NowI am the Business Development Manager for both the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield.
I was a post-doctoral researcher (firstly Research Associate, then Research Fellow) for 13 years (2002 - 2015) with research interests covering low-cost sensing, citizen engagement in science, semantic search, software interface evaluation and novel approaches for improving data understanding. I also had interests in audio and speech processing, auditory perception and automatic speech recognition (my 2002 PhD modelled how attention influences the perception and understanding of sound). I worked within the Organisations, Information and Knowledge (OAK) Group led by Prof. Fabio Ciravegna and, before then, the Speech and Hearing Research Group.
I was the PDRA rep and as such I organised the Department of Computer Science's inaugural Researchers' Symposium which was held on 26 November 2014. This was a full-day event targeting all researchers working with the department. The first session addressed professional and career development needs including the acquisition of grant funding. The second session was a poster and oral presentation track in which a number of researcher's presented their current research. The best poster prize was awarded to Oscar Saz and the best oral presentation prize was awarded to Amy Beeston.
I was Principle Investigator (PI) and Project Coordinator of the €170,000 CROWD4SAT project which is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA). This consisted of 3 official partners (University of Sheffield, Starlab Limited and e-GEOS SpA) along with 2 demonstration project owners (Alto Adriatico Water Authority and The Floow) and 1 technology provider (AizoOn). The objective of CROWD4SAT was to investigate the different facets of how crowdsourcing and citizen science impacts upon the validation, use and enhancement of ESA Observations from Satellites (OS) products and services, as well as how the ESA products can be used in crowdsourcing. It ran from 1 Feb 2015 until 31 March 2016.
I also worked on the EU FP7 WeSenseIt project which developed a citizen-based observatory of water to allow citizens and communities to become active stakeholders in information capturing, evaluation and communication with special regard to flood events. The €6.2 million WeSenseIt project is a four year European Framework 7 funded project. The project is developing a citizen-based observatory of water, which allows citizens and communities to become active stakeholders in information capturing, evaluation and communication. The project brings together the expertise of 14 European Partners ranging across Academic Institutions to Research Centres and Industry. We are testing, experimenting with and demonstrating the citizen observatory of water in three different case studies in water management with civil protection agencies in UK, NL and Italy. The topic is the entire hydrologic cycle with a major focus on variables responsible for floods and drought occurrences. The project results have the potential to fundamentally change the traditional concept of environmental monitoring and forecasting, as well as models of governance. I was specifically focussed on the development of low-cost sensor devices and mobile device applications with the twin aims of significantly improving the number and geographic coverage of sensor data streams as well as promoting citizen engagement and citizen science.
Previously, I worked on the £14.9 million ERDF BIG Energy Upgrade project which combined the practical improvements to thousands of homes across the Yorkshire and Humber region with energy-related research. In line with the Green Deal, the project demonstrated an innovative approach to tackling the integrated challenges of reducing carbon emission from the UK housing stock, alleviating fuel-poverty, and driving regional economic growth in this expanding field. The research, led by the University of Sheffield, provided a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding and optimising the interrelated technological, behavioural and economic factors. I was specifically focussed on energy-use monitoring, and its subsequent analysis, with the ultimate aim of reducing CO2 emissions and alleviating fuel poverty (in practical terms providing residents with information which could allow them to save energy and money).
Prior to the BIG Energy Upgrade project, I was working on the EU FP7 ICT project SEALS: Semantic Evaluation at Large Scale and work within the Organisations, Information and Knowledge (OAK) Group led by Prof. Fabio Ciravegna. I was involved with WPs 1-8 and 13; I was Work Package Leader for WPs 3 and 13. The goal of the SEALS project is to provide an independent, open, scalable, extensible and sustainable infrastructure (the SEALS Platform) that allows the remote evaluation of semantic technologies thereby providing an objective comparison of the different existing semantic technologies. This will allow researchers and users to effectively compare the available technologies, helping them to select appropriate technologies and advancing the state of the art through continuous evaluation.
As part of SEALS, I co-organised the 2nd International Workshop on Evaluation of Semantic Technologies (IWEST 2012) held at the European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC2012), Heraklion, Greece. I also co-organised the Semantic Evaluation at Large Scale Tutorial at 8th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC) 2011, Sunday, 29th of May 2011, Heraklion, Greece. I was on the programme committee for the poster track of the 7th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC) 2010, May 30th - June 3rd, 2010, Heraklion, Greece. I co-organised the International Workshop on Evaluation of Semantic Technologies (IWEST 2010) which was a full-day workshop at the 9th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2010), November 8th, Shanghai, China.
I co-edited a special issue on the evaluation of semantic technologies for the Journal of Web Semantics which appeared in September 2013.
Previously, I was a Research Associate on the EU FP6 project AMIDA: Augmented Multi-party Interaction with Distance Access (FP6-0033812) and worked within the Speech and Hearing Research Group. I was Work Package Manager for WP4 Audio-video processing. WP4 was concerned with automatic recognition from audio, video and combined audio-video streams. A major output of WP4, and the project as a whole, was the development of a state-of-the-art online, realtime automatic speech recogniser. This technology has been further harnessed to produce the world's first web-based fully functioning automatic speech recogniser (webASR) for which I wrote the web service and API. This has now been commercialised by the company Koemei (for whom I used to be Principal Software Engineer).
Before AMIDA, I also contributed to the work conducted at Sheffield on the M4: MultiModal Meeting Manager project and the AMI: Augmented Multi-party Interaction project - both precursors to AMIDA. M4 was concerned with the construction of a demonstration system to enable structuring, browsing and querying of an archive of automatically analysed meetings. The archived meetings took place in a room equipped with multimodal sensors. I was responsible for maintaining the SpandH website.
In August 2002, I obtained my PhD in the field of Computational Auditory Scene Analysis within the Speech and Hearing Research Group. In this research, I looked at how a human listener's attention set influences the grouping, as well as separation, of different sounds: I investigated stream propagation and segregation methods using techniques which draw upon physiological and perceptual knowledge. Based on this research, I produced a conceptual model of how attention mediates the auditory stream selection process which leads to perception. This was implemented to produce a computational model of auditory selective attention using neural oscillators in which synchronicity between nodes in the oscillator array represents the outcome of frequency channel grouping. Furthermore, an attentional process is synchronised with one group of oscillators to signify which group is to be considered the attentional foreground. A technical report discusses the preliminary work I carried out on synfire chain networks and their use in frequency proximity grouping. A number of technical reports, papers and the full thesis are available from my publications page. My supervisor was Prof Guy J Brown.
Between March 1999 and March 2000, I worked on a contract with the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) - an agency of the UK Ministry of Defence (a substantial part of what was DERA is now known as QinetiQ plc.) - which aimed to apply CASA techniques to signal-to-noise enhancement problems involving sonar signals (principle investigator: Guy Brown). Work was conducted on the removal of transient and tonal events from sonar signals and the development of auditory- motivated representations of transient sounds that may be used for the detection and classifcation of transient sonar events. This work formed the basis of the research conducted by other SpandH PhD students, Simon Tucker and, more recently, Rob Mill.
During summer 1998 I worked for the department writing a number of MATLAB Auditory & Speech Demonstrations (the MAD project). This package is being extensively used in our final year undergraduate courses on speech and hearing. It is constantly being expanded both by workers here in Sheffield and across the world. The full package is downloadable free of charge from our ftp site. A number of papers have been written about the development of the MAD package, two of which can be downloaded from my publications page.
In July 1998 I graduated with first class honours from the University of Sheffield in the subject of Computer Science. I was also awarded the 1998 Lewin Prize for best science graduate in the department.