Heriot-Watt - Equipment Account

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Research and Enterprise Services

Abstract

Black holes are incredibly fascinating objects. They largely populate the Universe we live in, attracting whole galaxies around them. They also attract the imagination of novel writers and scientists alike: they represent the ultimate frontier at which our knowledge and intellect can be put to the test. In 1974 Stephen Hawking, building upon suggestions that black holes have a finite temperature, predicted that the event horizon surrounding a black hole separates regions characterized by such an intense space-time distortion that photons and particles are literally ripped out of vacuum state. These photons are then seen from outside the black hole to be emitted as a continuous flux of radiation. Black holes glow, just as if they were light bulbs. Unfortunately, this truly amazing prediction has little hope of being verified directly from astrophysical black holes. The "glow" has an extremely low temperature, of the order of tens of nano-Kelvins and cannot be distinguished amongst the much higher cosmic background temperature. Fortunately, exactly 30 years ago, William Unruh noted that the same arguments that lead to black hole evaporation also predict that a thermal spectrum of sound waves should be given out from a flowing fluid whose velocity is made to vary from sub-sonic to super-sonic velocities. Sound waves will remain blocked at the transition between the sub- and super-sonic regions at what, to all effects, is the analogue of an horizon. It now turns out that horizons are apparently far more common than one may imagine. They appear in flowing tap water as it hits the sink and in a number of water or liquid based scenarios; they appear in flowing Bose-Einstein-Condensates, in polariton condensates and, most importantly for what concerns this project, in moving dielectric media. We may imagine moving a transparent glass sample at velocities close to that of light. We would then have a situation analogous to that of sound waves in a moving fluid: in the presence of a transition from sub-luminal to super-luminal speeds, light waves will not be able to move beyond the horizon point at which the medium velocity is exactly equal to the phase velocity of light. One of the PIs (U. Leonhardt) recently proposed an ingenious method to achieve such horizons in a very simple manner. An intense laser pulse propagating in glass will create a local perturbation in the refractive index that travels together with the pulse, i.e. it naturally travels at light speeds. Any light wave approaching the perturbation will be slowed down by the local increase in refractive index and will eventually be blocked at the horizon beyond which it will be never be able to propagate. Using this very simple proposal, the other project PI (D. Faccio) obtained the first evidence of spontaneous photon emission induced by the dielectric horizon. The perturbation is glowing and evaporating by shedding photons excited from the vacuum state, just as Hawking predicted black holes should do. This project aims at taking forth these results and taking studies on Hawking emission and horizon related effects to the next level. We are now able to plan real experiments that can give us for the first time real data describing how horizons interact with the quantum vacuum. Moreover, at the heart of Hawking emission lies a novel amplification mechanism that, due to the lack of any previous experimental possibilities, has never been truly investigated before. This new amplification channel will be studied and used to amplify light. The goal in mind is to create the first black hole laser in which light is trapped in between two separate horizons. Bouncing back and forth it is amplified at each rebound and finally exponentially explodes in laser-like amplification process. The impact of this project therefore goes well beyond investigation of Hawking effects and invests a number of fields, ranging from quantum field theories to nonlinear optics and photonic technologies.

