HEED team member, Dr James Brusey awarded Professorship

Congratulations to HEED team member Dr James Brusey, who has recently been awarded a Professorship in Computer Science from Coventry University.

Dr James Brusey

Professor Brusey, who has been involved in the delivery of E4E workshops in Nepal for HEED, is being recognised for his work on applying Reinforcement Learning (RL) to real-world problems. RL is a sub-discipline of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is a form of machine learning related to, but separate from, supervised and unsupervised machine learning.  He explains that a key function of RL is an ability to deal with situations involving uncertainty, which makes it highly applicable to a range of projects, such as autonomous, self-driving cars,  as:

‘rather than learning a mapping from, say, a picture of a cat or dog to the phrase `cat’ or `dog’, RL learns a mapping from situations (or states) to actions, such as how to find a route through a maze. Critically, RL is able to handle cases where both the knowledge of the state and the result of actions are uncertain’.

Professor Brusey is hopeful that his work will increase opportunities for the creative use of RL in other fields, for example, the way RL is revolutionising the way neuroscience is conducted as it is able to navigate mathematical models that can explain complex neurological phenomena. He also sees his professorship as an opportunity to reach out to the wider community in understanding how RL, alongside Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science, and IoT (Internet of Things) can be translated into systems that develop meaningful lived practices.

Find out more about Professor Brusey’s work via his research profile,follow him on twitter @ jbrusey or save a date in your diary for his inaugural speech, which will around 1st December 2019 at Coventry University .

Team Members Recognised on the Coventry University International Women’s Day Roll of Honour.

We are delighted to announce two of the HEED project team members, Professor Elena Guara and Professor Heaven Crawley, have been awarded a place on the Coventry University International Women’s Day Roll of Honour.

March the 8th is  International Women’s Day, which for the past 175 years is a global celebration to recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and call for greater activism for gender parity. To show support for the aims and ambitions of International Women’s Day, Coventry University select and celebrate female staff members who are models of  excellence as they reach out beyond academia to make a difference to the broader community. In 2018, Professor Elena Guara was one of the first recipients to awarded this honour, whilst in March of this year saw the University confer Professor Heaven Crawley this honour.

Since being given this accolade last year, Elena work has seen her recently return for India, where she spent time supporting and training young female engineers. She feels this award is more about allowing her space for greater advocacy for more inclusion in STEM fields for women as:

‘Engineering and Science are the future. It is such a creative discipline and we need the views of women to shape it, ….that (women) should stand tall, challenge the status quo and showcase their professional achievements.’

(Prof. Denise Skinner (Emeritus) presenting the award to Elena March 8th 2018)

Heaven’s award is a tribute to her dedication to research that is centred on productive change to alleviate suffering and generate policy that improves the lives of others on national and international levels. In placing Heaven on the honour list it also recognises her role in putting  together and overseeing  a team of international scholars and practitioners to undertake the largest research project globally on South-South Migration, Inequality and Development. Colleagues that work with Heaven, believe that:

‘Heaven aims to do justice with and for those who stand to benefit most from her research, which is strongly underpinned by her values of fairness, equality and integrity, and her motivation to create real social change’.

(Heaven with Thea Gibbs, Head of Operations, CTPSR)

Elena and Heaven’s acceptance onto the role of honour is a reflection of how they are making transformational impact and seeking to develop greater opportunities for inclusion and diversity in their respective field of expertise.   

Well done, to both Elena and Heaven as they continue to be outstanding examples of inspirational leadership, show commitment to addressing societal inequality and strive for research excellence.

Distribution of Electrical Appliance Monitors for Displaced Households in Nepal

The start of February 2019 saw a key step change in data collection as 75 Electrical Appliance Monitors were shipped ready for distribution to 21 homes based in Uttargaya, Nepal. Dr Kriti Bhargava, who oversaw the production and distribution of the Electrical Appliance Monitors, believes this is a crucial step in moving the HEED project aims forward:

‘Developing these monitoring appliances gives us the means to understand energy needs in the domestic space. In being actively involved in product design that can contribute to developing solutions to energy poverty, I feel that in some small way we are helping to improve the life chances and opportunities for displaced communities.’

