UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


EEE Festival of Research and the Barlow Lecture 2023

22 May 2023, 12:45 pm–7:00 pm

Sarah Spurgeon, Head of Department, addressing a full room

UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) invites all our friends, colleagues, collaborators and members of the public, to explore the research being undertaken within our world-leading department and celebrate our continuing advancement of knowledge.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All | UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni


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UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering

UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering (EEE) is a centre of world-class research. At the EEE Festival of Research we will inform and inspire with research posters, academic talks, and opportunities for networking - culminating in our biennial invited Barlow Lecture.


12:30Registration opensJeremy Bentham Room
13:00 - 15:50Poster PresentationsWilkins Cloisters
13:00 - 14:00Academic talks: EEE for a more resilient world.Haldane Room
15:00 - 16:00Academic talks: EEE research in the wild.Haldane Room
16:00 - 17:00Networking receptionWilkins North Terrace
17:15The Barlow Lecture 2023 with award ceremonyDarwin Lecture Theatre

A detailed Agenda with poster list can be found here.

Following the Barlow lecture is a celebratory dinner for attendance by invite only. This will be at Senate House (University of London) close to campus, the meal will begin at approximately 7pm.

Poster Presentations

A highlight of the day is our poster presentations delivered by the entirety of our research student cohort. With Centres for Doctoral Training across subjects including Photonics, Quantum Technologies and Advanced Materials Characterisation, along with students undertaking research across the breadth of our work, this session will engage you in research and outputs that are developing the future of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and it’s applications. 

This session is also open to members of the public with an interest in the technical nuances of electronic and electrical engineering, so join us for an afternoon of knowledge gathering and innovation.

Full list of posters and abstracts

Academic Talks

Academic talks will present the cutting-edge research of the department. Talks will be split into sessions, with each session focusing on a particular theme.  

13:00 | EEE for a more resilient world

Chair: Professor Cyril Renaud

Control methods for safe and reliable interconnected Cyber-Physical systems
Dr Francesca Boem,  Lecturer in Control Engineering

Francesca Boem received the MSc degree (cum laude) in Management Engineering in 2009 and the PhD degree in Information Engineering in 2013, both from the University of Trieste, Italy. She was Post-Doc at the University of Trieste with the Machine Learning Group from 2013 to 2014. From 2014 to 2018, she was Research Associate at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London. From 2015 to 2018 she was part of the team at Imperial College working on the flagship EU H2020-WIDESPREAD-TEAMING project for the development of the EU KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence in Cyprus. In 2018 Dr Boem was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London. She also is Honorary Lecturer at Imperial College London. In 2022 she was awarded the EPSRC New Investigator Award. Her current research interests include distributed fault diagnosis and fault-tolerant control methods for large-scale networked systems, safety and security of cyber-physical systems, learn-based control. Dr Boem is member of the IFAC Technical Committee 6.4 (”Fault Detection, Supervision & Safety of Technical Processes - SAFEPROCESS”) and Associate Editor for the IEEE Systems Journal, the EUCA European Journal of Control, and for the IEEE Control System Society, IFAC and EUCA Conference Editorial Boards.

2D Materials for Energy-efficient Electronics
Dr Antonio Lombardo, Lecturer in Nanostructures and Devices

Antonio Lombardo is a University Lecturer in Nanostructure and Devices at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) and the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department, University College London (UCL). Before joining UCL, Antonio was a Lecturer in Graphene Electronics and Director of the Master of Research in Graphene Technology at the University of Cambridge and also Fellow and Director of Studies in Engineering at Wolfson College, Cambridge. Since 2008, his research has focused on graphene and two-dimensional layered (2D) materials, exploring fundamental science, developing technology and demonstrating novel electronic and optoelectronics devices. His current research is focused on design, simulation, fabrication and testing of novel electronic devices based 2D materials-based heterostructures for applications in microwave (bio)sensing and energy-efficient electronics, in particular neuromorphic. Antonio leads the NanoElectronic Devices (NeD) group (www.lombardo-lab.com)

Developing machine learning hardware using a magnet
Professor Hidekazu Kurebayashi, Professor of Condensed Matter Physics and Nanoelectronics

Talk content TBC

15:00 | EEE research in the wild

Chair: Professor Oleg Mitrofanov

Distributing clocks through optical fibre for 6G geo-positioning
Dr Kari Aaron Clark, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow

Dr Kari A. Clark received a BSc MPhys degree in Physics from the University of Warwick in 2013. He then completed two internships in the electronic engineering industry and joined the Optical Networks Group at UCL in 2014. In 2016, he completed a further nine-month internship at Microsoft Research Cambridge, applying his research in an industrial context. In 2021, he was awarded the PhD and became a Research Fellow with the TRANSNET Programme within the Optical Networks Group. During his PhD, he won two national awards for his research: the Overall Winner of the EPSRC Connected Nation Pioneers Competition in 2018, as well as Bronze in Engineering at STEM for Britain 2019, held at UK parliament.

Dr Clark is currently a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow with the Optical Networks Group (ONG) UCL, having been awarded a 5-year Research Fellowship with the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2022. His fellowship research is to explore using optical clock synchronisation to achieve sub-nanosecond clock synchronisation accuracy in future 6G radio access networks, in order to enable sub-meter positioning of wireless devices.

