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Science and Technology Christmas Conference

Attendees at the christmas conference

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This year's Christmas Conference, taking place on Tuesday 16 December from 9.10am, is themed 'Scientific Impact'.

We welcome guest speaker Dr Trevor Davis, a Distinguished Engineer at IBM, as well as our departmental researchers who will present their work describing how it contributes to debate and makes a major scientific impact in its field. Our final year PhD students will also take up the 3 minute challenge to present their research as well as displaying their work in the annual poster competition.

Colleagues from across Lancaster University are invited to join us in the Management School Building for an exciting day of presentations, mince pies and refreshments.

Conference Highlights

Dr Trevor Davies

Keynote Speaker

Dr Trevor Davies, Distinguished Engineer, IBM

'Big Data: It's the small things that count'
16 December 2014, 10.30am-11.30am, Lecture Theatre 1, Management School Building

Our keynote speaker for this year's Christmas Conference is Dr Trevor Davis of IBM. Trevor will share his considerable knowledge and experience of the management and use of 'big data' in the 21st century.

Big data has become an overused phrase very quickly, yet there is genuine substance in many of the claims. Already there have been breakthroughs in areas as diverse as oncology, material science and marketing from the application of techniques such as machine learning. The recent emergence of weak artificial intelligence systems, such as IBM Watson, offers the prospect for a step change in our ability to extract value and insight from data, but also creates ethical and legal challenges for which there are no neat solutions. In this talk, Dr Trevor Davis will use examples of IBM work on computational creativity and the rise of cuteness online to illustrate how small steps forward in the world of big data are adding up to a revolution in the world at large.

Trevor is an IBM Distinguished Engineer, consumer products industry futurist and expert on good practices for developing and successfully launching sustainable consumer brands successfully. With over 20 years of international business experience, covering FMCG marketing, R&D and supply chain, Trevor brings deep industry insight and a distinctive point of view to his work, indeed he is often quoted in the media. A member of the IBM Industry Academy, Trevor has played a leading role in bringing the IBM Smarter Planet vision to life.

In recent years Trevor has pioneered the use of digital techniques and 'Big Data' as a means to engage with consumers, and design, launch and track products. His work on using social listening to predict fashion trends - 'Birth of a Trend' - has been featured in Advertising Age, the New York Times and Forbes.

Speaking to The Manufacturer, Trevor said: "I found my calling in the Department of Metallurgy at the University of Aston, where I was drawn to a unique alchemy of hard science and industrial arts. My experience there inspired me to devote my life to designing and making things that make the world a better place.

"The way we design, make and use services and products has to change to make better use of this planet's resources. High end predictions suggest 16 billion people by 2100 - that world requires a re-think of development processes to ensure that products and services encourage and enable sustainable lifestyles."

Conference Talks

Find out more about our presenters and their abstracts.