On 5th October RIBA hosted our first Executive Insight dinner of the new academic year.
4 academics began the evening with pecha kucha talks fresh from the Ideas Lab stage of WEF Tianjin, presenting the future of imaging.
These visionary nuggets were followed by a networking dinner and guest talks from Tom Aldred, Senior Economist, Growth and Productivity Team, HM Treasury, and Jonathan Haskel, Chair in Economics at Imperial Business School.
Jonathan’s keynote speech addressed the theme of Innovation and Intangibles, probing how, in the uncertain aftermath of the Brexit vote, industry and science-related fields in the UK could continue to break new ground.
Tom responded with his views on how HM Treasury have been approaching the stimulation of the knowledge economy over the past decade and more recently how this approach has changed with a new leadership team and movements away from Europe.
The evening was chaired by our own Provost, James Stirling and discussions touched on the brain drain of the 70’s, the rhetoric of Brexit and the American elections and exactly when the Northern Powerhouse will become a reality.
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A Brief Introduction to our WEF Academics
Find out more about the academics kicking off the evening by watching summaries of their research below:
- Gabrielle Thomas, Research Associate in the Dept. of Physics // work package leader for the European Space Agency // WEF Young Scientist
From the discovery of DNA to the identification of water on Mars, lab-based spectroscopy is fundamental to understanding the chemical composition of matter. But what if you could apply spectroscopy not to small samples but on a planetary scale?
Imagine a sensor small and powerful enough to be placed in a micro-satellite but which can assess the chemical state of an entire ecosystem with centimetre precision.
- Tobias Witting, Research Associate in the Quantum Optics and Laser Science (QOLS) Group in the Dept. of Physics
Attosecond science lies far beyond the boundaries of human experience. As a unit of time, one attosecond is to a second as a second is to the age of the entire universe. These scales not only lie outside our own capabilities; they stretch engineering to its very limits. And yet these are the speeds at which electrons move.
From artificial photosynthesis to optical computing, the growing need to understand electrical and chemical processes as they happen demands imaging techniques that can work at attosecond scale.
- Ben Glocker, Lecturer in the Biomedical Image Analysis (BioMedIA) in the Dept. of Computing // WEF Young Scientist
Behind the recent victory of an artificial intelligence against a world champion player of Go lies the power of deep learning algorithms to compete in a broad range of application areas. Visual perception is one area where humans excel, but what if a machine could match or even exceed our ability to discriminate objects and identify patterns in what we see?
- Matina Giannarou, Research Fellow in the Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery in the Dept. of Computing
Every successful operation depends on surgical skill to navigate the body. Pre-operative scans play a critical role, guiding surgeons like a map. But these are just snapshots. What if the map could be updated live – and even zoomed in and out?
Real-time, multi-scale imaging would give surgeons a ‘sat nav’ to precisely identify tissues, protect critical organs and even see beyond their scalpels before a cut is ever made.