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Institute of Applied Data Science



First IADS sandpit event on Artificial Intelligence for Materials Discovery a success!

2 November 2020

Queen Mary's Institute of Applied Data Science delivered its first sandpit event on Tuesday, 27 October 2020.

The event with a research theme on Artificial Intelligence for Materials Discovery, being part of the initiative led by Professor Adrian Bevan, Deputy Director of IADS and Head of Particle Physics Research Centre at Queen Mary's School of Physics and Astronomy, aimed to offer a networking opportunity for academics from across Queen Mary to pitch ideas for new projects and set up collaborations.

This sandpit event provided a platform for experts in materials science and artificial intelligence technologies to expand their research horizons, to work on research led solutions together by combining diverse types of expertise and perspectives to offer solutions to research challenges.

The event was attended by over 20 academics from across Materials Research Institute, Faculty of Science and Engineering, and School of Medicine and Dentistry. Eight proposals were pitched and considered for further discussions:

1. "2D Molecular Materials Discovery" by Dr Jan Mol (SPA) and Dr Christian Nielsen (SBCS)

2. "New electrolyte for effective actuation/movement of liquid metal whilst having a low loss tangent" by Dr James Kelly (SEECS)

3. "Artificial Intelligence assisted discovery of efficient new metal-free emitters" by Dr Rachel Crespo-Otero (SBCS)

4. "New cell-compliant biomaterials discovery" by Dr Helena Azevedo (SEMS)

5. "Development of automatic interpretation of thyroid biopsy specimen slides for automated diagnosis using machine and deep learning approaches" by Dr Eirini Marouli (SMD)

6. "Using machine learning techniques to optimise the performance of soft robots physically interacting with their environment" by Professor Kaspar Althoefer (SEECS/SEMS)

7. "Design of new carbon fiber graphite based electrode materials for improved performance of electrochemical devices" by Dr Edo Boek (SEMS)

8. "Artificial Intelligence assisted design of ionic/photoluminescent metal organic frameworks (MOFs) materials" by Dr Petra Szilagyi (SEMS)

Four proposals were discussed further, bringing academics together to develop these research ideas and to identify follow-on actions to turn these research ideas into top-quality applications for appropriate near-future available funding opportunities.

The event finished with three presentations on current/future funding opportunities: EU Green Deal (delivered by Paul Giuliani, EU Pre-Award Officer, JRMO, Queen Mary), STFC Knowledge Exchange CLASP (2021: Healthcare and Energy) and IPS schemes (delivered by Dr Wendy Carr, Senior Programme Manager, STFC) and internal IAA and Proof of Concept schemes (delivered by Dr Michal Filus, Impact Acceleration Account Officer, Impact/Business Development, Queen Mary) and providing summaries on discussions and drafting follow-on actions.

Many thanks to attendees for their involvement and commitment to this initiative; many thanks, particularly, to academics who presented their proposals and to funding grant colleagues from JRMO and STFC for presenting funding opportunities and engaging with our academics.

Future sandpit events are planned later this academic year.

Contact: Dr Michal Filus

Updated by: Michal Filus