May 2013

As part of the HPC Midlands project, we've been developing a series of case studies about the work that we are doing with our industrial collaborators around supercomputing. Here's the latest one, about our joint project with Airbus to explore the effect of machining on the structure of composite materials such as those found in airframes. We'll post further case studies both here and on the case studies section of the HPC Midlands website.

I recently gave the closing talk at the UCISA Networking Group's Bring Your Own Device event, ostensibly about the future of BYOD but touching on a few broader themes.  This is a companion post that teases out and expands on some of those themes.  Go grab some popcorn and take a seat - we're going on a whistlestop tour around hacking culture and how new hackers are born, wearable computing, the irresistable rise of Linux, and more!

Are you an HPC maven looking for a new challenge, or a hardcore Linux hacker looking to upskill? Come and join my team at Loughborough, working on supercomputing for research and industry!

This is an open ended post on our Senior IT Services Specialist (Grade 7) salary scale - £37,382 to £44,607. The closing date for applications is 24th June. For more information please see below.

Do get in touch if you'd like to chat about the post.  To apply, please see our online vacancies site.


You will support a substantial (£1M+) internal University investment in HPC, with an opportunity to contribute to the high-profile EPSRC-funded HPC Midlands project, bringing HPC capacity and expertise to our commercial research partners.

In addition to an in-depth technical knowledge of Linux and ideally HPC in an academic or industrial context, you will possess the inter-personal skills and drive to develop a professional network of HPC research staff and students, and disseminate good practice, to ensure the University gets the maximum return on its investment.

Following on from the positive response that I've received from posting some of our policy and strategy consultation documents, I thought people might be interested in the IT Services Charter. This is a cracking piece of work that I think it has much wider applicability than just my own department and institution. Do let me know if you pick it up and use it at your own organization.

Many thanks to the working party that put the charter together: Pritesh Parmar, Lee Preston, David Wilson, Martin Edwards, Anjana Lad, Jane Snape, Dan Towns, Graeme Fowler, Mark Newall, Gary Hale, Sharon Kitson and Lynne Render - and also to Matthew Cook for facilitating.

We've heard a lot lately about how 2013 will be the year of the smartwatch, with upcoming products rumoured from a host of sources. But hey, guess what - it turns out that Google are already selling an Android powered smartwatch, through their purchase of Motorola Mobility. This is the Moto Actv, which probably isn't on a lot of people's radar because it's sold as a sports accessory. In this post we'll learn how to hack the Google smartwatch and install a full Android distribution on it, and see some examples of what we can do with it.