Planned Impact

The impact of this project extends well beyond the standard academic impact and interest for researchers working in related areas. Most importantly, we note a clear impact on society. Indeed, black holes are a source of continued fascination for the general public. For instance, many school children have not heard about gravitational fields, but most have heard of black holes. Black holes are perceived as awe-inspiring and sinister, as dark stars that may swallow everything in their paths. Our experience is that whenever we say that we create something like the horizon of a black hole in the laboratory, we immediately get the attention of many people. Moreover, names like Einstein and Hawking are familiar to countless people; we can show that their work is not as remote from everyday life as they may think and that they surely can understand some of it. In demystifying black holes we may give people clarity and trust in common sense, even in areas of science far way from our everyday life such as astrophysics. Trust in science and rationality is more important than ever, we can definitely make a contribution towards a more rational understanding of science for the general public. We have already had many interactions with the media, from news bulletins on the internet to the international press and radio and television. We expect that the decisive experiments demonstrating Hawking radiation will create significant media interest. BBC Horizon may fly to Scotland for filming experiments on artificial black holes with light, and to Nice and Vancouver for experiments with water waves. We plan to apply for a contribution to the Royal Society Summer Exhibition that will illustrates the inner workings of black holes. Ulf Leonhardt's exhibit on Geometry and Light: the Science of Invisibility has been accepted for 2011, an exhibit on artificial black holes may follow. Finally, the education of highly qualified people is a very important form of the impact of ambitious research. The research of HORIZONS is strongly interdisciplinary, ranging from general relativity to laser physics and back to quantum electrodynamics. The project will provide opportunities for all researchers involved at the PhD and postdoc level to interact with the very best researchers and scientists of the world in their areas. This is a unique learning and training opportunity that we believe will give the young researchers an open-minded attitude that will, in turn, benefit them in their future careers. The delivery of such high expectations will of course require additional dedication on behalf of the principal investigators in order to ensure that the people involved actually learn and gain from the project rather than being "drowned" by it. It will be our endeavour to ensure that all team members are involved in regular email discussions regarding the details of on-going work in the various areas. These will be backed up by periodic meetings where also the external partners are present, if possible. We strongly believe that the added value of this project derives precisely from the ability to bring together theoreticians and experimentalists alike and, from our experience we have seen that this is possible only through the continuous, even day-by-day, interaction of all partners. What we can achieve in this project is for our young researchers to get a can-do mind-set - if you can build a black hole, you can build anything. People of this calibre are going to make invaluable contribution to the economy and the society as a whole.
 
Title NASA Valkyrie Virtual World Avatar 
Description NASA Valkyrie Robot Virtual World Avatar for OpenSimulator platform and suitable as a wearable avatar or as the basis for a Non-Player Character (NPC). Available under the NASA Open Source Agreement 1.3. The Valkyrie avatar is available for download in the form of an OpenSimulator Inventory Archive (IAR) file. This IAR may be loaded into the inventory of an OpenSimulator avatar or used as the appearance of an NPC. Obtain the latest Valkyrie IAR at: http://vue.ed.ac.uk/resources/valkyrie/ 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Useful for making machinima related to projects using the NASA Valkyrie robot in use at the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics and Edinburgh Robotics Centre. 
URL http://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/valkyrie-avatar/
 
Description This is a Capital Grant and research outcomes are reported primarily via project funding. Two capital grants are included:
1. Robotarium - awarded in 2014 and being currently established
2. Femtoscond Laser facility - further RCUK and EU grants and publications listed.
3. CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment
Exploitation Route Laser system has been used successfully to address fundamental science on "black holes" but also been put to use for collaborative experiments in information technology and medical science.

The interactions between robots, autonomous systems, their environments and people present some of the most sophisticated scientific challenges we must solve to realize productive and useful assistive or remote systems in our homes, workplaces and industries. Such systems work at multiple scales of embodiment, and through a variety of sensing, actuation, visualization and communication modalities. Their ability to interact appropriately is at the heart of building networked systems, able to operate in synergy with each other, their environments and their human operators. The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics ( www.edinburgh-robotics.org ) has procured ROBOTARIUM, a unique and integrated suite of systems, sensors and fabrication equipment to address these challenges for different scales and domains. It will unify and expand our world leading expertise and potential in robot learning, maritime field robotics, anthropomorphic & bio-inspired designs, HRI, embedded control and sensing systems, multi-agent decision making and multimodal interaction that are unique to Universities of Edinburgh (UoE) and Heriot-Watt (HWU).

CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment
Equipment purchased for the CDT in Applied Photonics has been used for diverse purposes across the centre, benefiting directly about two thirds of the current students. Our students benefit from the equipment either in the laboratories included in our taught technical modules in Glasgow, Strathclyde and St Andrews universities, or in research activities central to their projects and those pursued by other RCUK-funded students (Heriot-Watt and Dundee universities).
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Transport

