Musical feet and heads in the cloud: News from the College

Cindy Xhebro and her award winning trainers

Cindy Xhebro and her award winning trainers

Here’s a batch of fresh news and announcements from across Imperial.

From an award winning idea for musical trainers, to a new project on cloud software development, here is some quick-read news from across the College.

Young innovator

Cindy Xhebro, previous winner of Imperial’s Maker Challenge programme , was recently named as Hammersmith and Fulham’s Young Innovator of the Year at their Youth Achievement Awards.

Cindy’s won the award for creating trainers with built-in speakers which can be connected to a device via Bluetooth, such as a smartphone. Next, she aims to find a way for the trainers to be powered using kinetic energy by charging the shoes as the wearer moves.

Based at the Reach Out Makerspace in The Invention Rooms at Imperial’s White City Campus, the Maker Challenge encourages young people from the local community to get hands-on by creating their own prototype products and gadgets. The Youth Achievement Awards celebrate young people doing amazing things in the borough.

Data science for social good

The potential of new technologies to tackle global issues remains largely unrealised. This summer, the Gandhi Centre for Inclusive Innovation - part of Imperial College Business School - will be working to change that.

The Centre is teaming up with the University of Chicago to host its Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) Fellowship , a 12-week education programme. The fellowship aims to provide organisations and non-profits with the resources to solve critical, real-world problems that will make a major difference to society.

Previous DSSG projects have included working with the World Economic Forum to predict illegal fishing, identifying the causes of school dropouts in El Salvador, and collaborating with the UN to improve traffic safety in Indonesia.

Students interested in taking part can apply for the 2019 DSSG programme. You can read more about the Centre’s data science work on IB Knowledge.

Innovation districts

Israel Ruiz , Executive Vice President and Treasurer of MIT, visited White City this week to hear about Imperial’s work to create a world-leading innovation district.

Mr Ruiz, who oversees MIT’s $21.5 billion of financial assets and is responsible for the university’s $5 billion capital plan to 2030, shared his experiences with the Kendall Square Initiative in Boston.

During the visit, President Alice Gast, who was previously MIT’s Vice President for Research, showed how White City ’s facilities - including hackspaces, incubators, scale-up space and research labs - offer corporate partners the opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s best academics. Professor Maggie Dallman, Vice President (International), demonstrated The Invention Rooms , where Imperial is engaging the local community through invention and innovation.

Head in the clouds

Dr Giuliano Casale and Professor Alessandra Russo , both from the Department of Computing, have won 4m from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme towards a new project on cloud software development, RADON.

RADON will help create an open framework on which small and medium sized software companies can develop cloud applications with ease, capable of running in the cloud with reduced cost and easier to maintain than today’s cloud software.

Dr Casale said: “There’s currently no open source framework for small and medium tech companies to use serverless technologies - but thanks to this funding, we will be first to introduce an holistic serverless computing development environment to the software industry.”

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