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I'm the Director of Infrastructure Investment at the University of Cambridge and Head of the Adaptive Cities Programme in the Computer Laboratory.

In addition to leading the team within the Computer Laboratory working on the digital aspects of Future Cities, my role is significantly outward looking, i.e. engaging with our partners in the region to try and ensure that the significant regional housing, transportation and commercial development taking place supports our aspirations for continued success. Simply put we need housing suitable for the kinds of people we employ, need to minimise congestion in the region and within the City of Cambridge, provide efficient transportation routes for the journeys important to our activities (such as from the Biomedical Campus in South Cambridge to related disciplines to the North), and provide infrastructure that supports the world-class collaboration that is so important to our success. A particular thread of significant effort (perhaps biased by my career background) is to push the region forward in terms of digital capabilities including a "Smart Programme" for the transportation infrastructure, enhanced communications both fixed and mobile (such as better broadband, public wifi), and the deployment of "research-grade" optical fibre in concert with the many transportation developments.

The Greater Cambridge region has been an economic success for UK plc over the past few decades with the University being the 'anchor tenant' in the region. A number of large companies with significant research interests have based their activities in the region with the justified expectation of benefiting from the 'network effect' of operating in a large pool of highly talented workers and associated laboratories and businesses. But the City of Cambridge is feeling the strain of this economic growth, and the future expansion of the 'ecosystem' will depend upon the successful expansion of this network much deeper into the region with benefits both for the region and the City.

Not least with the support of the UK Government, significant new housing and commercial developments are proceeding with considerable momentum throughout the Greater Cambridge region. For example, construction of the largest "New Town" to be built in the UK since Milton Keynes is shortly to begin North-West of Cambridge. The University, UK Government and the local authorities are keen to ensure that this new town (to be called Northstowe) does not become merely a residential dormitory for Cambridge or perhaps London, but has a vibrant local economy underpinned by the types of businesses that value being in the region and collaborating with the University and other local businesses. The University has an important role to play in advising and directly contributing to these developments.

Recent roles

2014-present University of Cambridge

Director of Infrastructure Investment, and Head of the Adaptive Cities Programme in the Computer Laboratory. We are working to create a digital architecture for future cities, with our approach having two particular characteristics:

  1. We are working in partnership with the regional resources notably including the SmartCambridge team to help the region gain of digital infrastructure that is far 'smarter' than would be expected in a more typical regional implementation.
  2. Our research is particularly focussed upon the challenges of processing this data in real-time, i.e. if traffic lights are going to be adjusted or drivers are going to be guided to the most advantageous parking availability, analysis to support this needs to use both historical and real-time data and the actions taken in a timely fashion e.g. within seconds of real-time events indicating a change.
2005-2014 University of Cambridge
Director, University Computing Service. IT is pervasive throughout the university, including the data networks, a number of High Performance Computing facilities, undergraduate teaching clusters, the voice network supporting 20,000 extensions, the broad network of websites within Cambridge, and the email environment. The application set supports the administrative functions of the University, plus a high emphasis on support for academic collaboration and productivity. The role of Director involves the agreeing and setting of the Information Strategy, and the team management required for the effective execution of that strategy. Fundamental issues guiding the delivery of the current and future services are the primacy of the requirements for teaching and research, and the federated nature of the organization we support. In practice this means systems must be "joined-up" rather than independent and monolithic, and access to the systems and data should be designed to accommodate the existing administrative structure of largely independent departments and Colleges.
2008-2011 Russell Universities Group of IT Directors (RUGIT)
Chairman. RUGIT's primary objective is to promote understanding and awareness of the application of IT in research-led universities in the United Kingdom and, in so doing, to improve facilities, information systems and services in member institutions. The RUGIT group meets six times per year.
2007-2013 Royal Society of Chemistry
Board Member (non-exec). The RSC is a large publisher of academic journals with a very successful platform for electronic access. In particular the RSC provides searchable derived information for molecules, reactions and chemical properties.
2006-2009 JANET(UK)
Director (non-exec). An elected board member representing the HE sector on this UK public-sector IP network (janet) service provider.
2006-2013 Computacenter
Director (non-exec). An independent non-exec on the board of this IT equipment and services provider.

Prior employment history

2000-2005: Merrill Lynch
First Vice President, Global Chief Information Officer, Investment Banking and Sales. Based in New York, globally responsible for the full technology requirement for the Global Investment Banking and Capital Markets business, and also the firm-wide institutional client-management and reporting systems used by Institutional Sales. These are intensely client-focused businesses operating in every major world economy, with systems requirements ranging from revenue and expense management, trading analytics and research, through to the sales tools for effective client management. Managed the emergency transition of the business into and out of alternate premises in the four months following the 9/11 tragedy.
1997-2000: Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein
Director, Global CIO, Investment Banking. Similar role to the ML position above although including the Research and Debt Financing functions, in a smaller organization, based in London with a weekly commute to Frankfurt. Managed the global technology infrastructure organization for a while as we recruited someone into that role.
1995-1997: PhD, Cambridge University (see below)
In summary this was an enjoyable break from the investment banking industry getting up to speed on advanced technologies driving the internet, at a truly great university.
1989-1995: Morgan Stanley
VP, European Head of Technology Services. Managed the technology infrastructure for the firm in Europe, i.e. networks, market data, workstations, servers, databases etc., until a relocation in 1993 to New York to drive a back-office re-engineering project.
1983-1989: IBM
Systems Engineer and Sales, Banking Business. On graduating joined IBM's sales branch in the City of London. Initially sales support, then account sales into the Investment Banking industry.

Education

1995-1997: Cambridge University PhD. PrologPF: parallel logic and functions on the Delphi Machine. Researched the parallel execution of computer programs on networks of general purpose computers, using an innovative technique particularly suitable for problems in artificial intelligence
1980-1983: London University, Queen Mary College BSc (Hons), Computer Science, 1st class. Graduated overall academic prizewinner of the University.
-1979: Richard Taunton College, Southampton 4 A-levels at grade A. Graduated top science student and overall prizewinner.