ApRES: Powering our understanding of polar ice melt and sea level rise
Professor Paul Brennan, Professor of Microwave Electronics

Paul Brennan is Professor of Microwave Electronics and Head of the Sensors, Systems and Circuits Group in the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department at UCL. His research interests span RF and microwave circuits and systems, antennas, phased arrays, PLL frequency synthesis and active and passive radar. In more recent times he has worked on geophysical radar imaging of snow avalanches, polar ice and volcanoes. Today’s presentation will focus on Prof Brennan’s work with the British Antarctic Survey on radar imaging of polar ice in which he has developed an autonomous phase-sensitive FMCW radar system (ApRES) that is now widely deployed by international glaciologists to gain understanding of the processes driving polar ice melt, which is the major contributor to sea level rise.

Artificial Intelligence for Art investigation
Professor Miguel Rodrigues, Professor of Information Theory and Processing

Miguel Rodrigues is a Professor of Information Theory and Processing at University College London; he leads the Information, Inference and Machine Learning (IIML) Lab ; and he has also been a founder and director of the MSc in Integrated Machine Learning Systems . He is also the UCL Turing University Lead and a Turing Fellow with the Alan Turing Institute — the UK National Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Prof. Rodrigues’s current research concentrates on the foundations and applications of machine learning. He is also a fellow of the IEEE for his contributions to ‘multimodal data processing and the foundations of reliable and secure communications’.

Networking reception

Following the talks and poster presentations, we will hold a reception in the UCL Jeremy Bentham Room. The reception provides an opportunity for our members of the department and partners across academia and industry to congratulate and network with the research students who will have spent the earlier part of the day presenting their posters.

Awards Ceremony and the Barlow Lecture

Following an afternoon exploring EEE’s research, guests and members of the Department will move to the Darwin Lecture Theatre. The Head of Department, Professor Sarah Spurgeon, will welcome guests followed by the presentation of the following awards:

The Fabrizio Lombardi Prize

Awarded for the best thesis of a recently graduated PhD student, in honour of Professor Fabrizo Lombardi, former MSc and PhD student of the department.

Cullen Prize

Awarded for the best student poster, in memory of Professor Alexander Cullen, former head of department and Faraday Medal recipient.

Barlow Memorial Lecture 2023

Presented by Dame Helen Atkinson DBE FREng
Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University's School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing

Tomorrow’s Engineering Research Challenges

Image of Dame Helen Atkinson standing infront of a plane


Professor Dame Helen Atkinson is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the highest honour for an engineer in the UK, and joined Cranfield University as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing in September 2017.  She was previously at the University of Leicester where she was Head of the Department of Engineering and then served as Graduate Dean with oversight of PhD students across the whole university. Professor Atkinson was the first woman President of the Engineering Professors’ Council (the body which represents Engineering in universities throughout the UK) in its fifty-year history and has also served as a Vice President and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2010 she won a national award as a Woman of Outstanding Achievement in Science, Engineering and Technology for ‘Leadership and Inspiration to Others’.  

Dame Helen is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (as a President’s nomination), a Fellow of the Institution of Materials, Minerals and Mining and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.  She has served on the Skills Panel of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (one of the world’s largest Engineering institutions), the Engineering Leaders Panel of the National Council for Universities and Business, and for five years was Chair of the Education and Skills Committee at the Royal Academy of Engineering. She has served as a government appointment on a major safety committee and chairs ‘This is Engineering’ for the Royal Academy of Engineering, a campaign which aims to encourage more young people to consider Engineering as a career and which has had more than sixty million video views by the target age group. She co-chaired the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ‘Tomorrow’s Engineering Research Challenges’ major consultation, which launched its report in 2022.  

Helen was made a Dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to Engineering and Education. 

The EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Engineering theme initiated a major consultation in late 2021 to identify ‘Tomorrow’s Engineering Research Challenges’.  This initiative was arguably one of the largest engagement exercises performed with the engineering research community in recent years in the UK. It involved listening hard to a whole range of groups including: PhD students; early career researchers; EDI groups; Chief Technology Officers; professional engineering institutions; Royal Academy of Engineering; and Government Chief Scientific Advisors. The listening process highlighted significant opportunities for UK engineering research to play an even more major role in addressing the critical challenges facing the UK and the world. Engineering research needs to be more open, inclusive and integrated across the engineering disciplines and into the socio-technological realm.  

Dame Helen will be speaking on “Tomorrow’s Engineering Research Challenges” which is the subject of a UKRI report published in 2022.

This will reflect on  high level priorities, cross-cutting themes and technological challenges. The key question for the 2023 Barlow Lecture is where does Electronic and Electrical Engineering fit into all of this and, in particular, the key research areas which UCL is focussing on: electronic materials and devices; information and communication engineering; optical networks; photonics; sensors, systems and circuits; healthcare engineering and nanotechnology?  

About the Barlow Memorial Lecture

The Barlow Memorial Lecture, more commonly referred to as simply The Barlow Lecture, is held biennially in memory of Harold Everard Monteagle Barlow (1899-1989). Harold Barlow was the Head of UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from 1950 to 1967. Barlow invented the H01 millimetre waveguide and is remembered for his many contributions to microwave research for which he was awarded the IEE Kelvin and J J Thompson Premiums, the Faraday Medal, the URSI Dellinger Gold Medal and the IEEE Kelly Prize.