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

Archive for January, 2017

Alumni news: Mr Chandan Jayanna (MSc Computer Networks)

Chandan Jayanna was an international student on our MSc Computer Networks programme a few years back. He’s been telling us what he’s doing now (see below). Nice to hear you are you enjoying your career, Chandan!

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Q. What is your Name? Mr. Chandan Jayanna

Q. What was your University course? MSc in Computer Networks

Q. What is your job title and role? Senior Network Lead.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? I work for Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS). It’s a multinational company which provides a full suite of business process management (BPM) services from traditional voice contact center services and transformational DigiCX services that are unifying customer engagement to platform-based, back-office services and digital marketing solutions.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The skills gained through the university were the theoretical and practical experience on the in-depth LAN and WAN network establishment from design to maintenance. There was added advantage of having access to CISCO NetAcad program as part of the course which gave us insight about the practical network issues and ideas how to troubleshoot them.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? As a Sr. Network Lead I am responsible for planning, setting up and maintaining of BPO and corporate network. Research and Provide networking solutions around projects related to voice, video and data network. Designing, Implementing and Troubleshooting Data Center Networking solutions. Provide guidance on escalated operational issues involving routers, switches, load balancers, wan optimizers, and firewalls in a multi routing infrastructure. Balancing Project responsibilities with escalated operational Issues. Prepare and maintain up to date documentation detailing assigned/ deployed solution, evaluate, enhance, deploy and manage Network Tools infrastructure to deliver KPIs to manage network services. Providing technical support/troubleshooting for day-to- day operation to users on LAN and standalones Machines.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? I enjoy every part of what I do as I get to learn new things every day. The challenges that I face in troubleshooting the issues are the most interesting part of my job.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? Always listen to your instincts and never hesitate to take up challenges as they make us strong and confident in life. Never give up on your passion and find ways to achieve it. Sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

We always love to hear from our alumni, drop us a line on computing@uwtsd.ac.uk any time!

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Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminar (January 2017)

Tim Bashford and Jaymie Phillips were our first speakers of the year in our Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminar today. There was a distinctly Computing flavour this month. Tim told us about his work optimising an algorithm and code for processing data concerning the effect of lasers on skin. Jaymie then told us about his work on coding for embedded systems.

Tim has recently completed his PhD, and Jaymie is in the second year of his PhD studies. Thank you very much for your presentations. Here are some photos of them in action!

2017-01-18-13-35-24  2017-01-18-13-44-39

STUDENTS SHINE @ TECHSTARS SWANSEA 2017

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Above : Applied Computing Student representatives from Winning Teams SneakyBrain and GigaLife receiving their Enterprise & Innovation Awards for winning the TECHSTARS SWANSEA Competition.

Students (below) from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David School of Applied Computing recently participated in TECHSTARS SWANSEA 2017. Students were offered the opportunity to pitch their ideas for a start-up to a panel of experts including: Paul Harwood (Co-Founder of TechHub Swansea), Andrew Thomas (CEO of BrightSeed Ltd.), Anne Swift (Enterprise Manager for Welsh Government) and Kathryn Penaluna (Enterprise Manager at UWTSD). The event was organised by Senior Lecturer James Williams who teaches on the School’s Enterprise and Innovation module.

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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 Business Technology & Computing students studying the Enterprise & Innovation module to have the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas and prototypes applications to a panel of independent judges from industry. The feedback they received was beyond expectation, it was very positive and I’m sure the students learned a lot from the experience.”

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First prize went to a project called Sneaky Brain (Team pic above), an App which contains Maths games and puzzles designed to help Primary School children strengthen their Maths skills. Michael Johns, who is a member of the winning group and a student on the BSc Computer Games Development, said: “What was nice about group work is the ability to bounce ideas off each other which was further enhanced as we come from different programmes so that we were able to build on ideas from different viewpoints and knowledge.” Andrew Humphreys, who was also in the winning group said: “The biggest thing that I learned about was how enjoyable branding is, and the many opportunities there are to be creative within a tech company. There is a need to create new apps that are different to others already in the market.” Congratulations to Team members: Andrew Humphreys, Michael Johns, Ashley Vessey, Oliver Jordan, Kieran Hawkins.

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The standard of entries was so high that second prize had to give jointly. The two entries who placed second were called GigaLife (Team pic above: left), and Parking (Team pic above: right).

  • GigaLife is a role play game that helps raise awareness about Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Team leader Evan Smith, who is a student on the BSc Computer Games Development course, said: “The group project was lots of fun, the character development was challenging as [main character] Sofia is me and it was difficult delving into my past experiences. Each character owns a theme and Sofia interacts with them – she has options to apply emotions and you learn more about yourself as you interact with other peoples.” Congratulations to Team members: Evan Smith, Samuel Mounter, Samuel Goacher, Kyle Thomas, Cerys Nickels.
  • Parking is a mobile app which gives live updates to show the availability of parking spaces within a city. It will give directions using GIS to the carpark and will time your visit to let you know when the ticket is about to run out. There are also plans to develop the app in the near future to include features that will link the app to parking attendants and to be able to show which bay number you are in to find your car when you return. Congratulations to Team members: Callum Whitcombe, Paige Harris, Ben Green.

Judge and Enterprise Manager at UWTSD Kathryn Penaluna said: “The event demonstrates creativity and the passion required to take forward an idea with a social conscience.” Fellow judge Andrew Thomas added: “It’s really nice to see exciting and passionate pitches for business ideas going forward.”

