WiE Group’s IoT Workshop 17-18 October, Liverpool

The lEEE Workshop on loT has been a joint initiative of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Edge Hill University, SmartLancs Ltd, Future Tech Lab and the lEEE Region 8. The two-day workshop was organised at a world-class venue, Sensor City, providing information on loT technologies, applications and entrepreneurship.

Workshop Context

Future Tech Lab Co-Founder Soumya Kanti Datta

The lnternet of Things (loT) is a pervasive set of technologies that finds application essentially in almost every industry segment, homes, agriculture, healthcare, supply chain, lnventory & asset management, and other application domains. All current efforts are focused on architecture and protocols for efficient interconnection of heterogeneous things and creation of value added services. The success of these technologies depends on the adoption of products and services by the consumers. There is a need for a larger, concerted involvement in understanding the technologies, accelerate solution design and application development.

The objective of the workshop was to provide the participants with the context and background of loT landscape in our society, and to give them an opportunity to visualise potential solutions for a specific problem by working in groups. The participants were provided with an industrial problem statement and taken through the process of ideation, solution selection and solution prototyping.

Technical Program – Day 1

Keynote from David Jordan

The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. Ahmed Al-$hamma’a Executive Dean FET Liverpool John Moores University. Ms. Alison Mitchell, Executive Director, Sensor City gave an overview of Sensor City project, following which the Program Chair Dr. Princy Johnson (Senior Lecturer, LJMU) introduced the program to the participants.

Soumya Kanti Datta presented an open tutorial on the loT Landscape – Past, Present and Future. He outlined the various developments in the context of loT from a device, software, interaction and impact perspectives and concluded with an overview of the application areas for loT. Roberto Minerva (Research Engineer, Telecom Sud Paris, France) was the first keynote speaker of the morning who shared his visions of SG and its impact on the loT.

Beginning with the additional features that SG has to offer, Dr. Minerva elucidated the specific impact of the radio access technology and the role it would play in the context of dense device deployments. He also touched upon how QoS could be delivered to diverse application contexts.

Luke Walsh (Managing Director, Brainboxes, UK) was the second keynote speaker who presented a demonstration of industrial systems benefiting from the loT . The afternoon keynote was on Data Collection, Curation and Rol from Michael Walker (Project Director, AIMES Grid Service Ltd).

Keynote from Roberto Minerva

The next session comprised of three short talks on diverse, but related topics – Entrepreneurship by Liam Shore, WorpCloud Ltd., Product Creation by Laura Kelly and Spectrum Congestion by Faycal Bouhafs.

The final technical session of the first day included an industrial problem statement discussion. A panel, comprising of Gopi Garge, Soumya K Datta and the representative from Glen Dimplex Home Appliance (GDHA, the problem owner) coordinated the problem description, as an interactive Q&A session. The participants could understand what type of problems this organisation had for their future products in terms of IoT. This set the stage for ideation, concept formation and entrepreneurial discussions for the second day.

The last session had talks by Anthony Walker (LJMU) on how the LCR4 ERDF project could help SMEs and academics, and Keeley Crockett on what WIE & IEEE UK&I members do in terms of promoting STEM among various groups including school children, teachers, parents and others.

Talks from Faycal Bouhafs and Laura Kelly

Technical Program – Day 2

The activities for the second day was introduced by Chitra Balakrishna (Edge Hill University). The first activity was the forming of teams by the participants. A total of five teams with a minimum of five participants (total 31) were formed. The team included a group of sixth form students from a Design course. Each group was tasked with developing ideas to solve the problem. At the end of the day, each group was to pitch their solution to a ͚Dragon s den panel who would evaluate the proposals and rank them.

Anthony Walker

The problem statement was to devise a means of being able to prevent fires in ovens in domestic kitchens. The ideation and concept formation session conducted by Emma Robinson (Centre for Entrepreneurship, LJMU) took the participant teams interactively, through the process of how to generate lots of ideas for solving a problem, how to identify the concept and themes from those ideas. The individual teams worked on their proposed solutions with Gopi Garge, Laura Kelly and Soumya K Datta overseeing their efforts in the technical solution building, its validation and presentation.

Then the teams pitched their proposed solution to a panel of four (2 from GDHA; Joanne Phoenix, the marketing manager for Sensor City; and Laura Kelly representing the Co-creation group at LJMU) making a five-minute pitch, each, and were assessed based a range of criteria. Top three groups were awarded.

Apart from the above, two exhibits were also arranged – (i) A new class of networked device to measure the depth of groundwater saturation by David Jordan of LJMU and (ii) The LCR Activate Project from by Amanda Ordish, LJMU.

Dr Keeley Crockett

In summary, the topic of the workshop was deemed timely and relevant to the different groups of participants that included students, SMEs, large organisations, problem owners, retirees etc. The keynotes have proved to be very popular among the attendees. Especially the keynote on ͚the impact of 5G on IoT by Dr. Roberto Minerva

The organising committee of the IoT workshop sincerely thanks Elizabeth Beattie and David Copley for their support, Sensor City for hosting the workshop, LCR4.0 for their active support and IEEE Region 8 for their sponsorship.

We had very positive feedback from the participants and organisers as well. Multiple teams worked well together to make this event run smoothly and deliver. The workshop was a great success.

Emma Robinson’s talk and the Workshop Organisers