The Electrical Appliance Monitors are a simple, cost effective and unobtrusive method of collecting data on energy. Each monitor consists of two components: an Individual appliance monitor (IAM) that is an off-the-shelf energy smart plug and a Raspberry Pi gateway and will be attached to every electrical appliance in the home, such as mobile phone chargers, table fans, electric irons and television.

The function of the IAM is to record when the appliance is in action and for how long by monitoring the voltage. The data collected by the IAM is communicated to the HEED -server using the Raspberry Pi based gateway, where it can be analysed.

In recording in real time for a substantive period this will identify diurnal and seasonal usage patterns . This means that findings will be based on lived experiences of energy usage in households in displaced communities.

The Electrical Appliance Monitors are instrumental in producing a body of data that allow discussion on what are the key demands from domestic appliances and to what extent are these requirements are being meet by energy providers. It will also generate discussions on how to reduce energy costs for displaced communities and whether alternative sources of energy can address the gap and provide more affordable, sustainable energy services.

The Data Portal is Now Launched!

Want to know more about the HEED project interventions, access extensive datasets or share insights on energy needs and aspirations in the displaced and refugee context?  The Data Portal is now open. The Data Portal is a one-stop-shop  for researchers, students, NGO’s and other vested parties that contains all the project findings, that can be viewed and used to develop and create their own interventions and projects. To sign up to the Data Portal follow this link.

Dr Kriti Bhargava joins the HEED Project.

The HEED team is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Kriti Bhargava to the project. Kriti is joining us from the Department of Computing and Mathematics, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland and brings to the project expertise in Fog Computing (particularly Sensor Analytics), Wireless Sensor Networks and Data Mining. See our Coventry University team page to find out more.

Energy for End-Users (E4E) Workshops

During November and December 2018, members of the HEED team undertook a series of E4E workshops with members of the communities with whom the project is working in Rwanda and Nepal. You can find out more about the workshops here.


HEED Project: Nursery in Kigeme                                                                    

Design for Displacement (D4D) workshop 2nd October 2018

On Tuesday the 2nd of October HEED hosted its third and final Design for Displacement (D4D) workshop at Coventry University. Leading the workshop was Professor Heaven Crawley and  it was attended by a wide range of stakeholders and academics.  The keynote speaker of the day was Dr Glalda Lahn from Chatham House, who focused on the importance of building a robust body of data on energy use.  Following from Dr Lahn presentation, members of the HEED team provided information about the role of engineering and IoT in developing evidence based claims, which can substantiate innovation in developing efficiency and sustainability in energy services. There was also a chance for workshop delegates to be hands-on with various intervention design models. The workshop was highly successful and generated a great deal of lively and informed discussions on the extent renewable energy can provide solutions to energy poverty for displaced people and refugees. To learn more about the presentations and topics please go to our engagement page.

Summer school in Bougainvilla Events, Tirpureshwor, Nepal.

On 22nd September 2018 Vijay Bhopal and Jelte Harnmeijer, from our project partners Scene, working in partnership with a local innovation hub, Bikas Udhyami held a Summer School in Tirpureshwor, Nepal. The event was attended by more than 80 people, a mixture of academics, entrepreneurs and practitioners. This Summer School provided an opportunity for the HEED project to discuss how IoT data collection can address energy poverty with the next generation of IoT entrepreneurs and academics .

To find out more about how Vijay Bhopal and Jelte Harnmeijer, from our project partners Scene, got on at the event go to our engagement page.





Fully-funded PhD Studentship – Providing Better Energy Solutions for Refugees

Looking to be part of an innovative and inspirational project to address energy poverty by providing new technical solutions for displaced populations ? The HEED project has four full funded PhD studentships in data mining, long-lived wireless sensor networks and micro-grid management and control systems

By becoming part of the HEED team you will engage in meaningful research and join a dedicated interdisciplinary team of scientists, project collaborators and fellow doctoral researchers who are exploring ways to provide better energy solutions for refugees.

The deadline for completed applications is the 1st of November 2018 and the on-line application is here.

If you have any queries or would like to find out more about the PhD studentships and working on the HEED project please contact us here