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

On Friday, 13th October, many of the BSc/HND Computer Networks and Cybersecurity students visited CISCO HQ at Bedford Lakes, near London.  We made and early start from Swansea, arriving at CISCO just before 11am.

CISCO are a world leader in networking and communications for the Internet and we were fortunate that they had agreed to give us a tour and demonstration of their latest technologies. We started with some insight into CISCO’s social responsibilities (they are named most years in the “100 best companies to work for” list.)


Following this, we toured the facilities:

We were also shown the latest video conferencing facilities, which include features such as facial recognition to detect the person who is currently speaking and focus on them:

Following the tour, CISCO associates told us about some routes graduates take to join CISCO as employees. One such method is the CISCO Sales Associate program (CSAP). If successful, candidates train for a year (fully paid) before starting their new roles. Some of our students are now planning to apply. Since they will already have gained CCNA (possibly CCNP) certifications by the end of their studies, this will give them a headstart in the selection procedures.


After lunch, we saw even more impressive video conferencing facilities which are designed to be as realistic as possible, with participants on the screen being kept at actual size and the use of directional audio:


We then had a cyber-security demo, and were interested to see that UWTSD had a traffic spike on Friday 5th October 2017! Wonder what caused it?! We also saw the various procedures CISCO have in place to deal with zero-day attacks (an attack that is brand new)

Finally, we had a demonstration of the CISCO Spark smart whiteboard which allows people remote and local to collaborate. On the picture below, you can see the participants at the top of the board. One of them was at the Oslo office. One of our students also collaborated via their phone.


All in all it was a very worthwhile trip – many thanks to Kapilan for organising it and for CISCO staff for hosting us!



Many thanks to Business Technology Graduate Dan Hawkes (BT), Web Development Graduate Jordan Crocker (Senior Web Developer) and Computer Networks Graduate Simon Downes (PhD student) for visiting the University today to talk with our students about their University and Career journey to date, sharing valuable hints and tips for academic and career success. Inspirational invaluable and greatly appreciated. Thank you all.

1We are proud of two of our recent graduates, Ryan Vismonte (3rd from left, above) and James Jones (2nd from right) who have secured full time work, just days after graduating from the School of Applied Computing.

Ryan has been employed as a Graduate Engineer with Sony.  After a year of training, he will become a Test Engineer for Sony, testing electronic circuit design of producta before they get manufactured for mass production.  James has been employed as an Electronic Systems Engineer with Cellnovo where he will be working on diabetes monitoring devices.

Ryan studied on our MEng Computer Systems and Electronics programme and James studied on our BEng Electrical and Electronics Engineering programme. Many congratulations to you both from all of the staff in SOAC!


Matti 2

Q. What is your Name? Thomas Matti

Q. What was your University course? Business & Information Technology.

Q. What is your job title and role? Risk Management Analyst.

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? I work for a company called Arcadis which is the Leading Global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets. Applying deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services. We have 28,000 people active in over 70 countries that generate more than €3 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world.

Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? The first role at the company included working with database formulas which I learnt on the course. These skills helped me complete tasks with ease.

Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it? My typical day would consist of coming into work at 7:30, look at my calendar to see what tasks I have for the day such as: Sitting with peers to discuss new potential risks, attending meetings and presenting findings to senior management.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most? Results, it’s nice to actually see some improvement in your work and receive recognition from it.

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? I think personally having a degree is crucial for really kick-starting your career.

And as cheesy as it sounds the advice I would provide is never give up!

There were times on my course where I didn’t understand information, contemplated is this what I wanted to do? But as long as you have the mentality to never give up and be hopeful that something will come out of it then something will. Then you can apply that mentality not just to the course you’re doing but also to the career you’re seeking.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? Highs and lows, but worth the Graft.

We have some winners in our SOAC “Best Project” Awards! These awards are presented to 3rd year students who have achieved the highest mark in their category for their Final Year Project. Some categories were very close run this year. Congratulations to all students – the standard was extremely high. Here are photos of the winners (with some staff sneaking in too!)