 

To see the picture gallery of the event please click-here.

Update on Lancashire Archæological Dig

 

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Several months ago we reported on a major archæological dig attended by the School’s Dr Nik Whitehead, Associate Professor.

The excavation was working on an important Bronze Age site at a secret location in Lancashire, and Dr Nik was fortunate to be present when a beautiful funerary urn was discovered.

The micro-excavation of the artefact turned out to be a delicate, challenging and nerve-wracking process.

“It was amazing watching the urn being uncovered layer by layer, and seeing more and more detail as everyone realised how big it was,” she says.  “It was definitely the hot topic of coffee break conversations!”

Below, Dr Nik shares her photographs of the exciting moment the urn finally emerged from its long hiding-place underground.

The urn was taken to a laboratory, where osteoarchæologist Sam Walsh has been painstakingly examining every fragment.  Her initial findings are nearly ready, and DigVentures, who sponsored the dig, will be sharing them shortly.

Follow the dig, and find out more about DigVentures here :

http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=22a0f4e4c7f72ba483492ac1b&id=c692022072&e=d3e2324822

 

Graduate Profile: Aidan Kiely (MEng Environmental Engineering)

Aidan Kiely was one of our first graduates from the MEng Environmental Engineering programme in 2016. He started his studies on BEng Computer Systems and Electronics programme and then progressed to the MEng. He’s been telling us what he’s doing now.

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Q. What is your Name?
Aidan Kiely

Q. What was your University course?
MEng Computer Systems and Electronics (Applied Environmental Engineering)

Q. What is your job title and role?
Water Network Mapping Analyst – my role involves analysing the current Welsh Water water distribution network to find specific points of interest for ongoing water conservation and leakage projects.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for?
Aqualogic (wc) is a water conservation company that are focused on helping customers to save water with various products and services. The current role that I’m working in is partnership with Welsh Water in helping them with similar issues on a national scale.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?
A lot of my work is office based and I use a lot of the IT skills I developed during my time at university, especially MS Office packages. Some of the information I learnt on water treatment crops up occasionally but not often as I’m in distribution as opposed to treatment. Working with others within a team and my ability to work independently are also used every day.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
A typical day starts with co-ordinating with sub-contractors working on the same project as our company. I’ll then go back to analysing the water network for the points of interest based on the criteria set by Welsh Water and also processing some jobs to prepare for construction. I’ll rotate through these tasks and attend to any issues raised by Welsh Water or any of the sub contractors if I’m able to help.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
Working with a varied group of companies based in water distribution, construction, planning and maintenance is very interesting. When I was applying for work, it always felt like I’d be left to my own devices but a lot of the work is done as a team and collaborating with co-workers is always a rewarding experience.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career?
Always try to keep a positive outlook as it’s easy to get disheartened when things don’t go how you planned. And apply, apply, apply! Use all of the available job search apps and services as many of them are very helpful. Also keep an eye out for any graduate programs that some companies run, these can be a great head start for your career!

 

 

Graduate Profile: Nathan Munkley (BSc Computer Networks)

Nathan Munkley has been telling us what he’s been doing since Graduation. Nice to hear from you, Nathan.

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Q. What is your Name?

Nathan Munkley

Q. What was your University course?

BSc Computer Networks

Q. What is your job title and role?

FRT Engineer

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for?

Rock IT is an expanding Managed Service Provider based in South Wales, Rated top 10 IT Support Organisations in the UK.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?

Everything learnt at university has been extremely useful in provided the knowledge I need to do my job on a daily basis. The Networking modules have been the most useful and the ability to complete CCNA by the end of it is very good to have on CV.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?

Each day is different and brings new challenges. At FRT Level each engineer gets 40 minutes to work on a ticket, this could be anything from a simple account change to a full scale infrastructure down. RockIT trust engineers with any issue that comes in. Being able to use all range of skills across various issues is what makes the job interesting.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

I enjoy the huge variety of challenges I face on a daily basis which enables me to continuously develop my skills.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a career?

Continue to study and learn, IT is changing at a rapid pace and to be able to keep up with the industry don’t be afraid to learn even more. University is just the start of great things.

Graduate Profile: Adam Davies

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Q. What is your Name? Adam Davies
 
Q. What was your University course? BSc Computer Networks
 
Q. What is your job title and role? Infrastructure Engineer. This involves managing a virtual infrastructure built on VMWare vSphere along with managing the SAN, backups, operating systems and servers
  
Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? CGI, a Canadian company which operates out of 40 countries with 68,000 employees.
   
Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The most useful skills I learnt at University were from the module based on network design. It got me to think of the bigger picture and how each component affects the other. This has been useful when implementing new services into the existing virtual infrastructure that I manage.
  
Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? The best thing about my job is that there isn’t a typical day; I could be swapping out a failed hard drive or troubleshooting a virtual machine one day or adding new components to the infrastructure the next day.
  
Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? The thing I enjoy most about my job is when something goes wrong. This is where your skills are really put to the test and you always end up learning something new.
  
Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? The best advice I could give current students is to stay up to date with the IT industry. It’s ever evolving so in order to make an impact you really need to know what’s going on in the industry. Get in to the habit of reading articles as this will help you identify what’s up and coming and what your employer can use to improve its offerings to its customers.

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