Contributed by Alison Taylor, communications manager HP Labs Bristol, and Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist
The last six months have seen a wide range of visitors to HP Labs Bristol, reflecting the site’s role as a key player in European industrial research, education, and public affairs.
Late last year, the UK lab helped launch Go4SET (Go for Science, Engineering and Technology), a scheme developed by the national Engineering Development Trust and the United Kingdom Electronic Skills Foundation to encourage secondary school students to pursue studies in science, engineering, and technology. Students are challenged to design and develop environmentally-themed projects, which they do with help and guidance from a professional engineer.
To mark Go4SET’s launch, seven teams of students from local secondary schools traveled to HP Labs Bristol to take part in a series of presentations and workshops designed to help them kick-start their projects.
In February, a group of Business Information Systems students from De Montfort University—a frequent HP Labs research partner—toured both the Lab and the other HP facilities located at the Bristol site, learning about current HP research, viewing a data center, and visiting HP business teams dedicated to marketing and storage.
Arriving from further afield in March was a group of Engineering Technology graduate students from theUniversity of Ghent, Belgium, who were visiting companies and R&D centers around Bristol and in Cardiff, Wales.
The students were welcomed by site director and director of HP’s Security and Cloud Lab, Martin Sadler, who shared an overview of current HP Labs research. They also heard from researchers Richard Brown on current efforts to tackle malware and Marco Casassa Mont on HP Labs’ major “Big Data 4 Security” research program.
Most recently, the Bristol Lab hosted a group of Chevening Fellows—recipients of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship, awarded by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and partner organizations to outstanding scholars with leadership potential from around the world to undertake postgraduate studies at UK universities.
The Fellows got to learn about “The Machine,” HP Labs’ initiative to reinvent the architecture of computing, speak with HP Labs engineers, and view demos on preventing cyber attacks and new approaches to security for big data.
Engaging key stakeholders in government and defense
HP Labs Bristol also plays a major role in working with government, military, and NGO officials from across Europe to help inform them of current issues and innovations in the areas of technology, management, security, and defense.
Earlier this year, for example, a group of 44 international military officers from the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom visited HP Labs, attending talks and demos to gain insight into current efforts to overcome threats from malware, to secure data, and to advance the development of 3D printing.
Another notable recent visitor was Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Advisor to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who toured the Bristol site with Assistant Private Secretary and British member of parliament Ben Edmonds, and Elizabeth Surkovic, deputy director of Science in Government for the UK’s Government Office for Science.
Site director Martin Sadler offered the team an interactive overview of HP’s capabilities and expertise across security, cloud, and big data and outlined HP’s view of trends, strategic directions, and the company’s drive to build next generation infrastructure in the form of The Machine.
The visitors were especially interested in new insights in the area of forensic printing, which is of relevance to an upcoming UK review of forensic sciences. Sir Mark also drew attention to a number of current UK Government initiatives that align closely with HP’s priorities, such as the company’s Future Cities program, its work on the Internet of Things, and investigations into the future of financial technologies.
International military officers visit HP Labs Bristol.