Industry Day Speaker – Prof. Lynne Jack

Prof. Lynne Jack, Director of Research at the School of Built Environment, will discuss “Water Conservation: Practices and Practicalities at our 2013 Industry Day.

Prof Lynne Jack

Prof Lynne Jack

Prof. Jack, Reader and Director of Research in the School of Built Environment, leads the Heriot-Watt Drainage Research Group – one of only a few groups of its kind worldwide.

Professor Jack joined Heriot-Watt University in 1993 as a Research Associate working on an EPSRC-funded project that developed the fluid-system relationships defining the unsteady pressure regime within building drainage ventilation systems.

Since then, her research has centred around:

  • Modelling and simulation of air pressure transient propagation in building drainage ventilation systems
  • Site instrumentation and monitoring of building drainage systems
  • Water conservation
  • Response and performance of building and property drainage systems when subject to climate change impacts.

Dr Jack is also leading a key EPSRC project, DOWNPIPE, which uses the latest climate predictions to estimate the probability of various changes taking place and identify the areas where drainage systems for properties might be at risk of flooding.

Prof. Jack will be talking during Parallel Session 1 – Meeting the Hydro-Nation Challenge.
To book your place at Industry Day 2013, click here.

Industry Day Speaker – Prof. Peter Woodward

Peter Woodward, Professor of Railway Geotechnical Engineering and Director of the newly launched Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, to speak at Industry Day 2013 on the topic “The geotechnical challenges and solutions of next generation ultra-speed trains

Prof. Peter Woodward

Prof. Peter Woodward

Railway Research at Heriot-Watt University is led by Professor Peter Woodward, who has been involved in rail track developments for over a decade.

Peter and his team investigate the main issues for modern rail networks which include the need to cope with more traffic, heavier loads and higher speeds. These demands are common across the world and academics at the School of the Built Environment are at the forefront of industrially relevant research in the UK for solving these issues.

  • Prof. Woodward was appointed to the post of Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering in 1994 at Heriot-Watt University and to the post of Reader in Railways and Geotechnical Engineering in 2007. In 2010 he was promoted to Professor of Railway Geotechnical Engineering
  • Since 2001 he has been seconded to industry for 1 day per week working on the application of polyurethane geocomposites to railway track stabilisation and reinforcement. This patented technology was spun-out from Heriot-Watt University and is now widely used across the UK railways and increasingly internationally.
  • He has won multiple awards for his developed technologies, including the Highly Commended Award at the 2005 National Rail Awards, in the Innovation of the Year category.
  • He has also been a previous winner of the ICE Webb Prize (2008) and the UK Young Engineers Award (2001) amongst others.
  • He has acted as Principal Investigator on many research grants, most recently on EPSRC funded research on high-speed train track interactions at critical track velocities.

Peter will talk in Parallel Session 4 – Networks & Infrastructure. To book your place on Industry Day, click here.

Industry Day Speaker – Dr Frédéric Bosché

Dr. Frédéric Bosché, Heriot-Watt Lecturer in Construction Management and Surveying from the School of Built Environment will discuss “Dimensional control in the age of BIM” at our 2013 Industry Day in Parallel Session 2 – Materials and Design Technology.

Dr. Frédéric Bosché

Dr. Frédéric Bosché

Dr. Bosché’s main research focus until now has been on the extraction of as-built information from data and its visualization for construction and facility management. Such information is critical to decision making and project delivery, and its visualization is important for effective communication among project stakeholders.

Frédéric graduated in 2004 with a MSc degree in Construction Engineering and Project Management from the University of Texas, Austin as well as a MEng degree in Engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Lille, France.

After a short period of work in the construction industry in France, he then returned to university and obtained a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 2008.

He then joined the Computer Vision group of ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he worked for two years on multiple projects with focus on image-based 3D reconstruction for urban and Cultural Heritage modelling (FP7 3D-COFORM and V-City projects).

In 2011, Frédéric became a Lecturer at the Institute of Building and Urban Design within the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University.

