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

This year to Celebrate ‘Global Enterprise Week‘ the School of Applied Computing hosted two Tech talks and welcomed Robert James (Digital Architect @ the DVLA) and Mathew Marl (Head of IS @ UWTSD).

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Robert James & Mathew Marl

Mathew’s talk on Agile Development & Innovation provided real world insight into how interdisciplinary software development teams work together to build and evolve solutions to meet stakeholder requirements in the fast changing world of technological development and change.

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Mathew Marl – Agile Development

“I had a great afternoon engaging with the FACE students, who were a welcoming bunch, and got fully involved with both presentations. It was an uplifting couple of hours which gave me a lot of heart for the future. Thanks to James for the invite.” – Mathew Marl

Rob’s talk showed we are living the future of our child hood dreams and emerging technologies current impact and potential future impact on the DVLA’s services. His talk encapsulated the technological change we have seen over the last 20 years and provided snapshots of how we will be using technology 20 years from now.

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Robert James – Emerging Technologies

“It was great to see how engaged the students were, I had some brilliant questions and good discussion about how technology will influence the way we interact and consume services in the future and of course the security issues and ethical considerations society would need to solve.” – Robert James

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James Matt & Rob

Our students enjoyed and gained valuable up-to-date knowledge & industry insights from both talks, increasing their employability, professional development and preparing them for exciting careers in a rapidly evolving world.

The School would like to sincerely thank both Mathew and Robert for sharing their industry knowledge and expertise with our students. Diolch yn fawr iawn – James.

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We are pleased to tell you that we have brought our emergency evacuation equipment with us to the UWTSD SA1 Waterfront campus. The “stair crawler” is designed to evacuate wheelchair users in case of emergency. This is particularly important when the wheelchair user cannot be carried down the stairs – due to the chair being a life-support system in itself – and, of course, to preserve dignity.

One of our lecturers, Dr Tim Bashford, learned how it felt to be ‘evacuated’ today while training staff to use the equipment.

Here is the stair crawler (kept on charge when not in use):

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…and the stair crawler in action:

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We have brought our popular Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminars with us to the SA1 campus. These seminars are to help share research happening in the Faculty, and hopefully encourage future collaborations. All are welcome, from inside or outside the Faculty, staff or student.

This month, Professor Kelvin Donne told us about his research which has included the following:

  • Ballistics impact of projectiles onto automotive glass.
  • Computational modelling of light-tissue interaction.
  • Non-destructive testing of composite materials
  • Usability analysis in product engineering research

Here’s Kelvin in action:

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If you missed the talk, and would like to catch up with what Kelvin said, the video is available on Moodle. If you cannot see “Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminars” on Moodle, comment below and Gaynor will add you.

Every year it is lovely to receive messages from Graduates who would like to return to the School to give something back. These Graduates are doing well, they have established successful Careers and volunteer to come back to the School to talk with our students. Often they themselves were inspired and given employment opportunities by other Graduate talks during their time with us at the University. Our graduates work in countries all over the world, have exciting careers and fantastic lifestyles. There are a lot of opportunities in the field of Computing & Technology, globally and locally – more than ever before.

Today we welcomed back one of our Computing Graduates Nathan Dickinson (Product Technical lead at Vizolution) to share hints & tips for Uni and Career success along with his colleague Simone Cuomo who spoke about exciting career opportunities for our Graduates.

Nathan completed his Computing degree with us in 2012 before starting his Career as a Software Developer with the NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS), he quickly became a Senior Software Developer with NWIS 2014 before starting as a Senior Developer with Vizolution in 2016. Nathan quickly went on to become a Lead Developer with Vizolution and a Product Technical Lead in 2017.

To encourage students Nathan says “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are lucky, you have worked hard and deserve your place here at Uni” … “In the words of Buzz light-year ‘To Infinity and Beyond!’ dare to dream and never give up, if you set you mind to it you can do it!”.

Vizolution is an exciting 21st Century Tech company based in Swansea that provides excellent benefits and a great place to work. Vizolution is a Saas Company and started in 2012. Grown from 5 staff members to over 130 staff worldwide with offices in Swansea, Bristol, London, North America and Canada (105 based in the new Swansea office). Ranked by Deloitte as on of the EMEA’s fastest growing tech companies with 31 enterprise clients (87% financial services, 10% telecoms, 3% utililes), with 4 products live in 13 countries and in 8 languages. They have a New Swansea office (located in Bay studios – Fabian way with 12,500 ft office space with 160 desks, Open plan, Break out area with ping-pong table, arcade and table football. With free fruit and yoga it is a True 21st Century Tech Company.

We also welcome PhD student Mathew Hunt one of our Electronics Graduates who shared wise words and many valuable hints & tips for success at Uni and Post Graduate opportunities within the school.

Congratulations and thank you to Nathan, Simone, Mathew and all the staff at the Dylan Thomas Centre Swansea for making this event possible and allowing our students to gain such valuable and inspiring knowledge. Diolch.

We are delighted to have been ranked second in the UK for “student satisfaction in teaching quality in Computer Science” and also second in the UK for “satisfaction with the student experience in Computer Science”

Congratulations to our staff and thank you to our students for their support!

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A warm welcome to all our new students who arrived on campus for the first time yesterday, and a warm welcome back to our continuing students who will be back later this week.

