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The Changing face of Computing Infrastructure

27/09/2017 - 19:00
27/09/2017 - 21:00

Venue: Unit DX, St Philips Central, Albert Road, Bristol, BS2 0XJ map

Speakers: Tony Ford, Edgar Whitley, and Simon Ponsford

7.00pm Refreshments
7.30pm Main Talk

Please register for this event here

This talk is about Super Computing, and we have three representatives with varied experiences. Tony Ford (Cray), Professor Edgar Whitley (London School Economics (LSE)) and Simon Ponsford (CTO at YellowDog).

The talks will be based around Technology Infrastructure with Tony providing an insight into the scalability metrics that are important for supercomputer systems today and increasingly so for upcoming systems. Edgar will draw on his research to explore why companies might want to move to a cloud model of computing and highlight some of the challenges of manging the organisational transformation such a shift would involve and finally Simon will examine “How to render the latest blockbuster in an afternoon”.

Tony FordTony Ford, Director of Engineering, Advanced Technology R&D, Cray Inc.

Cray Inc. is an American supercomputer manufacturer headquartered in Seattle, Washington. It also manufactures systems for data storage and analytics. Many Cray supercomputer systems are listed in the top 10 of TOP500 list, which ranks the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Tony has over 30 years in High-Performance Computing, delivering leading technology to some of the world's most demanding customers. In addition to operational & engineering leadership, experience includes scalable system architecture, engineering design and development, covering many aspects of high performance computing and infrastructure technology.

Professor Edgar WhitleyProfessor Edgar Whitley

Edgar is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Information Systems in the Department of Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Edgar has a BSc (Econ) and PhD in Information Systems, both from the LSE. He is the co-editor of Information Technology and People and Senior Editor for the Journal of Information Technology. Edgar was the research coordinator of the influential LSE Identity Project on the UK's proposals to introduce biometric identity cards; proposals that were scrapped following the 2010 General Election. Cloud computing is another of Edgar’s research interests, with recent publications including the book “Moving to the cloud corporation” (Palgrave 2014) with Leslie Willcocks and Will Venters, A Critical Review of Cloud Computing: Researching Desires and Realities” (JIT 2012) with Will Venters and “Cloud Sourcing and Innovation: Slow Train Coming? A Composite Research Study” which won the Strategic Outsourcing Journal Best Paper award in 2014.

Simon PonsfordSimon Ponsford, CTO YellowDog Ltd.

Simon is widely recognised as a leading expert in datacentre automation, green IT, backup and disaster recovery, Simon has held senior positions in some of the World's leading datacentre providers, software companies and disaster recovery service providers. He speaks regularly on datacentre technologies, data security and energy efficient computing at industry conferences and leading academic institutions. Simon has been involved in several start-ups across Europe and North America including Cranberry in the UK where he was CEO and CIO at Flexion Systems in California. Simon is passionate about delivering ‘green’ technology and is best known for designing the world’s lowest powered Windows PC in 2008. He is also responsible for KumoWatt, the leading training programme for IT professionals interested in reducing the carbon impact of what they do. In addition to his extensive technical knowledge, Simon is experienced in managing technology businesses and running software development teams.

VR & The Evolution of Military Gaming

22/11/2017 - 19:00
22/11/2017 - 21:00

Venue: Bristol & Bath Science Park map

Speakers: Tom Ball & John Curry

7.00pm Refreshments
7.30pm Main Talk

Please register for this event here

The evolution and future of military gaming. John will provide a history of military simulation, an introduction to games based technology and Tom will discuss using Mixed reality technology in the live environment and what is either available now or shortly will be.

There will be a demonstration of the latest Close Air technology available.

Tom BallTom Ball Technical Director, Close Air Solutions

Close Air Solutions is a company that delivers Military Joint Fires Capabilities, and is outcome not product focused. It specializes in combining Military Expertise and Technical Expertise in integrating the best of breed software, hardware, and instructional techniques to meet customer capability requirements. Tom Co-founded the company in 2012 after a 14 year career in the Royal Air Force as a Operational Tornado Strike Attack Pilot and Joint Fires Instructor. In the latter part of his RAF service, he specialized in using off the shelf simulation products, and bespoke instructional techniques to solve training problems he encountered during his instructional duties. He was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for delivering better trained personnel at a lower cost due to savings in flight hours. Tom co-founded Close Air Solutions in order to continue the innovation in simulation; creating an international training offering in the complex and politically sensitive area of Joint Fires. The aim is to reduce unnecessary loss of life on the battlefield by providing more competent personnel to commanders.

Close Air Solutions is a leading innovator in the military training space, having won two Centre for Defence Enterprise Challenges in the area of Defence Operational Synthetic Training with a Mixed Reality Concept training system called Hyper Real Immersion (HRI). The vision is to provide users with a convincing view of a correlated synthetic world without disrupting their view of the real world. With this system it is possible to go outside into the natural environment, observe all of the real environment uninterrupted, but on top of this to experience a synthetic environment rich with photorealistic real-time controlled moveable objects (People, Buildings, Vehicles) that appear to obey the laws of the natural world. This will provide a more immersive, and relevant experience to the end-user than is possible using traditional training in a simulator.

John CurryJohn Curry Senior Lecturer, Bath Spa University.

John Curry is a senior lecturer in games development at Bath Spa University. He has an international reputation in conflict simulations/ serious games and authored/ co-authored/ edited more than 80 books in the field. He spends his professional life playing games and developing new ways of gaming cyber attack. He has played games on a wide range of topics from pandemics to international crises. He is also currently with a London based company, Anquan, on running cyber exercises for senior managers of key companies in the City of London. A summary of his job could be, “playing strange games, with strange people in strange places”.