Birmingham, United Kingdom
Birmingham, United Kingdom

Aston University is a public research campus university situated at Gosta Green, in the city centre of Birmingham, England. Aston began as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School in 1895, evolving into the UK’s first elite College of Advanced Technology in 1956. Aston University received its Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth II on 22 April 1966.Aston was ranked by QS as the 47th best university in the world under 50 years old in 2012 and as the world's 51st best university based on employer reputation in 2011. It was ranked 5th in the UK for graduate employability. A survey suggested it is one of the 20 most targeted universities by the UK's top employers. Aston pioneered the integrated placement year concept over 50 years ago, with more than 70% of Aston students take placement year, the highest percentage in the UK. Aston students are the 24th most satisfied students out of 132 UK Universities, with the overall satisfaction level at 89% for the second year running. Aston University was responsible for educating 2.3 per cent of the UK's millionaires, placing Aston among the top 10 UK universities for producing millionaires. Wikipedia.

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Embodiments of the invention comprise apparatus and methods for detecting the presence of a substance in a test material using a plurality of wavelength-specific couplers (e.g. tilted fibre gratings) which provide a spatially distributed multi-node all-optical measurement system. Each node of the measurement system can comprise an optical module that is sensitive to the intensity of a limited band of wavelengths. The node is thus capable of detecting the presence of an absorption peak in a spectrum without having to obtain the full spectrum. By providing a plurality of optical modules that are sensitive to different wavelengths, the spectral signature of different substances may be monitored without having to measure full spectra. The measurement system may be particularly useful in a process control environment where it is desirable to take measurements of one or more substances in different locations.


Patent
Aston University | Date: 2015-04-21

An all-optical signal regeneration technique in which a modulation alphabet is mapped on to a set of optimised points of a regenerative transfer function. The optimised points correspond to attraction regions in the regenerative transfer function and are preferably stable. The regenerative transfer function can be selected to be the Fourier transform of an ideal regenerator, which is represented by a step-wise transfer function. Use of the Fourier transform can enable efficient regeneration of multilevel multidimensional signals. The regenerative Shannon limitthe upper bound of regeneration efficiency can also be derived.


A nonlinearity compensation technique for a CO-OFDM transmission system in which a proportion (e.g. up to 50%) of OFDM subcarriers is transmitted along with a phase-conjugate copy (PCP) on another subcarrier (replacing a data carrying subcarrier) to enable nonlinear distortion compensation. Nonlinear distortion experienced by closely spaced subcarriers in an OFDM system is highly correlated. The PCPs are used at the receiver to estimate the nonlinear distortion (e.g. nonlinear phase shift) of their respective original subcarriers and other subcarriers close to the PCP. With this technique, the optical fibre nonlinearity due to the Kerr effect in OFDM systems can be effectively compensated without the complexity of DBP or 50% loss in capacity of the phase conjugate twin wave (PC-TW) technique. Moreover, the technique proposed herein can be effectively implemented in both single polarization and PMD systems, in both single channel and WDM systems.


The invention provides formulations and methods for ameliorating symptoms associated with metabolic disorders, such as cachexia, hypoglycemia, obesity, diabetes, and the like by administering Zn-_(2)-glycoproteins or a functional fragment thereof, alone or in combination with additional agents, such as adrenergin receptor agonists, adrenergin receptor antagonists, and/or glycemic control agents.


A nonlinearity compensation technique for a CO-OFDM transmission system in which a proportion (e.g. up to 50%) of OFDM subcarriers is transmitted along with a phase-conjugate copy (PCP) on another subcarrier (replacing a data carrying subcarrier) to enable nonlinear distortion compensation. Nonlinear distortion experienced by closely spaced subcarriers in an OFDM system is highly correlated. The PCPs are used at the receiver to estimate the nonlinear distortion (e.g. nonlinear phase shift) of their respective original subcarriers and other subcarriers close to the PCP. With this technique, the optical fibre nonlinearity due to the Kerr effect in OFDM systems can be effectively compensated without the complexity of DBP or 50% loss in capacity of the phase conjugate twin wave (PC-TW) technique. Moreover, the technique proposed herein can be effectively implemented in both single polarization and PMD systems, in both single channel and WDM systems.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2017

The joint research in this programme will study important aspectsboth theoretical as well as appliedof computing with infinite objects. A central aim is laying the grounds for the generation of efficient and verified software in engineering applications. A prime example for infinite data is provided by the real numbers, most commonly conceived as infinite sequences of digits. While most applications in science and engineering substitute the reals with floating point numbers of fixed finite precision and thus have to deal with truncation and rounding errors, the approach in this project is different: exact real numbers are taken as first-class citizens and while any computation can only exploit a finite portion of its input in finite time, increased precision is always available by continuing the computation process. This project aims to bring together the expertise of specialists in mathematics, logic, and computer science to push the frontiers of our theoretical and practical understanding of computing with infinite objects. Three overarching motivations drive the proposed collaboration: Representability. Cardinality considerations tell us that it is not possible to represent arbitrary mathematical objects in a way that is accessible to computation. We will enlist expertise in topology, logic, and set theory, to address the question of which objects are representable and how they can be represented most efficiently. Constructivity. Working in a constructive mathematical universe can greatly enhance our understanding of the link between computation and mathematical structure. Not only informs us which are the objects of relevance, it also allows us to devise always correct algorithms from proofs. Efficient implementation. We also aim to make progress on concrete implementations. Theoretical insights from elsewhere will be tested in actual computer systems; obstacles encountered in the latter will inform the direction of mathematical investigation.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.10M | Year: 2017

