Published: 28 May 2015

Computing lecturer wins funding from Innovate UK

Dr Clive Cheong Took has been awarded KTP funding to conduct research aimed at improving the sustainability of water resources.

The research focuses on the development of an intelligent water management system to address problems such as flooding, freshwater supply and ecological stress. The system will work by storing excess freshwater in a network of automatically controlled storage systems within the landscape, enabling the re-use of water for purposes such as irrigation and industrial processes.

Funded by Innovate UK through the KTP (Knowledge Transfer Programme) scheme, the project sees Surrey collaborate with sustainable engineering consultancy WSP Ltd and Py Terra.

The KTP project draws on the expertise of academics within Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre, part of the University’s Institute for Communication Systems, and their knowledge of the Internet of Things – the evolving technology by which things as well as people are connected. The research will see the use of ‘semantic analysis’ – a technique used in the Internet of Things - to interpret information from sensors within the water network. This data will enable the development of machine learning algorithms based on a mathematical model, which will help to optimise of water distribution.

While the intelligent system will initially be used in the UK, it may also be deployed in other countries via WSP’s international network.

Dr Took explained, “The knowledge and expertise that the KTP will transfer and embed within WSP will upskill and provide new design tools for its engineers. It will also give them an alternative approach to civil engineering solutions which relies less on traditional fixed ‘hard’ technology solutions and more on the use of natural systems enhanced by networked technological interventions.”

He added, “Although my research has received international recognition within the academic community before, it was also the first time that an industrial partner has funded my research in machine learning and optimisation. I was therefore ecstatic when I heard the news that I received funding for two projects within six months.”


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