Christopher Howson

Senior Engineer

Home Experience Lab Researchers

Following degrees from the Universities of Cambridge (BA-1981) and Durham (MSc-1982), I started work in the oil industry as an exploration geophysicist with Britoil. Unfortunately, not even the discovery of gas on one of my North Sea prospects was enough to keep me in a job when the oil price plummeted in 1986, so I went back to school to learn something new. One year later, I left the University of Bradford (MSc-1987) armed with a degree in Radio Frequency and Microwave Engineering. I was taken on as a research scientist in the Telecommunications laboratory of the GEC Hirst Research Centre, where I developed innovative circuits for a range of wireless communication systems.

After a brief flirtation with military radars, I moved to Thomson Consumer Electronics’ R&D laboratory in Strasbourg in 1990. After initially working on satellite TV outdoor units, I was responsible for developing in-home wireless communication systems and for participating in ETSI standardization. When the Strasbourg center closed in 1996, I moved to Technicolor R&D France in Rennes. I spent a few years managing a team of engineers developing state of the art radio frequency technology for both terrestrial and satellite media communication systems. I then moved on to researching mobile broadcast systems whilst still finding time to complete a technology-oriented business degree at the Angers Business School (MS-2007). More recent research interests have focused on exploiting both in-home and smartphone sensors for detecting activities, identifying individuals and determining user habits.

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