Secondment to the University of Bristol helped company to innovate

To gain a better understanding of how wireless networks work in different environments, Toshiba’s Telecommunications Research Laboratory seconded one of their engineers to the University of Bristol for three months.

Dr Zubeir Bocus, a research engineer at Toshiba TRL, undertook research using the mathematical theory of billiards to understand connectivity in wireless networks in environments with reflecting walls. He was supervised by Dr Carl Dettmann from the University’s School of Mathematics.

A mathematical billiard is a model in which a particle moves freely except for reflections at the boundary and may escape through gaps in the boundary.  This is similar to wireless connectivity problems in confined spaces which involve reflecting parallel walls with gaps.

Using these similarities Dr Bocus made advances in the mathematical modelling and design of wireless networks, helping Toshiba to understand what environments permit wireless communication and how to develop network structures that improve performance. As a result, Toshiba have been able to develop new sensor and smart meter products.

The team also published two journal papers which have allowed the wider communications industry to consider these new methods for network optimisation.

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