Do no harm?

We are pleased to welcome Lucy Hunt to lead an interactive session exploring potential whistleblowing situations in recent media stories & presents findings from her latest research.

This is on Tuesday 20th April, starting at 6.30pm. This free event is online and open to everyone.


On discovering that your team or organisation is creating harmful software what would you do?

The ACM Code of Ethics states that “a computing professional has the obligation to report any signs of systems risks that may result in harm” and that “if leaders do not act […] it may be necessary to blow the whistle”.

This interactive session will explore potential whistleblowing situations in recent media stories and present the findings from my latest research.

To sign-up, visit the Eventbrite page:

The session is on Zoom. The link will be shared to registered attendees closer to the time of the event.


Lucy is a PhD student at Lancaster University, researching whistleblowing in software engineering.

She worked as a software engineer, IT consultant and business analyst for over 20 years before completing a cyber-security masters and starting her PhD in 2018.

5G & The Future Mobile Network

On Monday 23rd November, we are pleased to welcome Tim Curry, Principal Network Architect at BT, to talk about “5G & The Future Mobile Network”. This event is jointly organised by BCS Mid-Wales and BCS South-Wales branches.

5G has been in the news a lot recently, but what is it all about? Do we need another “G” (Generation) of mobile technology? Is it safe? Is it true that 5G will enable Augmented Reality, Remote Surgery, Factory Automation and Self-Driving Cars? What is the engineering and commercial reality behind current UK deployments of 5G and what can we expect in the future?

The event is online. Sign up for your free place at the event using Eventbrite.

18:15 – Online session starts
18:30 – Talk starts
19:30 – Q&A
20:00 – Close

The event is free to attend and open to everyone.

Speaker Biography

Tom Curry is a Principal Network Architect at BT. Tom was the lead architect for BT’s 5G Launch in 2019 and has also worked on many other projects at BT including:

  • Integration of the BT Fixed & EE Mobile Networks
  • BT’s Network Cloud (Private Cloud) & Mobile Cloud Core (4G/5G Cloud-Native Core)
  • BT’s 4G Assure (2019 ISPA Award)
  • BT 4G Femto (prior to acquisition of EE by BT in 2016)

Before joining BT, Tom worked at Alcatel-Lucent/Nokia, Cable & Wireless and Metaswitch.

AGM 2020 and ‘IT and the fight against Covid-19’

The AGM is on Monday 19th October 2020. The formal notice was sent out to members at the start of October.

We are pleased to announce the speakers for the session that follows the AGM. The theme of the sessions is “IT and the fight against Covid-19.”

The AGM starts at 18:30. The talks will start at 19:00. All of the session will be on GoToWebinar.

We have four separate sessions and there will be time for Q & A at the end.

The speakers and talk titles are:

Rebecca Cook and Gareth John from NHS Wales Informatics Service – Title: COVID-19: The data behind the Welsh pandemic response

Chris Williams from Public Health Wales – Title: Handling Covid-19 data

Nick Dimonaco from Aberystwyth University – Title: CoronaHack: Computing vs Coronavirus

Addy Pope – ESRI UK – Title: GIS and Covid – data, information, knowledge and resilience

To register to join this online event, please go to the Eventbrite link and sign-up.  

The event is free and open to everyone.  We are looking forward to what promises to be an interesting session.

We have a two talk descriptions available at this time.

Addy Pope: GIS and Covid – data, information, knowledge and resilience

2020 has not been a normal year. Things that seemed certain became uncertain. Things we took for granted were suddenly inaccessible. The science of where and spatial data has never been so important.  In this talk we will show you how GIS has been central in the fight to understand and mitigate the impacts of COVID.  From public health dashboards to cutting edge research, ESRI has been supporting its customers provide information and answers through rigorous analysis of data.

Nick Dimonaco: CoronaHack: Computing vs Coronavirus

CoronaHack, an event where over 1,000 Health experts, Data scientists, economists, clinicians and researchers from all over the world came together to find new ways to combat SARS-CoV-2 on many different fronts. As part of a team which focused on the genomics of the virus, identifying mutational changes which may have enabled the virus to jump host-species to human, I will discuss how new technologies both helped and hindered our progress during and after the 5 day event.

