Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. External engagement
  3. Industrial advisory board

Industrial advisory board

The School of Computing and Communications’ Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) brings together a group of distinguished individuals with a commitment to the vision and goals of the School of Computing and Communications and the wider Open University.

The IAB is advisory to the School of Computing and Communications – spanning the range of School activity including, but not limited to, Curriculum, Research, External Engagement and Knowledge Exchange.

The Board’s mission is to provide support for the School by bringing an industrial and professional perspective to issues and challenges the School faces in the short to medium term.

The Board provides informed advice in support of the key decision makers within the School, and recommends networking opportunities and other involvement with appropriate external groups as opportunities arise.

The Board meets three times each year and members are appointed for a three-year term.

Board membership

Chair:  
Jos Creese Independent digital analyst and consultant, CEO CCL
External Members:
Mark Butcher Program Director, IBM UK
Nuno Guarda Head of Corporate Affairs UK & Ireland, Cisco
Karen Hubbard Head of Technology, WelcomeBreak
Mark Large Independent Consultant
Hugo Patten Independent Consultant
Richard Pone Independent Consultant
James Thomas Chief Technology Officer, Wellcome Trust
William Webb Independent Consultant and CEO: Weightless SIG
Haiyan Wu Health Data Research UK
Dor Zakai Director, Global EUC SISO Business Development, VMware
Internal Members:
Arosha Bandara Head of School, Computing and Communications
Helen Donelan  
Jon Hall  
Karen Kear  
Robin Laney  
Neil Smith  
John Woodthorpe  

 

Jos Creese

 
Jos Creese FBCS, FSIM

Jos has over 30 years’ IT leadership experience in a variety of CIO roles. As CIO and CDO for Hampshire County Council for 13 years, he led a range of awarding winning shared services and IT transformation programmes, including building and selling an IT business and overseeing digital programmes up to £200m. He is a past president of the Society of IT Management and also of the British Computing Society (the Chartered Institute for IT), choosing to champion IT apprenticeships, for which a passion remains.

His career has also included non-executive director positions, with businesses, professional bodies, charities and a major government department. Previously listed as the ‘most influential and innovative UK CIO’ in the Silicon 50 survey, he is today a recognised researcher, analyst and advisor to tech companies. In 2015 he founded CCL, providing expert advice to public and private sectors, and has worked with nearly 200 clients since then.

Jos has been involved in secondary and primary school IT delivery, the development of national accreditation schemes (Register of IT Technicians) and as a consultant advising on university systems and digital strategies. He is currently a guest lecturer on IT topics at several UK universities.

Back to top

Mark Butcher

 
Mark Butcher

Mark has over 34 years IT experience, the vast majority of which has been focused on SW Development at IBM's Hursley R&D Lab. in Hampshire. During this time he has performed nearly every technical (Test, Development, Operations), Project and Program Management (PMI and IBM Senior PM Certified) and Personnel type management role. This has involved leading teams ranging from 4-5 collocated engineers, to 200+ plus spread across multiple continents, cultures and time zones, working with clients as diverse as State Farm Insurance, HM Land Registry, Wal-Mart, Nimbus Ninety, Daimler, Boticario Group, Samsung, etc.

Mark has always looked to challenge the status quo in how we work and as such has played very active roles in the deployment of:

  • Agile, Lean and Devops - Resulting in winning IBM's Project of the year award 2009, for moving a near 20 year old offering onto an agile footing, whilst delivering mission critical functionality
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Developer Advocacy
  • Workplace Experience in collaboration with Gensler across various populations within IBM. This has included facilitating hackathons for clients and helping others within IBM to organise their own.

His role for the last 3-4 years has been to lead a small team of Program Managers in driving change initiatives across IBM's Cloud Unit, now some 40,000 people world wide. Due to the sheer scale and significance of these changes, it has necessitated a steep learning curve in how to work with senior executives, right up to CEO. As part of this role, Mark has become involved in the UK Government's Institute of Coding and is now Program Managing the Company's contributions to the program, including working with universities such as Bath, Sheffield, Exeter and the Open university.

