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Showing posts from April, 2019

Embracing industrial technologies for the reinvention of manufacturing

During a recent field trip to Mexico City, Jorge Martins presented the Regional Technology Foresight project and discussed how the combination of emerging industrial technologies can reinvent products and services, promote innovative business models and accelerate enterprise-wide growth.

At the Instituto Politecnico Nacional’s Interdisciplinary Professional Unit of Engineering and Social and Administrative Sciences (UPPICSA), Jorge discussed how firms, especially small and medium-size manufacturing firms, face multiple challenges in the adoption of novel industrial technologies. In order to build and sustain a lead in the race to exploitation of the opportunities, firms need to broaden and deepen their knowledge about digital technologies and then develop tailored digital manufacturing strategies.



At the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Library and Information Research Institute (IIBI), Jorge presented on 'Technology foresight for a future-oriented industry'. The key…

Information School Success at GCRF QR Funding

The Information School initiated a strategy around Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) funding in 2018-2019 and appointed a member of academic staff (Pamela Abbott) as a GCRF lead to champion this stream of funding and raise awareness about its potential for the school as a whole.

To achieve this end, three GCRF awareness-raising briefings were held in the school and faculty were encouraged to align some of their research ideas around this potentially lucrative and long-term funding scheme. Several members of staff subsequently joined the GCRF collaborative network in the university and some also joined the Digital Technologies, Data and Innovation (DDI) theme of Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) to further engage with at least one theme relevant to the school and to GCRF – ICTs for Development (ICT4D).

As a result of these initiatives, the school can now claim some success in the last two rounds of GCRF QR (Quality Research) pump-priming awards, having won 4…

#infolit iSchool at #LILAC19

The iSchool will have a strong presence at LILAC 2019, the UK’s annual information literacy conference, held this year 24-26 April in Nottingham, UK. We are a conference sponsor, and are looking forward to meeting up with current students, alumni and other visitors on our exhibition stand. During conference breaks Dr Pam McKinney and current students Elle Codling and Danielle Czerkaszyn will be happy to chat with you about our courses and research. We would love to catch up with any Information School students or alumni who are at the conference so do come and introduce yourselves!

We are also leading two conference sessions. On Thursday 25th, Sheila Webber and Pam McKinney (pictured) are running a workshop: What's my approach? Deciding on the approach to use for your research. Sheila said “There’s increasing interest from practitioners in carrying out research in the workplace, to improve practice and inform decisions. Before starting the project it’s a good idea to step back an…

Fieldwork in Mexico City

Andrew Cox and Jorge Martins were in Mexico City last week, working with Information School alumni, Gibran Rivera (of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional), on an exciting joint project to explore how knowledge can be shared in the context of cultural sustainability. The project investigates the creation of knowledge sharing experiences between eco-friendly social enterprises in Mexico and Sheffield.

In one part of the trip Andrew and Jorge participated in a tree planting expedition, organised by Chinamapoylo, a co-op dedicated to sustainable food production in the unique environment of the chinampas, on the edge of Mexico City.

The chinampas are a highly productive form of agricultural production based on strips of land reclaimed from the lake in a practice that has survived from pre-hispanic times. They are now under threat from pollution, mass tourism and urban encroachment by the megalopolis of Mexico City.


The ahuejote trees (a kind of willow) they were participating in planting ar…

PhD student Gianmarco Ghiandoni presents at UK-QSAR conference

Gianmarco Ghiandoni, PhD student in our Chemoinformatics research group, recently attended and presented at the UK-QSAR conference in Cambridge.

Gianmarco attended the conference and presented a part of his PhD project, which involves the development of "Reaction Class Recommender Systems in de novo Drug Design".

'These algorithms are machine learning models that have recently acquired great importance due to their effectiveness in product recommendation', Gianmarco said. 'In particular, companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, etc., have built their reputations and businesses on the top of these models. At Sheffield, we have decided to apply these methods in order to produce suggestions for decision making in automated molecular design. The results from their application indicate that recommender systems can improve the synthetic accessibility of the designed molecules whilst reducing the computational requirements.'


Sheila Webber presenting on virtual worlds education at #VWBPE19

Later today, Sheila Webber will be contributing to a compass point session,  Nonprofit Commons past reflections, future directions, at the 12th Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, taking place 4-6 April 2019 in the 3D virtual world, Second Life. She was invited onto the panel as Leader of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, a weekly educators discussion forum that has been running for 10 years.
The other panellists are Dr. Cynthia Calongne (Professor with Colorado Technical University); Joyce Bettencourt (co-founder of AvaCon, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the growth and development of 3D immersive spaces, and Creative Director of The Vesuvius Group); Renne Emiko Brock, Multimedia Communications Program Coordinator at Peninsula College, teacher and artist;  and Buffy Beale, retired educational technology expert, and representing Bridges for Women, a Canadian nonprofit. The session takes place 6pm to 7pm UK time, at https://maps.secondlife.com/second…

The Digital Society – What is it? What are the implications, and what can we do about it?

Paul Clough (Information School, University of Sheffield and Peak Indicators) co-presented with Helen Kennedy (Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield) at a Sheffield Solutions Lunchtime Seminar Series for the Department of Work and Pensions on Thursday 28th March. The lunchtime seminars bring together Academics, policy makers and practitioners to develop networks and better understand policy issues.

Paul and Helen discussed the implications of apps, digital services, smart devices, ‘datafication’ and social media platforms on issues in our everyday lives, such as gender, race, health, equality and public services. The seminar explored these issues and the ways they matter to government, DWP and citizens. The focus of Paul and Helen’s presentation was around data-driven decision making and notions of fairness and transparency in an age of algorithmic bias.

The seminar was well attended with around 40 participants, including members of the Senior Leadership team from DWP.