Essex research showcased in Parliament

  • Date

    Tue 6 Mar 18

Andrew Sarkey

A PhD student, whose pioneering work in artificial intelligence has transformed the way Britain’s biggest telecoms business deploys engineers, is to present his research to Parliament.

Andrew Starkey, who studied for both his BSc and MSc at our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering and recently completed his PhD in artificial intelligence, has been selected to showcase his work at a STEM for Britain event on Monday 12 March.

Andrew, who was supervised by Professor Hani Hagras, used artificial intelligence (AI) to develop the workforce optimisation tool, known as iPatch, which enables BT to plan the movement of staff to make sure the right engineers are in the right place at the right time.  As a result, the company has increased productivity and customer satisfaction, while reducing both costs and their carbon footprint.

Andrew was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to be at the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) event, which gives MPs the opportunity to learn more about cutting-edge research and how it can benefit both business and the national economy.

“I applied to take part in STEM for Britain to showcase to MPs the incredible opportunities and benefits of combining artificial intelligence with human experts. This is a great example of how man and machine can work together to enhance decision making.

“There is quite a bit of negativity about AI, so I want to demonstrate its benefits and how it can improve customer service,” said Andrew.

Those presenting at the event will be judged by an expert panel of academics, with gold, silver and bronze prizes being awarded in four categories, as well as an overall winner.