Outside of work, Mark is a member of Winchester Rotary where he has deployed his rusty technical skills to develop and maintain the website and is involved in activities such as: Protecting the Chalk Streams, Organising the Clarendon Marathon, etc. He has also supported local schools either as a School Governor or participating in mentoring programs, business "games" and careers fairs. In the little spare time he has, Mark has and allotment to tend and on occasion gets to work on his model railway.

Back to top

Nuno Garda

 
Nuno Garda

Nuno Guarda is the Head of Corporate Affairs for Cisco in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In this role he manages Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes and initiatives and has a big focus on Networking Academy, a non-commercial Computing and ICT training programme that equips people with the skills to succeed in today and tomorrow’s increasingly connected world.

With over 20 years of experience in the ICT industry, he started as a higher education lecturer and developed his skills set with several roles across different companies until he joined Cisco Systems in January 2004 as a programme manager.

Since joining Cisco, Nuno managed Networking Academy directly in 6 Western European countries and was responsible for the Western European Corporate Affairs team until he became Head of Corporate Affairs for UK&I in 2012.

Nuno has been deeply involved in many internal and external focus groups to leverage his knowledge and expertise in Education, Computing and ICT. He regularly represents Cisco in Advisory Groups in the most relevant Awarding Organizations in the UK.

Nuno has a degree in Applied Mathematics to Computer Science and a Masters in Computer Science. He has three children and lives in England with his family.

Back to top

Karen Hubbard

 
Karen Hubbard

Karen has 25 years of experience working in Information Technology, 12 years in senior leadership roles, spanning all major IT functional disciplines: including infrastructure technical services, enterprise architecture, application development, enterprise risk management, change management and vendor management.

Karen joined Pret A Manger in 2015 as Head of Business Systems, responsible for delivering IT operational excellence to Pret's global retail shop estate and country support centres, alongside the delivery of transformational change initiatives, to support the company’s rapid growth. As an additional responsibility, Karen sits on Pret's UK leadership team chaired by the MD, focussing on all aspects of the business to drive UK performance.

Prior to joining Pret A Manger, Karen held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility for Sotheby's, where she ultimately served as IT Director for 7 years. While at Sotheby's, Karen was responsible for major upgrades of the IT infrastructure and ensuring the successful delivery and adoption of key strategic business systems for the Eurasia business.

Before joining Sotheby’s, Karen held a series of positions for a retail consultancy company, who specialized in the development and implementation of bespoke software solutions.

Karen’s approach to IT in business, is to keep it simple, relatable, deliver quality products and services, on time, within budget, and never lose sight of the strategic objective and desired business outcome.

Outside of work, Karen enjoys spending time with her family, reading, travelling and sporting challenges.

Back to top

Mark Large

 
Mark Large

Director ML Consulting, working for clients including Deloitte as an Associate Director, ATOS, chaired Digital Healthcare Show 2017 and working on Wearable Technology Show 2018

Mixed background of public and private sector experience, including:

  • 13 years NHS experience – Guys, Imperial, Colchester, GOSH, CNWL
  • Oracle Corporation (UK) 1995 to 2003 as Senior Practice Manager of Server Technology and Technical Architecture consulting practices
  • Several software houses specialising in financial software, payroll and personnel systems

Experience of delivering real transformation to front line service across care settings:

  • Acute
  • Tertiary specialist
  • Community and Mental Health
  • Have led teams of over 100 staff, delivered significant change to multiple organisations

Member of the CIO 100 list for the four years to 2016 (no longer a CIO)

Member the BCS Elite Group committee

Immediate past Chair of the London Health CIO Council

Member of the NHS Digital Interoperability Group till leaving the NHS in September 16

Responsibility up to £22m, 7000 staff, 1000 beds, 140+ locations

Astro-photographer in my spare time

Back to top

Hugo Patten

 
Hugo Patten

Hugo has been involved in Technology over four decades in CEO and CIO roles in the semiconductors, software, eCommerce and Logistics industries.

