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About Information and Communications Engineering

Research within the Information and Communications Engineering Group is conducted in three main areas:

Information and Software Engineering

Work in the area of Information & Software Engineering includes data mining and knowledge discovery.

These areas are at the forefront of modern business systems, allowing, for example, retailers to make optimal use of information on the purchasing patterns of their customer card holders. Other significant areas of research activity are image processing and computer vision, including both fundamental algorithm development and medical, biomedical and security applications such as automated melanoma diagnosis, assessment of wound healing, multi-modal medical image fusion, iris biometry and scenario recognition.

Research in creative computing is exploring the use of artificial intelligence within computer games; a particular interest is in the use of such games for rehabilitation of patients who have suffered stroke. Software engineering research within the School focuses on all aspects of software development, software tools and the organisational context in which they are used.

Funding in this area currently totals approximately £1M, including a one-third share (£495K) of the £1.5M EPSRC funding for the project Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Health (MATCH), in collaboration with Ulster's Engineering Research Institute and Brunel University. Along with £327K of funding from the EU framework 7 Security programme for research on a standards based approach to video archive search and analysis (SAVASA), this largely supports new research posts and additional PhD studentships. Much of the work in Information Engineering complements, and is in collaboration with, related research in Connected Health. Research in Information and Software Engineering also supports Telecommunications research and is supported by new laboratory infrastructure (NETCOM) funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Education and Learning (DEL) Research Capital Investment Fund (RCIF).

Intelligent Healthcare Management

Research in the area of intelligent healthcare management includes the development of new methods to efficiently manage patients.

Such methods can, for example, help hospital A&E departments to schedule their patients more effectively and reduce queues. Another focus is on the development of tools that use technology to support patient management. For example, we are using sensors within a smart home environment to provide support for Alzheimer's patients.

Recent funding in this area, shared with the Smart Environments Research Group within CSRI, totals over £3.1M, including a half share (£996K) of the £2M funding from the DEL Cross-Border Research & Development Programme for a Research Centre in Medical Devices Point-of-Care in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Bio-engineering Centre and Dublin City University's Biomedical Diagnostics Institute. This has supported new academic posts, new research posts and additional PhD studentships, and has been complemented by new infrastructural funding of £624K from the DEL RCIF initiative for a new laboratory facility for Deployment of Sensing Technology in Connected Health Care at the Jordanstown campus.

The Health and Social Care R&D Office has also provided £260K for the development of models to assist with the provision of more efficient stroke services.

Communications

Work in the area of Communication includes areas of telecommunications, as well as next generation networking, sensor technologies and cloud computing.

Such advances allow devices such as mobile phones and PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) to interact with the Internet. Energy-aware networks and green ICT, cloud computing and converged networks are also areas of particular interest, as is the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for tasks such as search and rescue operations in difficult environments.

Current funding from the EPSRC in this area currently totals approximately £1.6M that largely supports research posts and additional PhD studentships. These UK Research Council awards are complemented by recent infrastructural funding of £883K from the DEL RCIF initiative for a new NETCOM Research Hub laboratory facility for the Next Generation Internet and Computational Modelling for the Digital Economy.

Within the £1.6M EPSRC funding is £595K to support continued leadership of the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks Systems and Services (IU-ATC). This particular resource provides opportunities for industry-guided research, graduate training and exchange programmes, and access to further additional EPSRC PhD studentships.