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Bulletin - 10 January 2011

Issue No 1 (2010/2011)
10 January 2011

1. Award of Higher Degrees

From the meeting of the Steering Committee held on the 5th July the following recommendations have been made for the award of higher degrees and approved:

Degree of MSc by research

Khaled Aggour

and from the meetings on the 18th October, 22nd, 29th November and 20th December:

Degree of PhD

Amit Kiran
Chian Wen Chan
Sheng Cheng
David Hunter
John Eric Sloper
Wei Ren
Reza Tamadoni
Kerrie Hatton

2. Welcome to Dr Layi Alatise

Olayiwola (Layi) Alatise graduated with a first class honours BEng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Newcastle University in 2005. He completed his PhD in microelectronics and semiconductors from the same university in 2008. His research focused on the mixed signal performance enhancements in strained Si/SiGe MOSFETs (metal oxide on semiconductor field effect transistors). In 2004 and 2005, Layi briefly joined ATMEL North Tyneside where he worked on the process integration of the 130 nm CMOS technology node. In June 2008, he joined the Innovation R&D department of NXP semiconductors as a development Engineer where he designed, processed and qualified discrete power trench MOSFETs for automotive applications and switched mode power supplies. In November 2010, Layi joined Warwick University as a Science City Research Fellow to investigate advanced power semiconductor materials and devices for improved energy conversion efficiency. He has written several scientific journal papers, served as a reviewer for the IEEE journals and is a member of the IEEE and IET.

Jonathan Seville

3. Welcome to Professor Jihong Wang and Professor Steve Dixon

Jihong Wang joins the School of Engineering at Warwick from the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Birmingham, where she was Professor of Control and Electrical Power and Deputy Director of the Midlands Energy Graduate School. Before joining Birmingham, she was Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool from 1998 to 2007. From 1995 to 1998, she worked as a Research Fellow at De Montfort University.

Her research interests are: 1) power system modelling, control and monitoring including large scale power plant modelling and control; 2) energy efficient actuators and systems; 3) nonlinear system control theory with industrial applications. She has published over 100 technical papers and gained two best paper awards. Her research has led to several practical innovations, including a smart voltage controller product which can save 7-10% electricity for domestic householders. A clean pneumatic UPS (uninterrupted power supply) was also developed through a previous joint research project with industry; this avoids chemical battery waste and environmental contamination. Her group has also produced sophisticated power plant condition monitoring software, as a result of which she was one of the finalists for the 2010 IET Innovation Awards. She serves as an expert adviser to the EU near-zero emission coal-fired power generation project. She is a Technical Editor to IEEE Trans. on Mechatronics and is Associate Editor to two other international journals. Her research has attracted support from the research councils and industrial partners, including E.ON Engineering, EDF Energy, Emerson Process Management, RWEnpower and JLR.

Jihong, who joins the School as Professor of Electrical Power Engineering with effect from 1st January 2011, is currently a substantial contributor to the Science City Energy Efficiency project and will be working closely with Professor Phil Mawby.


Steve Dixon joins the School on a joint appointment with the Department of Physics, as the Chair of Industrial Ultrasonics. Steve will be known already to a number of staff in Engineering as he has been a lecturer in the Department of Physics since 2001, where he held an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship from 1999 to 2004, and was promoted to Reader in 2008. Steve has for a number of years, collaborated on several research projects with colleagues in the AIM Lab within the School of Engineering. Elster NV/SA a world leading technology company working in advanced metering for the gas, electricity and water industries, and in association with The Royal Academy of Engineering, will be working closely with Steve to support a programme of research which will establish an applied as well as blue skies research centre to meet the needs of the industry.

