Meet the winner: Victor Parchment
Victor Parchment is a PhD student in History and Philosophy of Science at Peterhouse, who has recently won a Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Award.
His nominator said that:
“Victor has been involved with several projects across Cambridge departments which have direct social impact. His research field is in the use of artificial and augmented intelligence in medicine, but he utilises his other experience in programming to help all sorts of social impact projects come to realisation. These include working on software development in a project for directing design decisions in shelter projects, working with Icthion, a UK company working to restore the ocean environment by removing plastics and synthetic waste, and working on clinical diagnostic software for use in low income settings. These projects have emerged from various research capabilities, but Victor has been the enabling body to bring them to realisation and his dedication and commitment is what has brought projects to fruition. I have witnessed this first-hand in the development of the software and hardware project for enabling better shelter decisions in disaster relief.
His personal research is dedicated to building autonomous systems that reflect and respect values, a unique perspective in achieving social impact. However, it is one that has significant consequence in enabling trust of digital systems. For instance, in developing clinical decision software which could greatly improve the efficiency and efficacy of patient care, he is investigating the human factors and psychology underlying design, development, and daily use. This has direct impact and as part of the Covid-19 response, he is working with a team to adapt this software for use in humanitarian aid settings to address healthcare needs for vulnerable populations.
Victor’s work is interdisciplinary and varied, but he is an unrecognised motivator, enabler, and promoter of good values. His work in bringing to fruition several social impact projects across the University of Cambridge deserves to be acknowledged and thanked.”
Victor is a co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at Miniature, being in charge of vision and software development. This organisation specialises in decision support software, and is currently working on a compendium of shelter construction knowledge for the International Office for Migration, as well as a digital Cover-19 triage tool for use in refugee camps.
He is also a co-founder of Stocket, a logistics company that helps connect farms and small food suppliers connect with delivery services in order to shorten the food chain and keep food local. In his role as a software developer, he works to reinforce fresh food supply (particularly during these perilous times) by optimising the supply chain logistics with artificial intelligence.
Victor is involved with the MedTech Foundation, a student-led group dedicated to bringing engineers and medics together to pioneer health innovations and bring them to market. In this organisation he is a student mentor, webmaster and hackathon organiser.
Victor founded UI4AI, a think-tank with quarterly meetings to discuss issues around usability and artificial intelligence in order to make sure our systems are accessible and work towards the common good. He believes that:
“ To be safe, secure, and beneficial, our software must, above all, be usable and accessible.”
Additionally, he is the Head of UK Operations at Icthion, an engineering company currently working in Ecuador to implement a river cleaning system to prevent plastic pollution from reaching and despoiling the Galapagos. He looks after the daily administrative needs of the company and leads the Research and Development team, sharing his experiences in entrepreneurship and hoping the work of researchers can find its way to those who need it.
Upon receiving the award, Victor explained how he felt:
If you wish to know more about Victor’s research, please visit his website.