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Research grants and contracts May 2013 – University of Reading

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Research grants and contracts May 2013

The total amount of money awarded in research grants and contracts in May was £3,458,897. The grants awarded ranged from £703 to £367,995, and this money came from a number of national and international sources including the European Commission, UK Government, research councils, industry, other research institutions and charitable trusts.

Dr James Ferryman from Systems Engineering received £588,625 from the European Commission for a project entitled 'DESCA Consortium for P5 Project'. P5 is aimed at developing an intelligent proactive surveillance system for protecting areas around critical infrastructure, for example power plants and transportation hubs, employing strong privacy preserving features.

Current deployed systems are limited in their capability to robustly detect real threats (including from land, sea and air), cannot operate under a wide range of environmental variation and do not centrally address privacy aspects, amongst other issues.

The University of Reading will work as part of a cross-disciplinary team of 9 partners including large and small industry, research agencies, governmental authorities (UK Home Office) and end users involved in protection of critical infrastructure. The Computational Vision Group (CVG), within the School of Systems Engineering, are responsible for real-time analysis of video data from thermal and visual sensors. A key component of this work is to perform robust object tracking and behaviour (threat) analysis. CVG will also lead the work on development of associated privacy enhancing technologies and performance evaluation of the developed methodology. Critical evaluations of the perimeter surveillance system from a privacy point of view, investigations of social acceptability, and contributions to European legal frameworks will be integral parts of the P5 project. The final developed system will be demonstrated and evaluated at two different critical infrastructure sites.

Dr Remi Tailleux and Dr Till Kuhlbrodt from Meteorology received £367,995 from the Natural Environment Research Council for a project entitled 'Improving simple climate models through a traceable and process-based analysis of ocean heat uptake in AOGCMs and observations'.

Simple climate models are commonly used by policy makers to explore how various greenhouse reduction strategies may impact on climate change. Such simple climate models are used because they are computationally much cheaper and simpler to use than comprehensive coupled climate models. In comparison to more complex climate models, simple climate models have often an implicit (implied), rather than explicit (clearly expressed), representation of the physical processes that are important for climate change. An example of such processes are those involved in ocean heat uptake, which controls how much the ocean is warming in response to increased greenhouse gases, and how this excess of heat is distributed throughout the oceans. In order to assess how reliable the simple climate models are relative to the more complex ones, it is crucial to understand the precise links between the implicit and explicit representation of such processes. This research will address this question by developing a number of innovative methods that will clarify this link, not only between the simple and more complex models, but also between models and the real world.

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