Turn On Your Future @ UWTSD's School of Applied Computing & Electronics

The Applied Computing Team at UWTSD would like to thank Paul Harwood (Seasoned Tech Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Techhub Swansea) for delivering a series of Enterprise Masterclass lectures to our students. It has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn from one of the most experienced Tech Start-Up professionals in the region.

Paul shared his valuable knowledge experience insights and industry predictions during a series of 6 talks (listed below) covering areas including Value & Money, Wallets & Cryptocurrency, Success & failure factors, Understanding Markets, Adaptability and Resilience.

A brief description of each talk is listed below:

  • Talk 1: Money, Shares, Value, Deals What is money anyway? Why measuring value is important. What do shares mean? A condensed history of measuring value, from bartering to cheques, from shares to cryptocurrency. How to bake a deal the right way.
  • Talk 2: Founders and Investors. How many founders is good? Looking at how many founders is good? What do you need to be a good founder? What do investors want? What do founder deals typically look like? Who’s liable.
  • Talk 3: Why Companies Die. Why companies failed and why they will typically fail in the future. How to handle a company failure and what tell tale signs can you identify before it goes bad.
  • Talk 4: Products, Sales, Markets and Timing. Identifying product / market fit is a key skill for any founder. Selling your wares to the world is also a skill. You can learn both techniques quickly by listening.
  • Talk 5: Viable Businesses. Viable systems are made because they can adapt to their environment. If you can’t adapt, you won’t survive. Learn how to structure a startup without strangling it with admin.
  • Talk 6: Resilience. Resilience Being ‘strong’ is normally the stupid thing to do. Coping with change means being flexible and resilient. Learn the difference and how to cope well with adversity.

About Paul: Paul is a seasoned entrepreneur with experienced knowledge of BigData, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency and a passion for Building systems for a decentralised future. Originally from Swansea, Paul co-founded TechHub Swansea and has spent the last 17 years working on his own companies in Bristol and London. A successful Entrepreneur/Developer with product management and delivery expertise. Proven successes in building Tech products and communities. Highly experienced in product management/product strategy, system design, high availability and UX skills.

For more information about Paul and Techhub Swansea please click-here. For more information about Computing courses at UWTSD please click-here.

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Many thanks to Dan Hawkes (Test Facility Lead at BT) for providing a site visit and tour of the BT Tower in Swansea today. The tour included a fascinating look at the BT Test Centre facilities activities and projects at the Tower, including a review of how traditional contemporary and new technologies are tested.

Many thanks to BT for allowing us to visit the Tower in Swansea and for Dan for taking the time to share his knowledge and expertise. Much appreciated. The tour was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Many thanks to David Jones (Technical Account Manager at RackSpace) and Geraint Williams (Head of Service Evolution & Change at Fujitsu) for visiting us and speaking with our students.

The talk titled ‘the Trends Challenges and Future Technologies’ covered the incredible evolution of IT & Cloud Computing over the last 50 years, highlighting the change & innovation of IT Architecture, current and future trends. A fascinating and very interesting talk enjoyed by all.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience, industry insights and useful information to know now and for the future. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 💻 🌐 😃 👍.

Congratulations to all our Computing students who participated in the DVLA’s Bot Hack BOTATHON event this week. Creating future Tech solutions NOW. 👏📱. “Thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the opportunity it offered to widen our skill set and offer different opportunities for our future” James Dunhill. 👏📱😃👍.

Many thanks to Martin Downes, Social Entrepreneurship Officer at Wales Co-operative Centre for visiting us and speaking with our students today about Social Enterprise and how they are changing the world. A perfect example of 21st Century Business Technology & Innovation. A very heart warming and inspiring talk enjoyed by all. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 💛📈📱💻👍😃.

 

Q. What is your Name? John Rees

 

Q. What University course/s did you study? B.Eng Computer Systems Engineering (Electronics)
“A stepping stone to engineering.”
Q. What is your job title and role? Technical Director at ARM. Leader of the ARM Mali GPU SW Architecture Team. I lead a team of architects who work to define the SW architecture of the GPU driver for supporting OpenGLES, Vulkan and OpenCL khronos APIs for mobile, digital television and emerging markets demanding the needs of a GPU.

 

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? ARM develops and licenses a wide range of software and silicon IP for inclusion in SoC designs that are deployed in very wide number of market segments and domains,  Arm is unique in that it does not produce SoC devices itself.

