Alyssa M Alcorn
Alyssa is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), within the UCL Institute of Education. She has specialised in designing and evaluating technologies to support and teach school-aged children on the autism spectrum, with a particular focus on social communication skills and on conducting research in school settings. Currently, she works on the DE-ENIGMA Horizon 2020 project on social robots as teaching tools for autism (http://de-enigma.eu/). Previously, she worked at Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt universities on an ESRC/EPSRC-funded TEL project developing virtual environments for autism (ECHOES-2, see https://bit.ly/2GEuqoO). She has been active across the autism and technology community, and was invited as the 2017 keynote speaker for the UK National Autistic Society’s Autism and Technology Conference. Alyssa completed her PhD in Human-Computer Interaction and MSc Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics, and her BA Psychology at Mills College (CA, USA).
Kevin Chapman is a YouTuber, author and former secondary school head of computing who took a massive risk in the summer of 2017 in leaving the teaching profession to become a carer for his 13 year old autistic son who at the time had been refusing to attend school for the previous 18 months. His daily videos cover a wide range of topics including parenting a child with autism, the ups and downs of trying to support a family of five with an online income, education, gaming and geek culture, technology and anything else that takes his fancy! He doesn’t sleep.
Search for Kevin on YouTube at: youtube.com/kevinchapman1
Sylvia Lu, FRSA
- Head of Technology Strategy , u-blox UK, Member of Advisory Board, UK5G
A multi-award-winning engineer and inventor, a non-executive director, advisor, start-up mentor and ambassador, Sylvia has over a decade of experience in the Telecom industry for four mobile generations and was recently recognised as UK's Top 50 Women in Engineering.
She offers guidance on impact of emerging technologies on products and strategy, as well as major inter-sector, multi-country projects. She also provides industry-focused, independent advice to the government and policy panels on future plans for 5G development.
Sylvia is an elected Board Director of CW (Cambridge Wireless) and was appointed to the Advisory Board of UK5G in 2018. She was appointed as Vice-chair of UK5G International Working Group in 2019, co-leading development of UK proposition and engagement plan with overseas government and industry bodies. She has initiated and signed an MoU with 5G-ACIA on behalf of UK5G to accelerate the development of 5G in the UK’s manufacturing sector. Sylvia also serves on the IET Digital Policy Panel, helps to raise awareness of societal impacts of emerging technologies and resilience of cross-sector infrastructure.
Sylvia was handpicked as an Ambassador of the Women of the Future programme; inspires and empowers female engineers and future leaders as a role model and through appearances and talks at schools and universities. Sylvia promotes diversity and inclusion, winning several special recognitions for work on empowering future female trailblazers. Sylvia is also an amateur artist.
Jackie & Scott Luland
Jackie - I have 15 years experience of running the NAS Peterborough Branch, running family support and events for people on the Autistic Spectrum and their families, Conferences with National and international speakers, training events etc. My youngest son is a 21 year old young man with severe autism which has given me a huge amount of firsthand experience. Scott - I have firsthand experience with my severely Autistic brother, along with helping the huge amount of parents/carers that we have run support and events for. I also have a Physics Degree from the University of Nottingham. We are looking to develop autism services in the Peterborough area, to include a small college/drop-in learning centre, our own social enterprise and much more. All services and our social enterprise will have a technology focus as this is an excellent way to reach and connect with people on the Autistic Spectrum. We will be working with professionals with experience of Autism, and are always happy for other professionals to get involved with our projects.
Abhi has a long heritage with CW having previously founded the CW Handset Special Interest Group (SIG) in 2008, now called Future Devices. Prior to CW, Abhi studied Electronics and Electrical Engineering, has a MBA in International Marketing and, interestingly, was approached by Cambridge University Press (alongside a colleague at the time) to write a book on Mobile Handset Design which was successfully launched in New Delhi. Abhi was the CEO and Founder of Zone V a Cambridge start up backed by Qualcomm and ARM focused on empowering people with aging eyes and visually impaired through inclusively designed smartphones. He held senior management roles at Powermat and Silicon Valley mobile touchscreen technology provider, Synaptics and advisory roles for Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake in the area of mobile user interface technologies. Abhi created and is leading the CW Unplugged programmes in alignment with the UN SDG’s goals of creating Impact Innovators and the ‘Hive’ programmes a new form of co creating and co innovation in digital connectivity with some largest global brands in the world. Abhi is a senior advisor to an autonomous vehicle mobility and smart city infrastructure scale up Conigital and Industry Partner for Arjun Infrastructure Partners AIP with 2 Billion Euros of assets under management for Infrastructure Investment.
Nigel is a senior researcher at the University of the West of England in the fields of autism, technology and education. He has been developing lines of enquiry regarding autism and technology for over 10 years and published work in this area of study. This has lead to consultancy work with US and EU businesses in the fields of technology and autism in addition to funding to support his endeavours. He is also a trustee of a charity (autus.org.uk) that he helped to set up, and Chaired over 4 years ago.
His work has involved user-centred design, case study methodology and traditional psychology approaches to investigating this area. More recently he has identified opportunities for working with VR and head-mounted displays used by autistic groups. His work (with colleagues in the US) has recently examined the potential of VR and HMDs for autistic groups; this was some of the first evidence published on the use of commercially available VR technology in the field.
Nigel is keen, and instant, on involving autistic individuals/groups as co-researchers on the work he engages; seeking insights and perspectives from the people with whom he is researching with. In addition, he sees this ‘space’ as one where interdisciplinary approaches must be utilised to ensure the best possible impact and outcomes of autistic groups using VR HMDs. For example, working with; psychologists, educationalists, software developers, designers, neuroscientists to name a few.