 
Description The femtosecond laser is pushing the boundaries of laser physics and engineering by setting ambitious goals, creating a fundamental radiating horizon in the laboratory, for stretching technology beyond current limitations, training students at the forefront of this technology. The laser system and science has led to high profile public engagement via the TED organisation and other outlets. CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment The equipment funded for the CDT in Applied Photonics is distributed across the five partner universities of the collaboration (Heriot-Watt, Dundee, Glasgow, St. Andrews and Strathclyde universities) has: (a) enhanced experimental labs underpinning the CDT taught-courses programme, and (b) provided facilities and an equipment pool to support EngD and aligned PhD research at the universities and the Centres industrial partners. Although installed relatively recently, the equipment has already been used to obtain publishable scientific results from a number of projects (see publications).
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Gave evidence to House of Lords Inquiry on Autonomous Vehicles
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Met with Cabinet Secretary and a variety of Civil Servants to inform and demonstrate about potential for Robotics
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Presentation and advice to Cabinet Secretary and Heads of Govt Dept Horizon Scanning on opportunities for Govt productivity with RAS and Smart Procurement
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Submitted a Draft Sector Deal for RAS to Secretary of State
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description invited by UK Government to stand up and lead a RAS Sector Council and to prepare a RAS Sector Deal as part of the Govt Industrial Strategy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/building-our-industrial-strategy
 
Description Amazon Alexa Challenge 2018
Amount $250,000 (USD)
Organisation Amazon.com 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 02/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description Cooperative Control of Drilling Equipment
Amount £86,080 (GBP)
Organisation Schlumberger Limited 
Department Schlumberger Oilfield UK plc
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2021
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration
Amount £45,000 (GBP)
Organisation Heriot-Watt University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 10/2018
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) Award
Amount £67,927 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description EPSRC Standard Grant
Amount £520,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N017536/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2016 
End 05/2019
 
Description EUMarineRobots
Amount € 4,998,736 (EUR)
Funding ID 731103 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 03/2018 
End 02/2021
 
Description Energy Technology Partnership (ETP)
Amount £9,991 (GBP)
Funding ID PJ0207-PSN 
Organisation Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 04/2019
 
Description Inspection and detection of faults on bearings on trains
Amount £86,000 (GBP)
Organisation Rail Safety and Standards Board Ltd 
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2022
 
Description Interactive robotic inspection strategies using unstructured data
Amount £115,400 (GBP)
Organisation Renishaw PLC 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2019
 
Description Mobile inspection units on and under the train
Amount £86,000 (GBP)
Organisation Rail Safety and Standards Board Ltd 
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2022
 
Description STRONGMAR - STRengthening MARritime Technology Research Center
Amount € 999,203 (EUR)
Funding ID 692427 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2018
 
Description The development of multi-sensor fusion algorithms for underwater pipeline position estimation by an AUV at close range
Amount £162,540 (GBP)
Organisation Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. 
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2019
 
Description direct industry funding
Amount £88,000 (GBP)
Organisation AdeptMind Inc 
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2020
 
Title Alana Chatbot for Amazon Alexa US 
Description We have created an open-domain chatbot called "Alana", which participated as on of the bots in the Amazon Alexa Challenge 2017. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact As part of this challenge, Alana reached over 360.000 of Amazon Alexa users in the US. Also, Amazon's research tool "CoBot" was largely inspired by our bot's architecture. While the tool is not yet available to the general public, we published a research paper providing details. 
URL https://s3.amazonaws.com/alexaprize/2017/technical-article/alana.pdf
 
Title E2E NLG Challenge: Benchmarking Neural vs. Handcrafted Approaches for Language Generation 
Description Recent end-to-end data-driven Natural Language Generation (NLG) systems are promising to significantly reduce the need for annotated data and ultimately result in reduced development costs for NLG systems. We developed and organised the first shared task on end-to-end (E2E) NLG, which aims to assess whether these novel approaches can generate more complex output which would be suitable for real-world applications. Our shared task received 62 submissions with diverse system architectures by 17 institutions from 11 countries, with about 1/3 of these submissions coming from industry. We consider this level of participation an unexpected success, which underlines the timeliness of this task. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We compare 62 submitted systems overing a wide range of approaches, with sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) models being the most frequently used. We find that seq2seq systems generally score high in terms of word-overlap metrics and human evaluations of naturalness. However, they often fail to correctly express a given meaning representation if they lack a strong semantic control mechanism applied during decoding. Moreover, seq2seq models are often outperformed by hand-engineered systems in terms of overall quality, as well as complexity, length and diversity of outputs. 
URL http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/InteractionLab/E2E/
 
