Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Times are a changing

In a few weeks, on the 16th Nov to be precise, I will be giving me professorial speech, which my University, Birmingham City University, Birmingham ask all new professors to do. I plan a Ted style lecture with what I plan on calling 'Times are a changing'.

For me, the last few months  have been a rolle coaster of change, with my father passing, and having to  sort his estate. He was a structural draftsmanship and probably the last of the board users, drawing with pencil and ink, never wanting to move into cad, and probably the reason he retired at 65, together with several new projects starting, and a few papers fleshed out.

And change is what he saw coming, but in his wildest dreams, he could not imagine the pace of those changes, and the depth. Just before he died we talked about my life drawing and the cad programs I use, I tried to explain what it meant and some of the developments I would see over the next 25 years as I aproach his age of 89. Some of it was passing over and beyond his head, some he recognised, but could not believe.

My address to the university will take much the same path, but I hope to more enlightened colleagues. I plan to outline our current situation status, looking at our present stock of cad programs, but quickly move on to the changes I forsee, initially the way data will develop within the building then spread its wings spreading out into the neighbourhood. How the building will use the data to react to use, the weather aging and most of all ageing. Plus the type and scale of data we will be generating.

It's not new, most of the large aeroplane jet engines use sensors to monitor their engines, in real time, that is as they fly, getting ground crews to meet planes that require service or repair,

The data flow is also not new, a single engine may have in excess of 5000 sensors all communicating,  and thats about 10GB/s for a largish plane thats serious amounts of data, add a twin engine configuration and your easily into 2 Tb/s

So a fun ride, but so interesting, add this above to a city the size of say London or Birmingham and we are into serious data, but change 1 plane into 50,000 flying about the globe almost constantly and each of the engine manufacturers are into a large data centre each.

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