Brilliant inventions that shaped our world

Did you know that the first person to talk about ‘de-bugging’ a computer was Admiral Grace Hopper in the 1940s? Admiral Hopper was a pioneer of computer programming, and worked on Harvard’s Mark I computer, a five-ton, room-size machine. She used the term ‘de-bugging’ in a very literal way when she had to remove a moth from the machine. Hopper’s commitment to the idea of machine-independent programming languages led to the development of COBOL, an early programming language which is still in use today.

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Looking back on Innovation Fest 2017

This year our Innovation Festival was on Friday 26 May, but it was such an amazing day we’re still celebrating! We’ve written a little round-up in case you missed it, or if you enjoy reminiscing like we do!

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Celebrating Women in Architecture on #EthelDay

The name ‘Ethel Day’ is inspired by Ethel Mary Charles, the first woman to join the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Ethel joined RIBA on 5 July 1898, and the attitudes of the time meant that her journey into architecture was not straightforward. As a woman, she was barred from attending the Architectural Association School of Architecture, and she struggled to obtain commercial development projects, which were reserved for male architects. Things have come a long way in the last 119 years, and we have seen lots of women making history in built environment, engineering, and architecture roles.

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Celebrating Women in Engineering and the Built Environment

by Georgia Clark, MEng Mechanical Engineering student.

On 23 June, staff and students from the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment celebrated International Women in Engineering Day by hosting a special event for Year 9 pupils from across Birmingham. Mechanical Engineering student, Georgia Clark, has written us an account of the day.

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Lilly’s placement with Renault Formula One #INWED17

Tomorrow is International Women in Engineering Day (#INWED17), and this week we’re celebrating some of our female academics and students on our Twitter and Facebook pages. At Birmingham City University we are committed to advancing the careers of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM), and we recently won an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, honouring our work in combating gender inequality.

We interviewed Liliana Lauko, one of our Engineering students who did a year-long placement in the design department of the Renault Formula One team, about how her work placement has helped her studies and her career. Lilly has had the opportunity to work on the cars driven at circuits around the world, and she has even designed some of her own parts for the race cars to improve their performance.

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How Birmingham can help to clean urban air

by Dr Michaela Kendall, Visiting Professor.

Air Pollution in Cities is Nothing New

Since the VW emissions scandal broke, air pollution in cities has remained a top public health concern. With such stories rarely out of the news, you could be forgiven for thinking that something has recently emerged from medical science illustrating the dangers of combustion-generated air pollution to human health.

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Happy Birthday Sir Tim Berners-Lee!

“If you can imagine a computer doing something, you can program a computer to do that. Unbounded opportunity… limited only by your imagination. And a couple of laws of physics.”

Today is the 62nd birthday of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a significant but perhaps under-appreciated innovator that we definitely owe a lot to!

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What’s on in Birmingham this June?

It just so happens that this month we can look forward to some of Birmingham’s best foodie events. Birmingham has a great independent food scene, with amazing restaurants, unusual pop-ups, and street food to suit any diet. And luckily for us at the City Centre Campus, most of them are just a short walk from our front door!

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Women in Networking

by Zareena Naz, BSc Computer Networks and Security student.

This article, first published on the Hamilton Barnes website, explores why Zareena was drawn to study networking at Birmingham City University.

How did you first get interested in a career in technology?

The first time I got to know about networking was during my GCSEs. I didn’t know anything about IT at the time but I thought it was interesting. In sixth form I chose IT and Business and got to know the basics of IT and got more familiar with it and developed my interest. My teacher at that time was a network engineer and she helped me understand the basics of networking and to study for the exams.

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The path less travelled

by Stephen Murphy, Academic Lead – Linux Professional Institute Academy.

Why changing priorities and straying from the beaten path could help reduce the risk of cyber-attack…

I am sure that you’ve noticed that the NHS (along with a large number of other worldwide organisations such as Deutsche Bahn, Telefonica and FedEx) has been hit by a targeted cyber-attack that disabled computers using the Windows XP operating system. The attack encrypted a user’s files, making them inaccessible unless a ‘ransom’ was paid to the attackers.  People have pointed the finger at out-of-date operating systems, lack of funding and poor security procedures, but are these really the underlying issues, or only failures in diagnosing a more fundamental malady in global computing?

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