 

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? Embedded Systems, Digital Systems, Digital Signal Processing, Object Orientated Programming, Control Systems, Electronics

 

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? There is no typical day!  Working on GPU’s is a challenging environment and we face new challenges almost daily stemming from new trends in the market place, new technologies in silicon, competitors and the continuous customer quest for differentiation and pushing the boundaries of technology. Beyond that the typical day is spent analysing incoming product requirements and finding solutions within the many constraints, requesting or reviewing GPU HW features, obtaining wider ecosystem support, documenting the SW designs, engaging with customers and as a leader ensuring that people collaborate well together.

 

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I really enjoy my job when we can find a solution to a given problem, there is a real buzz when you find it, I have found over time that it does not matter if it is hunting a bug in a system or code module, finding a solution to a architectural problem or fixing some working practice or process within an organisation where it will improve engineering.  Working with many bright people and understanding how different people solve problems, it can be challenging to come to some alignment but satisfying when you do. Another aspect is seeing products in the market that I can attribute to my work and show people.

 

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? I would advocate using your spare time for hobby projects, its a cliche but there really is much to be gained from practical application.  You can learn a lot of essential and transferable skills that you will draw upon throughout your University program and your career. Further, it can help to narrow your interests that you really engage with and enjoy. Having some of the skills on board before you join an organisation can really help you in your early roles.

 

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? A stepping stone to engineering.

 

For more information about Applied Computing courses at UWTSD please click-here.

What a great afternoon we all had on Monday 19th July at our students’ graduation at the Brangwyn Hall in Swansea. Here are some pictures of the day.

Q. What is your Name? Matthew Rhys Meader.

Q. What University course/s did you study? BSc (Hons) Computing & Information Systems (1st Class)

Q. What is your job title and role? As a Senior Software Developer, it is my role to engage in all phases of the software development lifecycle that include the analysis, design, development and support of nationally used clinical systems used within NHS Wales. It is also my role to mentor new staff with less clinical and technical knowledge and expertise.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? I work for the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS); we supply over seventy software services to users across NHS Wales and to other parts of the United Kingdom. We support doctors, nurses and other clinical professionals, helping them provide specialist care to patients in hospitals, GP practices and across the community.
My team in particular are responsible for updating, maintaining and creating new modules for the Welsh Patient Administration System (WPAS). This system records details of patient’s hospital visits, including waiting list management, medical records, inpatient treatment, outpatient appointments and emergency visits.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The most prevalent skill I gained whilst at University was the ability to write clean code and learn new languages as and when required. Other skills I learned that were helpful include:
• Project Management.
• Software Development Methodologies (Agile etc…)
• Usability Engineering & UX Design.
• Web Design.
• JavaScript, JQuery, JSON, Web Services (REST/SOAP), CSS/LESS.
• SQL.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? My typical day usually starts at 0800 with me planning the day ahead by checking emails and the Team Foundation Server (TFS) to ensure that all work tasks are on schedule and prioritised correctly. We hold daily SCRUM meetings to divide workloads amongst the team and to effectively help those struggling on certain tasks. Throughout the day, the team (Including myself) work on agreed tasks, but sometimes we have to fix bugs identified by users. This usually comes through from the helpdesk, though we do have to call users to gain an insight into the bug before creating a fix. Once a fix is completed and checked into Source Control, tests are conducted against the Systems Requirements Specification (SRS) document as well as a pre-defined Test Plan that the developer creates at the start of each task. The job at times can be unpredictable and requires focus and efficiency.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I enjoy problem solving, especially when it takes a long time to solve and it gives me great joy when a piece of work that I have developed is released LIVE with the knowledge that it is being used in hospitals across Wales.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? If you wish to start a career straight from University, then I suggest looking for jobs half way through your third year, this will give you scope as to what is out there. Also, look out for Graduate schemes in workplaces, these will give you the experience you need and can help you progress in that organisation. Also to Quote Vincent, van Gogh:

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

Think about this as you start each assignment and think what grade you wish to achieve at the end goal ‘Graduation’. Also, remember to ask questions.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University?

“Teachers/Lecturers open doors, but you must walk through them yourself. “

I loved my time at university; it gave me perspective into my capabilities and motivated me more than I ever was in school. The lecturers were extremely helpful and I urge students to talk to them whenever they can.

For more information about Computing courses and opportunities at UWTSD please click here.

Applied Computing students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David recently participated in the TechStars Innovation Competition and presented their enterprising and innovative ideas to a panel of judges at Swansea’s TechHub. The panel of experts included: Guy Wendon, Business Development Manager from the module & event sponsor Alacrity, Ann Swift, Enterprise Manager for the Welsh Government and Paul Harwood co-founder of TechHub Swansea.

