In 2011 I was honoured to receive the Legendary Lecturer Award from my students. This meant a great deal, since it came straight from those whom I teach.
In my group we focus on the development of software and hardware for a range of applications, concentrating in particular on biomedical and consumer audio fields.
In the medical areas, we develop systems to analyse the brainwaves of premature babies; we develop portal, intelligent ECG systems; we design wireless, internet-based biomedical signal patient monitoring systems for use in domestic environments.
A big part of our work is also involved with audio signal processing; Signal Wizard Systems, a spin-out commercial enterprise, is the major focus here. We produce products for music enhancements, noise suppression and musical instrument emulation.
The unifying theme of my activities is digital signal processing and instrumentation systems design. There are three main themes to my team’s research portfolio: the development of systems and software biomedical applications, the design and development of real-time digital signal processing hardware for audio bandwidth applications, and the development of instrumentation and software for nondestructive testing of materials using a variety of sensing modalities.
The School has a very successful profile, in terms of teaching delivery and research. In particular, the research portfolio is very diverse, ranging from the development of space probe instrumentation to systems for audio enhancement in the next generation of mobile phones.
Teaching is a very important part of my activities within the School. It is very gratifying to deliver a course to students from first principles, and witness how they progress from complete novices to experts in the field.
I teach Digital Signal Processing (DSP) to second and third year undergraduates and also to master’s students. DSP is also very prominent in my research, so I need to stay up to date with the field – it is a very fast moving subject. This feeds back into my teaching. All my teaching involves the use of interactive PDFs with embedded software to illustrate the principles of what is being taught. These notes are revised on a yearly basis, as are the laboratory exercises.
Throughout my career I have had many highlights. In terms of teaching, in 2011 I was honoured to receive the Legendary Lecturer Award from my students. This meant a great deal, since it came straight from those whom I teach. In 2012, I was honoured to receive a University Teaching Excellence Award. Again, this was a very humbling experience.
In terms of research, the success of Signal Wizard Systems has been very gratifying indeed. The unique and underpinning philosophy of these products is their ease of use. The systems require no knowledge DSP theory on the part of the user or of the mathematics associated with digital filter design. Filters and other algorithms can be designed in seconds, downloaded and executed in real-time with just a few mouse clicks. Since 2004 Signal Wizard products have been sold all over the world to research institutions, business and private individuals. They are used for a wide range of applications, including noise suppression, adaptive filtering, system modelling and musical instrument research. At the present time, the product portfolio includes Signal Wizard 2.5, Signal Wizard 3.0 and Soundtrack and Vsound.