2010 - 2011 Programme

All events unless otherwise stated will be held in the Lord Todd Conference Room, Strathclyde University. The Lord Todd is entered from Collins Street (on which parking is readily available); see the map on the venue page.

Events start at 6.30 p.m. Usually, there will be a light buffet from 6.00 p.m. Non members are welcome to all meetings. Branch meetings qualify for BCS CPD credit.

Programme Summary

Date Event
11 Oct 2010 Real World Physics in Computer Aided Engineering
25 Oct 2010 BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event
8 Nov 2010 Agile Delivery - Delight your organisation and increase job satisfaction
13 Dec 2010 Bletchley Park: How breaking the enemy codes led to the world's first computer
10 Jan 2011 IT Project Management and IT Technology
10 Feb 2011 BCS/IET Annual Turing Lecture Series 2011
14 Mar 2011 ISO 27001 Information Security on a LOW-PAPER DIET ™
11 Apr 2011 Engineering in the ancient world - The Antikythera Mechanism
9 May 2011 Virtualisation
13 Jun 2011 Large Hadron Collider
10 Oct 2011 BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2011 + Synthetic Worlds - Virtual and Augmented Reality systems and applications Talk

Programme Detail

Real World Physics in Computer Aided Engineering

Date Monday 11th October 2010
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Speaker Elson Mourao, DEM Solutions
Convenor Daniel Livingstone

Abstract: Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) uses numerical methods to calculate the motion and interaction of very large numbers of individual particles or elements - and is used in a wide range of engineering sectors - from construction to pharmaceuticals. This talk will outline some of the major challenges faced in DEM - simulating the behaviour and interactions of a large number of particles over a period of time - and present an overview of the techniques and solutions DEM Solutions have developed when tackling these problems. The talk will conclude with a look at the potential capabilities for the future of DEM, as a result of developments and improvements in the world of computing.

Bio: DEM Solutions is an Edinburgh based engineering company and the global market leader in Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) using their in-house software tool EDEM. EDEM manages information about each individual particle and the forces acting on it. It can also take into account the shape of individual particles, rather than assuming that all particles are spherical - opening up a range of applications in modelling the flow of solid objects. EDEM also provides data analysis tools and 3D visualizations of the particle flow.


BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event

Date Monday 25th October 2010
Time 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Refreshments from 6pm
Location Room W110, Hamish Wood Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BE - Map of Location
Speaker Sophie Houlden
Convenor Daniel Livingstone

Synopsis: BCS Glasgow and BCS Animation and Games present - "How to start making games - An introduction to being totally awesome"

Bio: "I'm a 23 year old, I am pretty much a shut-in, my favourite food is pizza and sometimes, I make games. I've been making games for a few years. I am a programmer, artist, designer, and (as yet horrible, but some day awesome) composer. I don't need anyone to tell me what to do to work on a game, I think up an idea and go. I'm Independent y'see.

Sometimes, I make games...and I am awesome at it.

Check my site to know more: SophieHoulden.com

All students welcome Refreshments provided Admission is free

Event Poster - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/BCS-GlasgowStudentsOct2010.pdf

Map of Location


Agile Delivery - Delight your organisation and increase job satisfaction

Date Monday 8th November 2010
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Speaker John Isgrove
Convenor Martin Blunn

Abstract: In the current economic climate it is more important than ever that organisations are agile; ensuring they work efficiently, maximising existing resources, getting more value from less. Learn how an Agile delivery approach can help reduce delivery time by 66%, whilst at the same time increase quality, innovation, team commitment & motivation. An agile approach enables organisations to adapt to every changing circumstance and quickly grasp opportunities when they are presented, delivering significantly faster return on investment. The benefits of an effective, proven, enterprise scale agile approach are much more than this though.

Agile project delivery is something many organisations have heard about. Many have considered it but are not quite sure what is involved, others concerned about various stories they may have heard on the grapevine. During the presentation John Isgrove will explore what agile is not, what key issues it can address in an organisation and what key benefits it can deliver both for the organisation and importantly the people within.

John will develop your knowledge and understanding of a proven business focused agile framework that embraces an organisation’s business and IT functions and tailored to the organisation or project. We will explore the impact, approach and importance of software testing during an agile project. We will learn how the framework provides processes and practices that encourage collaboration and innovation, which in turn helps to maximise project team members’ potential, increase their business domain knowledge and their resulting value to the organisation. We will also cover how a major hurdle in many organisations, the gap between business and IT functions is removed whilst at the same time significantly increasing the recognition, value and job satisfaction of team members.

