E&T’s pick of things to do in February

Whether you’re up for a long slog around the halls at a big international trade show or just looking for an entertaining talk to occupy you during a winter’s evening, here’s E&T’s selection of events going on in February.


Mobile World Congress

Barcelona, 22-25 February

The GSMA Mobile World Congress is the mobile comms sector’s big international get together, where the industry gathers every year to talk about the latest technology developments and do business. The conference element features visionary keynotes and thought-provoking panel discussions, alongside an exhibition with more than 2,000 companies displaying the cutting-edge products and technologies that define the future of mobile. The only question is whether MWC 2016 will attract more than the 93,000 visitors who turned up last year.


Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966)

Whitechapel Gallery, London E1 7QX, 29 January – 15 May

This major exhibition brings together over a hundred works that show the impact of computer and Internet technologies on artists from the mid-1960s to the present day. The title is taken from a term coined in 1974 by South Korean video art pioneer Nam June Paik, who foresaw the potential of global connections through technology. Arranged in reverse chronological order, Electronic Superhighway begins with works made at the arrival of the new millennium, and ends with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an iconic, artistic moment that took place in 1966. Along the way, there are new and rarely seen multimedia works, together with film, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing from more than 70 artists spanning half a century.

Tickets from £11.95


Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Genius

Science Museum, London, 10 February – 4 September

You know Leonardo the artist from paintings including The Last Supper and Mona Lisa – now discover the brilliant, insatiably curious engineer in this internationally-acclaimed exhibition. Investigate both the facts and the misconceptions that surround this great genius of the Renaissance. Was he the period’s only designer of machines? Did all of his designs get fully constructed? Highlights include historical models of Leonardo’s inventions including flying machines, diving equipment and weapons; large-scale reproductions of Leonardo’s famous drawings and sketches; interactive games, and modern examples of bio-inspired robotics, aviation and materials technology.

Tickets £10 (£7 concessions)


IET Annual Dinner

Grosvenor House, London, 18 February

The IET Annual Dinner continues to be the leading engineering and technology networking event of the year, attracting hundreds of attendees, This year’s dinner looks to be bigger and better than ever before, with a new pre-dinner networking drinks reception and the chance to hear from guest speaker, Professor Brian Cox.


Big Bang Data

Somerset House, London, Until 28 February

Emails, selfies, shopping transactions, Google searches, dating profiles: every day we’re producing data in huge quantities. Online activity has led to a radical shift in the volume, variety and speed of data being produced, combined with new techniques for storage, access, and analysis, that is radically reshaping our world. Big Bang Data explores the issues surrounding the ‘datafication’ of our world through the work of artists, designers, journalists and visionaries. As the information explosion accelerates, it asks, do we really understand our relationship with data?

£12.50/£9.50 concessions


The Internet of Me: It’s all about my screens

IET/BCS Turing Lecture UK tour, 22-25 February

This year’s Turing Lecture, which tours the UK in February, is an opportunity to hear the thoughts of Robert Schukai, head of advanced product innovation at Thomson Reuters, about howsmartphone technology has completely revolutionised the way we play, work, and live, and the information challenge that comes with constantly processing and generating so much data. ‘The Internet of Me’ will explore our future in this hyperconnected environment, and how our lives will seamlessly drift into a work-life blur based on a ‘dayflow’ of activity, with Schukai describing the digital trends driving this from both the perspective of both consumers and news providers

22 February 2016 – IET London: Savoy Place

23 February 2016 – University of Cardiff

24 February 2016 – University of Manchester

25 February 2016 – Belfast City Hall

Attendance free, but advance registration is required.


The New Venture Capital Model

St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge, 10 February

Are you an early stage company looking for funding? Does your company not fit the tradition model of invest and harvest? Would you like to build a global technology business with significant scale? Do you need help beyond someone showing up at a board meeting to look at your latest management accounts? This event, delivered by Enterprise Europe Network, Bailey Fisher Executive Search and hosted by St John’s Innovation Centre, will explain some of the pitfalls of the traditional venture capital fund model, what to look out for in your investors, and how they can add value to the board and the business.

Free, advance registration required


 A measured approach to decision-making

The Adelaide pub, Park Road, Teddington, 3 February

Real-world measurements inform decision making in engineering, construction, computing, communications, medicine and much more. How can we be confident that the measurements we use can be relied upon? Might we obtain a different result if someone else made the measurement, or if it was made at a different time? Would it make any difference if it did? This talk, organised by the IET London Region, will look at the difference between calibration and testing, at metrological traceability and uncertainty in measurement, and consider the significance of possible measurement errors in final test and calibration results. Speaker Peter Kelley began employment in small manufacturing industry before joining the National Physical Laboratory, and has gone on to become senior metrologist at the National Weights & Measures Laboratory, audit measurement officer at the National Measurement Accreditation Service, then an assessment manager in its successor, the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. Now retired, he remains active in consultancy and UKAS commercial training.


London’s new megaport

Novotel London West, Hammersmith International Centre, London, 16 February

Another London Region event in February provides an update on the DP World London Gateway Port and Logistics Park, London’s newest deep-sea container terminal, from the site’s communications officer Matt Abbott. Building the facility, equipped with robot truck and train loaders and some of the world’s largest quay cranes, involved dredging a 100km channel in the River Thames to allow the world’s largest container vessels to dock just 25 miles from the centre of London.


Integrated Systems Europe

RAI Centre, Amsterdam, 9-12 February

Europe’s biggest AV trade show promises to deliver an unprecedented experience in 2016 through a wide-ranging programme of events, conferences and innovative new features. A first for ISE 2016 is the launch of a Drone Arena that will welcome leading drone manufacturers and feature a daily programme of education and practical demonstrations. Another innovation is the launch of the Dolby Atmos Immersive Theatre, demonstrating the breathtaking audio that can be delivered for music, music videos and movies.


 Southern Manufacturing & Electronics

Farnborough, 9-11 February

The event that claims to be the UK’s largest regional manufacturing technology, electronics and subcontracting exhibition returns with thousands of engineering & electronics solutions and a full programme of free technical seminars. See the very latest technology, components, materials, products and services available in the South of England, with technical staff on hand to offer specialist advice.


 1940s Boutique

Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, 6 February

If you’ve had trouble convincing the whole family that a trip to Bletchley Park to find out about wartime codebreaking and maybe visit the National Museum of Computing would be enjoyable, how about suggesting this day of 1940s glamour. There’ll be chances for visitors who find that more interesting than the techie stuff to learn how to style their hair and make-up to achieve that iconic wartime look. The day-long workshop is run by vintage stylist Sarah Dunn of Sarah’s Doo-Wop Dos and participants learn some social history about how the squeeze of rationing and post-war austerity measures prompted ever-more ingenious methods of self-beautification.

Tickets £70


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