Our work in HEP over the last 20 years has proven direct technical and commercial relevance in biotechnology and biomedicine, in environmental sensing and in renewable energy with award-winning innovations, significant sales and strong adoption across many sectors.

This depicts the real-time pollution sensing from the GUSTO team, using algorithms developed for heavy meson decay and recently augmented by Machine Learning and advanced computing systems. The tools have proven applicability in Toxic Industrial Chemicals (over 50 units sold bringing in £m's of revenue), in Chemical Warfare Agent detection (our tools we used in the 2012 London Olympics) an in Air Quality Monitoring (as shown above: over 8m people a year die from pollution, and over 20% of London school children have pollution-related asthma.) We showed for the first time the concept of 'Representativeness': you can measure pollution successfully only if you have a mobile system, excellent geographical and spatial accuracy and time resolution approximating to characteristic timescales for human physiology.

High Energy Physics solves very complex problems in which real-time analysis, multidimensional insight and highly quantitative rigour are paramount. This has led to new approaches built on paradigms familiar to our group in biotechnology and biomedicine, in environmental sensing, in security and in renewable energy. Our group developed the Label-Free Intrinsic Imaging paradigm (Prof David Colling, Dr John Hassard and others) which allows a minimum-bias analysis of biomolecules. This has resulted in the world's best renal failure test, a diabetes test (glycosylated haemoglobin quantification) and over 20 other assays, and more recently a unique measure of immunity to SARS-Cov-2 in humans, in which functional antibodies can be identified and quantified. We also developed the world's first mobile real-time multitarget UV spectroscopic gas sensor (John Hassard and Dr Mark Richards).

Graph showing serology-derived antibodies
Analysis of serology-derived antibodies modified by glycoforms.

This shows the ability to identify and quantify minute amounts of serology-derived antibodies modified by glycoforms. In addition, the mobility shift, here measured by the migration time, allows us to identify antibodies which have successfully attached to COVID-19 virus components (typically the protein spike). The tool used, Equiphase Vertexing Algorithm or EVA, comes directly from the use of a so-called vertex in B-meson (made with a heavy b-quark) analyses.

We have also developed tools for a range of other technologies, most notably the Solar Cyclone Tower, which is being built in Arizona and which will be developed further in the Middle East. These are based on our work in Monte Carlo simulations, vast sensor arrays, in machine learning and other powerful computing tools. See below.

An artist's representation of the Solar Cyclone Tower
An artist's representation of the Solar Cyclone Tower, capable of 250MW electricity generation and over 100m m3 fresh water per year. This is being built in La Paz County, AZ, and will be rolled out across the Middle East. Note the hot-air balloons, which give the scale.

Imperial Contribution

Imperial staff devised the led the entire biotechnology (Label-Free Intrinsic Imaging) paradigm, and the gas sensing technology of GUSTO Systems.

We developed the physics enhancements of the Solar Cyclone Tower and led on the theoretical and experimental validation of the system, pioneering the extraction of water from the atmosphere and also sequestration of CO2 at significant levels. 100 Towers will remove 1 part per million atmospheric CO2 per year - no other technology can do this. Our use of MonteCarlo tools, huge sensor arrays and real-time ML-based analytics have transformed this technology.