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University of Sheffield and Microsoft collaboration develop tool to help scientists forecast future impact of climate change, population growth and energy use

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019
  • Predictor tool developed by the University of Sheffield will help scientists forecast future impact of climate change, population growth and energy use
  • The Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT) 4.0 uses large scale databases including from the World Bank and NASA Satelillite maps and embedded autonomous learning
  • Policy makers and industry leaders can use the predictor to have a deeper understanding of the implications of investment decisions and policy

A pioneering predictor tool developed by the University of Sheffield will give scientists an alternative way to visualise the world and help to forecast the impact of climate change, population growth and energy use.

The Supply Chain Environmental Analysis Tool (SCEnAT) 4.0 uses large scale databases – including from the World Bank and NASA Satellite maps – numerical, graphic and textual data with embedded autonomous learning.

The new tool will be able to predict the relationship between climate change, political economy, innovation, life expectancy, population growth and energy use, on sustainable development and resources.

The University of Sheffield, in collaboration with Microsoft, has been working for the past eight years to solve the global challenge of depleting resources. The new tool has been pioneered through the University’s Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) by Professor Lenny Koh.

“We are very proud of the long standing relationship between the University of Sheffield AREC and Microsoft,” said Professor Koh, Director of the AREC.

“SCEnAT 4.0 is borne from this ongoing collaboration in the era of Industry 4.0; and the Cloud and AI economy. SCEnAT 4.0 AI capabilities fit strategically with the AI sector Deal announced by the UK Government.

“Globally, AI interests are on the rise especially in the USA, China and Europe, whilst the global revenue from the AI market is projected at circa 90 billion USD in 2025 in tune with the increasing global demand for more sustainable and resource efficient solutions. SCEnAT 4.0 framework and platform are well-positioned for such worldwide scale-up rapidly.”

SCEnAT 4.0 has evolved from the original SCEnAT Cloud based tool, powered by Microsoft Azure, which has helped companies reduce the environmental impact of their supply chains.

The collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Microsoft progressed the tool into SCEnAT+ and SCEnATi – funded by the EU – which has the addition of big data analytics and benchmarking capabilities along with Power BI integration, a Microsoft business analytics service.

Anthony Bitar, Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft UK, said: “Policy makers and industry leaders can exploit the prediction experiencer from SCEnAT 4.0 to have a deeper understanding of the implications of policy and investment decisions.

“We are excited by how the combination of Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AI services are being used in the SCEnAT 4.0 platform to de-risk and visualise the relationship of economic, environmental and social impact from the way we produce and consume resources.”

Addressing the productivity challenge in the UK

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

Academics, policymakers and business leaders from across the UK are set to gather in Sheffield tomorrow 13 March 2019 to tackle one of the UK’s most pressing economic challenges: how to raise productivity.

They will gather in Sheffield for a conference titled ‘Changing the Tone of the Debate’. The conference is organised by the Productivity Insights Network at the Sheffield University Management School.

The event will take place in the University’s historic Firth Hall building and will hosted by Lord Jim O’Neill. Prominent figures including Sir Paul Collier, Professor Jennifer Rubin, and Mr Murray Sherwin will deliver keynote addresses looking at how to address productivity discrepancies across Britain, how productivity varies in practice, and how research can help solve this productivity puzzle.

Professor Tim Vorley, Sheffield University Management School,  said, “Given the highly regional nature of the productivity puzzle it is fantastic that the University of Sheffield is hosting the Productivity Insights Network conference, which brings a number of leading figures together to advance thinking on the productivity puzzle.”

“The Productivity Insights Network is leading a major programme of work bringing together researchers, policymakers, businesses and civil society stakeholders to change the tone of the productivity debate and what this means for people and places across the UK.”

For more information about the Productivity Insights Network, visit: https://productivityinsightsnetwork.co.uk/








University of Sheffield’s Management School to host Speak Out Initiative

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

  • The Speak Out Initiative works with young people under-represented in higher education
  • Run by Dr Andreana Drencheva, the initiative partners with local businesses to mentor groups of young people
  • Teams of young people will present their ideas for social change at the University of Sheffield on 15 March 2019

The University of Sheffield will host a competition for a project set up to develop academic, employability, and active citizenship skills in young people.