His research interests centre around non-destructive evaluation (NDE), and include: 1) ultrasonic transduction and modelling, particularly for non-contacting techniques; 2) electromagnetic methods for NDE; 3) material property measurements of engineering components for NDE. He has published over 200 technical papers and presented numerous invited papers at international conferences. He is the author of several patent applications and is one of Warwick Venture's Enterprise Champions. He is a Board Member and the Academic Chair of the multimillion pound, EPRSC funded Research Centre for NDE, he has been Chair of the Technical Committee of the British Institute of NDT for the past 5 years, and is a member of the IOP Physical Acoustics Group Committee. Steve is the Editor in Chief of the journal Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation and he serves on the editorial board of other NDE journals. In 2006, he set up the University spin-out company Sonemat Ltd, which has helped to transfer technology from the research results of the group out into industry. He collaborates with a number of multinational companies and SMEs on various research projects, and currently holds EPSRC and EU funded research grants.

Steve who starts a joint appointment between the School of Engineering and Department of Physics with effect from 1st January 2011, will be working closely with Professor Dave Hutchins and Dr Duncan Billson and will be seeking to develop further collaborations within the School of Engineering.

Jonathan Seville

4. Warwick-Monash activities - new collaboration started

Professor Jean Armstrong was a recent academic visitor from Monash University working with Professor Roger Green, Dr. Mark Leeson, and Dr. Matthew Higgins under the Warwick-Monash agreement for collaboration, in the field of optical communications, especially Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) in Optical Wireless. She received a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1974, an M.Sc. in Digital Techniques from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Digital Communications from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 1993. From 1974-1977 she worked as a Design Engineer at Hewlett-Packard Ltd., Scotland.

In 1977 she was appointed Lecturer in Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Since 1977 she has held a range of academic positions at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and La Trobe University. She is currently a full Professor at Monash. Her research interests include digital communications, engineering education, and women in engineering. She has published over one hundred papers including over seventy on aspects of OFDM. Her work on OFDM has also led to a number of patents. In June 2006 she and her co-inventer were awarded the Peter Doherty Prize for Innovation for their work on optical OFDM. She is Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia.

She is currently working on joint research papers and research grant applications with her Warwick collaborators, including supporting a new EPSRC proposal involving Professor Green, Dr. James Covington, Professor David Hutchins, and Dr. Duncan Billson. She has already met several other School academic and other staff, and been able to give advice on links for them with compatible colleagues in appropriate research areas. Professor Green will be making a reciprocal visit to Monash in Spring 2011. Additionally, Professor Hutchins and Dr. Covington have also set up collaborations with their Monash equivalents.

Roger Green

5. Welcome to Sarah Pain

Sarah Pain has joined the School of Engineering as Research Office Manager. Although new to the school, she has only moved a little way from her previous position as Box Office Manager at Warwick Arts Centre. Her experiences there included data management, customer service, departmental communications and website maintenance.

Previously Sarah has worked at Loomis Techical, as Senior Project Team Leader, and at the South East England Development Agency in two roles; Assistant Business Analyst and Appraisal Officer. The latter role including working with project managers to advise on contract, appraisal and reporting procedures, and assisting with project audits.

Her interests outside of work include photography, cinema-going and attending live music shows. She enjoys hiking and the great outdoors, but can often be found on her home PC playing computer games!

Sarah is looking forward to developing both her role, and the function of the newly formed Research Office. Look out for more information over the next few weeks about services and updates.

6. Arthur Shercliff Travel Scholarships - 2011

The Arthur Shercliff Memorial Trust which was established to promote technical visits abroad by undergraduate and graduate students, offers two Scholarships valued at £1150, one to be awarded in each of the Engineering departments of Cambridge University and Warwick University.

As in recent years, applications are particularly encouraged for technical visits relating to any aspect of sustainable development, including energy and environmental impact. However, all high quality applications will be considered. Applications from student members of the Cambridge and Warwick departments of Engineering, containing a one-page proposal for the technical visit, together with a sealed reference from an academic staff member, should be sent to the Head of the respective department by Friday, 4 February 2011. Please note that no late applications can be accepted.

Application forms for Warwick students are available for download:

It is expected that awards will be announced by Friday 11 March 2011.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling
Professor Jonathan Seville

7. Farewell to Carol Wilson and Jennifer Turner

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