600 engineers and scientists attended the UK & Ireland NI Days Graphical System Design Conference that was held at the QEII Conference Centre in London on 20 November 2013. 75 percent of attendees were from industry, with academia making up the remaining 25 percent.
Whatever the attendee’s interest or specialization the multi-track conference was designed to address all angles as it featured keynote presentations, interactive sessions, hands-on workshops, certification exams, a panel discussion and an exhibition showcasing the latest advancements in design, control and test.
In particular, in his keynote address Jeff Kodosky, the Co-inventor and ‘Father of LabVIEW’ shared how his vision for graphical programming facilitates intelligent system design, abstracting complexity at the right levels to accelerate the creation of elegant engineering solutions. Demonstrating the diversity of content Guest Speaker, Dr. Stephen Myers, OBE, Director of Accelerators and Technology at CERN, gave an overview of CERN and fundamental particle physics research, highlighting the progress made with the performance of the Large Hadron Collider since the first collisions at 3.5 TeV in 2010.
Both Jeff Kodosky and Dr. Myers were participants in a lively Panel Discussion where they were joined by Dick Elsy, Chief executive, High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Dr Loren Picco of the Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information at the University of Bristol. In the panel session, which was titled – Who Makes Breakthroughs – moderated by John Pullin, Journalist and Editor of Environmental Engineering, the panelists considered whether, under current economic constraints, organizations can afford to forgo short-term profits and instead invest time and money to explorefar-reaching ideas and whether it is still acceptable for free-thinking engineers and scientists to take risks and fail?
There were more than 20 Influential Guest Presenters from industry and academia representing organizations such as Imperial College London, James Fisher Nuclear and National Grid who divulged their applications and the challenges.
In terms of statistics there were over 60 hours of technical content across 11 Tracks, which included software development, embedded systems, data acquisition systems and automated test and RF systems; more than 60 technical sessions including over 20 hours of hands-on training, covering NI software and hardware and over 10 hours of certification sessions.
In between session and during coffee breaks and lunch attendees could visit the exhibition that featured manufacturers, systems integrators, consultants and trade organizations.