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Essex University PhD student to present to MPs at STEM event

PUBLISHED: 12:23 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:23 06 March 2018

Andrew Starkey who has justed completed a PhD in artificial intelligence at the University of Essex.

Andrew Starkey who has justed completed a PhD in artificial intelligence at the University of Essex.


A University of Essex PhD student whose pioneering work in artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed the way Britain’s biggest telecoms business deploys engineers is to present his research to Parliament.

Andrew Starkey, who studied for both his BSc and MSc at the university’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, and recently completed his PhD in AI, has been selected to showcase his work at a STEM for Britain event on Monday, 12 March 12.

Andrew, who was supervised by Prof Hani Hagras, used AI to develop a workforce optimisation tool known as iPatch which enables BT to plan the movement of staff to make sure the right engineers are in the right place at the right time. As a result, the company has increased productivity and customer satisfaction, while reducing both its costs and its carbon footprint.

He was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to be at the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) event, which gives MPs the opportunity to learn more about cutting-edge research and how it can benefit both business and the national economy.

“I applied to take part in STEM for Britain to showcase to MPs the incredible opportunities and benefits of combining artificial intelligence with human experts,” said Andrew. “This is a great example of how man and machine can work together to enhance decision making.

“There is quite a bit of negativity about AI, so I want to demonstrate its benefits and how it can improve customer service.”

Those presenting at the event will be judged by an expert panel of academics, with gold, silver and bronze prizes being awarded in four categories, as well as an overall winner.

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