The TRANSNET External Advisory Board met on June 17, given global lockdown measures the meeting took place virtually.
The advisory board provides critical evaluation and direction to the project leadership, ensuring relevance to EPSRC priorities and project outcomes of the highest quality. The meeting was the second time within the programme that board members have convened. The event saw the advisors respond with an abundance of constructive and positive feedback.
Chaired by Professor Polina Bayvel, the meeting was attended by industry partners from ADVA Optical Networking and BT, a representative from ESPRC, alongside TRANSNET academics and research fellow members from UCL, Aston and Cambridge University. Within the meeting research students from TRANSNET provided 'lighting talks' which were praised for their illustrations, coherence and clarity by Tim Whitley Managing Director of Research and Innovation at BT. A special mention was made of how the team continued to be incredibly productive during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Three research talks were presented on the day. 'Intelligent network architectures and topologies', 'Evolving transceiver intelligence and infrastructure-tailored digital signal processing (DSP)' and 'TRANSNET Infrastructure & Virtual Lab'. Discussions also looked ahead to the next academic year and how teaching will be approached with automated and virtualized labs. Luis Lopez-Bracey, EPSRC UKRI, delivered a presentation on the impact of COVID-19 on grants and funding.
Following the meeting, feedback from the Advisory Board included:
"The EAB views TRANSNET as a very strong program which covers important research topics. Especially these days the relevance of communication networks and the need to evolve them is clearly visible"
"Tremendous progress has been made in the past 12 months, despite Covid-19 and the fact that 3 months have been in difficult circumstances with working from home"
"The format of this EAB meeting was very good, liked the Lightning talks – would love to have more time for discussion"
'This is a very strong programme of important research that I can see will have a meaningful impact on our future digital infrastructure. The team are to be congratulated on their achievements thus far'