School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 14 January 2013


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Inaugural EPS / BP lecture                                                                          11 Feb 13

5pm in the Great Hall, Sackville Street Building.

The lecture will be delivered by John Baxter, Group Head of Engineering for BP and will cover oil exploration from the early days in Persia through to current deepwater oil exploration. This event provides EPS staff and students with a unique opportunity to learn more about BP’s role in oil exploration and hear directly from the senior discipline engineer across the BP Group.


We would like to encourage as many staff and students to attend the lecture as possible. A drinks and canapιs reception will be held after the lecture with the event closing at around 6.45pm.  Attendance is exclusively through pre booking via email to Cath Brocklehurst by the end of Friday 25th January 2013.


Funding Opportunities

School Research Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at

Bright ideas awards - the big pitch: Nanoscale design of functional materials

                                                                                                                        26 Feb 2013

·         Closing date: 4pm 26 Feb 2013


Outline applications for up to £250k are being invited by the EPSRC for transformative research projects in nanoscale design of functional materials. The call is aimed at the systematic design and construction of materials and devices based on structures at the nanoscale. The objective is to be able to dial up a desired property using new principles rather than proceeding by trial and error, and to assemble targets cheaply in large quantities.


Individuals are invited to submit outline applications for projects of up to 18 months. High risk applications are expected and welcomed.

NEMODE Network+ 3K Research Placements Call                                 1 April 2013

·         Closing date: 5pm 1 April 2013


Funding for research placements aimed at PhD students or junior research fellows is available from the RCUK Digital Economy Theme, New Economic Models in the Digital Economy (NEMODE) network. Placements must take place in commercial or government entities in the UK and overseas(e.g. industry, academia, research centres, public bodies, NGOs) and are limited to 3 months (UK based) or 6 months (overseas).

Placements should involve working in the following areas:

•           Technical innovations relevant to the DE (e.g. Internet of things, Cloud Computing paradigm, Big Data)

•           Societal changes in the DE

•           The concept of value in the DE

•           Value proposition platforms

•           Value creating systems (e.g. partnerships, constellations, capabilities, competences) in the DE

•           Intellectual Property issues in the DE.

•           New Business Models in the DE

•           Entrepreneurship

•           Digital start-ups

•           Impact of DE in existing supply chains

•           Impact of the DE in public sector (e.g. Open Data, transparency, government)

•           Digital Marketing

•           Privacy, security and trust in the DE.

•           Virtual property

•           Crowd funding

•           Digital technologies as enablers of servitized business models.

•           Case studies for teaching purposes (e.g. Impact of DE in UK firms, strategic management)

A brief (3 page) proposal should be submitted by 1 April via e-mail to and successful applicants will be notified by the 1st May 2013.

Innovate UK 2013 - networking event                                            11-13 Mar 2013

·         Early fee registration (£99) deadline: 18 Jan 2013 (£125 thereafter)


This 3 day event by the UK Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade & Investment will take place on 11-13 March 2013 in London and includes sessions on commercialisation of research and market opportunities. Innovate UK is the UK's largest, multi-sector, networking event for business, academia and government, bringing together 4,000 people to do business and collaborate.


Research and Grant Awards

Congratulations to all those involved in the following successful awards!

AXLE - Advanced Analytics for EXtremely Large European Databases

Mikel Lujan, Gavin Brown, Javier Navaridas (with 4 other EU partners)

Funding body: European Commission

Award amount: £423K (SCS)

The objectives of the AXLE project are to greatly improve the speed and quality of decision making on real-world data sets (i.e. extremely large, secure, complex, widely used etc.). AXLE also aims to make those improvements generally available through high quality open source implementations via the PostgreSQL and developing new hardware accelerators prototyped with FPGAs.


AXLE will work with challenging datasets as follows:

  • TPC-H test data – industry standard decision support benchmark at 10TB.
  • Secure Medical data – complex, real and secure data of great human importance (Portavita SME partner).
  • Other sources of scientific data that require big data processing, from links with other EU funded projects, like bioinformatics or space science data.


These datasets allow us to use data immediately, as well as giving us a deep grounding in real world use cases. The legal and privacy aspects of the Portavita data (medical data of patients) make security considerations real as well. We will investigate scenarios where the whole European population of 500 million with its medical data is stored. This highly sensitive data will be anonymised for tests, avoiding any legal or ethical issues from using the data.


Have we missed something? If you have some award news that you would like us to know about please contact Sarah Chatwin.