I am an applied technologist with a passion for seeing technology make a difference to the lives of people. I have considered the use of technology in fields as diverse as telecare, interpersonal communication, international collaborative education, rehabilitation and assistive technology and business intelligence applied to exploring the quality of Colombian coffee.
On completing my undergraduate degree, and after a period in industry, in 1984 he set up a vocational training course for disabled adults leading to IT-based employment in mainstream commerce and industry. This took place within a Europe-wide research study into the impact of becoming disabled on a person’s life. I moved to Belgium in 1989 for 3 years and conducted research into the usage and usability of broadband telecommunications system by disabled people. Moving to Dundee in 1992, I focused on the use of telecommunications technology by non-speaking people, and the related issues for motor impaired people and deaf people, including the use of mobile technologies for multimedia-based communication. From this emerged an interest in stories, both as a vehicle for human communication and at a technical level, where data holds stories that have to be extracted and presented. In order to share the insights gained in applied computing I established the Masters of User Experience Engineering at the University of Dundee.
The job of an academic is to explore and find new insights and knowledge, but it the responsibility of those outside academia to apply that knowledge within real world contexts. For this reason, in late 2014 I left academic life to take a job where I could do that.
1995 – 2001 (Part Time) University of Dundee, Department of Applied Computing; PhD: Towards a Multimedia Communication Service for People with Disabilities
1990 – 1993 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium, Master of Biomedical Engineering, Thesis: Computer Mounted Eye Gaze System as a Terminal Input Device
1979 – 1982 University of Hull, B.Sc. in Electronic Telecommunications Engineering
2016 – Present Lecturer, Goldsmiths College, University of London
2014 – 2016 Head of Technology, Nash College, Livability
2002 – 2014 Lecturer, School of Computing, University of Dundee
2012 Visiting Academic, Universidad de la Salle, Bogotá, Colombia. Colombian Universities have a bilingualism policy, where students are required to reach an employable level in a foreign language. I taught industrial engineering students Human Computer Interaction, Interaction Design and Databases in English.
1992 – 2002 Research Fellow, Department of Applied Computing, University of Dundee. I was funded principally from Commission of the European Communities, EPSRC and DTI projects that I negotiated together with the collaborating partners.
1989 – 1992 Research Assistant, Department of Biomedical Movement Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium. I was invited to join the team in Leuven in order to bring the practical experience from working with adults with disabilities at Reading ITeC.
1984 – 1989 Deputy Manager & Training Manager (Disabled Group), Reading ITeC, Reading. (employed by and seconded from Berkshire County Council). I set up the training scheme as part of project funded by the Commission of the European Communities. Over the course of 6 years more than 120 people with disabilities were trained in the vocational use of ICT and around 70% subsequently found work directly as a consequence of the training. The programme received a special commendation at the Computer Weekly Training Awards 1996.
1982 – 1984 Technical Author, Ferranti Computer Systems Ltd., Bracknell
More details can be found on the Working Life page of this site.
Courses Taught in Goldsmiths
- IS50004A (Use of Computers): This is a foundation year, full year semester module where we cover the core technologies of computing and their use by people. We work through Hardware, Networks, Operating Systems, Service and Media, consider how each of these can influence usability.
Courses Taught in Dundee
- AC11002 (Web Authoring): This is a first year, first semester module where we cover social implications of the Web as well as technologies such as HTML(5), CSS (3), and an introduction to server side and client side technologies and the semantic web. I am interested in the students acquiring an understanding of the global reach of the web and recognising the need to take an inclusive approach to ensure that web based services are designed for the anticipated diversity in the user population.
- AC31010 (Computing the User Experience): This is a third year module where the students are introduced to the concepts of User Experience when considering the use of technology, and where intervention can enhance the User Experience. We look at the impact on user experience of engineering and design decisions at the levels of hardware, operating systems, network, service functionality, service interactions and media. I am interested in the students acquiring an understanding of what is known about diverse capabilities and requirements of users and the spectrum of technologies available to be used to meet those requirements in ways that maximise user satisfaction and achievement.
- AC32006 (Database Systems): This is a third year version of the module where the students gain an in depth experience of relational databases and an introduction to modeling data as objects, graphs and hypermedia. I am interested in students acquiring an understanding of the types of stories that might be held within pools of data, and the different ways that data can be modelled to ensure that the data can be made available to users of the databases.