Register for Industry Day 2013 – Sustainable Development: Infrastructure Challenges and Solutions on the 26th February – by clicking here.

Industry Day Speaker – Prof. Dorte Rich Jorgensen

Prof. Jorgensen has worked on the Olympic Park site for the London Olympics as Sustainability Manager for Atkins, and is a Visiting Professor at Heriot-Watt University.

Heriot-Watt’s Industry Day is proud to announce Professor Jorgensen as a plenary speaker. She will talk in the parallel session “Networks and Infrastructure”.

Prof. Jorgensen also works as Sustainability Manager for Atkins in London, where she worked with the infrastructure design team on the Olympic Park site in East London. She is also a member of the leading Built Environment think-tank ‘EDGE’, and is the CIBSE representative on the Construction Industry Council diversity panel.

Dorte Rich Jorgensen

Professor Dorte Rich Jorgensen

Since 2011, Prof. Jorgensen has been the Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Innovation at Heriot-Watt University. This role involves working with the staff of the Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering disciplines within the School of Built Environment, undertaking a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as contributing to curriculum development and the enhancement of teaching practice to support innovation.

Dorte has more than 20 years’ experience of successfully integrating sustainable principles into built environment and infrastructure schemes on a range of cutting-edge and award-winning projects, and brings a unique practice-based perspective to the School’s undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Dorte’s doctorate studies at Oxford were related to improving energy efficiency through automating the commissioning process and whilst a student she founded the graduate common room at Balliol College, Oxford.

To learn more about Heriot-Watt’s Industry Day, Sustainable Development: Infrastructure Challenges and Solutions, click here.


Eco-villagers to use iPads to increase use of locally-produced green energy

A consortium of researchers led by Heriot-Watt University has been awarded 2.8 million Euros (£2.3 million) to develop a ‘smart energy hub’ which will attempt to synchronise the demand for energy within a neighbourhood to the availability of locally generated renewables.

Offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbines

ORIGIN Research Project

The ORIGIN research project, led by Dr Edward Owens of the Institute of Infrastructure and Environment in the School of the Built Environment, is being funded by the European Commission and will be piloted over three years in Findhorn and in eco-villages in Portugal and Italy.

Dr Owens will be working with researchers from the University of Strathclyde, as well as Universities in Germany, Spain and Portugal, to develop a community scale energy management system.

Dr Owens said, “Thousands of householders and businesses have installed renewable energy systems in the last few years. However, often the energy is not generated at times of peak demand, so finding a way to match periods of supply with periods of demand will create much more efficient energy systems.”

“The system will forecast renewable energy supply and energy demand, at both individual building and community levels. Groups of buildings in a community will then be connected via our smart energy hub and a series of energy controllers in each building.”

The Findhorn Community

Initially the system will be demonstrated at around 75 homes and public buildings at the Findhorn Community in Moray. They will benefit from the new system, as well as another 100 homes and public buildings across the two eco-villages in Portugal and Italy.

Information from the hub will be transmitted through devices such as tablets or smart phones allowing residents greater control over their energy use, which could result in savings of up to 40 per cent on their electricity bills.

Michael Shaw, founding member of The Ecovillage Institute and resident Trustee of the Findhorn Foundation, said, “We’re delighted to be one of three eco-villages piloting the ORIGIN project. This innovative scheme enables the matching of energy generated within the community from wind turbines, solar panels, biomass district heating and heat pumps, with the energy requirements of our public buildings, community homes and businesses.

“It will also put the Findhorn Foundation Community on the map as a centre of excellent for designing and building one of the most energy efficient and low-carbon village-scale environments in the country.”

It’s hoped that the technology will help achieve progress towards meeting Scottish Government and EU targets for reducing climate change emissions by increasing use of clean energy.

