Postgraduate Researcher awarded RSE Lessells Travel Scholarship

Postgraduate researcher Henrietta Baker has been awarded a John Moyes Lessells Travel Scholarship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Henrietta is undertaking a PhD entitled "Forensic engineering data for future infrastructure success". It involves a holistic look at forensic data in construction engineering and uses computer informatics techniques to deal with this data.

Having been awarded a Lessell's travel scholarship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Henrietta will be travelling to the University of Colorado, Boulder in Spring 2019 to develop the Natural Language Processing (a technique for the ‘translation’ of the written word to a machine learning environment) program required for her research. Specifically, Henrietta will be developing approaches to automatically extract factors (e.g. keywords, tags) from unformatted prose data.

This method has the additional benefit of producing metadata which has the potential to unlock new avenues of research. Through close collaboration with researchers at Colorado, a detailed development of a Natural Language Processing Lexicon will be undertaken. A Lexicon is a fundamental element in the ‘translation’ of the written word to a machine learning environment.

Work at Edinburgh has already initiated development of these principles to a wider ‘failure’ paradigm; while work at Colorado has recently been done to develop such techniques for a narrower ‘construction safety’ domain.

The RSE John Moyes Lessells Travel Scholarships

These Scholarships arise from a bequest from the late Professor John Moyes Lessells, an eminent mechanical engineer who emigrated to the United States of America in 1920. The Scholarships are for Honours Graduates in Engineering from Scottish Universities, who wish to study some aspect of their profession outwith the UK. All branches of Engineering are eligible for consideration, including computer and software engineering. The Awards Committee would particularly welcome applications for scholars seeking to study in Asia, Africa or South America.

The first award was made in 1985, and since that time over 100 scholarships have been awarded, to allow young engineers based in Scotland to travel and collaborate with their fellow engineers across the globe.

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