University Lecturer - Computer Science

What do you do for a living?

University lecturer in Computer Science

How did you get interested in what you do?

little computing at school, followed by exposure to computer programming at University made me decide to switch from my initial choice of subject (chemical engineering) to computing. I became interested in lecturing as a career after doing at PhD in Computer Science and enjoying the experience of

teaching students. 

What was your journey to reach the role you are in today? 

Took maths, physics and chemistry at A level; chose a chemical engineering degree based on my interest in chemistry; switched to computer science; did a PhD in Computer science, followed by post-doctoral research work. Appointed to a senior lecturership at Strathclyde in 2004.

Talk us through a day in your life

It varies a lot depending on the time of year! Typically during the teaching term I would give one or maybe two lectures and/or tutorials; I'd attend practical lab sessions and try to help students with their work; I'd see my PhD students and give them advice on their research projects; I'd review some research papers that have been submitted to conferences or journals and try to see if the work is worthy of being published; I review teaching work for other universities as their external examiner; I set exams; sometimes I give research talks at other universities on the research work I do. During the summer I do more research work and might try to prepare grant proposals, do my own research or write papers. I will also prepare lectures and other new materials for the coming year.

Was this your planned career when you were 18?

No.

What did your parents want you to do?

My parents gave me no advice towards my choice of career. My dad was a foreman at Beckton gas works in East London and my mum was a housewife.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?

Computing is a very exciting subject and I would recommend that everyone should try it and build up the analytical and logical skills required to program computers.

What other career directions could you go in?

Working for a company, I could be a programmer, a project manager or a systems analyst. I've worked in higher education for all of my career, which I have found very satisfying.