Key issues for the smart energy hub will be to ensure that:

  • Energy generation and demand within a group of residential and community buildings are monitored
  • The information is fed into a central computerised hub
  • Residents are then given live, up-to-date information via iPads (or similar devices) that helps them schedule energy use at times of supply
  • This means that they will use a greater proportion of the energy they generate from embedded devices such as photovoltaic panels, so the system will potentially maximise the use of renewable energy and minimise the need to import energy from the grid.

Industry Day Speaker – Prof. Sue Roaf

Heriot-Watt’s 2013 Industry Day will take place on the 26th February, focusing on Sustainable Development: Infrastructure Challenges and Solutions. This series of blogs will focus on the speakers for this event.

Sue’s topic will discuss “The role of domestic energy choices in building social resilience” in that day’s Parallel Session 3: Energy conservation and usage in homes of the future.

Professor Sue Roaf

Professor Sue Roaf

About Prof. Roaf

Professor Sue Roaf is one of the country’s foremost experts on the design of Ecohouses, and is best known as a designer for her Oxford Ecohouse which was the first UK building with an integrated photovoltaic roof.

Early in 2012, Sue gave an online seminar discussing renewable energy projects including the major research initiative to build a Heriot-Watt demonstration Ecovillage, the Riccarton Ecovillage, in the outskirts of Edinburgh. The project will test energy supply, demand and behavioural models in modern constructions. You can view this following the link below:

From Buildings to Boeings Environmental Sustainability in the 21ST Century

Prof. Roaf is an award winning designer, teacher and author and is Co-Chair of TIA, the international Teachers in Architecture organisation and Co-Chair of the Westminster Carbon Counting Group. She has also chaired a number of International Conferences including the 2nd International Conference on Solar Cities in 2006, the 1994, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2008 Windsor Conferences on Thermal Comfort (with Fergus Nicol), and the 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2008 TIA conference on Architectural Education (with Marco Sala).

She has sat on a wide range of committees related to planning, urban design, architecture and local government. She began teaching at Heriot-Watt in 2007 in the School of the Built Environment.

Sue Roaf gained her first degree in Architecture in 1975 at Manchester University. She subsequently went on to gain her Diploma in Architecture at the Architectural Association in London where she also took her Part 3 professional exam in 1978.

In 1989 she was awarded a PhD for her study of the Windcatchers of the Central Persian Desert from Oxford Brookes University where she taught from 1989 to 2005 both in professional studies, technology and design. She has practiced for a number of years on the design of housing, schools, hospitals and town planning.

To register for your place at the 2013 industry Day, click here visit our EventBrite page.

73k to aid produced water reinjection new tool will tackle industry-wide challenges

LUX Innovate Ltd and Heriot-Watt University have secured £73,000 from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board to test the feasibility of a novel technology for monitoring produced water for reinjection.

LUX is one of 13 small and medium-sized businesses that will share in funding of approx £1 million from the UK’s innovation agency for feasibility studies that aim to accelerate new technologies likely to enhance production and asset reliability within the oil and gas sector.

Heriot Watt and Lux Innovate


Oilfield produced fluids are produced during oil and gas extraction. These fluids can be complex, often containing oil, solids, treatment chemicals and microbes. It is becoming common practise to re-inject this fluid into the well to assist with the recovery of crude oil, although components in the produced fluids can cause problems, for example, by blocking the reservoir.

Current monitoring of the fluid is laborious and complex, requiring skilled personnel. The LUX MOTEYE™ project will work over the next year to develop an easy-to-use tool to analyse the produced water, with Heriot-Watt academics providing data analysis expertise. It is expected that the tool will enable more effective and cost-efficient management of the fluid.

Emma Perfect, Managing Director at LUX Innovate Ltd, said:

“We are delighted to receive Technology Strategy Board funding to develop this tool which will greatly assist in enhanced oil recovery. As over 70% of the world’s oil and gas production comes from fields over 30 years old, approaches such as produced water re-injection are growing in significance for the North Sea and beyond. Working in close collaboration with Heriot-Watt University will be key to this project’s success.”

