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Expert comment from Dr Harjinder Lallie on the London hospitals cyber attacks

Dr Harjinder Lallie, Associate Professor (Cyber Security) at WMG at the University of Warwick explain: “The London cyber attack demonstrates the importance of cyber defences and proper back up plans, especially in organisations where it really can be a matter of life or death, like the NHS. With hospitals now having to resort to paper records in the wake of the attack, we must seriously weigh up the costs of defending ourselves versus the cost of doing nothing and accepting these attacks from hostile actors.

“With these attacks often able to manipulate our data as well as hold it to ransom, our most private data – such as our health records – must be protected more closely. To leave the medical information of patients out there without proper cyber security defence is the equivalent of leaving the files on a park bench or on a train. We must invest more in our own defences if we don’t want to see these types of attacks repeated time and again.”

 

Fri 14 Jun 2024, 10:45 | Tags: WMG Comments Our People Cyber Security

Expert comment: Dr Ben Silverstone on recognising military qualifications

Expert comment from Dr Ben Silverstone, Associate Professor, Workforce Transformation Strategy and Policy, WMG at the University of Warwick.

"As well as providing a much needed simplification in the transition from military to civilian occupations the recognition of military qualifications as being equivalent to civilian ones will be hugely beneficial in technical and manufacturing areas. The experience and capability of those leaving the military is an enormous asset to our engineering workforce and easing that transition will ensure that the UK can better respond to the workforce challenges it currently has".
Thu 06 Jun 2024, 14:58

WMG pledges support to make Coventry digitally inclusive

WMG at the University of Warwick is proud to be an active partner in Coventry City Council’s pioneering digital recycling scheme, the #CovConnects Device Bank.

The project, which is part of the Council’s Digital Inclusion programme and supported by the Cities Climate Change Strategy, was launched on principles of circular economy by reusing andWMG pledges support to Coventry City Council’s pioneering digital recycling scheme, the #CovConnects Device Bank repairing end of corporate life devices which are then distributed to local communities.

The Council was awarded the funding following a successful application to the Time after Time fund. The fund was created and is distributed by Hubbub and Virgin Media O2, and looks to fund projects that help to close the digital divide while reducing electronic waste.

Cllr Richard Brown, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources at Coventry City Council, said: “Our #CovConnects programme is all about making sure none of our residents are digitally excluded. That’s why I’m delighted we’ve won this funding.

“This money will allow us to expand our efforts and get more of these devices into the hands of the most vulnerable. Having your own device, which you can use every day, is something that has the potential to completely transform your life.

“This project is a true partnership with the NHS, WMG and other partners across the city. Together we can make Coventry truly digitally inclusive.”

Dr Russ Hall, WMG’s Lead for Circular Economy and Sustainable Manufacturing at the University of Warwick, and Chair of the Coventry City Climate Change Board Circular Pathway, added: “It’s really important to be a part of this fantastic scheme. We want to research the reuse, remanufacture and recycling of digital equipment. This is a great example of where sustainable practices like circular economy can address societal issues like digital poverty, and we want to do all we can to help it flourish and grow. It has real environmental benefits as part of the circular economy and can play a vital role in overcoming digital exclusion.”

Digital Recycling is a key element within the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. Dr Russ Hall and Friya Tailor from WMG, are working with colleagues from the Council to evaluate the environmental benefits of the project. The research will in turn be shared nationally enabling other organisations to learn from the scheme.

To find out more about the #CovConnects programme, visit: https://www.coventry.gov.uk/cov-connects

Virgin Media O2 and Hubbub established the Time After Time fund in 2022 in response to the nation’s growing e-waste problem, with the UK producing more electrical waste per person than any other country in the world (except for Norway).

#CovConnects was selected as one of eight winners from more than 120 entries by a panel of judges including TV presenter and environmentalist George Clarke, non-profit, Material Focus, digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, plus Hubbub and Virgin Media O2.

Find out more about Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing research at WMG here: Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing Group (warwick.ac.uk)


How the cookie crumbles: University of Warwick X- ray tech used to reveal the secrets of baking the perfect biscuit

WMG at the University of Warwick and Cadbury have used powerful X-ray scanning equipment to uncover the secrets of how the structure of biscuits, which is essential for the perfect ‘crunch’, forms.

The discoveries have been released to mark National Biscuit Day this Wednesday, 29th May. Biscuits are the UK’s favourite sweet treat, with the average person in the UK eating around six a week.