- AC40001 (Individual Project): This project spans the final year of the undergraduate honours programme. I have supervised over 30 over the years in projects related to my research interests. I am interested in the students acquiring the confidence to understand the significant aspects of problems and their ability to conceptualise and develop potential technical solutions.
- Admissions Tutor and Course Director for the MSc in User Experience Engineering (UX Eng). When considering the deployment of technology to be used by people the students are taught skills in user requirements gathering, technical solutions engineering, user centered design, team based design and engineering and software engineering.
- AC51010 (Computing the User Experience): This is a Masters level version of the module where the students are introduced to the concepts of User Experience when considering the use of technology, and where intervention can enhance the User Experience. We look at the impact on user experience of engineering and design decisions at the levels of hardware, operating systems, network, service functionality, service interactions and media. I am interested in the students acquiring an understanding of what is known about diverse capabilities and requirements of users and the spectrum of technologies available to be used to meet those requirements in ways that maximise user satisfaction and achievement.
- AC53007: (User Experience Field Project): The students on the UX Eng MSc can choose to undertake a study of a UX problem given by an external customer rather than an academic thesis. Partner organisations have included BT, Philips, Caledonia Housing Association and BrightSolid. I am interested in the students acquiring confidence in being able to communicate with the various stakeholders in a user experience instance and the technical, design, marketing and management staff responsible for delivering the appropriate solution.
- AC52010 (MSc Project): This project occupies the third semester of the MSc programmes. I have supervised over 20 over the years in projects related to my research interests. I am interested in the students acquiring the confidence to understand the significant aspects of problems and their ability to conceptualise and develop potential technical solutions whilst demonstrating strong foundational research skills.
- PhD Supervision: I have been the primary or the support supervisor for 4 PhD theses.
Invited Visiting Teaching Duties
- “Telecare Technology … Functionality and User Experience”, Summer School delivered between 15th -19th July 2013 at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia.
- “Human Computer Interaction”, Summer School delivered between 8th -12th July 2013 at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana,, Bogota, Colombia.
- “eLearning: A case study in Applied Computing”, Summer School delivered between 19th -24th September 2011 at La Facultad Politécnica de la Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Paraguay.
- “Telecare Technology … Functionality and User Experience”, Summer School delivered between 25th -29th July 2011 at Universidad Nacional, Bogota, Colombia.
- “Technology Mediated Education”, Doctoral Programme Seminar Series delivered between 29th November – 6th December 2010 at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogota, Colombia
- “Applied Data Models & Data Visualisation”, Summer School delivered between 26th -30th July 2010 at Universidad Nacional, Bogota, Colombia.
I have been the Principle Investigator or the Investigator on over 30 research projects funded by the Commission of the European Communities, DTI, EPSRC and various charities. This has included running a lab of researchers and running international research projects. More details of these projects and the associated publications can be found on the Research page of this site.
I was responsible for setting up the assessment service for disabled students as a shared service for the Universities of Dundee, Abertay and St Andrews.
- Oversight of deployment of a fully virtualised and resilient (VEEAM based) windows server
- Deployment of wired and wireless networks, including VLANs
- Experience of using Omni Graffle, Axure and LiveCode for wireframes and prototyping
- Experience using PHP; HTML; XML; XSL; CSS; JSP; ASP.NET; SQL Server; MySQL; Neo4J; Moodle and Drupal CMS installations; Apache; Tomcat; VM Ware; WordPress
- Excellent knowledge of Windows and Mac Operating Systems
- Experience working on LINUX based servers
- Detailed knowledge of the Software development process
- The ability to work well as an individual or as a team member or leader
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong Project Management skills with distributed (international) teams
- Strong problem solving skills
- Strong work ethic to complete work within given time scales
- Strong ability to draw out client needs and communicate these to technical teams
- Up-to-date with the latest technology
- Experience of working with large industrial partners (Philips/BT/Siemens/Dutch PTT/Telecom Italia)
- Worked closely with both senior staff and technical teams
- Experience working with high profile clients (NHS Liverpool Primary Care Trust/Thomas Pocklington Trust)
Activities, Interests and Achievements
I have been a youth worker in a variety of secular and church based settings. I have also had Church leadership positions in the UK and at the International Baptist Church in Brussels, where I led the Deacon board. I have also catered for camps of over 100 participants and maintain a strong interest in cooking.
Aside from work I am a keen photographer. Some of the photos that I have taken can be found on Flickr, where I am exploring the art of telling stories through mixed media.