The Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Physics & Astronomy

Abstract

We propose to generate a step change in the capacity and impact of UK research at the interface between cold atoms, condensed matter, and optical physics by establishing an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence. This vast new field, recognised by the 1997 and 2001 Nobel Prizes in Physics, is driving a revolution in quantum physics and progress is accelerating at an astonishing rate. In order for the UK to seize the immense opportunities on offer - for both innovative fundamental science and resulting breakthrough technology - there is an urgent need to set up interdisciplinary groups, which will produce a large immediate increase in capacity by combining new appointments with existing staff and ensure long-term sustainability by attracting and training the next generation of scientists.Despite the international explosion of work in cold-atom physics, the UK makes a small and diminishing percentage contribution to this field. In contrast to overseas competitors, the UK's research also lacks coherence as existing groups all have either atomic or condensed matter backgrounds. Expansion of research at the cold-atom/condensed matter interface is essential for the UK to exploit a major scientific opportunity - highlighted in the 2005 International Review of UK Research in Physics and Astronomy - and maximise capacity by engaging existing condensed matter physicists.The proposed Centre of Excellence will achieve this by fusing complementary strengths and infrastructure at Birmingham and Nottingham into a critical-mass activity supporting a unique combination of 6 new cold-atom experimentalists working with 17 existing condensed matter physicists. It will build on our established research in cold-atom theory, nano-fabrication, many-body theory, and the study of semiconductor, superconductor, spintronic and carbon-based/soft matter devices. Individually, these activities are all internationally leading. Together, they provide an outstanding environment for a new interdisciplinary cold-atom group (the largest in the world), whose power and impact will provide an unparalleled range of capability and address in detail many recommendations of the International Review. EPSRC/HEFCE funding of ~4.9m will be supplemented by support of ~3.8m from the two Universities and access to our 30m condensed matter and supercomputing infrastructure. The combined University contribution is thus almost 45 % of the total project cost, which makes the proposal highly cost-effective for the funding bodies and demonstrates the strength of the institutional commitment to the formation of the new Centre.Leading cold-atom experimentalists outside the UK (including MIT's Nobel-Prize winning group) have already realised that our expertise and infrastructure are valuable for their work and sought to collaborate with us. The environment that we offer could also greatly increase the volume, scope, and impact of interdisciplinary cold-atom work in the UK. We are applying for a Science and Innovation Award to unlock this potential and provide the new directions required to keep UK quantum coherence research world leading for the next 20 years. This area is crucial to the research strategy of both Departments and Universities. Over the past 2 years we have, in discussion with EPSRC and HEFCE, developed detailed plans to set up an inter-University cold-atom group with precisely the same objectives as this Quantum Coherence call.

Publications

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Aguilera D (2014) STE-QUEST-test of the universality of free fall using cold atom interferometry in Classical and Quantum Gravity

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Alexander Hramov (Author) (2013) Lyapunov stability of charge transport in miniband semiconductor superlattices in Lyapunov stability of charge transport in miniband semiconductor superlattices

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Balanov A.G. (2009) Effects of dissipation and noise on chaotic transport in superlattices in Acta Physica Polonica A

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Becker C (2010) Ultracold quantum gases in triangular optical lattices in New Journal of Physics

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Bettelli S (2013) Exciton dynamics in emergent Rydberg lattices in Physical Review A

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Bongs K (2015) ? in the sky in Nature Physics

 
Title 9. Collaborated with Nottingham photographer Lamar Francois to produce an outreach artwork exhibit on Quantum Technologies for the "Creative Reactions" and "Pint of Science" programmes, May 2017. 
Description An artistic image inspired by a cold atom cloud 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Use in QT Hub promotions material and in promoting the work of the artist and Pint of Science. 
 