Following the presentation John would hope you are as energised, excited and confident as he is about the significant benefits an agile project approach can deliver.

Bio: John Isgrove MBCS CITP

John has worked in the IT services industry for over 25 years encompassing technical and management roles in bespoke & packaged software development, IT service management and consultancy. This included being a divisional head & board member for over 7 years in a large software house, implementing strategic change and product development programmes. John is now a director of Collaborative Consulting Ltd.

John is passionate about agile and became involved in the mid-90s. An accredited practitioner, John takes a pragmatic, business results focused approach to successfully implementing proven agile delivery practices. He encourages strong end user involvement and empowered team members from all functions involved in project delivery. He has seen an agile approach reduce delivery time by 2/3rds whilst at the same time increasing quality. An area that John finds very rewarding is seeing significant improvements in the collaboration, motivation, contribution & skills development of cross-functional project team members.


Bletchley Park: How breaking the enemy codes led to the world's first computer

Date Monday 13th December 2010
Time 6:00 for 6:30 pm
Location Room W110, Hamish Wood Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BE - Map of Location
Speaker Hugh Davies
Convenor Martin Blunn

Synopsis: The Germans were convinced their codes were unbreakable -" we can prove it" they said " "here is the mathematics" A fallacy as valid today as it was then. Technology has changed people have not!

Speaker Bio: Hugh Davies

Hugh’s background is primarily in computers from the early days of punched cards through to large main frames and the modern PC, almost wholly in management positions.

Hugh founded his own IT security company some 10 years ago based on his invention of an authentication system(Passfaces) that did away with passwords (see www.passfaces.com). Hugh won the British Computer Society overall winner award for innovation in 1996. The system is specified as the authentication system to be used by any system in use by the US Senate as well as being in use with several American banks.

Most of Hugh’s career has been in large multinational IT companies, American and British. Hugh is now technically retired but extremely active. His experience at Bletchley Park and associated research has given him a keen interest in the application of wartime systems failures and successes to modern systems, in particular in relation to the human aspect. Hugh also has a particular knowledge of the role of women in intelligence and resistance, and SOE; the sabotage agents of WW2, with their many devious and devilish devices. Hugh has lead tour groups for several years now at Bletchley Park and is also a guest lecturer on cruise ships specifically on the subject of WW2 Intelligence.

Map of Location


IT Project Management and IT Technology

Date Monday 10th January 2011
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Speaker Alastair O'Brien (Amor Group)
Convenor Rod Blackwood

Bio: Alastair O'Brien is a director of Amor Group, a highly successful independent Scottish company which provides business technology solutions to the energy, transport and public sectors. Formed in 2009 from well-known Scottish companies Real-Time Engineering, Pragma and Graham Technology, Amor Group is the largest independent Scottish business technology company with over 450 staff across its Glasgow, Aberdeen, Coventry, Edinburgh and Houston offices and forecast revenues of £33m for 2010/11.

Synopsis: Alastair is an entertaining and informative speaker with extensive experience of the technical, managerial and commercial aspects of the software and IT business. His talk will begin with a presentation on the solutions that Amor provides and the wide range tools and techniques that they use, and will continue with an extended question and answer session. This is a unique opportunity for BCS members to discuss a wide range of issues with one of the leaders of the Scottish IT industry.


BCS/IET Annual Turing Lecture Series 2011

Date Thursday 10th February 2011
Location Bute Hall, University of Glasgow
Speaker Donald Knuth, Computer Scientist and Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University
Convenor Richard Trail

*** Please note this event is fully booked ***

And now for something completely different.: 'An Evening with Donald Knuth - All Questions Answered'.

The 2011 BCS/IET Turing Lecture will not follow the usual form of a talk followed by a question and answer session. Instead, Don will make a short introduction and then take questions about any subject.

He warns in advance that "The audience should be aware that the answers will be my best shot, though those outside the field of The Art of Programming may have somewhat less credibility than a Wikipedia article."

Time permitting, he will also reveal the significance of the number 85205232, which some speculate may turn out to be surreal.

*** Please note this event is fully booked ***


ISO 27001 Information Security on a LOW-PAPER DIET ™

Date Monday 14th March 2011
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Speaker Richard Murray, Director, Hillside Software
Convenor Rod Blackwood

Abstract: Protection of sensitive information held electronically continues to be increasingly important in all aspects of life. To provide business customers and consumers with confidence in their arrangements, some commercial organizations seek to comply with ISO 27001:2005, the international standard for an information security management system (ISMS). However, the standard is quite onerous and it is possible for adopting organizations to create a ‘mountain’ of supporting documentation and records. On the basis that creating a document or record never directly protected any data, Richard has evolved a LOW-PAPER DIET ™ approach to ISMS development that minimises bureaucracy and has been successfully deployed in several small and medium-sized enterprises.

