Dr Foaad Haddod, won the best ICT Academic Dissertation, this was one out of nine awards during the Techmt eBusiness awards. His research was about Digital Triplet, a new concept, and there is very limited research in this area. Dr Haddod is a Research Support Officer at the Faculty of information and Communication technology at the University of Malta.
An Intelligent Digital Triplet is a virtual representation of an object or system which is updated from real-time data and uses Artificial Intelligence to help decision-making. This PhD research is original and innovative in taking the Digital Twin concept one step further by creating an Intelligent Digital Triplet system. The originality lies in using a digital virtual sandbox to predict what will happen in a manufacturing plant and get the AI to propose solutions to solve problems before they happen autonomously.
According to Dr Haddod an Intelligent Digital Triplet could potentially lead to saving the adopters millions of Euros.
All the system is accessible via VR (Virtual Reality) or AR (Augmented Reality). Through this system, manufacturing plants will save money, increase efficiency and reduce downtime.
The project began mid-2018, and since the beginning, the work went in the right direction, and promising results were achieved. These early results motivated Dr Haddod to give not just time but all the skills and resources needed to finalise his PhD research. “As the research work progressed, I presented the concept at several events and conferences in Malta and EU countries to gain feedback about the different aspects of this research. Developing the concept of this research requires a high level of skills in multiple areas was exciting for me.” says Dr Faddod. “ I ended up gaining different knowledge from different areas related to my PhD project so that I continue to improve the overall quality of the research. As a result, I developed a system that can be implemented in different manufacturing facilities, and this was the most interesting part.” he continues.
“Intelligent Digital Triplet Technology will change the way how we look at our manufacturing processes today”, Dr Foaad Haddod
The newspoint team asked Dr Haddod several questions about his experience during this innovative research.
Q: What are the challenges that Dr Haddod had to overcome throughout his research?
A: Overall, conducting a PhD research in an area within Artificial Intelligence is very challenging. It is a highly competitive task to come up with a novel research idea in this field. For example, it is very hard to develop a novel idea that will stay novel for the whole duration of the PhD research. Another challenge was related to the Covid-19 situation resulting in losing several advantages of being physically in the tested manufacturing production lines. Another challenge was to design, develop, test, and evaluate the entire project on my own. Finally, implementing such a sophisticated developed system in a current manufacturing environment requires many upgrades.
Q: Did you ever think you could make it so far to win this award?
A: I decided to apply for this award because I believe in the novelty of my research project and the achieved results. What also encouraged me to apply was the positive feedback that I received after presenting the concept and my PhD project and results during several events. However, it was difficult to say that I was sure to win this award because the competition was tough and involved different researchers and projects from different academic institutions. Nevertheless, I am delighted to make it to the shortlisting stage and to win it afterwards.
“My PhD project was conducted during this COVID-19 pandemic time, and winning this award is definitely the best price that I could expect to make it up on all those difficult times. Also, it is evidence to show how I am dedicated to the area of Artificial Intelligence and Industry 4.0.” concluded Dr Faddod.