Description Establishment of world-class infrastructure and personnel to undertake research and technology development in cold-atom quantum sensors, including the development of new types of atom chip.
Exploitation Route Quantum sensor technologies Industrial collaboration, outreach, patents

One partner will use the new type of atom-interferometer technology for space-based measurements.
Sectors Security and Diplomacy

URL http://mpa.ac.uk/muarc/
 
Description The project led to an internationally-unique Centre for the development and exploitation of ultra-cold atoms systems controlled by light and electronic devices. This led to collaboration with more than 65 companies and non-academic partners on the development and exploitation of cold-atom-based quantum technologies. We showed that quantum sensors can enhance both the sensitivity and spatial resolution of Magnetoencephalography images by a factor of 10: as required to translate this technique from research tool to clinical practice, especially in children.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Construction,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Security and Diplomacy,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description 11. Worked with Kantar Public to assist EPSRC's "Quantum Technologies Public Dialogue" programme. This involves participation in two 1-day public meetings in Birmingham in May and July 2017 to explain QT to the public and engage in workshop discussion with those attending.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact Increased public awareness of quantum technologies and input of their views into planning and reporting of the UK Quantum Technologies Programme.
 
Description Chair of Institute of Physics Quantum Optics, Quantum Information and Quantum Control Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact The activities of the group led to increased awareness of quantum technologies in the scientific, engineering, and student populations as well as to the public.
 
Description "Quantum sensors - from the lab to the field (Qu-sense)": MSCA-RISE-2015 - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)
Amount € 945,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 691156 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2019
 
Description EPSRC Global Engagements
Amount £499,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2012 
End 03/2013
 
Description EPSRC IAA Award
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description EPSRC Programme grant
Amount £7,192,052 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P031684/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2022
 
Description ESF network
Amount € 460,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Science Foundation (ESF) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2008 
End 04/2013
 
Description FET
Amount € 3,628,176 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 07/2010 
End 03/2015
 
Description Initial Training Network
Amount € 4,200,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2012 
End 09/2016
 
Description Initial Training Network
Amount € 3,800,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2017
 
Description Smart Shield, with Magnetic Shields Ltd
Amount £423,180 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 11/2019
 
Description UK National Quantum Technology Hub
Amount £35,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M013243/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2014 
End 11/2019
 
Description UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology
Amount £35,500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/M013294/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2014 
End 11/2019
 
Description Added Scientific Ltd 
Organisation Added Scientific Ltd
PI Contribution Design input.
Collaborator Contribution Design and manufacturing expertise and facilities.
Impact Designs and prototype components for quantum sensors.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Collaboration with British Geological Survey on assessing quantum sensor applications in geophysical survey 
Organisation British Geological Survey
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Two contributions were made: 1. Expertise on sensor component design; 2. Expertise on inverse method analysis and design.
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in geophysical survey and end user markets.
Impact PhD research, contribution to BGS surveys and collaboration with company RSK
Start Year 2015
 
Description Discussions and joint funding application with Thales 
Organisation Thales Group
Department Thales UK Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Discussion and development of a joint funding application.
Collaborator Contribution Technical and market information.
Impact Grant application and increased awareness of opportunities.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Geo Energy Research Centre & RSK 
Organisation Geo Energy Research Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Joint projects with the Geo Energy Research Centre, including a GERC-funded PhD studentship to develop quantum sensors for geophysical survey in collaboration with company RSK, and phase 2 of the Energy Research Accelerator
Collaborator Contribution Joint projects with the Geo Energy Research Centre, including a GERC-funded PhD studentship to develop quantum sensors for geophysical survey in collaboration with company RSK, and phase 2 of the Energy Research Accelerator
Impact Joint projects with the Geo Energy Research Centre, including a GERC-funded PhD studentship to develop quantum sensors for geophysical survey in collaboration with company RSK, and phase 2 of the Energy Research Accelerator
Start Year 2014
 