Description AdeptMind PhD overseas scholarship 
Organisation AdeptMind Inc
PI Contribution We are applying and extending our research in data-driven Natural Language Generation techniques to e-commerce. In particular, we are inverstigating how to translate search results into textual descriptions which support the user in decision making.
Collaborator Contribution AdeptMind funds this oversea PhD scholarship with a £88k cash contribution, as well as other in-kind contributions, such as invited research visits (incl. travel costs), student training (incl. summer schools), as well as sharing data sets and sponsoring data collection.
Impact This collaboration brings together research on natural language processing and advances machine learning, as well as expertise in e-commerce platforms.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Amazon Alexa Challenge 2017, 2018 
Organisation Amazon.com
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution My team was selected to participate in the Amazon Alexa Challenge in two consecutive years: 2017 and 2018. The aim of this challenge is to build a social chat bot that can converse coherently and engagingly with humans on popular topics for 20 minutes. For the 2017 round, we were one of 12 teams selected out of a pool of over 100 applicants. For the 2018 round, we were 1 in eight teams selected out of ca. 200 applicants.
Collaborator Contribution We received a generous gift of $100,000 (2017) and $250,000 (2018) and various in-kind contributions worth ca. $100k for both years, e.g. free training and access to Amazon Web services, Alexa-enabled devices, weekly class with one of Amazon senior researchers, invited research visits to Amazon HQ in Seattle (including sponsored travel for the team) etc. We won 3rd prize for the 2017 challenge, which included a $50,000 cash prize for the students.
Impact Increased recognition and visibility of my research group and department.
Start Year 2016
 
Description CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment 
Organisation Heriot-Watt University
Department School of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A partnership between Heriot-Watt, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities and in the region of 30 industrial partners who are listed as follows: Rofin, M-Solv, Leonardo, Renishaw, Powerphotonics, BAE Systems, Holoxica, Gooch & Housego, Taylor Hobson, NPL, Nanoco, STFC, Seebyte, Thales, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rolls-Royce, Powerlase, Optos, AWE, Fraunhofer UK, Texas Instruments, Optoscribe, NHS Lothian, Toshiba, EFD, Merlin, DSTL, Oxford Lasers.
Collaborator Contribution The academic partners draws from a pool of over 100 academic researchers, each a specialist in a unique area of Photonics. The industrial partners contribute financial support to the Centre as well as substantial levels of supervision time and practical resources.
Impact This collaboration resulted in a significant numbers of outputs from the collaborations students.
Start Year 2013
 
Description CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment 
Organisation University of Dundee
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A partnership between Heriot-Watt, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities and in the region of 30 industrial partners who are listed as follows: Rofin, M-Solv, Leonardo, Renishaw, Powerphotonics, BAE Systems, Holoxica, Gooch & Housego, Taylor Hobson, NPL, Nanoco, STFC, Seebyte, Thales, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rolls-Royce, Powerlase, Optos, AWE, Fraunhofer UK, Texas Instruments, Optoscribe, NHS Lothian, Toshiba, EFD, Merlin, DSTL, Oxford Lasers.
Collaborator Contribution The academic partners draws from a pool of over 100 academic researchers, each a specialist in a unique area of Photonics. The industrial partners contribute financial support to the Centre as well as substantial levels of supervision time and practical resources.
Impact This collaboration resulted in a significant numbers of outputs from the collaborations students.
Start Year 2013
 
Description CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department Urban Big Data Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A partnership between Heriot-Watt, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities and in the region of 30 industrial partners who are listed as follows: Rofin, M-Solv, Leonardo, Renishaw, Powerphotonics, BAE Systems, Holoxica, Gooch & Housego, Taylor Hobson, NPL, Nanoco, STFC, Seebyte, Thales, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rolls-Royce, Powerlase, Optos, AWE, Fraunhofer UK, Texas Instruments, Optoscribe, NHS Lothian, Toshiba, EFD, Merlin, DSTL, Oxford Lasers.
Collaborator Contribution The academic partners draws from a pool of over 100 academic researchers, each a specialist in a unique area of Photonics. The industrial partners contribute financial support to the Centre as well as substantial levels of supervision time and practical resources.
Impact This collaboration resulted in a significant numbers of outputs from the collaborations students.
Start Year 2013
 
