Business News (September 2018)

AI could usher in the four day week The TUC are using its annual conference call to the government, in an attempt to encourage businesses to agree to their current workforce to work less but for the same wage. Their notion is that the introduction of new artificial intelligence, robotics and automation technologies could not only provide a £200 billion UK economy boost, which would in turn possibly release pressures on the work force, it would end up making way for a four-day working week within the next 10 years. Cardiff based company IndyCube have implemented this work ethic over the last 18 months. Although the transition to the new...

Engineering News (September 2018)

House of Lords report calls for overhaul of the construction industry It is a common headline, based around reports that the housing and infrastructure needs of the UK cannot be met efficiently by the construction industry as it stands. Now there is also an evidence led report published by the House of Lords concerning the off-site manufacture in the construction sector calling for a ‘radical overhaul’ of the industry to make it more collaborative. The report praises the new ICE ‘Project 13’, an ICE business and working model offering a new way of thinking to reduce costs to the public over the lifecycle of assets, less disruption during construction and...

Scientific News (September 2018)

Robot rock Plans are underway by the Japanese Space Agency to explore the surface on an asteroid using a robot.  The Hayabusa-2 spacecraft finally arrived at the asteroid Ryugu earlier this year following a three-and-a-half-year journey towards the rock, which is shaped like a spinning top. Japanese officials have selected dates this September and October for when the robot landing craft from the Haybusa-2 will start its observations. These robots will be dispersed to different regions across the asteroid.  Should the mission be successful, the Haybusa-2 will be the first craft in space to gather data from landing apparatus placed upon the surface of an asteroid. The asteroid with a...

Internet News (September 2018)

Gatwick flight display system under a cloud Gatwick Airport may have a new cloud-based flight information system…even so, the system experienced a difficult landing earlier this month, bringing the airport authorities down a peg or two. Back in May, the airport claimed that its new screens were ‘innovative and cost effective’, when receiving an award at the Real IT awards for project of the year. They also claimed that they had developed a system that was easily scalable, flexible and resilient, requiring less maintenance and supporting infrastructure. Passengers were left with no working information boards at Gatwick following an issue with the system. Staff were rallied to resolve the problem...

Business News (August 2018)

Beer and cannabis Constellation Brands, the owners of Corona beer are looking to invest $4 billion into Canopy Growth, Canada’s largest cannabis producer. If the investment is successful, the deal will be Constellation Brands largest deal within the industry, in a bid to take advantage of the growing legalisation of cannabis. In 2017, Constellation invested $200 million into a deal with Canopy for the manufacture of a non-alcoholic cannabis-based drink. Following the news of the deal, Canopy’s Toronto-listed stock rose by 30%, but in stark contrast, the news also saw Constellations value fall by 6% on Wall Street. Canopy and Constellation believe that the investment will enable Canopy to expand...

Engineering News (August 2018)

A shift towards predictive maintenance minimises downtime in manufacturing The move from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance is happening throughout many areas of industry. Construction uses sensors to monitor the structural health of buildings or how they react to certain conditions, in new constructions, but also with retrofitted sensors in historic buildings. The same is happening in other sectors such as monitors in utility networks (new and retrofitted), the automotive sector, the chemical industry and life sciences to name but a few. One of the biggest benefits of a shift from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance can be seen in the manufacturing industry which often uses complex machinery. A fault...

Scientific News (August 2018)

Cancer cure closer Scientists based in Australia have taken a giant step forward in cancer research since their discovery of a new drug, which when tested on animals appears to send cancerous cells into permanent states of stasis. The new drug stops the cells from reproducing without any of the painful side effects that are often caused by the conventional methods of cancer treatments. The team surrounding this ground-breaking research include researchers and scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Cancer Therapeutics CRC, The University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and CSIRO. Research published this week, shows the drugs actively stopping the advancement...

Internet News (August 2018)

Police face off with civil liberties group over Automatic Facial Recognition The use of automatic facial recognition technology by police facing a legal challenge from Big Brother Watch, a leading civil liberties group. Automatic Facial Recognition (AFR), works in conjunction with CCTV camera systems, allowing law enforcement agencies to compare and record images of people with criminals and suspects facial patterns stored on police databases. The technology has been described as “very intrusive” in public places by one prominent watchdog organisation. AFR allows the police to monitor several cameras in real time, pattern matching faces on the street with recorded and known criminal elements. The Metropolitan Police have already tested...

Business News (July 2018)

Ryanair faces more industrial action Recent industrial action by Ryanair has affected flights between the United Kingdom and Ireland, following a vote by the Irish Airline Pilots Association to strike after disputes with senior management over pay and working conditions, including base transfers, promotion opportunities and annual leave. During the autumn of 2017, Ryanair were faced with the decision to cancel hundreds of flights following issues with staff rotas, leaving the airline with insufficient numbers of crew. It was during this period that Ryanair staff made their feelings known about poor working conditions. The relationship between Ryanair and the unions has frequently been hostile, but in December 2017 Ryanair took...

Engineering News (July 2018)

A new window on household electricity supplies Building trends that that are environmentally friendly have been boosted through the popularity of specially coated windows which are able to keep the heat in and the cold out. This technology has in turn inspired scientists and engineers to create thin, translucent solar cells that can turn windows into small electricity generators. Chinese researchers have since combined these two systems into one and produced a window that has the facility not just to be energy efficient but to provide a house with enough energy on a daily basis. Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Hin-Lap Yip based at the South China University of...