From Autonomous Spacecraft to Assistive Living
- Celebrating International Girls in ICT Day
Date: Thursday 22 April 2021
Time: 5.30 to 6.30pm
Webinar – Free , but you must register
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Speaker: Professor Dorothy Monekosso HonFBCS
Organised by BCS London South Branch, jointly with BCSWomen SG, Hampshire Branches
18.30 Estimated end
Synopsis: – As part of the celebration of the International Girls in ICT Day, Professor Dorothy Monekosso will describe her journey into the latest areas of research. This is similar to her excellent webinar on the anniversary of the birth of Aa Lovelace, on 10 December. Beginning with her work in the space industry developing computer systems for demonstration satellites and science payloads and ending with her current research in assistive and rehabilitation technologies to support people living with physical and/or cognitive challenges such as stroke survivors. She will show how these two seemingly far-apart engineering fields are connected by a few techniques in computer science, including gamification.
Dorothy’s research involved care for the elderly, those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Dementia, Brain Injury and Depression.
Dorothy Monekosso became an Honorary Fellow of the BCS, in 2020, of which since 1969, there were only 6 other ladies. She is Director of Research and Professor of Computer Science in the School of Built Environment, Engineering, and Computing, Leeds Beckett University. She holds, from the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, a PhD in Space Systems Autonomy (autonomous spacecraft) from the Surrey Space Centre, a Master’s in Satellite Engineering and Bachelor in Electronic Engineering. Her research interests are building Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) systems, Intelligent Environments (smart homes), and Assistive Robotics. Specifically, she conducts research into sensor data analytics and decision support systems; applying machine learning techniques to human activity recognition, behaviour analysis and automated sensor failure detection and recovery.
Dorothy began her career in space technology R&D at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, developing on-board computers and control systems for spacecraft. She became interested in Artificial Intelligence during her PhD research at the Surrey Space Centre, applying machine learning methods and techniques to autonomous spacecraft. On the basis of this work, she was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering, Engineering Foresight Award and spent a year at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena California.
In 2009 she joined the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. Since returning to England in 2013 she has worked across academia and the private sector working with a number of SMEs in the digital health and security sectors.
Dorothy’s research is applied and works closely with the private sector. She is currently academic lead on three InnovateUK funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) with Essential Ltd, Omega Security Systems Ltd and Abbey Industrial Systems Ltd. Other projects she is involved in include the ‘automated gait assessment in an elderly cohort’ and a ‘remote rehabilitation system for Stroke victims’ supported by the Newton programme, Royal Academy of Engineering and the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Much of her work is in the healthcare domain developing ICT-based ‘intelligent’ systems to enable people living with dementia to remain longer at home and to support the rehabilitation of Stroke survivors.
At one end of the spectrum, she has developed several standalone tools or cognitive aids to support people with memory impairment. At the other end of the spectrum,Dorothy is particularly interested in developing adaptive smart home to support independent living. These smart homes can monitor and provide feedback, can learn and adapt to the changing circumstances of the person living in the home.
Two main issues as with all technology, are usability and acceptance. Technology is, more often than not, conceived without or with limited end-user input. Monitoring technologies introduce additional concerns that of privacy; after all, who wants to be watched 24/7 even if it is for one’s own benefit? For these reasons, it is necessary to work closely with colleagues in healthcare, social sciences, and psychology together with end user to guide the design.