Description CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Chemistry St Andrews
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A partnership between Heriot-Watt, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities and in the region of 30 industrial partners who are listed as follows: Rofin, M-Solv, Leonardo, Renishaw, Powerphotonics, BAE Systems, Holoxica, Gooch & Housego, Taylor Hobson, NPL, Nanoco, STFC, Seebyte, Thales, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rolls-Royce, Powerlase, Optos, AWE, Fraunhofer UK, Texas Instruments, Optoscribe, NHS Lothian, Toshiba, EFD, Merlin, DSTL, Oxford Lasers.
Collaborator Contribution The academic partners draws from a pool of over 100 academic researchers, each a specialist in a unique area of Photonics. The industrial partners contribute financial support to the Centre as well as substantial levels of supervision time and practical resources.
Impact This collaboration resulted in a significant numbers of outputs from the collaborations students.
Start Year 2013
 
Description CDT in Applied Photonics Capital Equipment 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Department Mathematics and Statistics Strathclyde
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A partnership between Heriot-Watt, Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews and Strathclyde universities and in the region of 30 industrial partners who are listed as follows: Rofin, M-Solv, Leonardo, Renishaw, Powerphotonics, BAE Systems, Holoxica, Gooch & Housego, Taylor Hobson, NPL, Nanoco, STFC, Seebyte, Thales, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Rolls-Royce, Powerlase, Optos, AWE, Fraunhofer UK, Texas Instruments, Optoscribe, NHS Lothian, Toshiba, EFD, Merlin, DSTL, Oxford Lasers.
Collaborator Contribution The academic partners draws from a pool of over 100 academic researchers, each a specialist in a unique area of Photonics. The industrial partners contribute financial support to the Centre as well as substantial levels of supervision time and practical resources.
Impact This collaboration resulted in a significant numbers of outputs from the collaborations students.
Start Year 2013
 
Description EmoTech North Industry Knowledge Exchange 
Organisation EmoTech Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution we collaborate on designing and implementing a conversational interface for Olly the Robot - a product developed by Emotech Ltd, an in-home robot with conversational capabilities. The Olly robot recently won 4 awards for Innovation at the CES showcase. (The CES Innovation Awards is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products over the world.) Recently showcased at CES '17 http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-38504512 The project outcome will directly contribute the Olly product of Emotech. Emotech will release 1000-1500 units in June/July via a Kickstarter program to gauge early adopter feedback. Full commercial release is expected in Q3/4 2017 at a retail price of $600-800 per unit. The revenue of Emotech LTD in 2017 is estimated to be £2m, and is expected to grow to £20-40m in 2018. Emotech North Ltd will be a NLP(Natural Language Processing) hub for Emotech. Its growth will create more employment positions, more collaborations with other industry partners and universities in Scotland.
Collaborator Contribution Cash contribution of £58k to support RA. Invited research visit to London (1 week) fully supported.
Impact Robotics hardware, neuroscience, human-computer interaction
Start Year 2016
 
Description IDS Oil and Gas 
Organisation Independent Data Services UK
PI Contribution IDS has been providing operational reporting solutions to the upstream oil and gas industry for over twenty years. This project provides consultancy how to best use NLP and machine learning methods to mine information available in Oil & Gas data sets.
Collaborator Contribution IDS has send one of their employees to work at Heriot-Watt for a week. Also, a cash contribution of £5k was made.
Impact This project combines Data Science with NLP and applies it to Oil & Gas. The outcomes of this collaboration will be directly used in IDS services.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Industry collaboration with Smarter grid solutions 
Organisation Smarter Grid Solutions Ltd.
PI Contribution Successful application for a Energy Technology Partnership Award.
Collaborator Contribution Successful application for a Energy Technology Partnership Award.
Impact Successful application for a Energy Technology Partnership Award.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Industry contribution to sub-project CfIM_17-1 - Metallurgical Interactions in advanced laser processing 
Organisation Airbus Group
Department Airbus Operations
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Industrially relevant research.
Collaborator Contribution Studentship support, expertise.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2015
 
