Bridging the Gap

Bridging The Gap: Away-Day 3

Transport Connections

Birmingham BTG Research Away Day, 15th-16th December 2010

This is the third Research Away Day organized by BTG, and our topic this time is transport and its connections to other issues such as transport users, the environment, resilience, energy, urban development, ....

The Away Day is generously supported and funded by the EPSRC Bridging The Gap (BTG) grant on "Multi-disciplinary Optimisation and Data Mining at Birmingham" ( Its primary aim is to bring researchers from different disciplines together to identify research challenges, which can be in any discipline where optimization, data mining, or modelling techniques can play a useful role. To enable the follow-up of the discussions at the Away Day, up to £10,000 will be made available to enable people to continue the discussion afterwards. In the short term, the expected outcome of this Research Away Day would be multi-disciplinary grant proposals going to external bodies, either within the UK or EU. In the long term, the expected outcome would be new or further strengthened multi-disciplinary collaborations. Everyone within Birmingham is welcome to participate in the Away Day.

Location: The Abbey Hotel at Great Malvern. Malvern is served by a direct train from New Street and the University train station. There is a 12min walk from the station to the hotel (uphill), we will book taxis if necessary. People attending the EPS graduation on the 16th can return to Birmingham on a train leaving Great Malvern station at 12.11 pm (arriving 12.59pm).

The Research Away Days are open to all teaching and research staff within the University. The cost of participating in the two-day event will be fully covered by the EPSRC BTG project. A key feature of the event will be the organisation of the activities around problems and challenges, not by academic disciplines. The activities will include presentations of research challenges (from problem owners), brief overviews of existing methods and techniques (from tool developers), idea generation in the wild and ample time for networking and discussions.

Workshop Schedule

Wednesday, 15 December

 8.55 Train Departure University train station, platform 2 (to arrive 9.42)
10.00 - 10.30 Welcome Tea and Coffee
10.30 - 10.45 Introduction Prof. Xin Yao and Dr. Thorsten Schnier School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
10.45 - 11.30 Challenges in Highway Asset Management: Beyond the current economic crisis Andy Verity-Harrison, Principal Consultant, Atkins
11.30 - 12.30 Keynote Talk: Communications in Vehicular Networks: Opportunities for Optimization and Learning abstract Enrique Alba, Departamento Lenguajes y Ciencias de la Computación, Universidad de Malaga
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch
14.00 -15.00 Performance in the Railways Industry Andrew Tobias, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, University of Birmingham
15.30 - 16.00 Afternoon Tea and Coffee
16.00 - 17.30 Discussion: Opportunities for collaborative, cross-disciplinary research
17.30 - 19.30 Evening break, pre-dinner meeting at the bar
19.30 Dinner

Thursday, 16 December

9.30 - 10.30 Computational Intelligence and Its Applications in Transport Prof. Xin Yao School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
10.30 - 11.00 Discussion
11.00 - 12.30 Lunch
12.11 Train for those attending EPS graduation (arriving University 12.59, )
12.30 - 14.30 Walk up to North Hill (weather permitting, requires sturdy foodwear)
14.30 - 15.00 Afternoon Discussion
15.00 - 15.30 Afternoon Coffee and conclude
16.11 Train to Birmingham (arriving University 16.59)

The details will be announced closer in time to the event.


We can accommodate up to 25 participants. Until we get close to this number, we will register on a first-come, first-serve base. To register, please email Laura ( Pelease register by the end of Friday 3rd December 2010.

For more information, contact Dr. Thorsten Schnier ( or one of Profs. Andrew Chan (, Michal Kocvara (, Xin Yao (, Zoe Kourtzi (