Following my early career in Semiconductors, I started up a Web Publishing Software company, Zuno, which was sold to John Wiley in 1998. Then did an MBI into a Software company called Unipower that enabled Tesco to launch Tescodirect. Sold Unipower in 2004 and joined Exel and left there after ten years as CIO for DHL Supply Chain Northern Europe.

For three years I ran the Global Software Application Development for Deutsche Post DHL leading 1000 colleagues in Germany, Malaysia, Czech Republic, USA, Costa Rica delivering 350 software build projects a year for the group.

Currently, I am doing software and IT consultancy work for companies such as Inforgen, Headlam PLC and Biffa PLC

I’m a Fellow of the RSA, Regional Board advisor for the National Trust and was a Trustee with OU for 10 years. Achieved a BA degree and an MBA via the Open University.

Back to top

Richard Pone

 
Richard Pon

Richard Pone's mission is to make himself redundant. Perhaps this does not seem like the most lofty or laudable of goals. But in more than 30 years of experience as an IT leader and CTO, he has developed a vision that by making IT easy to use, simple to manage, and cheaper to run, large organizations will one day have no technology operations.

Aligned to that vision Richard continues to advise leading global firms on their Cloud and IT Infrastructure strategy and transformation initiatives. And he is passionate about creating new opportunities for others through education.

He is a member of the Industrial Advisory Board at the Open University School of Computing and Communications, a Governor and Chair of the Finance Committee at Lilian Baylis Technology School, and sits on the boards of Oakley College and the Riga Business School.

Richard is a Court Liveryman at the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Fellow of BCS The Chartered Institute for IT.

Back to top

James Thomas

 
James Thomas

James Thomas joined Wellcome in April 2016. He is responsible for leadership of their technology and digital services.

Before Wellcome, James had an extensive career in the private and public sectors, delivering transformational change through technology and data.

His career began in the oil and water industries, with BP and Veolia. He moved to global technology provider Oracle to develop and lead technology consulting services for clients, including banking, defence and manufacturing.

He then moved into healthcare, with technology leadership roles in the NHS. This included eight years as a Director of UCL Hospitals, establishing UCL Partners, London NHS Procurement Partnership and the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre. Following this, James became an Associate Partner at Atos Consulting, including working with Genomics England to review its Informatics and bioinformatics capabilities.

Back to top

William Webb

 
William Webb

William is a consultant providing technical and strategic advice across the wireless communications space. His activities include advising CEOs, Government Ministers, regulatory bodies and acting as an Expert Witness. He is also the part-time CEO of the Weightless SIG, the standards body developing a new global M2M technology and was President of the IET – Europe’s largest Professional Engineering body during 14/15.

He was one of the founding directors of Neul, a company developing machine-to-machine technologies and networks, which was formed at the start of 2011 and subsequently sold to Huawei in 2014 for $25m. Prior to this William was a Director at Ofcom where he managed a team providing technical advice and performing research across all areas of Ofcom’s regulatory remit. He also led some of the major reviews conducted by Ofcom including the Spectrum Framework Review, the development of Spectrum Usage Rights and most recently cognitive or white space policy. Previously, William worked for a range of communications consultancies in the UK in the fields of hardware design, computer simulation, propagation modelling, spectrum management and strategy development. William also spent three years providing strategic management across Motorola’s entire communications portfolio, based in Chicago.

William has published 16 books, over 100 papers, and 18 patents. He is a Visiting Professor at Southampton University, a member of the Science Advisory Council at DCMS, other oversight Boards and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IEEE and the IET and a non-executive director at Motability. In 2015 he was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science by Southampton University in recognition of his work on wireless technologies and Honorary Doctor of Technology by Anglia Ruskin University in honour of his contribution to the engineering profession. In 2018 he was awarded the IET’s Mountbatten medal, one of its highest honours, in recognition of his contribution to technology entrepreneurship. His biography is included in multiple “Who’s Who” publications around the world where he has been honoured with life-time achievement awards. William has a first class honours degree in electronics, a PhD and an MBA.

