

  • The Fundaments of Science and Engineering originated from the first-generation industry,  
  • Operations and Management Science of the second generation, and  
  • The Automation, Robotics and Passive Adaptive Control of the 3rd generation  
  • To reach the Fourth generation of 21st Century Industrial Systems; attributed with Active Learning, Aggressive Prediction, Increasing Complexity, and Sustainable Systems.  

It is a multiple disciplinary and highly coordinated chain of events enabled by the digital transformation of society.     


What is Open Research?

Learn more about what Open Research is, get tips to get started and see examples of Open Research at Brunel. Organised by Brunel's Open Research Working Group with a special presentation from Professor Geoff Rodgers on the ‘UK Open Research Agenda’.


Plan S - Rights Retention Strategy - what it means for authors and open research  

The Plan S Rights Retention Strategy was developed by cOAlition S and is based on a simple principle that author’s own peer-reviewed author accepted manuscript belongs to the author. Authors apply a CC BY licence to their manuscript before submission for publication, ensuring that they can retain sufficient rights on publication to reuse their work and meet institution and funder open research requirements.    

Professor Johan Roorcyck, Executive Director, cOALition S, professor at Leiden University, founding member and president of the Fair Open Access Alliance (FOAA) and Linguistics in Open Access (LingOA), He is a member of the Academia Europaea.


Planning for the Future 

Connected Places Catapult is the UK’s innovation accelerator for cities, transport and places. Building upon Connected Places Catapult’s Future of Planning leadership from the past five years, the UK Government set out a digital-first vision for planning reform in their ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper in August 2020.   

Join Dr Hitesh Patel, Senior Business Development Manager (RSDO) and Natalie Record, Housing Innovation Lead from Connected Places Catapult will discuss the opportunities that a digital and data-first approach offers to deliver better outcomes and drive more efficient plan-making and decision-making in a bid to support the net zero transition of the built environment.  


A preview of Smart Technology Advancements for Health and Rehabilitation labs and sound bites

  • Dr Marco Davare: Live brain stimulation and haptics in virtual reality 
  • Dr Elmar Kal: Towards digital tools for quantifying balance and gait control in ageing 
  • Dr Wendy Martin: Ageing and the Digital 
  • Dr Crina Grosan: Use of data analytics/machine learning in rehabilitation 
  • Prof. Dido Green: Harnessing Technology for Children’s Rehabilitation