Professor David Corne, of the Intelligent Systems Laboratory at Heriot-Watt University, said:

“Heriot-Watt has a significant track record of working with industry across different energy generation technologies. Our team at the Intelligent Systems Lab increasingly works with engineers and the industry in these areas, and we are excited to be involved in this challenging and innovative project to enhance recovery in the oil and gas sector.”

Funding for Heriot-Watt to support further industry collaboration

Heriot-Watt has received £1.18m funding allocated to the University to help to build on the University’s already strong links with business and industry.

The funding, which has been provided by EPSRC under their Impact Acceleration Account programme, is part of a £60m funding package announced made by Business Secretary Vince Cable and designed to help support universities’ best scientists and engineers to deliver greater collaboration with industry, bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace, and help them become better entrepreneurs.

Impact Acceleration is designed to support the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition, the ‘Valley of death’ between a research idea and developing it to a stage where a company or venture capitalist might be interested. It will also allow universities to fund secondments for scientists and engineers to spend time in a business environment: improving their knowledge and skills and returning to the lab with a better understanding of the way companies operate and the challenges they face.

Alan Miller, Deputy Principal (Research & Knowledge Transfer) at Heriot-Watt, said, “We are delighted to have received this funding which will be used to help support those trying to increase the Impact of their research.

“The funding will be allocated on a competitive basis to tie in with the University’s key strategic aims and builds on our £6.5m working with industry project which has, over the last three years, transfered knowledge and expertise to Scottish businesses, benefited the wider economy and fostered partnerships as well as creating 300 private sector jobs and supporting the development of 17 new companies through the Converge Challenge competition, run by the University.”

Launching the fund, which will provide a total of £60m to 31 universities across the UK, the Business Secretary said, “The UK’s scientists are some of the most innovative and creative people in the world, but they need support to take their best ideas through to market. This could be by establishing a successful, technology-driven SME like Space Syntax which I visited today.

“This investment I’m announcing today will help our leading universities become centres of innovation and entrepreneurship, generating commercial success to fuel growth.”

This investment will help Heriot-Watt to continue to work with industry and develop new technologies, some of which, as in the video below, has a direct impact on on people’s lives.

Heriot-Watt scientists hail artificial liver breakthrough – an end to animal testing?

Scientists at Heriot-Watt University are working towards creating the world’s first artificial human livers for drug testing to drastically cut the number of live animals used and get life-saving medicines into the clinic faster.

Alan Faulkner-Jones, part of the Heriot-Watt team, with the new artificial liver cells. Picture: Colin Hattersley

Alan Faulkner-Jones, part of the Heriot-Watt team, with the new artificial liver cells. Picture: Colin Hattersley


Dr Will Shu is leading the Heriot-Watt University team in the £100,000 project. Working closely with Roslin Cellab, the team aims to demonstrate how an artificial liver, created using human cells, could become a new testing platform for drug discovery and development.

The team is working towards creating miniature human liver tissues and, eventually, ‘livers-on-a-chip’, using novel technology that will ‘print’ the cells in 3D onto testing surfaces.

Dr Will Shu said, “If we are able to advance this technique, the medical benefits could be enormous.”

Testing new drugs currently requires large numbers of experimental animals. This work is expensive, time-consuming and is often inconclusive since drugs that pass animal testing usually fail during the even more expensive clinical stages of development, when the first human subjects are used.

Dr Jason King of Roslin Cellab said, “If successful, this technology will enable drug developers to test using human organ models at a much earlier stage. It should highlight drug failures well before they reach the clinic and help target resources towards the most promising new drug candidates.”

There is growing interest in the cell-printing technique from scientists internationally because 3D cells, such as those being developed by Dr Shu’s team, outperform cells grown in 2D cultures, which until now have been the standard in the drug development sector.

The research is currently funded by the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) INSPIRE programme.

Roslin Cellab is a Roslin Foundation company that offers contract research and is now using human cells to develop liver models for pre-clinical testing.

To read more, please visit the report on the Scotland on Sunday by clicking here.

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