Belfast Telegraph

Belfast-based scientist shortlisted for prestigious Newton Prize

A scientist from Queen's University Belfast has been shortlisted for the Newton Prize for creating a communication system which can battle through hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

The prestigious accolade rewards scientific breakthroughs which help developing countries and will be given to at least five scientists who will receive up to £200,000 to spend on their research.

Dr Trung Duong, who is originally from Vietnam and based at the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen's, has been leading a team of researchers developing a communications system which can work even when extreme weather and natural disasters strike.

During natural disasters, communications systems often face blackout amid power cuts and signal disruption which can hamper rescue efforts as emergency services face difficulties in co-ordinating.

Dr Duong's team designed an integrated heterogeneous wireless system capable of transmitting, even in these conditions.

He said: "Our research at Queen's University Belfast is helping to solve the global problem of communicating during a natural disaster.

"The system which we have created has many potential applications in disaster, climate change and carbon dioxide level monitoring and management, as well as in the provision of e-health services.

"It has been fantastic to lead this international project and I am very pleased that academic staff and students from 20 universities throughout Vietnam have now been trained in the system and several leading telecommunication companies are interested in bringing it into production."

The Newton Prize is an annual award worth a total of £1 million to celebrate discoveries and research which help support the economic development and social welfare of developing countries.

At least five winners will be selected to receive prize money of up to £200,000 which they will be able to spend on developing their research further.

All of the prize winners will be announced next month.

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