The 11th Annual Computing Department PhD Conference


10th March 2014, Lecture Theatre, University of Surrey, Guildford. GU2 7XH.

Invited Speakers

The following plenary speakers are invited to the conference:

  1. Prof Andrew Randewich, Head of Plasma Physics, AWE, e-mail: andrew.randewich{at}awe.co.uk


    Title:"Science at AWE: a journey from Plasma Physics to Chief Scientist"

    Abstract: This talk will outline some of the main science areas at AWE and the context of our work, and then charts the journey of the author from completion of his PhD to Chief Scientist. The talk will dwell on HPC at AWE, and describe some of the supercomputing architecture and expertise for which AWE has an enduring requirement in the era of science-based certification.”

    Bio: Professor Andrew Randewich is AWE Chief Scientist. After completing a PhD in plasma physics, he joined the company in 1997 in the High Altitude Nuclear Effects Team where he developed a novel capability to model Artificial (Nuclear Induced) Van Allen Belts. He also worked to improve AWE’s understanding of and capability in Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) phenomenology, and won the Discovery Award for Early Career Scientific Innovation. Andrew later worked on thermonuclear burn modelling in support of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), and as a Team Leader for transport algorithms in the Computational Physics Group. Since then, Andrew spent two years managing the Physics Certification programme, and in 2009 moved to lead the High Performance Computing Group where he was involved in the procurement and installation of some of the largest computers in the UK. After 6 months as acting Head of Design Physics, Andrew was appointed Head of Plasma Physics in November 2011. The Plasma Physics Department’s main role is using high power lasers to underwrite high energy density physics simulations. As part of the role, Andrew was Asset Manager for the ORION laser, one of the largest science capital investments in the UK. Andrew also managed several other science facilities such as the ASP neutron accelerator. Also in 2011, Andrew became Head of Profession for Physics with responsibility for the Continuous Professional Development of all Physicists at AWE, and the company’s interactions with the Institute of Physics. Andrew became AWE Chief Scientist in 2013. Andrew is a Chartered Physicist and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Institute. He was also appointed as a visiting professor at Imperial College, London in April 2012.

  2. Prof Peter Fleming, Professor of Industrial Systems and Control, University of Sheffield, e-mail: p.fleming{at}sheffield.ac.uk


    Title:"Optimization for Robust Design"

    Abstract: Many real-world design problems can be usefully cast as multi-criteria search and optimization problems that, in turn, can often benefit from the application of evolutionary computing methods. These real-world problems arise in a variety of forms, such as design exercises, trade studies or allocation problems. The sought outcome is a single solution, often a compromise that takes account of conflicting criteria and is robust to underlying assumptions. Such a problem-solving process has at its core a search and optimization algorithm. However, first, problem requirements must be captured and appropriate models identified to enable the evaluation of objectives and constraints. A search algorithm is applied to generate potential solutions and this stage is followed by an interactive data analysis decision-making stage leading to the problem solution. Each of these phases generates its own research challenges. Using real-world problem examples, these challenges will be discussed, some solutions suggested and other questions left open. And what if there are a number of these designs being undertaken in parallel that have dependencies on one another?

    Bio: Peter Fleming is Professor of Industrial Systems and Control in the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering and was Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield, UK from 1993-2012. His systems and control engineering research interests include multi-criteria decision-making, optimisation and scheduling, and applications of e-Science. He has over 400 research publications, including six books, and his research interests have led to the development of close links with a variety of industries in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, energy, food processing, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. Further details may be found at http://www.shef.ac.uk/acse/staff/peter_fleming.