Back to top

Haiyan Wu

 
Photo to follow

Details to follow

Back to top

Dor Zakai

 
Dor Zakai

Dor Zakai is the Global Director of Business Development for End User Computing (EUC) System Integrator and System Outsourcers (SISO) at VMware. With over 10 years of experience in security, mobility and enterprise IT consultancy, Dor leads a team responsible for accelerating new business development for EUC offerings and joint go-to-market initiatives with targeted SISOs to create custom VMware EUC-powered branded service offerings.

In his previous role, Zakai successfully led a team of EUC mobility experts who were responsible for all of VMware AirWatch's technical pre-sales activity within the EMEA region. As Director of EUC EMEA Sales Engineering, Zakai was instrumental in driving the sales engineering organisation to engage with prospects and partners to inject technical expertise and business consulting from early-stage demonstrations and requirements gathering, all the way through to the successful execution of proof of concepts.

Prior to joining VMware, Zakai served as CTO for Mobisec Technologies, an Israel-based company with an established knowledge and experience in Enterprise Mobility, Security, Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT). Alongside his expertise in the fields of mobility and security, Zakai was a Microsoft Regional Specialist for Enterprise Mobility in the Middle East. Additionally, Zakai is a regular speaker at industry tech events, academic circles and motivational sales trainings.

Back to top

Arosha Bandara

 
Arosha Bandara

Arosha is a Professor of Software Engineering at the Open University and also Head of the School of Computing & Communications. Arosha’s research and teaching focuses on software engineering for adaptive systems. He has a particular interest in techniques for building adaptive security and privacy mechanisms for ubiquitous, Internet of Things systems. Arosha’s expertise in engineering adaptive systems has been developed as an investigator across a number of security and privacy projects funded by EPSRC (PRiMMA and Privacy Dynamics), ERC (Adaptive Security and Privacy – ASAP) and the Qatar National Research Fund (Adaptive Information Security in the Cloud). His work on adaptive user interfaces and quantitative metrics for privacy risks in social networks won best paper awards at EICS 2013 and TrustCom 2014 respectively. He is also the lead educator for the OU’s successful “Introduction to Cyber Security” MOOC. He completed his PhD at Imperial College London, UK in 2005, prior to which he worked as a software engineer at Sapient Corporation, USA.

Arosha is also a governor of a primary school and enjoys volunteering with his local music and performing arts trust, where he (occasionally) plays the ukulele.

Back to top

Helen Donelan

Helen Donelan

Helen is a Senior Lecturer, and currently Deputy Director of Teaching, in the School of Computing and Communications in the STEM Faculty at the Open University.

She studied Communications Engineering and Electronics at Liverpool University and then worked in the telecoms industry as a Design Engineer designing structured cabling systems. She completed her PhD at Leeds University in the area of mobile communications which was funded by a departmental scholarship and start-up company sponsorship. On completion of her PhD she worked as a Lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University where she developed and taught courses in various areas including mobile communications and networking.

Helen joined the Open University in 2006 initially as a Research Fellow, working on a project concerned with women in STEM careers, before becoming a Lecturer in 2008.

She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA); a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET); an Associate Editor and founding member of the International Journal for Gender, Science and Technology; and co-editor of the book 'Online Communication and Collaboration: A Reader' published by Routledge.

Back to top

Jon Hall

Jon Hall

An independent thinker, Jon is an academic at The Open University (OU) where his teaching has touched the lives of around 10,000 students.

Jon is a Consultant Complex Problem Solver, with his research having been used in large corporates including Bank of America, General Dynamics UK, BAESystems, and many others. Current projects with Siemens and Webasto extend these tools to change- and project management. Jon has just been appointed a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at KMi, the OU’s research centre, where he’s researching the Title Licensure of Software Engineers (without having to stop the industry for 5 years to achieve it).

