WMG’s BRAINSTORM research project, with Far-UK, Composite Braiding and Transport Design International (TDI), was presented with the Technical Innovation of the Year award at the prestigious Global Light Rail Awards.
The Awards, dubbed as the industry’s Oscars, recognise outstanding achievements in the global light and urban rail sector.
Working with Far-UK, Composite Braiding and TDI, WMG researchers created a new design of an incredibly lightweight Very Light Rail (VLR) vehicle frame weaved from carbon fibre composites into a series of tubes to create a prototype demonstrator frame - the first of its kind.
Dr Darren Hughes, Associate Professor in Materials and Manufacturing explained: “Our BRAINSTORM VLR research partnership has achieved significant weight-saving, allowing VLR services to accommodate more passengers while reducing the energy required to propel the vehicle and the stress placed on the rails and road surface.
“The technology also ensures that the vehicle is tough for a long life in service, easily repairable when accidents happen and strong enough to protect the passengers on board.”
The judges praised BRAINSTORM for its innovation, vision and ambition to create not only new manufacturing processes but potentially a whole new industry.
One judge said: “This is what the industry has been waiting for decades. Aviation and automotive do this already, so it’s great to see a UK consortium bringing us up to that level. I can’t wait to see the first full vehicle next year.”
Find out more about the Global Light Rail Awards here.
The WMG Outreach Team had a busy summer term concluding with the Experience Warwick Year 10 Summer School, which ran from 3-6 July and was supported by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
The programme was created and led by Phil Jemmett and saw a total of 42 students, aged 14 and 15 years, work on mini-engineering projects in small teams. They were supported by University of Warwick student ambassadors, research staff and Graduate Trainee Engineers from WMG.
Professor Margaret Low, Widening Participation Officer for WMG explained: “The projects were designed to introduce the youngsters to key engineering skills and to help them to recognise the importance of resilience and team work.
The Summer School, organised by Warwick Outreach and Widening Participation Team, gave the students a true insight into life at university: they got to stay in University of Warwick halls of residence, attend academic sessions and experience the social and sport facilities on campus.
Based on the success of the project, next summer it will be expanded into a full work experience programme in July 2020.
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New approach helps computers deal with conflicts and duplications when applying more than one clinical practice guideline to a patient
Researchers in WMG at the University of Warwick have developed a new method that could solve the problem of how to automate support of managing the complexities of care when applying multiple clinical practice guidelines, to patients with more than one medical issue.
This will preserve the speed and accuracy of automated treatment decisions without introducing serious treatment conflicts or wasteful duplication of treatments and procedures.
Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) are evidence-based statements or flow charts, which are used to support the decision-making of health professionals. CPGs are a body of knowledge representing best practice, based on the available evidence. Guidelines are relatively straightforward to input into a computer (a.k.a Computer Interpretable Guidelines (CIGs)), enhancing the speed and accuracy of patient care in many situations.
However, it becomes more problematic for patients who have more than one conditions. In such cases (known as multimorbid patients), the guideline recommendations for each treatment can be at odds, produce serious treatment conflicts and ultimately potential harm to the patient.
For instance, one drug-based medication might assist one condition but could worsen the other. This is particularly critical for elderly patients who are most likely to have dynamic and multiple health conditions.
The research team from WMG’s Institute of Digital Healthcare at the University of Warwick (Ms Eda Bilici, Dr George Despotou and Professor Theodoros Arvanitis) have implemented a framework of automating computer-based management of multiple Clinical Practice Guidelines to overcome this problem.
The new framework is called MuCIGREF – (Multiple Computer Interpretable Guideline Representation and Execution Framework). It allows development CIG models for each CPG. Once the CIG models are created, they are then concurrently executed to generate a unified personal plan for each individual multimorbid patient.
It ensures care optimisation to avoid unnecessary resource use or potential care duplications because of the multiple plans (e.g., carer time, lab test).
It identifies potential conflicts in the care plan and resolves them through the modification of clinical activities (e.g., activity start time, duration), or its associated care element (e.g. the drug dose level)
The researchers tested the new framework on several CPGs from the UK National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE), and they hope to conduct further work that will involve user validation and application in real-world cases.