The talk will discuss the functions of information security management systems, the requirements of ISO 27001:2005 and describe some of the very strange and unexpected types of security incidents that Richard has come across! It will also describe a typical LOW-PAPER DIET ™ implementation from initial ‘gap’ analysis through to successful certification by an independent, UKAS-accredited certification body.

Bio: Richard Murray is a software practitioner and consultant with almost thirty years’ experience. His career has mainly focused on high-integrity, software-based systems in aerospace, nuclear power, and oil & gas. Over the last fifteen years Richard has specialised in helping organizations comply with relevant security, quality and IT service management standards and obtaining associated certifications. This work has included projects in the EU, Switzerland, and West Africa.


Engineering in the ancient world - The Antikythera Mechanism

Date Monday 11th April 2011
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Speaker Nikolaos Anagnostou, SgurrEnergy
Convenor Eddie Gray

Bio: Nik Anagnostou is an electrical and computer engineer, and for the past four years has been working for SgurrEnergy Ltd., an engineering consultancy based in Glasgow and specialising in renewable energy. He specialises in Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and data acquisition systems, and has worked in some of the largest wind farms in the UK, such as the Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow.

Absract: Nik's talk focuses on the Antikythera Mechanism, a device considered to be the first known analogue astronomical computer, created approximately two thousand years ago. The Mechanism continues to fascinate and puzzle scientists and engineers, as artefacts of such complexity were not thought possible at that point in history. The talk starts with an introduction to the one hundred years of research into the Mechanism's secrets. It then discusses our current understanding of the Mechanism's functions and inner workings, rounding off with a discussion of the implications of its existence and an animated computer model of the Mechanism which is now the subject of a major research project in Greece.



Date Monday 9th May 2011
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Speaker Colin Crook, Power Systems FTSS
Convenor Colin Crook

*** Please note change of speaker ***

Colin will be talking about what Virtualisation is and which different approaches have been taken to achieve it in different architectures. For instance the difference between hardware and software implementations and the benefits of each.


Large Hadron Collider

Date Monday 13th June 2011
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Speaker Prof. Tony Doyle (University of Glasgow)
Convenor Richard Trail

The Grid - first light at the end of the LHC tunnel

The Grid is a large-scale distributed computing system that is used to analyse data from the Large Hadron Collidar (LHC). The architecture and growth of this system is reviewed. The latest results from the ATLAS experiment, including those in the search for the elusive Higgs particle, are presented.


BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2011 + Synthetic Worlds - Virtual and Augmented Reality systems and applications Talk

Date Monday 10th October 2011
Time 6:00 for 6:30 pm
Location Room M404 (4th Floor), George Moore Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BE - Map of Location
Speaker Prof Vassilis Charissis (Glasgow Caledonian University)
Convenor Richard Trail

The 54th BCS Glasgow Branch AGM will start at 6.30pm and last about twenty minutes. It will be followed by the talk "Synthetic Worlds - Virtual and Augmented Reality systems and applications" from Professor Vassilis Charissis of Glasgow Caledonian University.

2011 AGM Agenda - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/BCS-glw-agenda-agm2011.pdf

Abstract: Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR) offer a unique ability to a user to interact freely with objects/structures or systems without physical constraints, in their own time and in a safe manner. Dr Charissis has developed a number of systems and applications focusing on the HCI of these synthetic environments. This talk presents an overview of industry fields that currently use 3D/VR technology in order to design, develop, manufacture and evaluate their products prior to market release, with specific emphasis on previous and current projects in which the presenter has been involved. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the potential of 3D/VR technology in future applications and systems spanning from automotive engineering to VR surgical training.

Bio: Dr. Vassilis Charissis BSc(Hons) MPhil PhD MIET specialises in the design and evaluation of Human-Computer Interfaces in engineering and medical fields. He is currently developing a novel HCI interface for anatomy courses and surgical rehearsal through VR technology. Vassilis is the director of Virtual Reality and Simulation laboratory (VRS Lab) in GCU. He is a member of IET, IEEE SAE and AAAI. Vassilis has published internationally in the areas of HCI, HMI,VR, AR, AI and simulation systems.

Event Poster - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/BCS_VR_oct2011.doc