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Andrew Smith


Portrait of Andrew Smith smiling

Profile summary

Professional biography

Prior to my time in higher education - I worked within both industry and vocational further education. Currently my academic work is within the domains of applied network engineering, digital technologies and cybersecurity, teaching Cisco CCNA, CCNP, CyberOps and DevNet advanced practitioner programmes. I am also focussed on community engagement and outreach, mainly active within the global Cisco 'NetAcad' community - supporting the development of teachers, as well as the use of vocational computing resources within further and higher education. As well as working with a range of other industry leaders within the computing sector.

Past experience includes the authoring of multiple text books, supporting the development of national qualifications in the UK, as well as working as a senior examiner for a national vocational qualification.

Research interests

My primary research focus, follows these four domains, each supports research and teaching projects:

  1. Evaluating a hybrid delivery pedagogy, focussed on teacher development within the network engineering and cybersecurity domains
  2. Utilising social media as a scalable huetagogical tool for peritheral learning
  3. Scalable simulation, for development of entry point network engineering skills
  4. Supporting the development of disability engaged teaching, in the domain of network engineering

Current and past projects include:

  • Developing the FutureLearn and City & Guilds - Step into Digital Technologies skills primer (March 2021)
  • Developing an accessible HTML5 cloud based network simulator (Oct 2019 - June2020)
  • Developed a Discovering Computer Networks BOC - using a HTML5 Cloud Based Network Similator - funded by UFITrust (Completed Oct 2019)
  • Engaged with Cisco - supporting disability outreach, resource and curriculum analysis (completed April 2019) - soon to recommence
  • Engaged with Cisco - supporting the evaluation of resource, engagement with educators and creation of networking specific content for the Computing at Schools community and hosting resource on Open Learn Create (Completed 2018)

Teaching interests

Cisco NetAcad LogoI teach at the university, on a number of modules - all predominantly focussed on internationally recognised vocationally focussed professional skills within the Network Engineering and CyberSecurity practitioner domains.

Currently I am:

  • Developing Microcredentials focussed on skills based vocational computing disciplines, including Linux, DevNet, Coding, Network Engineering, Cloud Computing (with Dr Amel Bennaceur) and CyberSecurity Operations.
  • Chairing (leading the teaching) - TM257 - Cisco Networking (part one)
  • Teaching (module team member) - TM357 - Cisco Networking (part two)
  • Supporting development and delivery of T829 - CCNP Enterprise (replacing T824/6/7 - CCNP R+S modules)
  • Teaching (module team member) - T828 Network Security - includes CCNA-CyberOps and Cisco Network Security BOC
  • Chairing TZFM861/2 - Cisco CyberSecurity Operations Microcredential - 15 Credit FutureLearn course
  • Chairing TG088 - Linux Essentials (2017 to 2021) - soon to be handed over to Jason Trott as a MicroCredential
  • Chairing TG090 (leading the teaching and academic development) - Vendor Certification module, supporting focussed funded bids including:
    • Cyber Skills for West Mids Combined Authority (March 2020)
    • DevOp Skills for Greater Manchester and Lancashire Combined Authorities (October 2020)
    • Coding Skills for Scottish Development Agency (January 2021)
    • Data Skills & DevNet Skills in collaboration with IoC for DfE Sept and Oct 2021
    • DevNetSkills for DfE only in Sept 2022
  • Lead on Nominet funded project, to reach/teach AI and CyberSecurity skills to underserved 18-25yr olds (bid won and now in development)

I also indirectly support colleagues offering Networking Essentials and CyberSecurity Essentials content on TM129 and TMXY130.

Impact and engagement

I lead a Cisco ASC (Academy Support Centre) - this is a first amongst equals focussed initiative, within the global Cisco NetAcad programme. Currently, we support over 350 different organisations, by virtue of an 'open source', 'free membership oriented' methodology. We have won multiple Premier+ and outstanding engagement (individual, employability and gender participation) awards from Cisco (from 2016 to 2023, uninterupted)

These organisations are UK focussed, with around 10-15% being global - within the community there are:

  • Schools (teaching up to the age of 16)
  • Further Education Colleges (including, 6th form, technical, vocational and community colleges) of which there are over 100 participating organisations.
  • Higher Education
  • Awarding Organisations
  • Education Foccused Charities
  • Apprenticeship Training Organisations
  • And other non-standard education focussed initiaitves

Beyond this engagement, I also lead on a 'teaching the teachers' project - using a Cisco ITC (instructor training centre). Adapting the Cisco 'face-to-face' model and offering a social media oriented hybrid community based MOOC. This project commenced early 2017 - now by 2021 [at the time of writing] we have reached 11500+ teachers*, covering Computer Hardware, Python Programming, Linux, Network Engineering and CyberSecurity. This has been supported by Cisco, CompTIA and the Institute of Coding.