Description Geo Energy Research Centre & RSK 
Organisation Rescale
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Joint projects with the Geo Energy Research Centre, including a GERC-funded PhD studentship to develop quantum sensors for geophysical survey in collaboration with company RSK, and phase 2 of the Energy Research Accelerator
Collaborator Contribution Joint projects with the Geo Energy Research Centre, including a GERC-funded PhD studentship to develop quantum sensors for geophysical survey in collaboration with company RSK, and phase 2 of the Energy Research Accelerator
Impact Joint projects with the Geo Energy Research Centre, including a GERC-funded PhD studentship to develop quantum sensors for geophysical survey in collaboration with company RSK, and phase 2 of the Energy Research Accelerator
Start Year 2014
 
Description Gooch and Housego 
Organisation Gooch & Housego
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Discussions on packaging
Collaborator Contribution Expertise in packaging
Impact Identification of areas of mutual interest.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Infinion 
Organisation Infineon Technologies
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Discussion
Collaborator Contribution Discussion
Impact Plans for future projects
Start Year 2017
 
Description Magnetic Shielding Ltd 
Organisation Magnetic Shields Ltd
PI Contribution Design expertise
Collaborator Contribution Design, market and manufacturing capabilities
Impact Collaboration and component design for quantum sensors
Start Year 2017
 
Description QuSpin 
Organisation Quspin Inc
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technical exchanges and market discussions.
Collaborator Contribution Technical input.
Impact Design activity.
Start Year 2017
 
Description TMD 
Organisation TMD Technologies Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Component design and other discussions.
Collaborator Contribution Component information.
Impact Complementary prototypes that fit together for quantum sensor components.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Teledyne-e2v 
Organisation Teledyne-e2v
PI Contribution Discussions and design information exchange and market discussion.
Collaborator Contribution Design constraints. Markets.
Impact Component designs for quantum sensors.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Unitive Design Associates 
Organisation Unitive Design and Analysis, Ltd.
PI Contribution Technical input
Collaborator Contribution Market analysis and systems engineering
Impact Joint report
Start Year 2017
 
Title 153. UK Patent Application No. 1518852.7 Graphene-Based Chips for Trapping Ultracold Atoms for The University of Nottingham (14-0039 / BB Ref. JL78809P.GBA) [BB-CASES.FID799972], filed October 2016. 
Description Demonstration that graphene can transform the performance of atom chips 
IP Reference 1518852.7 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2017
Licensed No
Impact International collaboration.
 
Title Compact laser spectroscopy 
Description Compact laser spectroscopy 
IP Reference 1818302.0 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Industry transfer
 
Title Graphene-based Chips for Trapping Ultra-Cold Atoms 
Description Graphene-based Chips for Trapping Ultra-Cold Atoms 
IP Reference UK1814037.6 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Industry transfer
 
Title MOT with hybrid coil 
Description MOT with hybrid coil 
IP Reference UK1818311.1 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Industry transfer
 
Title Magnetic induction tomography 
Description Optimisation of MIT 
IP Reference UK1819599.0 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Feasibility studies with various parties.
 
Title Optimising magnet and electromagnet design 
Description Optimising magnet and electromagnet design 
IP Reference UK1819614.7 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Industry transfer
 
Title Planar composite coil for approximating a Helmholtz or anti-Helmholtz coil 
Description Planar composite coil for approximating a Helmholtz or anti-Helmholtz coil 
IP Reference UK1819632.9 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Industry transfer
 
Title Surface coils/GMOT shield 
Description Surface coils/GMOT shield 
IP Reference UK1820438.8 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2018
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact Industry transfer
 