This first stage in the work has just been published in a chapter entitled “Concurrent Execution of Multiple Computer- interpretable Clinical Practice Guidelines and Their Interrelations” in the Ebook Health Informatics Vision: From Data via Information to Knowledge
4 OCTOBER 2019
NOTES TO EDITORS
Paper Available to view at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31349252
Eda Bilici has received a PhD scholarship from WMG, University of Warwick. Prof Theodoros Arvanitis and Dr George Despotou have been supported by the EU H2020 C3-Cloud Project
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WMG is delighted to be supporting the Engineering section at STEM for Britain 2020, a poster competition at Westminster for early career researchers, for the fourth year.
Applications are now open for posters in one of five categories - Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematical Sciences and Physics.
The event itself takes place at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 9th March during British Science Week. There will be two poster exhibition and judging sessions during the day, each ending with a reception and prize-giving.
This prestigious annual event is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak directly to some of the UK’s best young researchers.
You can find out more about STEM for Britain 2020 here.
WMG’s forensic research partnership with West Midlands Police was honoured at the TCT Awards, this week, scooping top spot in the Inspex Application Award category.
The Awards recognise the innovators, technologies and collaborators behind the leading examples of Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Design and Engineering across the globe.
Professor Mark Williams, Leader of the Centre for imaging, Metrology, and Additive Technology (CiMAT) at WMG explained: “We have helped to provide expert witness testimony in over 100 homicide cases by 13 different police forces across the UK. Cases include strangulation, stabbing, blunt force trauma and bone fractures.
“In April we opened a new WMG Forensic Centre for Digital Scanning and 3D printing – a research hub supporting Homicide Investigation funded by West Midlands Police to scan injuries and produce 3D print outs for use in expert testimonies.
“The scans are 1000 times more detailed than hospital scans, and can detect microscopic injuries which could otherwise be missed by conventional medical CT scanners. 3D renderings are then produced of the injuries, and their age can be identified too. The renderings are used in court to during trials to provide visual context and support the pathologist’s testimony.”
WMG’s heritage forensics was also recognised at the Awards, with Professor Williams and his team being Highly Commended for their work with Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
In this project the use of 3D scanning has rewritten natural history for a number of rare objects within Oxford University Museum of Natural History’s collection including unearthing surprising evidence that the Oxford Dodo was shot in the neck and back of the head with a shotgun. The findings cast doubt on the popular theory that the Oxford Dodo is the remains of a bird kept alive in a townhouse in 17th-century London.
Find out more about CiMAT here.
What's your definition of 'intelligent vehicles'?
'Intelligent vehicles' is a catch-all title for our research because we work on connectivity in vehicles; we work on automation in vehicles; and we work on projects that don't involve either. For instance, intelligence in a vehicle could be a way to achieve improved comfort and convenience features or to improve energy management.
What are the main markets for intelligent vehicles? Cars? Trucks? Public transport?
We're talking all of the above. It's important to remember that the market for intelligent vehicles isn't just so that people can move around more safely, comfortably and conveniently. It's about moving goods, too. Whatever market WMG is working in, however, it has to make sure it's here to solve problems and create new opportunities for customers and for our industry partners. Our role is to help UK companies exploit the significant emerging business opportunities through collaborative research, and through provision of new skills and education programmes.
Who are the main players in the intelligent vehicles market?
It's interesting because things have moved beyond traditional automotive companies now. At WMG, we do work with traditional companies and their supply base, of course; but there are new types of designer-manufacturers on the scene too. For example, in low-speed autonomous transport there are companies such as Aurrigo — the autonomous vehicle division of RDM Group — which designs and manufactures low-speed driverless pods here in Coventry. It is also important that we work with other key sectors too, such as wireless communications, simulation and transport infrastructure. Collaboration with authorities such as Transport for West Midlands is also crucial.
What are the main commercial drivers for companies in the intelligent vehicles space?
I'd put safety at the top of the agenda because, first and foremost, everyone wants to be safe. Then there are lower emissions and better energy efficiency. I don't think we can necessarily expect intelligent vehicles to reduce congestion, but they should be able to give us much better estimates about journey times. Also, there's a chance to make different modes of transports work better together — for example improving links between road and rail.
How can UK companies best take advantage of the commercial opportunities they identify?
The Midlands Future Mobility environment we, and our consortium partners, are creating is very exciting and will give real advantages to UK companies. It's going to be a place where they can come to trial their new vehicles, technologies and services in the real world, with proper public and user-engagement. That's a great opportunity for them to learn more from trials, and have the process made easier for them. It's also good for the Midlands which will experience those new technologies and services earlier than everyone else.
How do you see commercial opportunities developing in the future?
