Industry challenges tackled by Turing Data Study Groups

Thursday 22 Dec 2016


Last week, The Alan Turing Institute hosted a week-long data study workshop bringing together researchers and industry to work on complex data science problems posed by six major companies: Airbus, National Grid, Siemens, Shell, Sygenta and Tata Steel.

The event, sponsored by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, offered 65 researchers gathered from 12 universities the opportunity to apply their methodologies on real-world data science problems and industry data sets, truly putting knowledge into practise alongside developing new skills. For the industry participants, it was a chance to have a range of researchers looking at a problem from a number of angles and use cutting edge tools and methodologies to partition the problem before coming together to design solutions.

The list of projects reveal the diversity of the participating companies:

The Data Study Group was initiated and led by Dr Sebastian Vollmer, a Faculty Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute. “The participants all worked fantastically during the week, and got some excellent results,” said Sebastian. “It was great to see people from different disciplines working together on real-world challenges. The networking and discussion went beyond the problems at hand and I look forward to seeing how the study group will act as a catalyst for future collaborations within the Turing community and with industry.”

Iris Fermin, a principal researcher from Tata Steel, worked with an assigned group of researchers during the week, and was very impressed by the talent drawn in to the Institute. “We have enjoyed our collaboration with the researchers and the Turing this week. We would like the partnership to become stronger to tackle problems together through training, building  connections with the community and for the exchange of knowledge and information.”

Dr Anita Faul, a Fellow in Mathematics at the University of Oxford, worked in the Syngenta study group and was excited by the opportunity to work on real-world challenges. “People learn best when they are able to apply methodology to specific problems and I am keen to see if we can replicate the workshop at my home university.”

Reports generated from the Data Study Group will be published in 2017, after an initial exclusivity period for the companies involved.

Researchers working at the Alan Turing Institute

Researchers working on the agricultural data challenge set by Syngenta

The week-long study was sponsored by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation Programme for Data-Centric Engineering.