The UAV experiment in situ at Cranfield University.

Time flies… It has been two years that I started as a postdoctoral research fellow in Security Node of the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) project. In this period, I have had the opportunity to improve myself in my research field and had a chance to create an industrial perspective on autonomous system problems.

In April, we had the second External Stakeholder Group (ESG) Meeting in London. These ESG meetings, I think, one of the most important parts of the TAS-S project as the researchers have opportunities to meet academic and industry leaders, directly. The schedule of the last meeting was very impressive. The talks were not only about cyber security and verification and validation process of the autonomous systems but also covered industrial best practices about landing of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) on the Mars surface, Autonomous Taxi, Take-off and Landing (ATTOL) project of Airbus, autonomy projects and perspective of BAE Systems and autonomous driving topics in Tesla. It was a really good combination of the topics from academia and industry which is invaluable for us as early career researchers.

In my opinion, collaboration with industry is a fundamental part of the TAS-S as it brings new opportunities and develops a feasible solution approach on the problem. For example, after my presentation in the meeting, an engineer came and said “Burak, I have been working on this problem for 20 years and there are additional topics that could be helpful to consider.” Then, we set up a meeting and discussed many topics within my research area. What an immense support and feedback directly at first-hand! I really appreciate that as it constitutes “real” basis for problems, brings industry perspectives, provides an anchor point for our research, helps us to design solutions and to focusing on the real problems while avoiding “creating” them.

Overall, it was a very productive, valuable day which I am very pleased to have been part of.