In June 2013 I retired from my post as the Director of IT Services at Sussex University in the UK. I had previously been the Director of IT / Computing Services at Durham, UMIST and Liverpool universities. I was the deputy director of the Computing Service at Liverpool before taking up my first directorship at Durham.
I was a faculty member of the Computer Science Department at Imperial College (London) before leaving the academy to join a central computing service. At Imperial I taught and researched in computer systems, architecture, operating systems and programming languages (and compilers).
I’ve been involved in computing since sixth form at school (where we had a Pegasus machine) and have experience in computing systems spanning more than 40 years.
During the late 1970s and 1980s I worked on IBM mainframe systems and in particular on their VM/370 range of operating systems. VM 370 was one of the early hypervisor systems and we spent many happy hours running multiple 370 virtual machines (with a variety of guest operating systems) to support student teaching in computer science at Imperial College. It is interesting to see the whole virtual machine concepts come around again both on desktop and server systems – many of the performance and “security” issues with the old 370 based system are being solved once again but this time around hardware which is comparatively cheap to both develop and manufacture allowing more robust and better performing systems to be created.
Away from computing, I am interested in music and continue to pursue a life-time passion for the organ. I play and regularly lead the worship at a local church. I am fortunate in owning two instruments at present. We have a three rank two manual and pedal extension pipe organ (Vincent’s of Sunderland, 1954) in our garage. In my study we have a three manual and pedal Phoenix organ (with a floating Solo division) which I now most often play using the Hauptwerk virtual organ software system.
My wife and I enjoy gardening, walking , visiting places and going to the theatre and opera.