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Science Technology
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Details of the Next Meetings
Meetings start at 10:00 am
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See HERE for our schedule & below for details
All Meetings will be on the
Third Wednesday of the month
Doors open at 09:45 - Presentations start at 10:20 am
with Refreshments between 09:50 and 10:20
All meetings are at 
Harman’s Cross Village Hall
Also Live-Streamed on Zoom
(details sent to members a week before meeting)

21st June 2023 - Chris Morris

The world's first Driverless and Unattended train

SkyTrain opened in 1986 in Vancouver as an elevated urban railway for the city and suburbs. Expo 86, the World Fair, was served by SkyTrain that year, carrying record crowds.

It was the World's first driverless, unattended train. This turned out to have many advantages for a frequent yet economical urban train service.

Chris Morris earlier worked on the design of the three prototype vehicles at the UTDC (Urban Transportation Development Corporation) test track in Kingston, Ontario, later moving to Vancouver to support the maintenance of the revenue system for BC Transit.

19th July 2023 - Brian Cresswell

Wildlife Tracking Wizardry

Biotrack has over 30 years experience of radio-tracking and radio tag manufacture. It arose from practical biological research at Oxford University in the late 1970s and became a business in 1980, following a move by the founder team to Cambridge. The origin and development of Biotrack is rooted in wildlife and conservation research, and the company is still run by dedicated biologists who are actively involved in fieldwork.

Brian's talk will be an overview of the electronic devices used by scientists for tracking wild animals, and some examples of discoveries made. Technologies range from simple radio-tracking that began to be used in wildlife research in the late 1970s to current technologies based on GPS receivers with uplinks to mobile phone networks and communications satellites.

Brian Cresswell, who previously spoke to us in 2016, started his career as an ornithologist, doing research on birds for MAFF and RSPB in the early 1980s, but then moved into electronics when he joined Biotrack in 1984. Biotrack moved to Dorset in 1985, at which time Brian was the only employee. The company soon took on two more people, both of whom are still with Biotrack, which now employs around 36 people at its newly renovated premises (the former magistrates' courts) in Wareham.

Throughout his time at Biotrack, Brian retained an interest in biological research, having published 15 papers and articles on Nightjars and other species (mostly birds). He is now Managing Director of Biotrack, and has less time for hands-on research or electronics development but instead enjoys helping other biologists and engineers with their circuit design and tracking projects.

From its base in Wareham, Biotrack exports about 80% of the 12,000 devices it makes each year to over 130 countries.