ACWR 2011 Concludes

December 21, 2011
Amritapuri Campus

The International Conference on Wireless Technologies for Humanitarian Relief came to a successful close at the Amritapuri campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

Student delegates who presented papers and posters represented such diverse international universities as Carnegie Mellon and MIT (US), University of Freiburg (Germany), Sharif University of Technology (Iran), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) and Flinders University (Australia).

Keynote Speeches at ACWR

“The Amrita conference provided a great opportunity to interact with experts from all over the world,” shared Mohammad Sadegh Ebrahimi, from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran.

“I was able to connect with professors from different research areas; this will definitely help me,” shared Kartic Bhargav KR, who came from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani to attend.

There were also student delegates from IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT Rajasthan, IIT Patna, IIST Trivandrum and several NITs who attended.

Delegates discussed not only the latest advances in wireless technologies, but also recent noteworthy applications. For instance, underwater acoustic sensor networks deployed to accurately gauge damage to aquatic life after the oil spill in the Gulf of México were highlighted.

Keynote Speeches at ACWR

“This technology can also be used for environmental monitoring or building tsunami warning systems,” the delegates stated.

Issues related to the bigger picture of technology serving humanity were also addressed.

“One base station emits 80 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually,” stated Dr. Seshaiah Ponnekanti, NEC-Telecome Modus, UK, who was also a key note speaker at the conference.

“We need to find ways and means to cut down these emissions drastically,” he emphasized.

Keynote Speeches at ACWR

Papers were presented that focused on minimizing energy consumption in wireless sensor networks and devices. “Can we not embed solar cells in cell phones so that they can be automatically charged?” one delegate asked.

The need for parallel research that addresses the pro and cons of the technology itself was also underscored.

“We need to think about silent disasters such as the abrupt disappearance of bees that pollinate crops,” one delegate remarked.

“It is speculated that radiation given off by mobile phone towers interferes with the navigation system of the bees, preventing them from finding their way back to their hives. Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. If bees disappear, global food production will be drastically hit.”

Another delegate pointed out the mass disappearance of sparrows in cities, again speculated to be the result of radiation from cell phone towers.

Keynote Speeches at ACWR

Experts agreed that real needs should be properly understood, before selecting research areas. “Bring in people who are facing the problem and also experts from other areas to find inter-disciplinary solutions to real problems,” they said.

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Keynote Speeches at ACWR 2011

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