Our seminar series is free and available for anyone to attend. Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Kilburn Building during teaching season.

If you wish to propose a seminar speaker please contact Antoniu Pop.


Computer Science and the Water Industry?

  • Speaker:   Prof  Joby Boxall  (University of Sheffield)
  • Host:   John Brooke
  • 2nd March 2011 at 14:15 in Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building
The water industry is justifiably accused of being Data Rich but Information Poor (DRIP). There is an significant challenge to turn such data into information, or even into knowledge and ultimately wisdom. This state represents an ideal application for the field of computer science, applying latest tools and techniques to help the water industry deliver continued low cost and sustainable services. This talk will present details of some of the challenges and opportunities arising from the area of potable water supply and present some examples of how tools and techniques arising from computer science fields have started to be applied. Examples will likely include Bayesian statistical techniques for predicting pipe failure, a hybrid ANN/FIS system for burst/lead detection, Monte Carlo simulation coupled with GA search and optimisation techniques and 1D hydraulic modelling application. These topics are potential starting points for joint research projects involving the application of computer science.
Water supply and waste disposal are fundamental to society. The systems used to supply these services, in particular the pipe networks, are extremely complex with high levels of uncertainty. There are approaching 330,000km of pipes in England and Wales distributing potable water, and a similar length of sewer pipes. These pipes are connected in extremely complex networks including various ancillaries and control structure, comprising a variety of material and ages and are in a variety of different conditions. This fundamental infrastructure is buried and taken for granted, until it fails. The complexities and uncertainties of water systems present a range of challenges for engineers and scientists, to ensure the continued provision of sustainable service at least cost. There is a wealth of data available on these systems ranging from static asset data, discrete observations and continuous monitoring. It is hoped that this talk will stimulate thinking and ideas regarding where challenges and issues arise from the water sector that may be addressed by application of computing science.
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