Celebrating Excellence 2018
6 December 2018
Data Innovation Research Institute director, Stephen Fairhurst, wins, Excellence in Innovation and Enterprise award. Watch Professor Patrick Sutton's video nomination.
The winners were announced at an awards evening on 21 November at The Great Hall, Students' Union, hosted by Professor Karen Holford, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor Amanda Coffey, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience and Academic Standards.
Professor Patrick Sutton wrote the following in support of Steve's nomination:
Professor Stephen Fairhurst has led the establishment of the Data Innovation Research Institute (DIRI) and furthered its goals of fostering novel collaborations locally, nationally and internationally with academic and industrial partners, and training the next generation of data scientists for the benefit of academia, industry, and wider society.
The DIRI was first funded in 2016. Recognizing the pool of talent across the University, Steve established a series of seedcorn grants to encourage innovative and interdisciplinary research projects. Funded projects, from ENCAP, WISERD, JOMEC, PHYSX, CUBRIC, ENGIN, MEDIC, and MATHS, include research on the identification of cancer using software developed for astrophysics, cataloguing a diverse set of illustrations and providing an online map of them, and new hardware and software to facilitate sharing of medical data and images. The research has led to more than £5 million in new research awards, including an award for computational hardware and expert personnel to underpin future research breakthroughs from Supercomputing Wales, a Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics with Airbus, and industrial partnerships Admiral, Cray, EDF Energy, and others. The awards also support 8 Research Software Engineers who provide expertise across the University, including data archiving services for CUBRIC and optimization of codes for the new GW4 Isambard cluster. They have also led to two impact cases for REF, one in ENCAP and a second with Airbus and Admiral.
Recently Steve led a successful £1M three-university bid for a Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science, providing students with training in cutting-edge big-data techniques and a six-month industry placement. He also helped establish two new Data-Intensive MSc courses to train the next generation of data scientists.