Description Industry contribution to sub-project CfIM_17-1 - Metallurgical Interactions in advanced laser processing 
Organisation BAE Systems
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Industrially relevant research.
Collaborator Contribution Studentship support, expertise.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2015
 
Description Industry contribution to sub-project CfIM_17-1 - Metallurgical Interactions in advanced laser processing 
Organisation GKN
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Industrially relevant research.
Collaborator Contribution Studentship support, expertise.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2015
 
Description Industry contribution to sub-project CfIM_17-1 - Metallurgical Interactions in advanced laser processing 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Industrially relevant research.
Collaborator Contribution Studentship support, expertise.
Impact n/a
Start Year 2015
 
Description Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane 
Organisation Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research and training collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Research and training collaboration
Impact Nil.
Start Year 2018
 
Description State Key Laboratory in Robotics, Shenyang Institute of Automation, China 
Organisation Chinese Academy of Sciences
Country China 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Research and training collaboration.
Collaborator Contribution Research and training collaboration.
Impact A collaboration Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Institute in March 2018.
Start Year 2018
 
Description The Physics of Epsilon-Near-Zero materials 
Organisation Purdue University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration is based on the development and exploitation of a series of materials, transparent conductive oxides, that are emerging as a novel platform for photonics and the control of light. These materials exhibit very strong optical nonlinearities and have been hailed as a "game changer" in the field. We have been pioneering this field together with Purdue University.
Collaborator Contribution Purdue University (Vlad Shalaev and Alexandra Boltasseva) or the world-wide recognised leaders in the development of new materials and in particular of new transparent conductive oxides. They have been providing us with a continuous stream of samples of various forms and structures. They also supported a US grant application that has been awarded and will support a three month visit for a PhD student from Heriot-Watt University to work with them in Purdue.
Impact Enhanced nonlinear refractive index in epsilon-near-zero materials, L. Caspani, R. P. M. Kaipurath, M. Clerici, M. Ferrera, T. Roger, A. Di Falco, J. Kim, N. Kinsey, V. M. Shalaev, A. Boltasseva, D. Faccio, Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 233901 (2016)
Start Year 2015
 
Description University of New South Wales, Sydney 
Organisation University of New South Wales
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research and training collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Research and training collaboration
Impact Nil.
Start Year 2017
 
Description University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia 
Organisation University of Western Australia
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research and training collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Research and training collaboration
Impact Nil
Start Year 2017
 
Description Amazon Alexa Summit 2017 
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 Invited 3-day visit and presentation at Amazon HQ in Seattle to take part in Alexa Summit/ Symposium directed to industry practitioners and postgrad students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description CDT Capital Equipment: Applied Photonics equipment hosted at Glasgow University 
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 The devices tested with this equipment have been shown at various public engagement and Knowledge exchange activities. These include CPD event for school teachers, Demo developed for visiting 15 schools (project funded by Royal Academy of Engineering), about 20 keynote/plenary talks in last one year. Further the equipment was used to teach school pupils who spent 6 week in BEST group. This was support by Nuffield foundation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Diversity and inclusion in academic ICT research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact I am taking part in the focus group Diversity and inclusion in academic ICT research run by the EPSRC and organised by Edinburgh Napier University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/ictdiversityinclusionresearch/
 
Description Edinburgh Doors Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact On Saturday 23 September, Heriot-Watt and the British Geological Survey took part in Edinburgh Doors Open Day.
Visitors of the Lyell Centre, the new home of the British Geological Survey and Heriot-Watt University scientists and engineers, were given a chance to visit our new robotic assisted living lab and interact with robots of all shapes and sizes - from landcrawling turtlebots, to Hamilton the hilltop robot, and Pepper the humanoid helper.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://robotic-assisted-living.hw.ac.uk/?news=open-door
 
Description Interview for international news (WDR) 
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 Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview for German national radio - almost whole feature around our group and our research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/wdr3/wdr3-kulturfeature/audio-sprich-mit-mir---versuche-mit-masc...
 
