The Pembroke-BT Annual Lecture took place on Thursday 12th November this year, in the Nihon Room at Pembroke College. BT’s Dr Tim Whitley, Managing Director of Research and Innovation, spoke on the topic of ‘Purposeful Innovation’ to an audience of around 40 people, including students, academics and BT guests.
Tim began with an overview of the history of innovation at BT, the oldest telecommunications company in the world. BT’s current programme of research aims to combine engineering and scientific innovation to create products which will benefit society. Some areas of recent development include big data and analytics, the Internet of Things, Future Voice and 5G, and cybersecurity. Tim, who is also Managing Director of BT’s main research facility at Adastral Park, went on to describe the applications of G.Fast, a new technology which will enable provision of the next wave of Ultrafast broadband using the planet’s existing networks of copper cable. Finally, he outlined how current research into quantum key distribution (QKD) could soon provide ultimate cybersecurity by allowing the transmission of encryption keys via single photons. These cannot be disturbed or altered without changing the polarity, which makes them incredibly secure.
The lecture ended with a reminder of BT’s mission: to use the power of communications to create a better world.