We are proposing a 4-year program of knowledge transfer and networking between Aston University, UK (Aston), Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland (CIT), Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Spain (ICN2), University of Birmingham, UK (UoB), Zhejiang University of Technology, China (ZJUT), Nanotechplamsa Ltd, Bulgaria (NPL), B&T composites, Greece (B&T), National Institute for Research and Development in Electrical Engineering, Romania (ICPESA), and Teer Coatings Ltd, UK (TCL). The objective of the proposed joint exchange programme is to establish long-term stable research cooperation between the partners with complimentary expertise and knowledge. The project objectives and challenges present a balanced mix between industrial application focused knowledge transfer and development and more far-looking studies for potentially ground-breaking applications of using diamond-based nanomaterials and nanostructures for advanced electronic and photonic applications (D-SPA), including fabrication of diamond nanostructures using 3D printing technology, development of diamond-plasmon hybrid photonic devices and development of biophotonic imaging technology for sensing applications. No one group in Europe can accomplish each work package alone. We have to collaborate with each other in order to gain their skills and expertise in these specific areas.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.27M | Year: 2017

The Visual Genetics (VISGEN) consortium brings together eight academic and five commercial scientifically leading teams to address the unique challenge of visualizing nuclear processes in intact brain in real-time. By exchanging knowledge between academic and commercial sectors in Europe, as well as undertaking training secondments at leading Universities in China the team will grow its European and global competitiveness in a world-leading forefront of neuroscience and genetic technology. Visualisation of transcription in living systems has not been witnessed directly, this multidisciplinary and international project will herald a new era where this idea becomes a regular research tool and translates to a clinical and diagnostic technology in the future. The team will use a unique biotagging platform to develop the technology that is required to interrogate transcription. The intersectoral effort requires the amalgamation of knowledge from neuroscientists, synthetic chemists, engineers, physicists, analytical chemists, nanobiologists, behavioural scientists, laser technology and image processing experts. The consortium combines expertise from thirteen organisations from seven countries to build the multidisciplinary team and share the knowledge that addresses and will overcome the task of realising real-time and spatially resolved genetic studies. Once developed, the technology can be utilized for other medical-based research and development projects aimed at early stage disease diagnosis, cancer detection, and toxicity studies. Real-time visual genetics will transform our understanding of the state-of-the-art and herald transformative changes in the field of neuroscience, and in general life science.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2017

Fracture of materials is problematic across many disciplines and scales, from large building collapses and costly preventative engineering fixes to the personal injuries caused by bone fracture. 8090% of all structural failures occur as a result of fatigue and thus fracture mechanisms. Extensive testing of materials for fracture parameters before use in specific applications can be costly, wasteful and prohibitive when creating large structures. Computer models can be used to assess the probability and impact of fracture for a specific application and material, thus serving as a prediction tool. However, the models used are not accurate and reliable across multiple scales and across varying applications. Fracture across Scales and Materials, Processes and Disciplines (FRAMED) aims to develop a predictive modeling framework for fracture which will be applicable across multiple scales and materials, and across multiple disciplines and processes; the target audience for applications are designers in the engineering field. FRAMED will utilise the Marie Skodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (MSCA-RISE) scheme to create a multi-disciplinary consortium consisting of engineers, chemists, material scientists, physicists and applied mathematicians to create accurate and robust fracture models that can be used across a variety of scales, materials, processes and disciplines. We will enhance the research and development work to be undertaken, providing a solid foundation for long term international and inter-sectoral collaboration. High quality research and development work will be carried out via international and intersectoral secondments, facilitating the creation of professional networks and knowledge transfer.


Bridgwater A.V.,Aston University
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2012

This paper provides an updated review on fast pyrolysis of biomass for production of a liquid usually referred to as bio-oil. The technology of fast pyrolysis is described including the major reaction systems. The primary liquid product is characterised by reference to the many properties that impact on its use. These properties have caused increasingly extensive research to be undertaken to address properties that need modification and this area is reviewed in terms of physical, catalytic and chemical upgrading. Of particular note is the increasing diversity of methods and catalysts and particularly the complexity and sophistication of multi-functional catalyst systems. It is also important to see more companies involved in this technology area and increased take-up of evolving upgrading processes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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