Acoustic aid and model robots: News from the College

Sonar technology can help navigate underwater

Sonar technology can help navigate underwater

Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From recognition of the acoustics industry’s value, to an award for AI and machine learning research, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

Sound contribution

A new report has identified the value of the acoustics industry to the UK economy as 4.6 billion, driven by 750 companies.

Acoustics deals with the physics of mechanical waves, including sound, ultrasound and vibration. It can be used, for example, to make aircraft quieter, improve hearing aids and mobile phone receivers, navigate underwater (with sonar) and aid in medical diagnosis (such as ultrasounds).

The report was carried out by the UK Acoustics Network (UKAN), which is led by the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London, in conjunction with the Institute of Acoustics (IOA).

Read more about the report at the University of Sheffield: Acoustics industry contributes 4.6 billion to UK economy, report finds.

“Brexit - what a mess”

Chair of the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee, the Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn MP , delivered a lecture “Brexit: What’s next?” on Thursday.

Speaking to an audience of more than 200 Imperial staff and students, the former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs shared his insider insight on the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Image taken by Chris McAndrew , CC by 3.0

Model robots

Imperial PhD student Mehdi Bahri has won the 2019 edition of the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship , worth 40,000 USD. The Fellowship is given to the most innovative engineering PhD students across Europe, India, and the United States.

Mr Bahri, of the Department of Computing , said: “I’m delighted to have won this competitive award. The Fellowship is a great opportunity to advance my research.”

He received the award after proposing a new research area for AI and machine learning to a jury of Qualcomm executives and researchers. Mr Bahri hopes his idea will help AI to generate more realistic 3D models for use in reconstructive surgery or virtual reality.

Mr Bahri said: “We can make the models more realistic by improving how smooth surfaces are ‘seen’ by computers during machine learning. Current approaches break when shown different representations of the same surface - my work aims to address this by helping computers better understand complex geometry.”

As well as the cash reward, the Fellowship includes mentorship from a Qualcomm researcher and collaboration and internship opportunities.

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Tom Rutland
Communications and Public Affairs

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