Description Interview for national news (Telegraph) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview for the Telegraph about Women in AI
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/03/08/artificial-intelligence-has-gender-problem-meet-pi...
 
Description Invited keynote talk 
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 Invited keynote talk at Swisstext, an annual conference bringing businesses and academic practitioners together.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.swisstext.org/2017/index.html
 
Description Media Interviews regarding the Amazon Alexa Challenge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview at Scottish TV "Live at 5" about the Amazon Alexa Challenge. Several related newspaper articles, e.g. Sunday Herald, the Scotsman, etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERSMhGFBxvw
 
Description Media Interviews regarding the European Robotic League 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview at Scottish TV "News at 6" about the European Robotic League. Related newspaper article on Herald Scotland. News on EU robotic mailing list and European Robotic League websites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://sites.google.com/site/erlsrhwu2018/photo-video
 
Description Motion in Scottish Parliament recognising Amazon Alexa Prize 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Motion S5M-09326: Parliament congratulates Heriot-Watt University on its success in the Amazon Alexa Prize
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S5M-...
 
Description NESTA interview - 12 women shaping AI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Media interview and article published by NESTA (global innovation foundation)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.nesta.org.uk/feature/12-women-ai/
 
Description Native Scientist German School Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Verena Rieser engaged school children in her research. The half-day event was organised by Alleman Fun (German Saturday School) and Native Scientist. The engagement activity was held in German.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/RoboticsLab/news/german-native-scientist-volunteers-reaching-out-to-childre...
 
Description Plenary keynote at 1st workshop on NLP for Conversational AI (ACL2019, Florence) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited plenary keynote at 1st workshop on NLP for Conversational AI (ACL2019, Florence)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://sites.google.com/view/nlp4convai/program?authuser=0
 
Description Plenary keynote at 2nd workshop on Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots (VIHAR-2019) (Turing Institute, London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited plenary keynote at 2nd workshop on Vocal Interactivity in-and-between Humans, Animals and Robots (VIHAR-2019) (Turing Institute, London)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://vihar-2019.vihar.org/keynotes/
 
Description Plenary keynote at IVA 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited plenary keynote at 19th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2019, Paris)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://iva2019.sciencesconf.org/
 
Description Scottish Minister for Higher Education visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Higher Education, Further Education and Science, travelled to the Edinburgh Campus to meet with members of the University's 'What's Up Bot' team who recently returned from Amazon's prestigious AI competition, the Alexa Challenge.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/news/minister-given-insight-into-the-future-of-ai.htm
 
Description SigDial panel discussion 
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 Invited Panel Member at 18th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue Conference discussing "Natural Language Generation for Spoken Dialogue Systems". Other panel members were from Google (Head of NLG), Cambridge University and Bloomberg.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.superlectures.com/sigdial2017/panel-discussion
 
Description UK RAS Social Care Robot Challenge Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 20 participants attended an interactive workshop focused on examining robotic and ICT solutions for healthy ageing and assisted living. The event took place in the newly built "Living Lab" - a space where scientists, end-users and care providers can co-design and test innovative solutions for healthy ageing and assisted living.The workshop included representatives from Innovate UK, healthcare stakeholders from the City of Edinburgh Council (Community Alarm Telecare Service, Community Occupational Therapy Rehabilitation Service), Dumfries & Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership, Social Care Alba, CENSIS (Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems), NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Lanarkshire, Stroke Education Lothian and Borders, Stroke Association, LifeCare Edinburgh,as well as experts in cognitive ageing, interaction design and robotics from Heriot-Watt University.
The workshop was part of the UK Social Care Robot Challenge 2017 (http://hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/hsmr/events/social-care-robot-challenge-2017), a nation-wide cooperative venture that aims to encourage investigation into how robots can be integrated in the healthcare services of the future, to help address the predicted rising costs and strain on healthcare provision and services in the UK. The challenge aims to draw out ideas of how robotics can be used for different aspects of our healthcare system, working with and supporting health professionals to provide improved physical and cognitive deficit support.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://robotic-assisted-living.hw.ac.uk/?news=social-care-robot-challenge-workshop-2