International conference at UCL proclaimed a success despite global pandemic
28 September 2020
A premier international conference organised by UCL has been proclaimed a great success by leaders of academia and industry
Author: Dr Rob Thompson, Institute Manager
Wireless Communications | 5G | COVID-19
Prevented from convening physically the 31st International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), organised by UCL, has been proclaimed a great success by leaders of academia and industry
Following the close of the event earlier this month many attendees, including senior figures from leading companies in the global communications' industry along with leading academics, praised the virtual delivery on its ability to engage and promote discussion among the community.
The conference's general chairs, leading all proceedings, were Professor Izzat Darwazeh, Director of the Institute of Communications and Connected Systems, and Professor Hamid Aghvami of Kings' College London, founder of the conference series.
One of the premier international conferences focusing on wireless communication, PIMRC is part of the IEEE ComSoc's suite of events, this year the event was organised by ICCS, supported by Kings College London.
The 2020 edition of the conference saw almost 300 papers presenting novel scientific concepts or results, with topics focusing on areas such as the wider application of 5G, security within wireless networks, new network architectures, and forward-looking research exploring concepts of 6G.
A full programme was delivered, despite the restrictions, that saw 6 discussion panels that engaged attendees in topics from Connected and Autonomous Mobility, to Engineering Wireless Innovation in the UK - a panel convened by the UK's 5G Innovation network.
A wide range of keynote speakers discussed both applications and technical development, including talks from the BBC, BT, Huawei and a Clinical Research Consultant providing insight into remote surgery. An extremely informative keynote session came in the form of an in-depth discussion between the Chief Scientific Advisor for the UK's Department for International Trade and the head of the EU Commission's Unit for Future Connectivity Systems.
The conference built upon the success of previous years with the additional introduction of a Practical and Experimental Systems track, allowing the conference to highlight great practical systems and demonstrations alongside excellent fundamental and theoretical work.
The move to a virtual conference, while not anticipated, was a great opportunity for the community to explore new methods of delivery, opening up attendance to those all over the world, and enabling participation from those for whom barriers prevent physical attendance.
Showing the success of the conference to engage the community, the event attracted over 800 participants with 11 114 messages exchanged between the attendees, and 100s of questions asked and answered on the platform.
PIMRC 2021 will be held in Helsinki, and dependent on the global situation is likely to build upon the great success of the UCL led conference, with at least a proportion of the attendees participating remotely.