Myles Anderson – Best Project (Survey)


Adam Packer (left) – Best Project (Research) and Dan Tucker – Best Project (Development)


Simon Downes – Best Project (Experiment)


James Jones – Best Project (Electronics)


Our Degree Show at Techhub in High Street, Swansea was another great success last Thursday. Our graduating 3rd year and MEng/MComp 4th years and MSc students were showing their project work which was undertaken during their final year. We were joined by family, friends and employers. Here are some photos of the evening:

What is your name? My name is Jason Price.

What was your University course?
I completed two University Degrees at Swansea’s School of Applied Computing. Both my Undergraduate degree and Postgraduate Masters were in the area of Computer Networks.

What is your job title and role?
My Current role is a Systems Administrator.

Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? 

I work for a company called Medical Connections Ltd; the company name may suggest a medical company however it is actually a software company. The company specialises in a software toolkit (API) which allow software developers with limited knowledge of DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) to cover the medical area of all types of scans ranging from ultrasound to MRI. DICOM is the standard way an image or video is created, transferred, shared, and even stored in a clinical environment. Because the standard is so vast, it makes sense for a ‘new’ DICOM developer to use a toolkit which would do all the standardisation for them, so they can concentrate on making a successful application.

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

The University gave me the independence to break down tasks, and to troubleshoot in a manner which was thorough and precise. The University also gave me the knowledge to find and research in a critical way while also only looking for ‘relevant’ information and how to identify them quickly and efficiently so not to spend too much time on a ‘dead end’.

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

I’ll usually start my day by looking through email filtering to ensure customer emails have not been falsely stopped. I will then look at the Virtual Hosts to ensure clean operation and if any errors have been found then to action them appropriately. After checking all internal systems, I will then inspect / improve / action external services such as the website, license services, and cloud services. I will then check my “to do” tasks and complete as necessary, which can range from improving developer’s machines (upgrading hardware) to changing infrastructure and servers.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

Troubleshooting: I like finding a difficult or unusual problem and trying to find a solution or even sometimes a workaround. Sometimes the problems can test your researching skills, intuitions and/or even your patience, but always satisfying to find a solution that just works.

Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career?

Make sure that you enjoy your chosen field of study, that’s it’s not something that you only excel at, but you actually enjoy doing. For me technology has always excited and inspired me, and I’ve always loved troubleshooting and tinkering. Using things in a manner where they were not originally designed.

I would also recommend that whatever your chosen field is don’t stop at its completion, if you can  complete your professional qualifications even at the lowest level as soon as possible this will give you an edge in the job market, but also give you a boost in confidence.

Thanks to Associate Professor Nik Whitehead and BSc Computer Networks student Simon Downes who spoke in our Faculty Lunchtime Research Committee yesterday. Nik spoke about beacons (Internet of Things) and Simon spoke about environmental control via a network. Here are some photos of them in action. If you missed it and would like to catch up, students and staff can find the slides and a link to the video of the talks on Moodle.

The School are excited to have been awarded a Bronze Green Impact again this year, well done to SOAC Green Team Sue Maw, Sue Williams and Gaynor Thomas!

Student Simon Downes from BSc (Hons) Computer Networks won an award for his environmental-related project work including work on automatic temperature control for computer labs – Simon will be giving a talk at our Faculty Lunchtime Research Seminar 1pm-3pm on Wed 17th May in MH503 if you’d like to know more!

Finally, Gaynor won an “Environmental Hero” award for her work in drastically reducing paper consumption in SOAC by leading the move to online module boxes (and the associated online-only submission from students for most assignments)

Well done everyone and here are some pictures! For Doctor Who fans, the awards were held in the library used in the episode “Silence in the Library” 🙂 #soachasbeensaved

This afternoon has seen another fine batch of project boards handed in at the School Office by our final year students.  Excellent work, everyone!

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