Inventive Podcast Episode 12

Acoustician Trevor Cox

Ruth Amos visits the Acoustic Laboratories at the University of Salford. She gets to experience the test chambers with their extreme acoustics, from the oppressive silence of the anechoic chamber, to the booming reverberation chamber.

So this is an episode with a twist, as previous guest Ruth Amos turns interviewer, and we hear about the acoustical engineering done by Inventive’s normal host Professor Trevor Cox.

Inventive Podcast is all about mixing fact and fiction, as it features groundbreaking engineers and brilliant writers. This episode features a story exploring unusual hearing from science fiction writer Stephen Cox. And yes, Trevor and Stephen are related. Stephen’s story The Magic Flute draws on Trevor’s Cadenza project, that aims to improve how music sounds on hearing aids.


Inventive Podcast Episode 11

Jack Haworth – Electrical Engineer working with robots at Sellafield Ltd.

How can be robots be used in extreme environments? Electrical engineer Jack Haworth tells Trevor Cox how robots go where humans can’t at the UK’s Sellafield nuclear site and award-winning poet Katrina Porteous explores the relationship between humans and machines.

Inventive Podcast is all about mixing fact and fiction, featuring groundbreaking engineers and award-winning writers. This episode features sublime new poetry from Katrina Porteous interwoven with presenter Trevor Cox‘s interview with electrical engineer Jack Haworth.

When he was at school, Jack thought he was going to university to study business and become the next Alan Sugar. Instead, he took the long road into engineering. He’s working with robots collecting valuable information in the decommissioning of Sellafield. He tells Trevor what made him change career path and what attracted him to the nuclear industry.

Poet Katrina Porteous has worked with scientists for many years and believes the distinction between the arts and sciences is an unhelpful one. For engineers and artists alike, it’s all about imagining new worlds.

Katrina’s reading of her poem is interwoven throughout the episode and explores data-driven systems’ impact on society and the possibilities for interaction between human consciousness and machine learning.

Put your headphones on and take some time out to listen to this episode. Thanks to Adam at Overtone Productions, we’re bringing you outstanding sound design in the final episode of this series.


Inventive Podcast Episode 10

Larissa Suzuki – Head of Data and AI/Machine Learning at Google

A fascinating insight into the Interplanetary Internet and AI in our cities of the future.

Larissa Suzuki is a polymath – she’s a computer scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, writer, inventor, and philanthropist. She was awarded the Engineer of the Year at the Engineering Talent Awards 2021 and the Royal Engineering Society’s Rooke Award and she made The Women Engineering Society’s Top 50 Women in Engineering.

She has one foot in academia and the other in industry – she’s an Honorary Associate Professor at University College London and a Data Scientist at Google working on Artificial Intelligence for Smart Cities and the Interplanetary Internet – that involves connecting devices and satellites to ensure we have connectivity to provide services to the international space station and remote planets.

Larissa is autistic and she tells Trevor Cox that it’s important that companies hire people who don’t fit a particular profile as that’s not the way to create better products and be more successful. She’s an advocate for women in STEM. The pioneering computer scientists were women, so why were they not given credit for their achievements?

Trevor and Larissa delve deep into the ethics of collecting data on citizens for smart cities. Should we be even more concerned about our privacy in the future?

Author Tim Maughan‘s short story, My City is Not a Problem, focuses on the first AI system built for the public sector. It appears to know how to solve London’s problems better than its politicians.