The Speak Out Initiative, run by Dr Andreana Drencheva from the Sheffield University Management School, works with young people under-represented in higher education to enhance their academic and career aspirations.

The initiative is run in partnership with local businesses Irwin Mitchell, Jaywing, BHP and Andy Hanselman consulting. This year’s participating schools are Meadowhead, Chaucer and Sheffield Park Academy.

For six weeks groups of young people meet with mentors from the University of Sheffield and businesses to work on a project for social change. The initiative is designed to help develop skills, such as collaborative problem solving, communicating in diverse teams, and decision making. 

This year’s challenge is tackling loneliness and the teams will have to research the problem in their local community and develop a project that will make a meaningful difference.

The final projects will be presented to representatives from the University, businesses, and Age UK at an event on Friday 15 March 2019 at The Edge. The groups must demonstrate the sustainability of the project, why it makes a difference and what resources it would need.

Dr Drencheva said:

“The initiative is a meaningful and authentic way to express our historic roots and civic commitment to our communities, while also enhancing the employability of our current learners.”

“It’s a unique opportunity for the young people involved to develop new employability and citizenship skills, to experience university life first-hand and to meet authentic role models who share their experiences to demystify the multiple options young people have after school.”

The competition day also includes networking and reflection to help the young people identify their strengths, areas for development and the pathways open to them after school.

Speak Out has been running since 2016, and evaluation from prior years shows that 93 per cent of the young people considered the initiative was helpful in developing team-working skills and 94 per cent found it useful for developing communications skills.

The teams of young people will present their ideas for social change at the University of Sheffield as part of the final competition on 15 March 2019.

A pioneering partnership: Management focused degree level apprenticeships with the AMRC

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

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The Management School (SUMS) and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s (AMRC) Training Centre has announced a pioneering new education route to study degree led apprenticeships.

The collaborative partnership between the AMRC Training Centre and SUMS will create a world leading advanced management learning offering for SMEs, world-leading organisations and their supply chains.

SUMS is in the top one per cent of business and management schools worldwide with Triple Crown accreditation. The AMRC specialises in carrying out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials. Its ground breaking Training Centre equips apprentices with the skills to go on and regenerate the UK’s manufacturing industry.

The new, high quality, vocational route into university, which is a further development of the University’s successful AMRC Training Centre’s advanced apprenticeship scheme, will feature an innovative curriculum to recognise the skills, experiences and particular learning styles of the apprentices, while meeting the needs of employers.

The Management School will teach professional management leadership skills to support the technical teaching at the AMRC Training Centre.

Yvonne Beach, Director of Professional and Executive Education at the Management School, said: “This is a significant partnership for the Management School. Working with the AMRC Training Centre, we have the opportunity to arm apprentices with management knowledge, enhancing their contribution to organisations and impact on the region overall.

“The Management School is known globally for its high quality degree offer – we’re looking forward to delivering the renowned University of Sheffield learning experience to apprentices too.”

AMRC Training Centre Director of Training, Kerry Thompson, said: “The UK desperately needs skilled engineers to help boost productivity and growth in our economy and our apprentices are the future of skilled manufacturing workers.

“We are providing opportunities for apprenticeships and further postgraduate study, so our apprentices will not only have the crucial engineering skills required today by manufacturers in the region, but also the management skills needed to advanced their career and bring real value to their employers in the long run.”

Businesses will be able to use their apprenticeship levy contribution to fund an apprenticeship place and could use the opportunity to upskill existing members of staff. The apprenticeship levy – introduced in April this year – is designed to increase the number of apprentice opportunities.  Any company with a paybill of more than £3million is liable to pay a 0.5 per cent tax on their wage bill but can claim the money back if it is used to train present staff or new people starting apprenticeships.

 

For further information on the partnership, please contact Yvonne Beach (y.beach@sheffield.ac.uk).