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Tech Summit Speaker Profiles: Michael Groves & Simon Dobson

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14 July 2016

3rd CENSIS Technology Summit, 6 Oct 2016

Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow G1 1RD

Session 2: The Connected Community

Presenting the findings of their CENSIS-supported collaborative R&D project on ‘Sensing Environmental Risk‘, will be Dr Michael Groves of Scottish SME Topolytics Ltd., and the academic partner, Prof Simon Dobson of the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews.

There is growing pressure on companies to measure environmental risk and performance and disclose this to third parties. Topolytics’ software enables environmental managers in industry to manage and analyse data on waste, emissions and resource efficiency, then share real time performance updates. The volume and velocity of the data will vary, but there is common interest in its source and its quality.

Where the data is real time, for example from gas sensors or water meters, there are specific challenges around quality. Sensor signals are subject to environmental noise, electrical interference, and gradual degradation of the hardware. Individual readings can be variable, and the data stream can have multiple gaps. Topolytics has therefore worked with the University of St Andrews to assess statistical machine learning techniques to filter and smooth sensor signals. The aim of the work is to improve robustness of the outputs and get the best overall view of the data.

Michael Groves, Topolytics

Michael Groves, Topolytics

Dr Michael Groves is co Founder and CEO of Topolytics Ltd. One of TechRepublic’s cleantech startups to watch in 2015, is a software platform that combines geo-spatial technologies and analytics to make sense of environmental data from a growing array of sources, including mobile and fixed sensors.

A geographer with a PhD in remote sensing, Michael has over 20 years’ experience in natural resources, environmental management and sustainability reporting. His working life began in south-east Asia, pioneering audits of sustainable forest management. On returning to the UK he set up a consultancy that created annual sustainability reports for large companies.

Michael sold this business in 2011. Topolytics is a software product for environmental managers in industry.  It makes granular data on commercial waste, emissions and resource efficiency visible and actionable.

Simon Dobson

Simon Dobson

Prof Simon Dobson is Director of Research of the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews. He Dobson works on complex and sensor systems, especially on how to interpret large volumes of diverse sensor data and relate it to what’s actually happening in the real world. This involves a range of techniques ranging from statistically-based signal processing to machine learning and semantic analysis.

Prior to coming to St Andrews in 2009 Simon worked for 12 years in Ireland, with academic posts at Trinity College Dublin and UCD, and as founder and CEO of a start-up company.

Simon holds a BSc and PhD in computer science, is a Chartered Engineer, and a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

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