Qualcomm hands out 2014 Innovation Fellowship awards to PhD students

Three UK-based students have been announced as winners of the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship [QInF] for 2014 that rewards the most innovative PhD students across the continent.

Related: MoD funding research into hacktivism and Internet culture – but why?

The contest, which takes place every year, sees the winners each pocket £10,000 as well as the chance to be mentored by researchers based at Qualcomm Research’s Cambridge location.

“We were very pleased by the high quality of proposals submitted this year. They illustrate the quality of the work and technological advances coming from Cambridge University and Imperial College,” said Charles Bergan, Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm Research.

Hanme Kim from the Imperial College Robot Vision Group Department of Computing in London was awarded for his proposal entitled “Visual SLAM and 3D recognition using an Event Based Camera.” The system is designed to be more efficient than traditional cameras as it takes advantage of low latency, high temporal resolution, wide dynamic range, and compressed visual information given by event-driven dynamic vision sensors.

Patrick Snape, meanwhile, is from the same university’s Visual Information Processing Group and was selected for his “Recovering Facial Shape from Unconstrained Images” proposal. It focuses on extending the power of 3D morphable models with an algorithm that aligns and recovers a 3D model of a face from 2D images.

Lastly, Cambridge University Machine Learning Group’s Amah Shah was chosen for his “Bayesian Global Optimisation of Expansion Functions” proposal. Bayesian nonparametric machinery lays out a solid framework that allows global optimisation to be tackled more generally and this could become the “go to” method when addressing such problems in the future.

Hanme Kim was also awarded the first Europe Champion distinction by virtue of his proposal being the most innovative among those submitted from all the participating Qualcomm centres across the UK, Germany and Austria.

Qualcomm started taking entries from students of the two universities earlier in the year and researchers from the firm reviewed all of the proposals before a group of finalists were hand-picked, and then invited to present the proposals in front of a team of executive judges.