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UCLan engineering student represents UK on global stage

29 November 2012

Lyndsey Boardman

Lili showcases research in international competition

An engineering student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has represented the UK in a global engineering competition.

UCLan PhD student Lili Tao narrowly missed out on winning the international Present Around the World (PATW) competition final after first triumphing in the regional and national rounds. 

The competition is run by the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) to allow 18 - 26 year old engineers to demonstrate their presentation and public speaking skills. 

Lili, who is originally from Beijing in China, was named as a runner up in the final of the competition held in London.  She represented the UK against fellow finalists from the Americas, Asia Pacific, South Asia and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Good presentation skills are essential to success. In today's corporate world, success is strongly related to the ability to influence others and therefore we should also be able to present well.”

The 23-year-old is currently studying for her PhD in Computer Vision in the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences at UCLan. She was required to present for 10 minutes on a subject related to engineering or technology and take part in a question and answer session for a further five minutes.

Lili commented: “I entered the competition because I think it is a good opportunity to present my interesting research and let people know that engineering is not just boring mathematics and programming, it can also be fun.

“Good presentation skills are essential to success. In today's corporate world, success is strongly related to the ability to influence others and therefore we should also be able to present well.”

"Lili has shown that she not only can solve such problems but also explain related, often complex, ideas in a way that is accessible to non-specialists."

Lili’s PhD supervisor Dr Bogdan Matuszewski commented: “I am delighted that Lili did so well in the competition.

“For her project Lili is working on one of the fundamental problems in computer vision; she is developing algorithms which would enable computers to build a three dimensional representation of the environment from a video sequence. This is a very difficult problem to solve, particularly for dynamic environments, for which objects can deform during the video acquisition.

“These problems demand high level of analytical and programming skills. Lili has shown that she not only can solve such problems but also explain related, often complex, ideas in a way that is accessible to non-specialists.”

John Cowburn, Chair of the IET Lancashire and Cumbria Local Network said: “We were really impressed with Lili’s presentation. She is a confident and engaging presenter and it is no surprise that she reached the final.”