I think the whole supply chain will change dramatically. There will be an increasing importance on software, sensors, perception systems and connected components. But I think, over time, business models will change more dramatically as transport becomes more of a mobility-focused service industry, with customers buying 'journeys' rather than 'vehicles'.
Comment from Siddartha Khastgir, Head of Verification and Validation, Intelligent Vehicles at WMG, reveals how the public views advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) — and if these technologies might help with the development of driverless vehicles.
How were advanced driver-assistance systems first received by the public?
When first introduced in the mid to late 1990s, ADAS was largely given a positive reception because applications such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and anti-lock braking (ABS) were marketed as important safety features — and safety always plays well with the public. But by the early 2000s, trust in ADAS had began to plummet. One reason for this is that the limitations of some ADAS features were not always made clear to drivers, who only discovered their shortcomings by using them. That stands to reason: if I think a system works all the time, but then it suddenly stops working, my trust in it will fall.
How is ADAS received — and used — today?
There is evidence to suggest that people want and are willing to pay for ADAS features; but there's another piece of evidence which suggests they don't use them all the time because they don't fully trust them. That said, popular ADAS features include automated emergency braking (AEB) and electronic stability control (ESC), which are intermittent applications mandated through law in new cars. Indeed, buyers of new vehicles expect mandated ADAS to be included in their purchase.
What are the challenges ADAS systems present to the automotive industry?
One of the biggest is testing because it's very important to ensure that the application is safe. There's also the challenge of getting people to accept it and use it because, as human beings, we like to be fully in control of everything we do. There's also a challenge with insurance, although more so for autonomous vehicles than ADAS. Namely, if there's an accident when the car is in autonomous mode, whose fault will it be? That's an area that's still being worked on. As technology advances, a standard MOT procedure may not be relevant anymore; plus trainees and technicians in garages will need to be re-skilled. Academia and industry needs to focus on how to get supply chains ready for these changes. At WMG we're doing a lot of work in this area with the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre which will be opening shortly.
Does the public's reaction to ADAS indicate how it might greet the emergence of fully autonomous cars?
I think it does. At WMG we work on a concept called Informed Safety, which is about growing trust through knowledge. If manufacturers inform users about what ADAS can and — more importantly — cannot do, then acceptance of it will be much higher.
How might use of ADAS help with the development of autonomous systems going forward?
ADAS is a first step on the journey. Some aspects of ADAS are transferrable to autonomous vehicle technology, others need to be re-engineered. Still, the big difference between ADAS and fully autonomous vehicles is that, with the former, the user still has control. With the latter they're giving up complete control. That's a big, counterintuitive jump to make.
As is becoming ever more apparent, Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) is one of today’s most exciting research and innovation themes within both industry and academia.
It is being demonstrated now on a daily basis through the media that CAM may provide real world impact on societal issues around safety, traffic flow and emissions.
Connections with the roadside infrastructure
Whilst an automated vehicle is able to make decisions on how to judge local situations, the ‘connected’ element is pivotal to enhancing the decision making process to include information from the wider road network.
For example, the ability for CAM to exchange inertia, LiDAR, camera, and radar sensor data, alongside video data from roadside infrastructure provides each vehicle with timely awareness of what is beyond their isolated line of sight. This in turn enables behaviours such as collision avoidance, adaptive speed control or platooning.
A key factor for this to happen is the networks’ ability to seamlessly share high volumes of data with appropriate timeliness.
As consumers we are all used to the ‘G’, or generation, labelling which is attached to our phones. The dominant generation of devices are now 4G, which superseded 3G devices through technical changes in the way the network was designed and led to faster speeds with more responsiveness for our current data driven lifestyle.
Enhancing collision avoidance capabilities
5G is used to describe the fifth generation of mobile communications technologies. Crucially, 5G is more than just a faster internet connection. As a direct comparison over 4G, 5G will have a peak data rate 20 times currently on offer – up to 20Gbit/s, a user experience data rate 10 times that of now – up to 100Mbit/s, but it is the fall in latencies by 10 times to 1ms that makes 5G useful in CAM.
This fall in latency (the time it takes for data to complete its journey) will be critical to enhancing collision avoidance capabilities where every millisecond counts. Also the enhanced peak date rate will allow the sharing of high definition images between infrastructure and vehicles which may assist in so called ‘smarter decisions’ that include contextual information of the situation.
The path to 5G communications providing these capabilities is ongoing, but progressive initiatives by Government from the Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) are accelerating the UKs international competitiveness.
