Minister visits Bangor University’s School of Electronic Engineering

Professor Jianming Tang, Vice Chancellor Professor John G Hughes and Julie James, Minister for Skills & Science.Professor Jianming Tang, Vice Chancellor Professor John G Hughes and Julie James, Minister for Skills & Science.The Welsh Government’s Minister for Skills & Science, Julie James AM, visited Bangor University’s School of Electronic Engineering on Thursday (16 Feb). During the visit, the Minister was taken on a tour of the school’s state-of-the-art laboratories and was given a demonstration of the work undertaken by Professor Jianming Tang and his Optical Communications Research Group (OCRG).

At present, the group’s research activities are mainly focussed on exploring cutting-edge signal processing technologies, including super-fast 5G mobile networks currently being developed. As Professor Tang explained:

“By working on advanced digital signal processing technology, we will significantly improve the functionality of mobile networks. In time, this could result in universal broadband coverage and a super-reliable service for us as consumers.”

Bangor University, in collaboration with M-SParc, the new Science Park currently under construction on Anglesey, have recently been working to establish a Digital Signal Processing Centre of Excellence on the site. The proposed Centre would bring together the expertise of ten industrial partners that have been undertaking research collaborations with the OCRG for the past 10 years. The Centre would seek to develop innovative solutions to address industrial challenges with a sharp focus on not only improving their existing products, processes or services but also introducing new ones in a cost-effective way.

Reflecting on her visit, Welsh Government Minister for Skills & Science, Julie James AM, said: I’ve been very pleased to see the research underway at Bangor University’s School of Electronic Engineering in exploring the future of communications infrastructure. Technology is constantly developing and it’s great this cutting edge work, led by Professor Tang, is happening right here in Wales.

Professor Tang explains the high-tech equipment at his lab to the Minister.“The Welsh Government’s aim is to bring fast reliable broadband to every property in Wales.  The Superfast Cymru programme is bringing superfast broadband to areas which would otherwise not receive it. 

“Eight out of ten premises can now receive it resulting in Wales having the highest availability of superfast broadband among the devolved nations.

“No part of Gwynedd would have access to superfast broadband without the intervention of Superfast Cymru.  Now nearly 50,000 premises in the county can access it with more being able to take advantage of superfast speeds as the rollout continues.”

According to Professor Paul Spencer, Dean of the College of Physical and Applied Sciences at Bangor University, OCRG’s activities have huge potential for academia, the telecommunications industry and for us as consumers:

Professor Tang explains the high-tech equipment at his lab to the Minister.Professor Tang explains the high-tech equipment at his lab to the Minister.“The work that Professor Tang and his group have undertaken over the last 10 years has resulted in over £5m worth of direct investment by some of the giants of the telecommunications world. By working in collaboration with the industry and by pushing the boundaries of cutting-edge technology, they are effectively challenging the way the industry provides us as consumers with the data that we need in our daily lives for our laptops, mobiles and TVs. It also establishes Bangor University and the wider region as being at the forefront of these exciting developments.”

Publication date: 17 February 2017