Question: How is Technology Shaping the Future?

Date: 1st February 2018
Podcast: To follow

Dr. Paul Stavrinou (Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford)
Nicola Shaw CBE (Executive Director, UK National Grid)
Holly Hathrell (DPhil in Chromosome & Developmental Biology)

Chair: Xanita Saayman (DPhil in Molecular Cell Biology)
Organiser: Paul Stephens (DPhil in English)

Engineering Yes

Speaker Biographies:

Dr Paul Stavrinou is a Fellow of Lincoln College and Associate Professor in Photonics at the Department of Engineering Science. Initially trained at Marconi Instruments, as a communications engineer, he completed a BEng(Hns) in Electronic Engineering at what was then the Polytechnic of the South Bank. His PhD research was undertaken at University College London, through a Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering and, following this, he held postdoctoral positions at University College London, the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. Dr Stavrinou’s research interests span the development of materials (organic and inorganic) for photonic applications and optoelectronic devices, such as lasers, solar cells and electro-absorption modulators; the common themes all involve light-matter interactions and the flow or routing of radiation within structures.

Nicola Shaw is the UK Executive Director of the National Grid. She graduated with a BA in Modern History and Economics from Lincoln College, Oxford and completed an MSc in Transport from MIT. Nicola has held senior positions in many regulatory and operational organisations, including at the Strategic Rail Authority, the Office of the Rail Regulator and at FirstGroup PLC, with further posts at Halcrow, the World Bank and London Transport. Before joining the National Grid, she was the CEO at HS1 for five years, reporting to the UK Government on the future structure and financing of Network Rail, which culminated in the publication of the Shaw report in 2016. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List in 2015.

Holly Hathrell is a third year PhD student in Chromosome and Developmental Biology. On coming to Oxford, she made a swap from her undergraduate degree in Theoretical Physics, and is incorporating into her PhD some of the computational aspects of her previous studies. Her work involves applying ideas in Neural Networks to automate the analysis of vast datasets of microscope images, a task highly impractical for humans and impossible using existing computational methods. Her research into Machine Learning has unearthed an interest into the ethical questions surrounding the use of algorithms and AI in our daily lives.

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