Several academics at the University of Warwick have been awarded a UKRI Future Leader Fellowship, providing world-class research in topics including autonomous vehicles to life in outer space.
The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) scheme is designed to increase the supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class.
Seven academics from the University of Warwick have been awarded a future leader fellowship, which will help develop their careers as some of the best researchers and innovators from around the world in the UK.
The academics involved vary from Sciences and Social Science faculties. They are:
· Dr Matthew Spencer – Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
· Dr Tom Gur – Computer Science
· Dr Benjamin Richards – Physics
· Dr Richard Moore – Philosophy
· Dr Angela Aristidou – Warwick Business School
· Mr Siddartha Khastgir – WMG
· Dr Heather Cegla – Physics
Responding to the success of University of Warwick academics securing Future Leadership Fellowships from UKRI, Professor Pam Thomas, the University of Warwick’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research said:
“I am delighted to see University of Warwick researchers being recognised by UKRI, and for them to receive support for their ground-breaking research. Drawn from across our University, the seven fellowships are welcome recognition of the depth, breadth and ingenuity of Warwick research. I wish our academics the very best as they continue their work and greatly look forward to following their progress.”
Universities Minister Chris Skidmore comments:
“Delivering on our research and innovation ambitions means putting people first, whether they are just starting out in their career or are leading major projects in academia or industry.
“These inspirational Future Leaders Fellows will generate the ideas of the future, helping to shape science and research for the 21st century. But to realise the full potential of these discoveries, their ideas need to be taken out of the lab and turned into real products and services, where they can actually change people’s lives for the better.
“That’s why we are creating 20 new University Enterprise Zones, helping local start-ups to co-locate in universities to build the businesses of the future – all inspired by university research.”
Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation’s Chief Executive, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships will enable the most promising researchers and innovators to become leaders in their fields, working on subjects as diverse as climate change, dementia and quantum computing.
“UKRI is committed to creating modern research and innovation careers and our Future Leaders Fellowships aim to support and retain the most talented people, including those with flexible career paths."
Dr Matthew Spencer, of the University of Warwick’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies will be researching Cybersecurity, will focus on producing new insights about cyber security practice through ethnographic analysis in Critical National Infrastructure organisations, closing the loop between cyber security policy and practice and develop new participative methods to improve cyber security practice.
Commenting on his research Dr Tom Gur, of the University of Warwick’s Department of Computer Science, said that it will be “focused on pushing the boundaries of classical and quantum verifiable computing and its real-world applications to delegation of computation to the cloud, as well as to blockchain technology. Its primary objective is to develop a wide arsenal of tools that would open new possibilities for meeting the challenges imposed by big data and the need for decentralised peer-to-peer systems.”
Dr Benjamin Richards, of the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, says that he intends to “make a vital measurement of the rate and energy of neutrinos that arrive from distant supernovae throughout the galaxy. The properties of these neutrinos will tell us much about the wider composition of the universe as well as neutrinos themselves. This measurement will allow us to test the rate of black hole formation in the universe, test our models of supernova and tell us about the origin of heavy elements and metallicity of the galaxies.”
Dr Richard Moore, of the University of Warwick’s Department of Philosophy, will use the tools of philosophy, linguistics, and psychology to develop a new account of the developmental relationship between 'mindreading' and communication. Commenting, Dr Moore said: “Mindreading, involving the use of a 'theory of mind' (ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states to others to predict and explain their behaviour. Humans are better at this than other species, but the origins of uniquely human forms of ToM are disputed.”
Dr Angela Aristidou, of Warwick Business School, proposes to study the challenges of partnering across sectors, focusing on partnerships between the public sector and third sector, including charities, voluntary and community organizations. Commenting, Dr Aritidou seeks to examine these innovative partnerships, “I propose a project that leverages a multi-case, longitudinal design and draws on management, economics and public policy research”.
The research by Mr Siddartha Khastgir of WMG at the University of Warwick will focus on the global Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) industry, worth over £50billion (by 2035), with the UK CAV industry being projected over £3billion. Commenting, Mr Khastgir said that “the UK Government's Industrial Strategy aims to bring fully autonomous cars on the UK roads by 2021, one of the first countries in the world to achieve this. However, in order to realise this vision and the market potential, safe introduction of CAV is necessary, requiring significant research to overcome diverse barriers (technological, legislative and societal) associated with public deployment of CAV.”