Description "Quantum imaging the brain" exhibit at the 2018 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Developing the "quantum box" exhibit for the "Quantum imaging the brain" exhibit at the 2018 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition - the UK's premier science outreach event, which attracts >14,000 visitors over 7 days, July 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 1. Co-organising minisymposium on "Complex dynamics of quantum systems" at the Dynamics Days Europe conference in Loughborough, September 2018. (http://dynamicsday2018.lboro.ac.uk) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International workshop
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 1. Developing the "quantum box" exhibit for the "Quantum imaging the brain" exhibit at the 2018 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition - the UK's premier science outreach event, which attracts >14,000 visitors over 7 days, July 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 14,000 visitors to Royal Society Summer Science Exhibit on applications of quantum sensors in brain imaging
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 15. 38th Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS), St Petersburg, Russia, May 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited conference talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 17. Quantum World-2017: From E=MC2 to Quantum Industry (CQW2017), Changsha, China, October 2017. Plenary speaker and international speaker for the opening ceremony. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Plenary conference talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 3. Organise the annual review meeting of the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology (~100 delegates from industry and universities), Sept. 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop on application of quantum sensors in brain imaging
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 3. Public lecture on Quantum Technologies as part of the international Pint of Science outreach programme, May 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Outreach talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Advising musicians about quantum physics and entanglement 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Informed an article about quantum physics relating to song "Order and chaos" by Lady Maisery
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2016/11/lady-maisery-reveal-new-video-and-explain-the-science-behind-orde...
 
Description Collaborating with performance poet Claire Guest to produce poetry inspired by Quantum Technologies for the "Creative Reactions" and "Pint of Science" programmes, May 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Collaborating with performance poet Claire Guest to produce poetry inspired by Quantum Technologies for the "Creative Reactions" and "Pint of Science" programmes, May 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Creative Reactions 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "Creative Reactions" project linked to Pint of Science 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dstl summer school on quantum technologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact QT PhD student Ms Rosy Crawford won a secondment at The National Composite Centre at the 2015 DSTL summer school. She led the team that won first prize for a new quantum technology idea and presenting it to a "Dragons Den"-style panel.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Dynamics Days Europe 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Co-organised minisymposium on "Complex dynamics of quantum systems" at the Dynamics Days Europe conference in Loughborough, September 2018. (http://dynamicsday2018.lboro.ac.uk)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Engagement with Kantar Public to assist EPSRC's "Quantum Technologies Public Dialogue" programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This involves a workshop in London in March 2017 and participation in two 1-day public meetings in Birmingham in May and July 2017 to explain QT to the public and engage in workshop discussion with those attending.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Exhibit on quantum sensor components at UK QT Industry Showcase, November 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Exhibit stand to showcase the QT Hub "Atomtronics" quantum sensor component development work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Exhibits on atom chips and optimisation of quantum sensor components, integrated optics, subsystems and deployment 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibits on atom chips and optimisation of quantum sensor components, integrated optics, subsystems and deployment. 2017 Quantum Technologies industry showcase, London, 22 November
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Guest lecture on quantumtechnologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Guest lecture on "Cold atoms, theory and quantum technology" to 4th year undergraduates taking the UoN module F34AAP "Modern Applications of Physics: From Research to Industry" convened by Dr Andrew Rushforth.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description Guest undergraduate lecture on Quantum Technologies, University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Guest lecture on Quantum Technologies as part of the "Modern Applications of Physics: From Research to Industry (F34AAP)" module. This sparked questions and further discussion and also stimulated interest for some students to pursue a PhD in this field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Meeting with National Instruments 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Teleconference meeting to discuss collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Meeting with Torr Scientific 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Meeting to discuss opportunities for collaboration
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description New Scientist live 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibit on quantum sensing the brain, New Scientist Live, EdEXcel
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Panel discussion on technology for mental health (2 scientists + 2 artists) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Panel discussion on technology for mental health (2 scientists + 2 artists)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Pint of Science interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Video interview about my work on Quantum technologies for Pint of Science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVZRIdBJgVk
 
Description Plenary talk "The interface between ultracold atoms and quantum electronic systems" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Annual Conference on the Quantum World, Changsha, China
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Public lecture on Quantum Technologies as part of the international Pint of Science outreach programme, May 2018. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture on Quantum Technologies as part of the international Pint of Science outreach programme, May 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Quantum technologies public talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Members of the public attended a University of Nottingham Open Day, and were involved in discussion after the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017