Bath’s ‘green’ buildings in £8m TSB study

February 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Two of the University of Bath’s innovative buildings are to be tested for their green credentials.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is funding a total of 17 developments in the first phase of a four-year, £8m programme that aims to help the construction industry as a whole to better understand the performance of different building types, design strategies, construction methods and occupancy patterns, and the relative contribution of various factors to the eventual performance of the buildings.

Dr Andy Shea, from the University’s Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, will be undertaking an in-depth, two-year study of the buildings within his research group BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials. “This research will allow us to look in very fine detail at exactly how each of the buildings is performing,” he said. “Typically there is a significant difference between the calculated environmental standard of a building on paper and that achieved once a development is in use. This research will be enormously helpful in not only advising the University of any changes that could be made to the two buildings, but also in providing the industry as a whole with information that can be applied to future developments.”

The research will involve a team of people examining in detail the exact way both buildings are used, the functions performed in them and the equipment used.

“The findings of our research into energy consumption and building usage of Woodland Court will be quite unique and have the potential for impacting on student accommodation design across the country,” said Dr Shea.

Research at the University of Bath will begin in April and continue for two years

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Bristol opens new £2m research data centre

February 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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‘BluePeta’ to safeguard research data

Bristol University has worked with IBM to develop a £2m data facility that holds approximately one petabyte of information — the equivalent of 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets filled with text or 13.3 years worth of HD-video footage. The ‘BluePeta’ project is to safeguard the research data assets of the University, which is one of the first higher education institutions in the UK to install a high-capacity data storage facility on this scale.

BluePeta has been specifically designed for the University through a collaboration with technology suppliers SCC and IBM in response to the increasing volumes of research data being created and the need to curate this information securely over the long term.  The facility will enable researchers from a wide range of disciplines to improve the security and efficiency with which their data is accessed, stored and retrieved.

“Bristol is a leading research-intensive university and our academics are involved in some of the world’s most challenging and groundbreaking research,” said Professor Guy Orpen, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University. “The data we generate is fundamental to our operation. We have invested substantially in an enterprise-grade storage solution which will ensure the knowledge our researchers create is preserved in a resilient, cost-effective, scalable and secure environment.”

Users of BluePeta will come from all disciplines, from scientists working on aspects of climate change to physicists using the Large Hadron Collider. The facility will also be used by arts and social sciences researchers who need to archive images, video files and datasets.

Research funding bodies are increasingly asking universities to retain research data to allow its use, reuse and repurposing over the long term,” said Dr Ian Stewart, Director of the University’s Advanced Computing Research Centre. “BluePeta allows this process to take place in a central and secure environment, enabling researchers to maintain data integrity — the accuracy and consistency with which they store their data.”

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Working with Chinese avionics firms

February 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The presentations from last month’s visit to the region by Chinese avionics companies are up at the West of England Aerospace Forum.

Chinese Aerospace Supply Chain and Partnering Mission – Event Slides

China Missions – Paul Calver

Working With Chinese Partners – Vince Cunningham

Briefing on AVIC & COMAC – Douglas Barnes

Chinese Aerospace Market – Paul Calver

Bristol: Europe’s Silicon Gorge

February 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Silicon Gorge – the high-tech triangle between Bristol, Swindon and Gloucester – has already proved itself on the world stage, according to the World Economic Forum, who describe the area as ‘a hot spring of innovation’. Clare Reddington of Bristol’s Watershed looks at the convergence of the hot spots for technology and creative media as a guest on the Department of Culture, Media and Sport blog.

SouthWest electronics firms shine in Barcelona

February 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Deltenna in Chippenham is highlighted in the Computer Weekly roundup of UK firms making a splash at the global gathering of mobile phone companies in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress, later this month. The story at  looks at what Deltenna is doing with a specialist antenna system for the home to boost reception and provide broadband WiFi access in rural areas.

But there are several others from the region: chip makers picoChip in Bath, Icera in Bristol and Nujira, which has a design centre in Bath, are also at the show showing the latest mobile phone technology, while equipment makers Ubiquisys of Swindon and AceAxis, with a radio design centre in Bristol, are also present at the show and chip and system maker IPWireless is also driving mobile phone technology forward from Chippenham  with deals with Ericsson and Apple.

SW Microelectronics iNet

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