Dr Heather Cegla of the University of Warwick’s department of Physics will use her research to help try and answer one of the biggest questions of all; Are we alone in the Universe? To understand the origins of life in the cosmos, we must also create a complete picture of planetary formation, evolution, and habitability. Commenting Dr Cegla said she aims to “understand and disentangle a fundamental barrier on the pathway to confirming other Earths: the stellar surface inhomogeneities from convection. Planet confirmation requires a mass measurement, which can be determined from the Doppler shift of the absorption lines in the stellar atmosphere.”
20 SEPTEMBER 2019
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information please contact:
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
- The security, privacy and safety of connected autonomous vehicles (CAVs) has been improved thanks to testing at WMG, University of Warwick
- WMG undertook real-world testing of four innovations in the IoT-enabled Transport and Mobility Demonstrator.
- They were able to connect CAVs to other CAVs and roadside infrastructure more securely and privately.
The privacy and security of data in CAVs has been improved thanks to WMG, University of Warwick who tested four innovations that were results of the PETRAS project. CAVs can now connect to each other, roadside infrastructure, and roadside infrastructure to each other more securely.
In the near future Connected and Autonomous Vehicles are expected to become widely used across the UK. To ensure a smooth deployment, researchers from WMG, University of Warwick undertook real-world testing of four academic innovations in the IoT-enabled Transport and Mobility Demonstrator project funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
The testing looked at how the vehicles will connect to each other, as well as to roadside infrastructure, and the roadside infrastructures to each other.
The four innovations tested were developed within the PETRAS Internet of Things Research Hub and aimed to improve the security, privacy and safety of future connected vehicles.
The four new innovations included:
1. Group Signatures
For a vehicle to communicate it is important that the messages it sends contain a proof that the vehicle is who they claim to be (via a digital signature). However, by revealing and proving the vehicle’s identity it allows that vehicle to be tracked over a long time. In order to provide privacy a group signature can be used, which only indicates that the vehicle is a member of a group.
The group signature scheme can be extended to use a timestamp that updates every 10 minutes as a component of the signature. Therefore, if the vehicle was to send the exact same message at 10:00am and 10:10am the group signature would differ and an eavesdropper would not be able link that the vehicle sent both messages. This scheme would be useful in vehicle platooning where vehicles want to demonstrate they are part of the platoon group.
2. Authentication Prioritisation
It is an expensive task for a vehicle to verify another’s identity. Vehicles will have limited computing resources and so will only be able to verify a specific number of identities included in messages per second. For example, if a vehicle is on a busy motorway in traffic there may already be more vehicles sending messages that can be verified in a timely manner. An adversary may also try to send many messages with incorrect signatures in order to prevent vehicles from verifying the identity of actual vehicles. Therefore the order in which the identity of messages are verified is decided based on assigning a priority to the messages. A higher priority means that those messages have the identity of the sender verified first.
3. Decentralised PKI
When a vehicle is travelling down a road it may meet multiple vehicles in a short space of time. In order to check the identity of these vehicles, the public key of the other vehicle needs to be downloaded from a keyserver. However, hosting this keyserver in the cloud has limitations due to additional communication hops increasing the time before the vehicle receives the necessary keys. Instead, vehicles can receive these keys faster if the keysever is distributed over Edge infrastructure that sits next to the road.
4. Decentralised PKI with Pseudonyms
This innovation extended the previous innovation to support periodically issuing new identities to vehicles on the road to provide privacy. Both this innovation and group signatures may be required, as they are useful in different scenarios.
Each of the techniques above were demonstrated in the real world on the campuses of the Universities of Warwick and Surrey, as well as Millbrook Proving Ground.
A follow up executive summary, informed through feedback when the work was presented at the House of Lords, is now available. The summary makes a number of recommendations, including more communication infrastructure should be deployed, and that researchers should have an ability test different types of cyberattacks on CAVs and roadside infrastructure. 5G should also be used to perform the testing, as 5G is being rolled out across the UK in the future.
Lead of the project Professor Carsten Maple of WMG, University of Warwick comments:
“The cyber-security of CAVs is key to make sure that when the vehicles are on the roads, the data is trustworthy and that vehicle communications do not compromise privacy. We tested four innovations developed in the PETRAS Project, and being able to apply them to the real world is the first major step in testing security of CAV systems.
“The units being investigated to be used in cars and on the roadside were taken to Parliament in February to demonstrate how they work; now we can focus on further testing in the real world. Future work include will include testing on 5G systems, and with different types of attacks”.