Engineering Emmy for OKS Kelvin Lawson and colleagues!

We were delighted to discover that Kelvin Lawson (OKS 1995) recently accepted an Emmy Engineering Plaque.

Kelvin is a Software Engineer and Director of Cheshire-based software company Lisden Technology and received the award on behalf of the Customised Animal Tracking Solutions (CATS) team. This particular award demonstrates a high level of engineering and importance of a technology within the television industry.

The Engineering Emmys recognise the world’s most innovative individuals, companies and organisations

The Plaque was awarded to the CATS Cam, a video camera that is attached humanely to wild animals to capture footage of their every move, both above and below the ocean. The BBC’s Blue Planet II, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel are amongst the many that have used content from the cameras

It was created by the international CATS team, where Kelvin worked remotely as Chief Software Engineer, alongside CATS director’s Dr Peter Kraft in Germany and Dr Nikolai Liebsch in Australia.

Ever since its creation, the CATS Cam technology has given filmmakers the platform to document wildlife like never before. It’s technology such as this, that brings us closer to wildlife and provides us with a better understanding of different species and habitats.

Reflecting on some of his favourite projects, Kelvin said, “Obviously, working on the animal-borne cameras that have been attached to whales, sharks, turtles, seals and penguins has been a highlight – particularly with the cameras being used to provide underwater whales’-eye footage for the BBC’s Blue Planet II series.

But, on the whole, I get absorbed by most of the projects that I work on – other interesting projects include body-worn video cameras for security uses and we also design and develop mobile apps and have created apps for lots of different sectors, including retail, sports and home automation apps that control smart devices.

Something I really enjoy about custom software development is helping someone – perhaps with no technical experience – to bring their idea to life and guide them through the best way to develop it.

It’s also rewarding to take on a trusted advisor role for some clients who may have already outsourced a software development project to another provider but need someone who understands the technical details to ask the right questions and raise the right queries to keep their project on track.”

He added, “I actually really enjoy working through a development challenge and the satisfaction of finding a way through a problem.

However, more generally, it can be demanding working to tight deadlines. Actually, we’ve had some pretty strange deadlines – one of which was finishing a project before the Orca whales migrated from Japan!

I also work and collaborate with people who are spread across the globe, so dealing with timezone differences can be tricky at times.”

So what keeps Kelvin enthused about the demanding nature of his job?

He said, “For me, it’s the variety and breadth of fields and technologies – being a software engineer, you never really know where your next project is going to take you – so far it’s taken me to the depths on the ocean, so it could be anywhere next.

I also enjoy doing “full stack” development, that is, working across all aspects of a project including; for example, working on the smart device itself, as well as the mobile app that controls the device and the cloud service that sits behind.”

We are extremely proud of the work Kelvin and his team at Lisden Technology have achieved, we have no doubts about the future of their success and would like to say congratulations from everyone at King’s!

You can watch Kelvin’s at the Emmys here from 8.30minutes – 14.07 minutes.