Students Staff

18 May 2015

Essex and BT collaborate on award-winning project

Professor Hani Hagras and Dr Gilbert Owusu

Professor Hani Hagras with Dr Gilbert Owusu from BT

A collaboration between the University of Essex and BT has won the business service innovation category of the 2015 Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards.

The partnership developed an online tool called the iPatch to optimise the geographical work area covered by telecoms engineers, to increase the amount of work BT’s field engineering team could complete on an average day and reduce the time engineers spent travelling.

The University of Essex team included Professor Hani Hagras, from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, and PhD student Andrew Starkey, who worked with a BT team led by Dr Gilbert Owusu and Dr Sid Shakya.

The award nomination said: “The iPatch tool which is in use within BT to support optimal deployment of field engineers has led to field productivity improvements.”

Alongside developing a user-friendly iPatch tool with BT, the University of Essex team had to research and develop the algorithms to support the iPatch system - including a Fuzzy Logic based simulation, a neighbourhood based clustering algorithm and an engineer team creation and balancing algorithm.

The award nomination said: “The project has far exceeded expectations and it is currently being built upon to emulate the success over the coming years."

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