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Smart British brains tackle Christchurch rebuild

Smart-technology developers from the UK will co-host a workshop this week to help improve the way smart sensors are used in urban environments, such as the Christchurch rebuild effort.

Set up by the British High Commission, the workshop involves sharing the latest developments in systems for smart cities and the use of sensors – these detect any changes and patterns within an environment.

“There is a lot of great work going on in New Zealand on sensors, as there is in the UK, ” says science and innovation officer Steve Thompson “We’re keen to connect key people in each area to come up with some new research ideas they can develop through collaboration and take to market”.

He says many British organisations want to contribute ideas that can help the Christchurch rebuild effort.

Sensors could be more attuned to potential earthquakes in the future, while the creation of new utility systems provides the opportunity to use sensors to produce the best management systems for water, electricity, and transport.

Learnings from Christchurch can then be applied to other cities.

The high commission is working with KiwiNet and Callaghan Innovation to host the Sensors in the Built Environment workshop at Te Papa, Wellington on 6 March.

Guests include Dr Alex Mason (a member of BEST – Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies), Dr Olga Korostynska (a master’s level lecturer on structural and earthquake engineering), and Joe Ryan who is developing a device called VRgo that will be used for movement within virtual reality.

Callaghan Innovation manager Seumas McCroskery says the event is an opportunity for local scientists and business to work together while using visiting expertise to develop ideas

“Emerging technologies in sensing, data processes and user interfaces are converging to create fabulous opportunities to understand the world around us better than ever before.”

Workshop attendees will discuss sensors, feedback and control systems used for infrastructure, civil emergency measures, and water management – among other topics.

The free workshop will run from 9:30am to 6pm.

More information available on the KiwiNet website.

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