UCL IXN and Avanade: developing pioneering blockchain and augmented reality products
In the construction industry, it isn’t easy to track the progress of projects against their plans. UCL Computer Science students worked with Avanade using new technologies to solve this problem.
Avanade’s Emerging Technology team is a long-standing partner of the UCL Industry Exchange Network (UCL IXN). Avanade is the leading provider of innovative digital and cloud services, business solutions and design-led experiences on the Microsoft ecosystem and is majority owned by Accenture. In 2020/21, UCL IXN and Avanade enabled 12 high-calibre computer science students to gain experience addressing real world challenges.
Second year students Ben Ismaili, Lim Zi Lian and Yi Luk Goh worked on the ‘Archi-Lens: Blockchain & Physical Digital Reality’ project. From their understanding of their construction clients, Avanade knew the difficulties in monitoring building costs and assigning accountability. A lack of solutions that worked well together also didn’t help. So, the students, mentored by Avanade and a UCL supervisor, developed a proof of concept for a product that uses blockchain and augmented reality to meet these needs. Their work showed it was possible to use aggregated data to drive continuous improvement for construction projects. It ultimately led to the creation of an Avanade Smart Engineering solution.
In keeping with the IXN teaching methodology, the students collaborated with Avanade for seven months. During that time, they enjoyed the same working environment as Avanade employees. They were introduced to experts across the company and software they had not used before, in a setting where they were encouraged to experiment and learn from mistakes. They also attended conferences and social events.
The IXN programme helped the students build their CVs and network of contacts, giving them a head start in the jobs market. Avanade released the project’s code as open source, allowing the students to demonstrate their work.
Avanade love the fresh perspective the students bring, and the programme allows them to test ideas in a low-risk environment. It’s also a chance for staff to share their knowledge and support people about to start their careers. Thanks to the programme, Avanade have hired UCL graduates and gained advanced access to the next generation of the UK’s top computer scientists
“Working with UCL IXN helps our employee experience, allowing our colleagues to contribute to a broader community and support engaging projects. It also acts as a recruitment pipeline – with our strong focus on early talent – from internships to supporting schools and universities.
Chris Lloyd-Jones. Emerging Technology, Product and Engineering Lead at Avanade
To find out more about partnering with UCL IXN and the associated UCL NXI internships, contact UCL Computer Science’s dedicated Strategic Alliances Team