An enthusiastic audience filled Buckingham House lecture theatre at Murray Edwards College to full capacity for the Sensors Day 2015 conference. Organised by the Sensor CDT in October, the conference was a showcase for a diverse array of sensor-related research and applications from Cambridge and around the world.
In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the CDT, the invited speakers and poster presenters covered a wide range of topics including microfluidics, ultra-low noise sensors for space applications, optical sensors, power efficient microcontrollers, bio-inspired sensors, computer vision and many more. International keynote speakers were Luke Lee from Berkeley, Roel Baets from Ghent, and Andrew de Mello from ETH Zurich.Two student groups presented their sensor work: the iGEM team showed their open source microscope, and the first cohort of Sensor CDT students demonstrated their sensor suite for assisted living of the elderly. Many attendees commented that the student presentations were "particularly inspiring" and of "outstanding quality".
Just as the Sensor CDT programme aims to expose students to new fields beyond their primary area of expertise, the Sensors Day gave attendees the opportunity to listen to talks and make connections with researchers from completely different fields. In between sessions lots of intermingling was evident and the poster sessions were thriving, bringing an unmistakeable "intellectual buzz" to the whole day.Attendees commented about the high quality of thought-provoking talks and saw direct benefits to their own research. One wrote that "…there were many occasions where tangential interests emerged between two seemingly unconnected fields, e.g. image analysis algorithms to track people, or cars, developed in the Engineering department could be very useful for our work in organism imaging." Another attendee found considerable value in the talk given by ARM representative Gary Atkinson who presented views that researchers barely think about when they design or use sensors, for example that "the barrier to the Internet of Things is the lack of availability of power and/or communications in the locations where one needs sensors."
The conference attracted many representatives from industry. Shell, MedImmune, Rolls-Royce and Cambridge Display Technology, all partners of the Sensor CDT, were present at the conference and the dinner afterwards, talking to students and academics alike. The Sensors Day was financially supported by the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, MedImmune, the Royal Society and Andor.
Sensors Day 2016 will be on Friday 14 October 2016.