PhD Conference in France

From the 10th – 14th February, Paul Whittington attended the 5th International Pervasive and Embedded Computer and Communication Systems (PECCS) Conference at ESEO Institute of Technology in Angers, France.

1 2With thanks to funding from the Faculty of Science and Technology, I could also attend as Paul’s Learning Support Assistant and extend my experience working with a student with Cerebral Palsy.

Paul presented his research paper entitled ‘Evaluating the Usability of an Automated Transport and Retrieval System’.

Assisting with the presentation involved enabling it to flow via the use of a laser pointer and sorting out the technical issues due to ESEO not having the full version of PowerPoint installed onto their laptops. This resulted in Paul being unable to play 3 videos and required an alternative solution via his father’s laptop with 15 minutes to go!!


Attending keynote lectures and other student’s presentations involved note taking quite a number of sessions that were related to Paul’s research.

The conference wasn’t all work however, as we enjoyed the hospitality ESEO provided by attending a drinks reception at The Museum of   Jean Lurçat which was a former 12th century hospital and now displays huge tapestries by this artist based on Aztec designs.

We also attended a gala banquet held at Le Chateaux Perriére with a 5 course meal and entertainment from a gifted violinist playing both classical and electric violin and enjoyed exceptionally delicious French food!


In between lecture sessions, Paul had the opportunity to explore the town of Angers using a powered wheelchair he had hired. This was fine until the day it ran out of power and his father and I had to search to find him (in the rain)! Locating Paul near to a tram stop meant that he could take his first ever tram ride and he was back at the conference venue in time for lunch, albeit late!!


Paul has had another paper accepted to a conference in April in the UK. However, we have been wondering whether Daventry will have as much to offer in comparison to Angers!!

Jane Merrington, Learning Support Assistant.


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