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Mildner Lecture 2014: The Internet of Things

New Cisco Prize awarded alongside the Cullen and Lombardi Prizes
Mildner Lecture 2014: The Internet of Things

John Manville

This year's Mildner Memorial Lecture held on 3rd April 2014 was a great success with many guests and friends from industry, academia and other collaborators. Following an impressive open day in the afternoon by postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers, this year's lecture was given by John Manville, a UCL EEE graduate and Senior Vice President of the IT Global Infrastructure Services Team at Cisco.

John's lecture was about the technology and global implications of the Internet of Things (IoT), the next technology transition where by 2020, up to 50 billion online devices will allow us to sense and control the physical world. John's lecture explored the market and technology trends driving IoT, new technology standards and protocols related to IoT, and opportunities that require technology talent of the future to help solve some of the world's biggest challenges.

UCL President and Provost Professor Michael Arthur who introduced the Lecture said: "We are delighted that John Manville is coming back to where he studied for his engineering degree to deliver this important and exciting Lecture in London. Cisco is a great friend to UCL and our engineers are helping to change the world for the better through their research and development on the future of the internet."

John is excited about the enormous potential for good that the IoT presents: "As more devices become smarter and connected, we will benefit from massive gains in efficiency, new business opportunities, and more importantly, an improved quality of life. UCL provides students with the educational foundation for success and I truly believe that this technology transition provides them an opportunity to change the world."

UCL and Cisco have a strong corporate partnership - last year Cisco was UCL Corporate Partner of the Year - with research collaborations on smart cities and IoT and a joint business incubation centre - along with DC Thomson - in Tech City, called IDEALondon, which was opened by the Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2013.

UCL also now has more student interns working for a year at Cisco HQ in San Jose, California than any other university in the world and provides a vital talent pipeline for the company.


Domanic LaveryBefore the lecture, we were delighted to welcome Professor Fabrizio Lombardi from Northeastern University, Boston, to present the Lombardi Prize for the Best Recently Graduated PhD. This year's prize went to Dr Domanic Lavery whose PhD thesis on Digital Coherent Receivers for Passive Optical Networks was supervised by Dr Seb Savory. Domanic authored or co-authored 22 publications during his PhD and has to date received 155 citations according to Google Scholar. He has a very impressive list of achievements, which include:

  • Being invited to serve on the Technical Programme Committee for OFC 2015 (the largest conference in the field)
  • 2014: Invited paper at OFC 2014
  • 2014: Invited to serve on the OFC 2015 TPC
  • 2013: Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar (each year just three awards are given to scholars across the globe aged 27 or younger who have already demonstrated exceptional engineering or scientific research)
  • 2012: IEEE Photonics Society Graduate Student Fellowship
  • 2012: Cullen Prize for best poster
  • 2012: First author and presenter of a post deadline paper at OFC 2012

The two other outstanding candidates who receive a special mention are:

Adnan Mehonic
Adnan completed his PhD on "Resistive switching in silicon-rich silicon oxide" in December, having taken 3 years and 2 months. His work resulted in 4 major journal publications (Journal of Applied Physics, Nanotechnology, Applied Physics Letters and the Nature group journal Scientific Reports), 5 conference papers (MRS, E-MRS) and a patent. The JAP paper was the most-read paper in the journal in the month of its publication, and his work made it into numerous international news outlets, including the BBC (an article on the BBC website was the most-read science story for several days after its publication). His examiners commented that he gave an "excellent" and "impressive" defence of his thesis and that the thesis represented a "well-rounded, high quality body of work" with results that are "genuinely exciting".
Daphne Tuncer
Daphne completed her PhD on "Engineering Self- Managed Adaptive Networks" with Professor George Pavlou. She produced an impressive set of publications from her work. As George says: "The exceptional quality of the thesis was commended upon by the examiners and is evident from the top quality publications that emanated from it. ...she has published 1 class A+, i.e. <20% acceptance rate, conference paper (IEEE CNSM 2013), 3 class A, i.e. <30%, conference papers (IM 2013, NOMS 2012, mini-CNSM 2011), 1 PhD workshop paper (AIMS 2010) and two journal papers in high impact IEEE journals (IEEE Network and IEEE TNSM)."

Johannes Benedikt von LindeinerIt was an honour to have Michael Cullen present his late father's Cullen Prize for the Best Student Poster. This year's prize was awarded to Johannes Benedikt von Lindeiner, a UCL-Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training PhD student for his poster titled "Uncooled DWDM using Orthagonal Coding for Low-cost datacommunication Links". His paper impressed our judging panel comprising leading academics and industrialists.


Arsam Nasrollahy ShirazFinally, we were excited that Cisco have initiated a new prize for the Best Student Poster Related to the Internet of Things. This prize will continue to be awarded for the foreseeable future. John Manville presented an Ipad to Arsam Nasrollahy Shiraz for his poster titled "Optimisation of a wearable device for Neuromodulation" based on his PhD work with Professor Andreas Demosthenous.