The TechStars Innovation Champions 2019 Award sponsored by Alacrity went to ‘Team Version ZERO’ consisting of Richard Davies, Dylan Evans, James Millns, Austin Hooper, Sarann Strange. The Team created ‘Doggogo’ an Animal Well-being System that included a Pet Health tracker for physical and mental well-being.

Doggogo is a phone application and device pair that will allow dog owners to better care for their dog. The device is a small cuboid that clips onto the collar of the dog. The phone application gives tailored recommendations based on the breed of the dog, for example; giving walk distance recommendations which would be higher for a husky as opposed to a Chihuahua. The device is GPS enabled and relays the live location of the dog to the application, this can be used to alert the owner if the dog escapes the property. The phone application can also store reminders for the dog including de-worm/flea reminders and vet appointments. The application will store the health progress of the dog and will have a review section which will be useful for vet appointments.” Team Version ZERO.

Winning Team with Judges and Module tutors

James Williams, Paul Harwood, Richard Davies, James Millns, Dylan Evans, Sarann Strange, Ann Swift, Mabrouka Abuhmida.

The Best Prototype Innovation Awards sponsored by IICED The International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development went to Team EEST consisting of Nicholas Jones and Team LIFE consisting of Helen Frey & Julie Millard.

Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones created a proposition called EEST Educational, Electronics & Science, Technologies. A potential Tech Start-Up Company to design and create educational products geared towards electronics and sciences. The initial product offering and prototype demonstrated included a modular environmental weather monitoring system.

Helen Frey & Julie Millard

Helen Frey & Julie Millard

Team Life’s innovative idea and prototype is a Health App that monitors and reacts to abnormal parameters in heart-rate temperature and body functions, and if an emergency situation occurs such as a stoke or collapse the App would notify a pre-arranged contact alerting them to the event.

“The ingenuity and creativity of our students never ceases to amaze me.  Their curiosity and capacity for spotting opportunities is something we  know will put them in good stead for their future careers. What drives IICED is that simple fact, and our international research activities helps us to learn how to continuously improve – so that we can fully support our students in their creative endeavours.” – Kathryn Penaluna

The Best Tech Start-Up & Business Development report sponsored by Alacrity and selected by Alacrity CEO Dr. Will Williams went to Sarann Strange.

Prizes for the Winning Teams and students provided by the event sponsor include an overnight stay and dinner at the prestigious 5* Celtic Manor Resort.

 “The Alacrity Foundation is a charity that helps to nurture and create the next generation of technology entrepreneurs. We recognise the value of innovation in academia and were delighted to sponsor the 2019 Techstars competition. James and his team have supported a fantastic group of students from a variety of disciplines to create some cutting-edge technical innovation.  We are excited to continue to work with UWTSD.” – Guy Wendon

Ann Swift, Guy Wendon and Paul Harwood

Ann Swift, Guy Wendon and Paul Harwood.

The TechStars Innovation Competition, was organised by UWTSD Senior Lecturer James Williams who teaches the School’s Enterprise and Innovation Group Project module. The competition enables students within the School of Applied Computing to form inter-disciplinary teams and pitch their innovative solutions to a panel of experts from industry. Teams consist of students from multiple Computing degree programmes including Applied Computing, Business Information Systems, Web Development, Computer Games Development, Computer Networks & Cyber Security and Software Engineering.

“The Group project module and the TechStars event is a fantastic learning experience for our students. It enables and supports them to discover their potential and develop enterprising innovation & employability skills. Congratulations to all our students who presented at today’s event. You should all be very proud of yourselves. A special thanks to the module and event’s main sponsor The Alacrity Foundation represented by Guy Wendon. A special acknowledgement and thanks to the module and event’s supporters and prototype Innovation sponsor: TechHub Swansea represented by co-founder Paul Harwood, The Welsh Government represented by Youth Entrepreneurship Manger Ann Swift and IICED The International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development. Thank you for your time support and expertise. Particularly for the constructive positive and encouraging advice given to our students.
Finally but not least, the proficient application of up-to-date technical skill displayed by the students is testament to the excellent teaching team at the School of Applied Computing UWTSD.” – James Williams

For more information about the Techstars Innovation Competition please click-here.

Massive congratulations to School of Applied Computing students Arya Sedigh (left) and Archie Watt who have successfully defended their PhD thesis in the last couple of weeks. A PhD is a very long undertaking and both are pleased (and relieved) to have been successful with only minor corrections. Well done to both and also to their supervisory team 🙂

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