WMG researchers scanned biscuits in a bespoke oven as they baked, imaging the inside of the biscuit to reveal how the porous structure, essential for the perfect ‘crunch’, forms during the baking process.WMG researchers scanned biscuits in a bespoke oven as they baked, imaging the inside of the biscuit to reveal how the porous structure, essential for the perfect ‘crunch’, forms during the baking process.

Associate Professor at WMG’s Centre for Imaging, Metrology and Additive Technologies, Jay Warnett, said that this was just the beginning for the technology:

“Joining forces with Cadbury, we're cracking the code to the perfect biscuit. Through our X-rays, we're helping uncover the ideal baking time, thickness, and recipe for the ultimate eating experience”.

“But our research doesn't stop there; we're diving deeper into the world of biscuits and baked food and hope to continue working with Cadbury for a long time to come”.

Researchers at WMG, who were approached by Cadbury, constructed an oven from scratch inside an X-ray CT scanner – a similar machine to what you might find in a hospital.

Using the latest algorithms, the imaging process was sped up to scan the biscuit every 20 seconds throughout the baking process. When put together, the WMG and Cadbury teams could observe the biscuit baking over time.Picture: Biscuits consist of a 3D network of interconnected pores - in this cross section of a biscuit, the different pore spaces have been segmented out in different colours. While some patches appear disconnected, the pores are likely connected above and/or below this slice.

Principal Scientist at Cadbury, Thomas Curwen, is excited for the future of biscuit development:

“The latest algorithms have allowed us to watch and quantify the baking process inside the biscuit in greater detail than ever before. This capability will help us determine the function of different ingredients in more detail and how the structure that forms controls the eating experience. I am excited by what we can learn and how this will help us deliver the great tasting biscuits of the future.”

The research process, which was led by Dr Warnett and Research Fellow Dr Evelien Zwanenburg, has proved the concept possible, and is therefore likely to be the first step before a larger project later this year.

This future work aims to extend the work across other biscuit varieties and baked goods.

 


WMG ranked top 20 in the world in prestigious QS International Trade Education Rankings

The ITSO programme at WMGAccording to the QS International Trade Rankings 2024, WMG at the University of Warwick’s MSc International Trade, Strategy and Operations (ITSO) programme has been rated 16th in the world and 3rd in the UK in terms of trade education.

The ITSO programme has also been identified by QS as one of the top two specialist trade courses in the world.

The highly prestigious QS rankings evaluate courses on six key indicators: Trade Programme; Graduate Outcomes; Industry Engagement; Innovative Teaching; Reputation; and Research.

Professor Dan Nunan, Associate Dean (Postgraduate Education), at WMG said: “I’m delighted to see WMG has, once again, been ranked amongst the leading providers in the world for international trade education. This recognition is a true testament to our incredible community of staff and students here at WMG, and the many industry partners who contribute to the design of our courses.”

Dr Di Li, Course Director for the ITSO at WMG, said “The MSc ITSO programme is an interdisciplinary course that integrates the three principal pillars of international trade, strategy, and operations management within global trade and business management. Students learn cutting-edge knowledge and tools, whilst develop the ability to employ them for tackling contemporary challenges faced by industries in response to the rapidly changing environment.”

Find out more about WMG’s International Trade, Strategy and Operations Master’s Programme here: MSc International Trade, Strategy and Operations | University of Warwick

See the full QS Rankings here: https://www.topuniversities.com/international-trade-rankings-mba-masters?page=0

Wed 29 May 2024, 13:15 | Tags: Education Full-time Masters

Pioneering CT scanning tech facility opens at WMG

A new CT scanning facility has been unveiled at WMG at the University of Warwick’s Centre for Imaging, Metrology and Additive Technologies (CiMAT).

Picture shows Professor Mark Williams; Lady Bhattacharyya; and Dean of WMG, Professor Robin ClarkThe facility was officially opened by Dean of WMG, Professor Robin Clark; and Lady Bhattacharyya, the wife of the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya who founded WMG in 1980.

CT is becoming increasingly important within industry, assisting new manufacturing processes and supporting work on complex products and materials.

Within CiMAT, researchers and engineers use advanced technology, tools and techniques, to deliver impact in a range of sectors including archaeology, healthcare and forensics.

Since first opening in 2021, over 300 projects from 46 different companies have passed through the facility.

