Osman Kent: An Improbable Journey

Interview and article by Phillipa Jefferies, Joanna Chustecki and Sara Jebril With thanks to the EPS Community and Alumni Relations Office.

On Wednesday 8th March Osman Kent, computer science and electronic engineering alumnus, returned to the University of Birmingham to inspire a whole new generation of technologists and entrepreneurs. He was cited by Business Insider magazine as one of the top 15 technologists in the world in 2012. However, as he discusses in his EPS distinguished lecture, it hasn’t always been plain sailing.
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How Safe is Your Biometric Data?

Recently, Japanese researchers at the National Institute of Informatics (NII) have managed to recreate fingerprints based on photos taken up to three metres away from the subject. High profile members of public, such as celebrities, would likely be at greatest risk of their biometric data being stolen this way, however, NII researcher Isa Echizen suggested that anyone’s fingerprints could be made widely available “just by casually making a peace sign in front of a camera”. As mainstream camera technology becomes more advanced, the practice of uploading pictures to social media will make more people susceptible to biometric data theft.  
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The Father of Molecular Machinery: An Evening with Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart

An Interview with Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, Joanna Chustecki and Mel Jack with thanks to the EPS Community and Alumni Relations Office.

A cold autumnal night on campus and something incredible is happening in the Haworth building. Hundreds of students, postgrads, old friends, colleagues and members of the public have flocked to this well-established house of chemistry to hear one of the greatest chemists of our time talk. Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart to be exact. Within this huge crowd bustling to access the main lecture theatre stands a man who has published over 1,000 scientific papers, is one of the most cited chemists in the world, and has, on the 5th of October 2016, been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry ‘for the design and synthesis of molecular machines’.
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Birmingham and the RADAR Revolution

Patrick McCarthy uncovers the link beween your microwave, your uni and World War Two.

How does a microwave oven work? Finely tuned electromagnetic (EM) waves form standing nodes inside the oven’s chamber, exciting the bonds in water, causing them to heat up as the contents spin on the plate. The source of these microwaves, the cavity magnetron, has a history directly linked to the University of Birmingham.
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From Snorlax to Science

Augmented reality is fast becoming a technology of the everyday for millions around the world. Pokémon Go may have seemed like a simple mobile game, yet it signalled the arrival of AR into mainstream public consciousness. The ability to conjure and overlay virtual objects onto the real world is not just a defining advancement in the gaming industry, but also in how we live and operate on a day to day basis.
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Ode to the Short-Lived, Bright-Burning Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Justin Holloway mourns the missed opportunity to have your own personal, portable haystack.

Whilst relocating to Old Blighty from Down Under, I was warned by Sharon, the air hostess, ‘oi mate, you better not be carrying a Galaxy with ya’. Fortunately, I was equipped with an iPhone and could use the 24+ hour flight to catch up on podcasts. Since then further aircraft carriers in Australia, Asia, Europe and America have banned the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from being carried on or packed in luggage. Samsung has also taken the phone off the shelves and has issued a recall for 2.5 million smartphones in what is believed to be one of the costliest product safety failures in tech history.
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Star Wars

Is space the final frontier of warfare? Siddharth Trivedi explores whether the offensive capabilities of space infrastructure will be needed one day.

The Star Wars franchise is close to the hearts of many around the world for depicting adventurous stories of love and loss throughout a fictional galaxy. The iconic series has continued to wow audiences since the release of A New Hope (1977) in its portrayal of epic space battles, featuring dogfights between the futuristic X-Wing and the sleek TIE Fighters.
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Visualising the Future with Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has become an exciting new piece of technology and is quickly evolving. William Richardson looks into how virtual reality may change how we work and live in the future.

Virtual reality (VR), following the trend in most technology, is likely to become integrated into our lives, whether that be on the commute to work, in the home or professionally. But what applications will VR have in the future and how will it change how we work and live?
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