The SA1 Waterfront campus is new to all of us this year, so we are spending our induction week giving tours of the campus to help student find their way around our new home.

We also went bowling with our new students to help them to get to know each other.

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We have been very busy all summer moving to our new campus in SA1! The new teaching building, known as the IQ building, is currently being prepared for the new academic year which commences on Monday 24th September 2018.

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Opposite the main teaching area is the new library, known as The Forum. Here is a picture from inside The Forum, facing the main IQ building.

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Quite a change from our old campus at Mount Pleasant! Looking forward to seeing students, staff and alumni there very soon.

Q. What is your Name? Ross Thomas

Q. What was your University course? BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology

Q. What is your job title and role? I am a junior developer and my role is configuring the companies scripts to match all different client needs.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? The organisation I work for CloudIQ is a Tech Start-up company that was created around 2012, we want our clients to make the most of their e-commerce website by re-marketing old ones and marketing new ones.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? I feel the main ones would be business awareness – this was important on adapting to a different situations you may be faced with and being aware of how it’s impacting the business and environment you are in. Another skill that I feel is of high value to me is analytical thinking, this has helped me so much when being faced with a problem or when my code isn’t working, it is having to think of different ways and think out of the box to solve it.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? Every day is different, but will have a similar feel to it, mostly I am writing or editing code to meet the clients needs but I could also be investigating the code and working with the team to try and fix the issues we have.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I enjoy working with the people I work with, but more so I enjoy learning and overcoming the different situations where I may have struggled for a while. I get a real sense of achievement when something works after trying to figure it out for ages.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? Be patient and don’t be afraid of changes, if you are unhappy with your working life change it.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? Challenging but worth it – I’d do it all again!.

TECHSTARS 2018 COMPETITION

Students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s School of Applied Computing recently participated in the TECHSTARS Competition and presented their enterprising and innovative ideas to a panel of expert judges (below) at Swansea’s Tech Hub.

TECHSTARS 2018 Competition was organised by UWTSD Senior Lecturer James Williams who teaches the School’s Enterprise and Innovation module. The Competition enables students within the School of Applied Computing to form inter-disciplinary teams and pitch their ideas to a panel of experts from industry. Teams consist of students from multiple programmes including Applied Computing, Business Technology, Web Development, Computer Networks and Software Engineering. The panel of experts included: Ann Swift (Enterprise Manager for the Welsh Government), Professor Ian Wells (Head of the School of Applied Computing) and industry representative Lee Woodman from Visit Digital.

The Winning Team H.E.L.P. (below) consisted of students Paul Lawrence, George Searle, Henry Cobbold and Ross Van Den.

Halo Emergency Logistical Provisions (H.E.L.P.) created a product titled HALO v1 an emergency mobile networking product for governments and aid agencies around the world, is designed to provide a communications system in areas where traditional methods of communications i.e. Cell coms, Wi-Max coms etc. are no longer available due to the damage of communications towers. It is to be utilized in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster provides a High speed Local Area Network (LAN) and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) communications i.e. voice, video and data between rescue workers, medical professionals etc. on the ground to coordinate humanitarian aid/rescue efforts. And a High speed Wide Area Network (WAN) satellite communications i.e. voice, video and data to a Command and Control (C&C) center located in the UK that contains professionally trained logistical coordination staff who will liaise with governments and aid agencies near to the effected country/area to provide.

A special mention and recognition with regard to immediate commercial viability was given to Team ‘Top Ticket’ including team members Oliver Jordan, Lara Terzi and Lewis Ireson (below) for their product ‘Food Scout’. An App that provides comprehensive maps of a store, provides a product’s location and compares prices across stores using location based filters.

Professor Wells (below right) said: “The School strives to include the principles of Entrepreneurship in all that it teaches. This exciting event highlighted some of the very innovative ideas that our students can produce, many of which were commercially viable propositions.”

Fellow judge Anne Swift (above left) added: “It was my pleasure to attend Techstars. It is a great event giving students the opportunity to develop and practice their entrepreneurial skills within their course subject. All of the teams presented innovative business opportunities as well as some really viable products that could be taken forward into real businesses. I hope the event has opened up the students eyes to the possibility starting their own business one day as well as highlighting how they could use the skills to identify opportunities for future employers.”

TECHSTARS organizer James Williams said: “I arranged the event because I know there is great potential within every person and when people are given the opportunity to apply themselves in a supportive environment they discover that potential for themselves. In this case I arranged the event to allow 2nd Year Computing students studying the Enterprise & Innovation module to have the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas and prototypes to a panel of expert judges from industry academia and the Welsh Government. The feedback they received was very valuable inspiring and rewards for the students. A fantastic learning experience for our students who are now better prepared for Graduation and Careers that will positively contribute and evolve our society with their Computing skills and enterprising growth mind-sets.”

Well done and Congratulations to all students who presented at the TECHSTARS Competition 2018.

Students receiving their Certificates of Achievement.

For more photos please click-here.

Our monthly Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminar took place today. Michael Dacey of the School of Applied Computing gave a fascinating talk on his research into the teaching of programming. This included a consideration of working memory, pattern learning and other issues. Also, Mr Ewan Hoyle from the School of Engineering gave us a talk on ultrasonic imaging.

Two very good talks, and here are some photos of Mike and Ewan in action:

Slides and a video of the talks will be available on Moodle shortly.

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