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PhD student, Kari Clark wins EPSRC Connected Nation Pioneers Competition.

Many congratulations to Kari, a member of the Optical Networks Group, who is the overall winner out of more than 100 competitors across the UK!

Kari has won the EPSRC’s Connected Nation Pioneers competition as "Overall Winner", as well as winning the ‘Intelligent Informatics’ category.

This year’s UK wide competition was opened to all doctoral students in the final two years of their doctoral training with the aim of recognising exceptional research contributions towards the development of a Connected Nation.

The final assessment took place at the EPSRC Headquarters on 17 October 2018, where Kari, along with his PhD supervisor Dr Zhixin Liu, Lecturer at the Optical Networks Group and Co-Investigator on the EPSRC funded TRANSNET Programme (EP/R035342/1), presented a demo of their innovative research on the state-of-the-art clock recovery for data centre networks.

Data centres comprise up to hundreds of thousands of servers hosting applications such as cloud computing, data storage and web search. They are the essential data infrastructure that connects people in the UK and worldwide. Dr Zhixin Liu said:

“The technique that Kari has demonstrated overcomes the long-standing challenge of time and clock synchronisation in machine-to-machine communications within data centres, it will be of significant impact to the world’s future data infrastructures.”

In collaboration with Microsoft, the team recently presented their work in the highly-prestigious post-deadline session in the European Conference of Optical Communications, the top conference in the field.

The sixteen finalists were selected following a two-stage process. Initial assessment focussed on whether their research fell within the remit of the call. A judging panel drawn from the competition's sponsors then selected the finalists after viewing short multimedia presentation videos produced by the candidates. Finalist's selection was based on how they presented their ideas using the criteria set out in the call.

The Connected Nation Pioneers is an exciting partnership between the EPSRC and key stakeholders, with the aim of recognising exceptional UK doctoral students whose research contributes to the development of a connected nation. This year’s completion is being sponsored by DSTL, Facebook, BT, Samsung, Huawei, Thales, Amazon and NVIDIA.

Kari Clark with Professor Lynn Gladden, Executive Chair of EPSRC’

Kari Clark with Professor Lynn Gladden, Executive Chair of EPSRC.