Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Computing & Communications


This 2 year project will leverage Lancaster University's entire computational resource network to form a 1000 host testbed for end-to-end energy consumption management options.The study will characterise current usage patterns and evaluate the opportunities presented by emerging applications and technologies for consumption reduction. The study will assess both central control options and engaging information sharing coupled with participative management decision making as means for reducing consumption. The study will propose and test an optimal combination of the two approaches.Additional outcomes will include future network sustainability forecasts, user behaviour predictions and novel consumption management strategies.

Planned Impact

We expect the proposed project to have considerable impact on the academic support, governmental and commercial sectors and ultimately the wider public. The direct impact will obviously be savings in energy consumption by computer networks, but we believe that the impact should be much wider than this. Energy saving relies on all stakeholders developing accurate intuitions about both local and remote consequences of their choices. We feel very strongly that our approach of using the affordances of state of the art collaborative IT applications to a) improve engagement with, and understanding of, complex information sets and b) improve participation of users in the management decision making process, has very wide potential. Indeed if we can confirm the hypothesis that our approach enables end users to appreciate system behaviours more completely and make better choices (and/or be more accepting of externally enforced choices), we intend to rapidly develop further projects exploring how this can be used for wider energy saving in homes and businesses, and also for other critical socio-technical agendas such as adapting to the consequences of climate change. The direct beneficiaries of our research will obviously be the formal project partners outlined below, and also any network administrators with an interest in energy management (i.e. all network admins?). We believe that benefits should also flow rapidly to other organisations with an interest in more general energy saving initiatives (such as the members of the TAHI industry sector group). All these parties should be able to offer improved solutions to their customers thereby enhancing their reputations and their incomes significantly. We believe that if we are successful there is potential for considerable public benefit (painless mitigation of climate change) worldwide. Our results will obviously be publicised in a wide range of fora (web site, Trade magazines, Industry conferences, discussion groups, etc.), through the proposed project workshop, and through our community of up to 1000 users. We plan to explore further opportunities in the public media during the project as we are keen to establish a wide public engagement with what we are attempting. As a first step we are aiming to create an interactive project web site where the project investigators are contributing to an energy blog and members of the public are invited to participate in the discussion. We would hope to publicise this through contacts in the science volunteer community, local schools and societies and local media outlets. We are proposing to collaborate with a wide range of partners First and foremost, we will work closely throughout the project with the University of Passau, with whom we have already begun a collaboration and who have complementary research projects funded from German national sources. Lancaster ISS will help us with administration practice in campus networks and will help us collaborate through JISC with campus administrators elsewhere. Lancaster City Council will help us with government administration practice and will help us identify suitable fora for disseminating our results to a wider government audience. BT and Arup will help us with commercial administration practice and appropriate dissemination fora. Cisco and Agilent and the University business partnership units will assist with identifying commercial suppliers of any novel hardware and software components of the solutions we identify. All of these partners will be part of the advisory committee and will attend meetings every 6 months In addition we plan to develop wider links via TAHI (Energy Management and Sustainability Industry Sector Group) and international links via the IEEE intelligent environments conference (which is attended by both academia and industry).
Description This project showed that energy saving is a matter not just of technology measures but perhaps more importantly of persuading people to change their usage habits. The work was conducted by a team of technologists and social scientists.
Exploitation Route The work led to the recruitment by Lancaster University of an energy manager whose role is to deploy appropriate energy measuring technology but also to help change user habits -- persuading them to think about using less energy in offices.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment

Description The work in this project was used at Lancaster University in a practical way: the University appointed an energy manager who worked with the academics and research team to learn about ways in which user energy demand could be controlled. The researchers in the team also contributed to external activities including one called TEDDINET which was set up to gather learned experience from the group of energy projects.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

Description Resilient and energy-aware computer networks 
Organisation University of Leeds
Department Faculty of Medicine and Health
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Working with University of Leeds (Professor Jaafar Elmirghani), we have spent a large amount of academic time on the collaboration -- contributing mainly expertise, intellectual input and also access to the testbeds at Lancaster University's InfoLab21.
Collaborator Contribution Professor Elmirghani led the EPSRC funded INTERNET Programme Grant; I was an adviser on the project. Later, we teamed up on a new research proposal, which we are currently preparing -- including work with industrial partners.
Impact None yet -- awaiting funding ...
Start Year 2015
Description Resilient and secure systems 
Organisation Austrian Institute of Technology
Country Austria 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We provide consultancy and know-how in resilient systems design
Collaborator Contribution They provide real-world examples of problems, and contacts with industry partners
Impact Several so far, including publications and two international, collaborative workshops -- one held in Germany on flexible networked systems and the other in Austria on Critical Infrastructures Protection
Start Year 2013
Description Situational awareness for resilient systems 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are providing the know-how on resilient computer networks management
Collaborator Contribution They are providing data science inputs and know-how.
Impact Multi-disciplinary within the general field of computer science; but also people and organisational issues. This project has only recently started ...
Start Year 2015
Description Energy reduction in networks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The work of the CURRENT project was presented in the EINS (Internet Science) Network of Excellence forum -- this is a multi-disciplinary project funded by the EU (FP7), and the specific activity here was to discuss energy reduction in computer communication networks, notably the Internet.

From this activity, there was also a new research investigation, along with the University of Passau, the Austrian Institute of Technology and others, into what we called 'Darkstar', which was about the prevention of blackout incidents in energy distribution networks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
Description The senior RA became advisor to the University's CEMENT (Carbon and Environmental Management Team) in a bid to boost engagement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lancaster University has engaged a permanent energy adviser, partly as a result of the work done in the CURRENT project.

This activity boosted engagement between academic energy research conducted in the university and the practical work that Lancaster University management is doing on environmental issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014