2nd International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
5-7 July, 2000
Colin J. Theaker
Throughout his career of over 30 years in computing, Colin has always maintained a balance between the quest for knowledge from within academia, and needs of the ‘real world’, as demonstrated by the IT industries world-wide. For 17 years he worked at Manchester University on the large research machines being developed within the Department. He was responsible for the operating system development and other system software used on the MU5 multi-computer system. This led in two research directions, including the design of new computer architectures and the development of a portable system software suite, including compilers, operating system and supporting tools, which ultimately were implemented on a very wide range of computer architectures and processors. These were used on ICL systems, Sperry Univac (Unisys) machines, and also specialist systems for CAD and CAM produced by Computervision, among others.
During a seven-year period at UMIST, Colin had the responsibilities for developing the provision in Microelectronics and Computer Systems engineering. This included the formation of a new award-winning centre from cognate disciplines in Computing and Electronics Engineering, including the establishment of specialist laboratories for multi-disciplinary engineers. On the research front, the focus became one of design for fitness for purpose, HCI and the importance of tools for effective multi-disciplinary design (including users, hardware, software).
In 1992, Colin was appointed as Professor of Computing and Associate Dean at Staffordshire University, ultimately responsible for the research and development within the largest department of Computing in the UK. His research continued, both in terms of educational development and systems design methodologies. In September 1999, he moved to a company with whom he had a long standing professional relationship in developing real-time command and control systems, while also retaining the tile of Visiting Professor at Staffordshire University.
Colin has held many positions within UK professional bodies, including the Engineering Council, IEE and BCS. In 1998, he was appointed Honorary Fellow of the BCS for his work on Accreditation, Professional Board and in particular for his contribution as Chairman of the Examinations Board.