In addition, I have led (and leading) serveral funded projects:

  1. Teaching teachers ITEssentials/A+, funded by CompTIA to 1192 global educators (2018)
  2. Developing a 'blended learning essentials' resource base for vocational educators (2019) which was repurposed for Covid19 during early stages of the first 2020 lockdown
  3. Supporting Royal National College for the Blind - teaching their teaching team how to deliver Cisco Networking - collaborated with Curtin University and Cisco - forming basis a global disability 'expert base' (2016)
  4. Supporting a range of 'teacher outreach' courses - focussing on Networking Principles, Network Security and CyberSecurity Operations. 
  5. Importing/Converting the Cisco Introduction to the Internet of Everything course onto the OpenLearn platform (2017)
  6. Supporting the development of computer science educators in Portugual (2023)
  7. Improving gender participation in the UK (2023 to 25) as CyberCamps; with the aim to reach 2000+ Girls and Young Women - currently, supporting 930 participants.

Personal recognition and fellowships include:

  1. In Oct 2020, I was awarded HEA (Advance-HE) Senior Fellowship status (SFHEA) based on teaching as well as my impact and engagement. 
  2. In March 2024, I became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  3. Also, in March 2024, I received an EDI Heroes - Role Model Award from WorldSkills UK - at the House of Commons.

*Now at c18,500

External collaborations

  • Developing other Cisco ASC's and potential ASC's.
  • Currently leading a collaborative teaching the teachers project, with Cisco, Anglia Ruskin University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Birmingham City University, University of Wales: Trinity St David, UCEN:Manchester and Technological University: Dublin. Running from May 2020, this has been extended into an ongoing initiative, continuing to extend teacher skills and also offer the DevNet Associate. 
  • Working with Cisco and other 'academic leaders' within a global disability engagment project, focussed on enablement within the Network Engineering domain. 
  • Ongoing engagement developing cloud, network technician and cybersecurity technologist qualifications with multiple awarding organisations
  • Supporting T-Level and HTQ development with various awarding organisations
  • Supporting the improvement of gender participation within the broad digital technologies domain
  • Consultancy for several awarding organisations
  • Member of Cisco global advisory group
  • Member of LPI (Linux Professional Institute) - academic advisory group
  • Honorary Research Associate - Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
  • Working with ENSICO and Erasmus+ on computer science teacher development

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Technology and Education Research Group (TERG)GroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Technology and Learning Research Group (TLRG)GroupInstitute of Educational Technology


PT Anywhere: a mobile environment for practical learning of network engineering (2018-11-15)
Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Gómez-Goiri, Aitor; Smith, Andrew and Domingue, John
Interactive Learning Environments (pp. 1-15)

Virtualization for computer networking skills development in a distance learning environment (2018-07)
Donelan, Helen; Smith, Andrew and Wong, Patrick
Computer Applications in Engineering Education, 26(4) (pp. 872-883)

Development of a simulated Internet for education (2011-02-27)
Smith, Andrew
Research in Learning Technology, 19, Article 7777(Sup1)

Delivery of CCNA as part of a distance degree programme (2010-02)
Moss, Nicky and Smith, Andrew
International Journal on Advances in Networks and Services, 3(3&4) (pp. 370-380)

A process model for developing usable cross-cultural websites (2004-02)
Smith, Andrew; Dunckley, Lynne; French, Tim; Minocha, Shailey and Chang, Yu
Interacting with Computers, 16(1) (pp. 63-91)

Development of a vendor practice-based distance based learning programme (2013)
Moss, Nicky; Seaton, Richard; Smith, Andrew and Williams, Keith
In: Gibbins, Lynda and Perkins, Glynis eds. Laboratories for the 21st Century in STEM Higher Education: A Compendium of Current UK Practice and an Insight into Future Directions for Laboratory-Based Teaching and Learning(1) (pp. 85-90)
ISBN : 9781907632174 | Publisher : Centre for Engineering and Design Education, Loughborough University | Published : Loughborough

Adapting a established community of practice to improve open engagement within the digital technologies sector (2023)
Smith, Andrew
In : OER23 Advancing Open Education (5-6 Apr 2023, Inverness)

An Open Networking Lab for practical open education (2019)
Kear, Karen; Smith, Andrew; Donelan, Helen; Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Jones, Allan; Rosewell, Jonathan; Wermelinger, Michel; Connolly, Teresa; Sanders, Chris; Peasgood, Alice; Williams, Judith; Moss, Nicky and Third, Allan
In : OER19: Recentering Open (10-11 Apr 2019, National University of Ireland, Galway)