He is a Court Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (and chair of the WCIT Education and Training Committee), a Fellow of BCS, The Chartered Institute for Information Technology, where he shares responsibility for upholding the professional standards of Information Technologists, Scientists and Engineers; and has recently been appointed as an ambassador for the Chartered Institute for Educational Assessors. Until recently, he was an elected representative to BCS Council and chaired the IT Leadership Forum (BCS ELITE) consisting of more than 3500 board level and senior IT professionals.

Finally, Jon runs a small business as a registered exercise professional (REPS) as a specialist Indoor Cycling Instructor (aka Spinning).

Back to top

Karen Kear

 
Karen Kear

Karen Kear is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of the School of Computing and Communications in the STEM Faculty of the Open University. She joined the Open University in 1994 as an educational software designer, and became a lecturer in IT two years later. She was an Open University tutor for several years, teaching on modules which pioneered the use of online communication with students. Karen has previously worked as, a scientific software developer for BP Exploration and a theoretical physicist for the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Karen's undergraduate study was at Cambridge University UK, where she gained a BA (and subsequently an MA) in theoretical physics. She also has an MSc in Information Technology from Keele University UK (where she gained Best Dissertation award from the BCS) and a PhD from the Open University (studied part-time while working for the OU). Karen’s PhD investigated the design of online communication systems, researched from the perspectives of students and teachers.

Karen has more than 20 years’ experience of creating and presenting distance learning modules for the Open University. All of these involved online communication, together with a variety of other modes of technology enhanced learning.

Karen is a fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy, and is an active researcher in the field of e-learning. She is the author of Online and Social Networking Communities: a best practice guide for educators, and co-editor of Online Communication and Collaboration: A Reader, both books published by Routledge.

Further information can be found at http://www.open.ac.uk/people/klk2.

Back to top

Robin Laney

 

Robin Laney

Robin is Director of Research for the school of Computing and Communications and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has wide experience of teaching a range of approaches to program design and software engineering. His personal research is largely focused on computational approaches to musicology. His research agenda includes the challenge of generating music algorithmically in particular styles and the implications of this in terms of what it means for a computer or other entity to be creative.

He is also interested in how software can be used to enhance human creativity, particularly in the context of people producing musical responses to visual or other stimuli.

Online Material:

Publications: http://oro.open.ac.uk/view/person/rcl46.html

Linkedln: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/robin-laney-19a56a1b

Back to top

Neil Smith

 
Neil Smith

Neil is a senior lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications and the School's lead for external engagement. His research interests are mainly around the pedagogy of computer science education, artificial intelligence, and data science. He has taught on modules in databases, data science, and artificial intelligence.

Neil was involved in the rewrite of the National Curriculum for Computing in English schools. He led the initial pedagogy development for Code Club, a grassroots network of after-school clubs that teach programming. He set up the MK Hackathon group for community-focussed work by local developers. He is an occasional coach for GirlsCodeMK, a community group to get more women into technical roles.

Outside work, he is a governor at a local secondary school and helps organise a couple of tabletop gaming clubs.

Back to top

John Woodthorpe

 
John Woodthorpe

John is a senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching for the School of Computing and Communications. He first worked for the Open University on residential Summer Schools in 1984 before becoming a part-time tutor on a range of Engineering, Technology, Computing and Arts modules. One of those modules regularly attracted 10-15,000 students per year and was the largest wholly-online module in the University. He took on a variety of consultancy roles with the OU's commercial and licensing activities, and supported groups of part-time tutors as the number of online modules and students increased. Most of this was while working as a materials scientist for the R&D centre of a multinational automotive and aerospace component manufacture.

In 2004 he took up a full-time lectureship with the OU, working on the production and presentation of a range of new modules. From 2014 to 2019 he provided the link between the School's student support team and its curriculum, while the University made two major reorganisations of its student support activities. In that role, he increased the integration between the curriculum and student support areas, and is working to improve that even further as Director of Teaching. He is no longer a part-time tutor for the OU, and so has a bit more time to spend with his ever-expanding collection of Raspberry Pi projects and grandchildren, and in listening to music, and playing bass guitar.

Back to top

Upcoming Events

No events

See All

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome