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

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Techstars Innovation Competition 2019

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.

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Graduate Profile: Nathan Dickinson

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Q. What is your Name? Nathan Dickinson 

Q. What was your University course? B.Sc. (Hons) Computing & Information Systems

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Q. What is your job title and role? My current job title is Product technical lead for the vDoc product of the Vizolution product suite.

Q. What does the role involve? This role involves me being the de-facto technical expert in all aspects of the vDoc product production with the overall goal being to align multiple development teams to delivery and fulfil customer requirements. Daily duties include attending stand-ups, providing estimates for new functionality, ensuring coding standards and providing technical leadership to development teams and steer and provide technical design and architecture for requirements. Also heavily involved in product support and deployments to ensure smooth roll-out and running of the product on a daily basis.

vDoc is an unassisted document sharing solution that allows customers to seamlessly progress their own customer journey through the upload, download or electronic signature of documents via a secure customer portal.
http://www.vizolution.co.uk/solutions/vdoc/

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? Vizolution is a CX Tech company focused on streamlining difficult customer journeys. The Vizolution suite of digital products streamlines the end-to-end customer journey and supports the omni-channel strategy of our customers across branch, telephony and digital channels. It’s SaaS products are quick and easy to implement. The solutions eliminate breaks in the customer journey to deliver improved compliance, customer service and satisfaction and conversions as well as reduced costs.

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 Q. Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job? Confidence and self-belief, the environment in the university was very open and students were encouraged to interact as much as possible, feedback was always constructive and lecturers often pushed to get the best from me. This really helped with my self-belief and confidence allowing me to step out of my comfort zone and push my self and my abilities. It is this I believe has allowed me to progress to where I am today.


Q. Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
My days vary quite a lot but usually start with attending stand-ups for the development teams of which there are five that work on the vDoc product. I am then usually attending meetings to either provide high level estimation and technical implementation guidance/design for new functionality. Performing code reviews to ensure code is of a suitable standard and follows our defined coding standards. Assisting other developers with issues or problems and providing technical guidance. Occasionally I have the chance to develop some functionality myself but I am mostly in a hands off type of role now.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
It would have the be the problem solving, quite often I am faced with complex issues to which I need to provide technical guidance for, whilst this can be challenging and frustrating at times. The sense of achievement when something you’ve planned turns out how you expected it to or sometimes even better it makes it all worth it. My position can be quite stressful but its taking these small wins and seeing the impact our technology is having is what keeps me motivated

Q. Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career? Prepare early, there are going to be hundreds of graduates across the UK in your sector all looking for jobs, be proactive and get your foot in the door first. Look for summer placement work, try and reach out to places where you would like to work to see if they have any openings or what opportunities they have for graduates. Most important be persistent and be strong minded, there will be times where you will be turned down at interview, instead of taking that negatively look for the positives and look for areas to improve and come back stronger. You’ve done the hard work in getting into university and taking your degree so you deserve a good career so just remember that.

You’ve done the hard work in getting into university and taking your degree so you deserve a good career so just remember that.

Q. A Quote that sums up your time at the University? One of the most challenging but at the same time rewarding experiences of my life.

Global Enterprise Week – Tech Talks

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.

Rob Action shot

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.

Graduate Profile: Ross Thomas

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!.

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.

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.

Happy Holidays :-)

The Applied Computing Team would like to wish all our Students, Graduates and Partners a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – Enjoy the Holidays Everyone

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Graduate Profile: Luke Byers

During the Working Week

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At the Weekend 🙂

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Q. What is your Name? Luke Byers

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

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

Q. Could you briefly describe the organisation you work for? Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ)

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

Business environments (internal and external), Business Continuity Management (BCM), Written and presenting skills.

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

Analysis and reporting of data, testing of controls in place to mitigate risks and providing assurance to risk managers. Providing advice to ensure people comply with policies.

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

Operational risk is an interesting space with so many factors, In particular I enjoy working within the Technology department and understanding how a large financial organisation deals with the changing landscape of technology trends and cyber threats.

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

If you see an opportunity that interests you don’t be afraid to go for it. Prepare for interviews well, be confident in yourself and you will get a chance!

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

I learned a lot while having fun and making friends along the way, what more could you ask for!

EntrepComp Conference

The School of Applied Computing produces enterprising solution-focused students that are equipped to create innovative solutions to today’s problems / opportunities.

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Enterprise education has been a part of the School’s curriculum for many years and it is proud to support the European Commission and the development of Enterprise & Entrepreneurial policies within the EU and beyond. Members of the School recently attended and supported the Enterprise Conference ‘Putting the Entrepreneurial Into Learning‘ (pictured below) hosted by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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The Conference explored current trends in Enterprise education and focused on the practical implementation of entrepreneurial learning using the new European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. The European Commission identified Enterprise and entrepreneurship as one of the key competences necessary for all members to be successful in the knowledge-based society. The EC produced this framework to help education providers understand and integrate Enterprise and entrepreneurship into the curriculum to help equip students with the necessary knowledge skills and competencies to take society forward and create new innovative solutions that have a positive social impact. There is a growing awareness that entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and attitudes lead to the widespread development of entrepreneurial mind-sets and culture which benefit individuals and society as a whole.

The School would like to thank all involved including the Conference organisers and it’s supporters for the invitation to participate and the success of such a positive prestigious policy influencing event.

Graduation 2016

Congratulations to all of our Amazing Students on your success. We wish you all the very best for the future and remember the School of Applied Computing and University will always here to support you now and in the future.

* CONGRATULATIONS *

We are very proud of you. Please click below for more photos:

Graduation 2016

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