December 12, 2011

WRAP and other repositories

I've had a good look through the WRAP and it has helped me by allowing me to see how to structure an EngD portfolio. Until now I've been a little bit unclear as to how it works and how it differs from a traditional thesis.

My understanding is that all of the relevant work of the EngD that would normally go into 'Chapters' in the PhD thesis is written up as 'Submissions'. These are submitted regularly (at least one per year of registration) and are put into context by the final (and largest) submission, the Innovation Report. This final report is basically the thesis just with large chucks as separate documents so you can do the work as you go. I was a bit worried about the submissions and how it would work but seeing an example from the repository has put my mind at ease. I think I'll have a look at a few more to see what style suits me.

I've also seen a few papers written by others in my department but unfortunately there is nothing in my area of research so I had a look at the other suggested repositories. The one I have found to be the most useful is the Institutional Repository Search (

November 30, 2011

Lanyrd via Twitter

Writing about web page

I've added a conference to Lanyrd and at first I thought that this was a bit of a waste of time as my Twitter search was rubbish.

I am very glad to say that I was wrong.

Once I added the conference LumeNet 2012, I added some of the companies/institutions that were involved. This resulted in finding lots of people in the lighting industry to follow on Twitter.

It's always worth having a go at these things just in case you can find real value in doing it - after all no knowledge is a waste of time.

Thing 7 (Finally)

Writing about web page

So I've finally sorted out Thing 7 and I must say that I love this one.

I have now created an ePortfolio. There isn't much to it yet (a pretty picture, my CV and a blerb about my project) but I can see myself adding to it as my research grows.

November 23, 2011

Visit to The Sky Project

On Thursday 10th November I popped out for the day to visit The Sky Project at University College Dublin. I had a very long and interesting chat with the Head of the UCD Energy Research Group, Paul Kenny, about his research into capturing and mapping real dynamic sky luminance data.

I was also given a tour of their Artificial Sky; 4m diameter, 6 segment dome comprising 145 diffused luminaires following the Tregenza subdivision of the sky.

Any measured sky condition can be generated but they generally use 16 predefined CIE standard skies with the addition of a sun simulator. The sun is simulated with a theatrical lamp on a track running along the framework of the dome. The 'sun' runs along the track to simulate the solar altitude and the model turns on a heliodon to simulate the solar azimuth. The solar position with respect to the model can be simulated for any time of day/year based on solar time.

The Sky Project Artificial Sky to Twitter

I've been really busy for the past few weeks, so much so that I've neglected REx23. So I put aside some time this morning to try to make some headway and catch up.

I started off on Thing 6 - Join I created my profile and had a little search of others to see if there was anyone out there who was looking at some similar themes to me. I was surprised that I did find quite a few and have set up my account to follow theirs.

I then moved on to Thing 7 and requested an ePortfolio. This is all I have done so far as it will take upto 10 days to create my account. More on this later.

Things 8, 9 & 10 were all Twitter based and quite time consuming; not because it was complicated but because I got sucked-in to searching and reading posts (sorry, I should say "Tweets")! I set my account and used the hashtag "#digitalwarwick" in a tweet and spent quite a bit of time reading tweets and following links to articles.

I'm not sure if I am completely sold on the Twitter idea yet. I understand the need to have a strong online presence for collaboration and the dissemination of research but I don't know if Twitter will allow me to find the material and contacts I'm looking for at the moment.

I think I'll have a look at Things 11 to 13 later

(and Thing 14 has been added since I started this morning - will I ever catch up?!)

October 31, 2011

RSS Feeds and Journal Subscriptions

I was quite surprised to see so many 'Things' to do this week but they don't look all that difficult to achieve or time-consuming.

This morning I have set up the RSS feed for the Blog '23 Things for the Digital Professional' and opened an iGoogle account (which looks really handy and is now my homepage). The journal subscription has stumped me though - I wouldn't know which ones to subscribe to that would be relevant to my project. Luckily there was one place left on the RSSP workshop on 'Effective Literature Searching' so I'll be attending that on my birthday.

Now I guess all I have to do is listen/watch a podcast - iTunes here I come!

Artificial Sky Visit – UCL

Writing about web page

On Thursday 27th October I visited The Bartlett at University College London to see their Artificial Sky. The purpose of the visit was to see the types of facility available and see how it relates to my own project which looks at recreating illumination scenarios to assess the readability of in vehicle displays.

The Bartlett simulates daylight for scale models of buildings to assess the impact of ambient and directional light on lighting design. This is to complement or replace the need for artificial lighting for energy efficiency or to design the lighting within a room for human comfort.

The Bartlett Artificial Sky is very impressive - a 5m diameter geodesic dome comprising 270 diffused luminaires. It take approx. 3hrs to calibrate each luminaire and in each case the solid angle needs to be calculated to work out the area of the sky each is responsible for.

Each luminaire is individually addressable by the control system and each setting is calculated based on the luminance distribution required, the solid angle and the performance of the lamp/luminaire.

Any sky condition can be generated but they generally used predefined CIE standard skies with the addition of a sun simulator.

The sun is simulated by a 50W halogen lamp reflected by a parabolic mirror which collimates the light into parallel beams. The 'sun' is on a rotatable track which can be programmed to create almost any solar position for time of day/year in the northern or southern hemisphere.

The visit has given me an appreciation for the complexity of such systems and the size that would be required to do assessments on full sized vehicles. It has also given me the opportunity to try to embed a document from SlideShare into this blog!

October 13, 2011

1 reason to start blogging and 23 things for the digital professional

I've almost made it through the second week of my EngD and I have so many ideas about my project swimming around in my head that I keep flitting between the topics that I'm trying to gather information on.

A few days ago, during my search of the intranet, I came across a PhD students' online course entitled "23 things for the digital professional".

I was hoping that it would help to make my research more effective, but upon further investigation I found that I would have to sign up to write a blog (which I have never done before) and I thought "What a waste of time - who wants to read about me" then dismissed it until my project supervisor sent the link to me.

So now I'm writing a blog. I don't know if anyone will read it but it's given me a chance to stop and gather my thoughts. Maybe it will continue to do so; after all I'll be here for 4 years.

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