Guardians of the Galaxy 2: The biggest VFX movie of all time?

by Johrah Al-Homied, BSc Film Technology and Visual Effects student.

The hype for the Visual Effects (VFX) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (GOG 2) started with director James Gunn claiming in an interview that Ego The Living Planet was going to be the “biggest visual effect of all time”. He said the film contains over a trillion polygons, and after watching it, I can believe that’s true. Ego contains thousands of animated elements. From the water to the leaves dropping on the floor, all these details could need thousands of individual models, depending on how detailed they are, and each model could contain millions of polygons. Continue Reading

What’s On in Birmingham this May?

You’ve probably noticed by now that Birmingham is big on events. Some of the world’s biggest names take to the stage at the NEC, Barclaycard Arena, and O2 Academy, and people travel from all over the country to attend conferences and exhibitions held in the city.

But Birmingham isn’t just good at big-name events; the UK’s ‘second city’ is great at independent events, festivals, and parties. Here we highlight some of the hidden gems right on your doorstep.

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Big Data and Climate Change

by Dr. Jagdev Bhogal, Senior Lecturer in Data Technologies.

Climate change is making the news headlines again, but for all the wrong reasons. Donald Trump believes that climate change is a ‘hoax’ and has signed executive orders to open federal land to coal mining, reverse the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, and to halt new vehicle emissions standards. The Clean Power Plan was designed to reduce America’s emissions by 26-28% in accordance with the Paris Agreement made by 200 countries in 2015. Trump even pledged to “cancel” America’s part in the agreement, which he branded “the Paris compromise” as part of his presidency campaign.

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Engineering on film: Apollo 13

by Simon Handley, Associate Dean, CEBE.

On 20 July 1969 at 8:18 PM, the world changed.  We – all mankind, had landed on the moon in our incredibly small spacecraft. I was nine years old and had been allowed to stay up late to see this momentous occasion. Six hours later, with one small step for a man there was a giant leap for mankind as Neil Armstrong placed his foot on another rock in space.

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By Order of the Peaky Blinders

by Emma Love, Lecturer in Building Surveying.

In March I organised a special event for the final year students from the School of the Built Environment to celebrate their time with us, and what for many would be the last few weeks at Birmingham City University.

I wanted the event to give the students a really good send-off and bring together students and staff to celebrate their achievements over the last three years. As a proud Brummie, I knew what the theme had to be, so the attendees enjoyed an evening inspired by the TV series Peaky Blinders. Peaky Blinders is an epic drama set in the lawless streets of 1920s Birmingham.

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My Placement at Cisco Systems

by Daniel Alder, BSc Computer Networking student.

In current society, some may argue that there’s an ever-increasing pressure on students to pursue a university degree. This escalates the number of students with degrees – saturating the market and leading to a more competitive environment for graduate jobs. Students must then enhance their CV to stand out, whether through carrying out extra-curricular activities, volunteering or completing industry certifications. However, a great way to stand out from the crowd and increase your graduate employability is to take a placement year in industry.

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Big Success in Big Data

by Becki Marshall, BSc Computing and Information Technology student.

Birmingham’s Thinktank Science Museum hosted a “Meet the Experts” event on Big Data during the half term. “Big data” is used to describe data sets that are too big or complex for ordinary data analytics methods to handle. In a world of growing technology, it’s important to understand how we can deal with the masses of data produced each day. Dealing with large amounts of data can lead to problems such as information capture, retrieval, searching, analysis and transfer.

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Juniper JNCIA-Junos Boot Camp

by William Holmes, BSc Computer Networks student.

I attended a four-day intense Juniper Boot Camp, led by Ron Austin and Phil Harris, lecturers at Birmingham City University during the Graduate+ Week this month. The Boot Camp delivered all the knowledge needed to take the entry-level JNCIA certificate, which Juniper offers. Juniper is a world-leading provider of network solutions. The Boot Camp featured nine lectures and four labs in three days for 60 students, with an exam on the fourth day.

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Building Information Modelling: the future of construction planning

by Sivagayinee Gangatheepan, PhD in Planning.

Last month, Birmingham City University hosted the first BIM Regions West Midlands event of the year.

The event focused on Building Information Modelling (BIM) implementation for BCU’s campus development.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model based process that equips architecture, engineering, and construction professionals with the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. Continue Reading