The Open Networking Lab: Hands-on Vocational Learning in Computer Networking (2018-10)
Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Kear, Karen; Smith, Andrew; Jones, Allan; Rosewell, Jonathan; Donelan, Helen; Wermelinger, Michel; Sanders, Chris; Third, Allan and Connolly, Teresa
In : IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (3-6 Oct 2018, San Jose, California, USA)

Open Networking Lab: online practical learning of computer networking (2018-10)
Rosewell, Jonathan; Kear, Karen; Jones, Allan; Smith, Andrew; Donelan, Helen; Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Peasgood, Alice; Sanders, Chris; Third, Allan; Wermelinger, Michel; Moss, Nicky; Williams, Judith and Connolly, Teresa
In : The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference: Blended and online Learning: Changing the Educational Landscape (10-12 Oct 2018, Aarhus University, Denmark)

The Open Networking Lab: an open online course for experiential learning of computer networking (2018)
Kear, Karen; Smith, Andrew; Mikroyannidis, Alex; Jones, Allan; Rosewell, Jon; Donelan, Helen; Wermelinger, Michel; Sanders, Chris; Third, Allan and Connolly, Teresa
In : Association for Learning Technology (ALT) annual conference 2018 (11-13 Sep 2018, Manchester)

How to cope with 1000 teachers on Facebook Live! (2017-12-19)
Smith, Andrew
In : SocMedHE17 Social Media for Higher Education in Learning Conference (19 Dec 2017, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University)

Online experimentation and interactive learning resources for teaching network engineering (2017-06-08)
Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Gomez-Goiri, Aitor; Smith, Andrew and Domingue, John
In : 2017 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON) (25-28 Apr 2017, Athens, Greece) (pp. 181-188)

Speed Filming: creating short sharable videos using Facebook Live (2017)
Clough, Helen and Smith, Andrew
In : SocMedHE17 Social Media for Learning in Higher Education in Conference (19 Dec 2017, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University)

Periscope vs Facebook Live – it isn’t a grudge match (2016-12-16)
Smith, Andrew
In : 2016 Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference (SocMedHE16) (16 Dec 2016, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England)

Teaching by Twitter: Extending the classroom via Social Media? (2016-10-11)
Smith, Andrew
In : CompTIA EMEA Member and Partner Conference (11-12 Oct 2016, London)

Using Periscope to teach wannabe Network Engineers (2016-09-06)
Smith, Andrew
In : ALT Annual Conference 2016: Connect, Collaborate, Create (6-8 Sep 2016, Warwick University)

Feed me, Feed me: An Exemplar for Engineering Adaptive Software (2016)
Bennaceur, Amel; Mccormick, Ciaran; García Galán, Jesús; Perera, Charith; Smith, Andrew; Zisman, Andrea and Nuseibeh, Bashar
In : 11th International Symposium on Software Engineering for Adaptive and Self-Managing Systems (16-17 May 2016)

Creating a pre-planned social media teaching experience (2015-09-08)
Smith, Andrew
In : ALT-C Shaping the Future of Learning Together (8-10 Sep 2015, Manchester, UK)

Online Learning and Experimentation via Interactive Learning Resources (2015)
Mikroyannidis, Alexander; Domingue, John; Third, Allan; Smith, Andrew and Guarda, Nuno
In : The 3rd Experiment@International Conference (2-4 Jun 2015, Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal)

Classroom-based multi-player network simulation (2011-05-20)
Smith, Andrew
In : ICNS 2011 : The Seventh International Conference on Networking and Services (22-27 May 2011, Venice, Italy)

Large scale delivery of Cisco Networking Academy Program by blended distance learning (2010-03-06)
Smith, Andrew and Moss, Nicky
In : IARIA, 2010 Sixth International Conference on Networking and Services (6-11 Mar 2010, Cancun, Mexico)

Multiuser collaborative practical learning using packet tracer (2010-03-06)
Smith, Andrew and Bluck, Colin
In : IARIA, 2010 Sixth International Conference on Networking and Services (6-11 Mar 2010, Cancun, Mexico)

Cisco networking: using Skype and Netlab+ for distance practical learning (2008-07-22)
Smith, Andrew and Moss, Nicky
In : IADIS e-Learning 2008 conference (22-25 Jul 2008, Amsterdam)

Best Practices in using Technological Infrastructures (2020-07)
Howson, Oliver; Adeliyi, Adeola; Willis, Alistair; Hirst, Tony; Charlton, Patricia; Gooch, Daniel; Rosewell, Jonathan; Richards, Mike; Wermelinger, Michel; Piwek, Paul; Savage, Simon; Lowndes, Charly; Thomas, Elaine and Smith, Andrew
The Institute of Coding

Periscope into the world of Social Media Education for Cisco Network Engineers (2015-12)
Smith, Andrew
SocMedHE, Sheffield Hallam University.