An additional £1m has now been invested by WMG, the EPSRC and the National X-ray Computed Tomography (NXCT) research facility to expand research capabilities and to create a dedicated teaching and learning space for PhD students.

Professor Mark Williams, who heads up the CiMAT at WMG, explains: “ The scanning technologies, such as high-resolution laser scanning and microfocus CT, enable 3D characterisation of internal and external structures. With a total of five different CT systems, the group is capable of supporting a wide range of applications, from small scale to large scale, high resolution to high powered penetration for dense materials.”

High profile work includes forensic partnerships with 30 police forces across the UK whereby the use of cutting-edge 3D imaging tech has been used to view injuries in incredibly high detail providing crucial evidence in over 300 murder cases.

Professor Williams add: “The use of CT in a variety of engineering areas is growing rapidly, and we are leading the way in fast scanning technologies. Through iterative reconstruction methods we can bring scan times down from hours/minutes down to minutes/seconds.”

Find out more about CiMAT here: Metrology and 3D Imaging (warwick.ac.uk)


Automated Vehicle Bill receives Royal Assent

Expert comment from Professor Siddartha Khastgir, Head of Safe Autonomy at WMG, University of Warwick.

‘‘I am thrilled that the Automated Vehicle (AV) Bill has received Royal Assent today. The Bill (now Act) has laid a sound regulatory foundation for the AV industry in the UK. This is a first but important step to introducing AVs safely to the UK’s roads.

"I support the government’s ambition that AVs should be as safe as a careful and competent human driver; we therefore, urge the government to undertake swift work on the secondary legislation with a more robust focus and detailed definition of the performance requirements, keeping safety as our highest priority going forward. This will also provide certainty and clarity for technology developers and the AV industry. WMG will continue to work with the UK’s policymakers and provide research evidence to underpin AV policies, including the secondary legislation.

“At WMG, we have also been advocating for ‘informed safety’, which means that users understand the limitations and capabilities of the technology and can use AVs within this safety limit. I am glad that the Act has a strong focus on tackling misleading marketing of AVs. Information about self-driving vehicles should be communicated precisely and transparently to the public so everyone feels safe and confident when engaging with AVs. The public is core to this technology: if they don’t trust it, they will never use it.

“To bring the public on this self-driving journey and bridge the knowledge gap, the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education United Kingdom (PAVE UK) was co-founded earlier this year by WMG, the Department for Transport, the Department for Business and Trade, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and Transport for West Midlands to deliver accurate and inclusive public awareness and education programmes on self-driving technology.

“WMG will continue to work closely with the government and the eco-system to help set strong performance requirements, ensuring the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles on the UK’s roads, and enabling the country to be the hub of this transformational transport technology.’’


Dementia Action Week: WMG calls for volunteers for ground-breaking Alzheimer’s screening tests

Expert comment from Professor Alan Chalmers

For Dementia Action Week, WMG at the University of Warwick, together with Superlunary Labs, are doubling their efforts to develop a low-cost, non-intrusive method for the early screening of Alzheimer’s disease using a simple flavour test which can be undertaken as part of a regular health check-up by a nurse, at a pharmacy or community centre.

The test can help diagnose the beginnings of Alzheimer's years before symptoms of memory loss through a loss of taste or smell.

Scientists at WMG are looking to get data from at least 1000 people before aiming to roll the screening out nationwide, potentially as early as next year. If you want to take part in the trial, and can get to the University of Warwick campus, contact Alan.Chalmers@warwick.ac.uk to be part of the future of medicine.

Picture of Professor Alan ChalmersProfessor Alan Chalmers commented: “Working with MPs and their constituency offices we will be collecting more data across the country to significantly enlarge our dataset of people’s flavour perception ability. This dataset, together with AI and MRI scans, will enable us to validate our screening method. Once validated we will be able to roll out the method widely, hopefully as early as next year.

"New drugs that slow disease progression down offer real hope to people living with Alzheimer’s Disease, but crucially the disease needs early diagnosis for these drugs to be most effective. One might have the disease many years before failing a memory test, the current means for diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Wed 15 May 2024, 09:34 | Tags: Alan Chalmers Visualisation Our People

WMG researchers present new Alzheimer’s widespread screening device at parliament

Picture shows Professor Alan Chalmers with Matt Western MP

On Wednesday (24th April), WMG at the University of Warwick’s Professor Alan Chalmers, and his research team, held a parliamentary drop-in session, hosted by Sir Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth & Southam and Vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Dementia.

