South Yorkshire Internet of Things Meetup: Wednesday 22nd February 2023

By Lauren Shale

Last week, we hosted the latest South Yorkshire Internet of Things (IoT) Meetup at Arup in Sheffield, where members of the IoT community came together to hear from some great speakers, share their own relevant activities and interests, and network over pizzas and beers. As always, the event was open to all of those interested in learning more about the use of sensors and data, as well as the  enthusiasts who make up the ever growing IoT ecosystem.

The evening began with a welcome from our host, Mark Davies of Ioetec, who stressed the importance of meetups like these for enabling cross-industry collaborations and creating moments of serendipity for new connections to blossom. Attendees were also welcomed by Derek Roberts, Director and Office Leader for Arup, who further highlighted how great it is to bring likeminded individuals together, before handing over to his colleague, Neil Hooton, our first speaker of the night

Neil is the Digital Services Lead at Arup for the North West and Yorkshire, and gave an overview of what Arup are currently doing in IoT and the building space, in particular their new digital solution for property management – Property Insights.  The product, as the name suggests, uses a whole host of sensors to enable clients to better understand their building conditions with floor-by-floor metrics on the indoor environment and resource use. The ability to monitor conditions regularly can support clients to manage their utilisation of space, reach their net-zero ambitions and make the move to predictive maintenance. When questioned on what is next for Arup, Neil noted that they are looking to make the transition from observation and reporting to analytics and recommendation – watch this space!

Next to speak was Katie Steele, Founder and Director for Cheribim, a new Sheffield-based startup using IoT and sensors to manage conditions in churches and heritage buildings. While undertaking her own work with churches, Katie noticed huge disparities in data management, and stretched local resources, inspiring her to found Cheribim to create a more regularised and holistic approach. The start-up has recently received grant funding to run an IoT pilot, and they are now working with TEAM SY’s IoT Engine to deploy sensors monitoring church conditions to understand common issues and find ways to reduce energy consumption and heating bills. Katie introduced us to various sites where the pilot is taking place, many of which local attendees would recognise. Despite some issues with network connection and thick church walls, the pilot is so far very successful, and the next stage for Cheribim is to move to data visualisation and expanding to future sites.

Finally, we heard from Pierre Drezet, Director of InX Limited, who talked about making IoT devices ‘smarter’. Pierre gave us a run down of InX’s software system – Lucid – a graphical programming environment that streamlines automation and programming of embedded systems. Lucid makes it easy to write sophisticated control software for better utilisation of equipment without having to delve into code, and the results can be extremely beneficial! For example, 13 million homes in the UK have an electrically heated hot water system, managed by a mechanical thermostat with little intelligence, resulting in energy loss. Yet, by simply shifting when the tank is heated, 20 million tonnes of CO2 can be saved each day in the UK, amounting to 15% of the current grid daily emissions.

As always, the meetup ended with the opportunity for attendees to share their own relevant IoT activity and interests, before networking with pizzas and drinks! This event saw one of the highest attendances we have had, with over 50 people coming together in common interest, and we hope to keep the momentum up and grow the community further over the upcoming events!

Resources and Staying in Touch: To join the regional IoT community, please sign up to the South Yorkshire IoT Meetup newsletter, which will keep you up to date on IoT news and activity. Follow this link and select ‘SY IoT Meetups’

You can also join our Meetup Page: South Yorkshire Internet of Things Meetup (SY IoT) (Sheffield, United Kingdom) | Meetup

Acknowledgements: Thanks to the team at Arup for hosting the event, Barnsley DMC and TEAM SY for sponsoring, and the brilliant You & Us Events for managing all the logistics.