Scientists at WMG, have been working on ground-breaking medical screening for neurodegenerative conditions, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease. The research is based on growing evidence that people suffering with such diseases can lose their sense of smell and taste, many years before other symptoms, such as memory loss, become apparent.

An early diagnosis is critical for those with the disease. New drug technology can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s, but only if detected early enough.

Together with research partners including the NHS, Neurosaliance, and Superlunary Labs, the scientists updated policy makers on the progress of a National Engagement Framework for facilitating screening across the county and demonstrated a new working prototype of their flavour perception testing system.

Matt Western, MP for Leamington and Warwick, said: “We should strive for equality in dementia diagnosis across the UK. It was great to meet Professor Chalmers and his team from WMG. They are working with Superlunary Labs to develop flavour perception technology, for wide-spread non-invasive screening, which could help us achieve that goal.”

The Framework was piloted last year and resulted in data being collected at a number of venues across the country facilitated by MP’s constituency offices.

The plan is for the easy-to-use, low-cost perception testing system to be deployed in pharmacies, care homes and GP surgeries across the country.

This will allow people to measure their own flavour perception ability without the need for a GP appointment. The results will be sent to GPs via a mobile app, and those who perform poorly can then be referred for further tests.

WMG’s Professor Alan Chalmers, who is leading the research said: “In this simple screening test, people are given different flavours to smell and taste. They then, for example, determine which is sweeter, less astringent or smells more of lemon. It’s an easy, non-invasive test which can be rolled out to people quickly right across the UK. It was great to have an opportunity to share our Framework with policy makers.

“At the moment, people who present with symptoms of memory are referred for MRI scans and spinal fluid tests to confirm a diagnosis. By the time memory loss occurs things are often too late; pioneering drug treatments only perform well in the early stages of degeneration. MRI scans and spinal fluid tests are currently not done before there is an indication of the disease as they are incredibly invasive, can cause distress and are expensive and time-consuming for the NHS. Failure of the flavour test can give the necessary early indication.”

Marcus Jones MP for Nuneaton, added: “It was wonderful to meet the team from WMG and Superlunary Labs working to develop flavour perception testing as a method of early screening for neurodegenerative conditions. Work like this is essential for tackling the growing problem of dementia in the UK.”

Read more about WMG’s Visualisation research here: Visualisation Group (warwick.ac.uk)

Wed 01 May 2024, 10:34 | Tags: Visualisation Research

WMG welcomes guests from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia

It was a pleasure to welcome senior delegates from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to WMG, at the University of Warwick, on Wednesday (24th April).

Picture shows representatives from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia with staff from WMGDr. Khairul Munadi, Education and Culture Attaché; Mrs. Anggarini Sesotyoningtyas, Head of Economic Department; and Mr. Raksa Permana Ibrahim, Economic Department; were invited to visit by Dr Kogila Balakrishnan, WMG’s Director of Client and Business Development (Southeast Asia).

As a leading international role model for successful collaboration between academia and industry, the guests were particularly interested to hear more about WMG’s work in entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as the department’s extensive SME support programme.

The guests enjoyed a tour of the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) and the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), before meeting with Gary Dimmock and Bethany Haynes from WMG’s SME Group.

The visitors also had the opportunity to meet with MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship Course Director, Dr Ali Ahmad; and Deputy Course Director, Dita Amry; as well as Indonesian students currently studying on the programme.

Dr Kogila Balakrishnan, WMG’s Director of Client and Business Development (Southeast Asia) said: “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to share the work we are doing here at WMG on both the education and research side. I look forward to further discussions and future collaborations.”

Anggarini Sesotyoningtyas added: “We’re interested in learning more about WMG’s experience in building an effective industry-university R&D collaboration as a means to solve global challenges, such as climate change and energy transition.”

While Dr. Khairul said: “We gained valuable insights from the visit. WMG serves as an outstanding example of bridging academic research with industry-driven demands. This aligns closely with Indonesia's recent focus areas.”

Find out more about WMG SME Group here: SME Support - WMG - University of Warwick

Find out more about WMG’s Master’s Courses here: Master's Degrees | WMG, University of Warwick

Fri 26 Apr 2024, 14:06 | Tags: SME VIP Visits Postgraduate Full-time

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