LoRaWAN, what is it, and who’s using it in Wales

For our first event after the summer, we are pleased to welcome Peter Williams from Welsh Government. He will be talking about “LoRaWAN, what is it, and who’s using it in Wales”. This is on Monday 28th September at 6.15pm.

The session will look at LoRaWAN and the role it can play in the Internet of Things (IoT). As a technology for connecting lots of devices to the IoT, LoRaWAN offers the ability to get useful and more timely data. It has applications in areas from farming to industrial manufacture and transport. 

To sign up to receive the webinar link, go to the event page on Eventbrite.

The event is free and open to everyone.

Biography: Peter Williams

Peter has spent over 20 years working on key Digital delivery and awareness raising projects in Wales, often playing a hands on role in explaining the benefits to organisations, businesses and stakeholders.

In 2013, Peter moved to the Digital Infrastructure Department within the Welsh Government, supporting and leading Digital Infrastructure Developments in the Local Growth and Enterprise Zones, these include the Superfast Cymru Programme, Mobile Infrastructure Project, village and town WiFi Projects, and more recently has led or initiated LoRaWAN pilots and trials.

A fluent Welsh speaker originally from North Wales, and a former farm worker during his teenage years, Peter is convinced some of the best ideas for LoRaWAN will come from farmers, referencing Frank Rennie’s book – 101 uses for Baler Twine.

Programming Contest

We are pleased to announce the first online BCS Mid-Wales Programming Contest. This is open to BCS Mid-Wales members, university students, and other interested parties.

When: This will be held 11am – 3 pm, Saturday June 13th 2020 

Where: Entirely online

What: This is a timed event where participants solve puzzle like problems through coding. We will have a set of problems so that teams can solve several in the time allowed, and will enable submissions in a large number of different programming languages.

There will be small prizes in all categories (student, student team, non-student and non-student team). Teams can be up to 3 people.

For more information and sign-up details, see:

It’s a change initiative, Jim, but not as we know it!

Picture of Brendan D'Cruz
Brendan D’Cruz

We are pleased to welcome Dr Brendan D’Cruz to talk at the next BCS Mid-Wales session. This will be an online session, at 6:30pm on Tuesday 26th May 2020.

The event is free and open to everyone.

To register for the event, go to Eventbrite. Details of the event link will be emailed to those who register.


This session will look at the various ‘P’s that embody the world of change initiatives. We’ll look at definitions, perspectives and how different people might identify with the various roles and activities involved.

Organisations undergoing a business/digital transformation can face a myriad of certifications, governance structures, bodies of knowledge and competency frameworks that underpin transformation. We also need to remember that it is people who ultimately deliver change initiatives. 

There is often a great difference between the given job titles for people undertaking these various roles and activities. Inevitably, this does have an influence over how much organisations expect to pay them. It can seem quite daunting and unfamiliar. For some transforming organisations, this may feel as if they are exploring vast expanses of the great unknown.

Using characters and contexts from ‘Star Trek’, this session will attempt to guide participants on a journey through the nebulous terminology.

Speaker Biography

Dr. Brendan D’Cruz is a Chartered Project Professional who until recently was working as a Programme Manager on business transformation programmes at a large social housing association based in Newport, South Wales. He has also been a Project Management/Education Consultant working with the Association for Project Management (APM), including as Chief Examiner/Chair of the Examination Technical Assurance Group for the Project Professional Qualification (PPQ) and was previously the Lead Verifier and an Assessor for the Registered Project Professional (RPP) designation.

Brendan’s early career was as a senior academic manager at a number of UK universities, contributing to the development/delivery of postgraduate academic courses in project and programme management. He was formerly on the BCS Project Management Specialist Group (PROMS-G) committee as Event Development Manager and Regional Coordinator for Wales. He was also the Founding Chair of the BCS Northampton Branch. He has contributed articles and perspectives to Project Manager Today, APM Project Magazine and the BCS Project Eye blog.

Copy of the slides from the presentation

Recreating the Polish Bomba, Predecessor to the Turing-Welchman Bombe

We are pleased to welcome Jerry McCarthy to talk about ‘Recreating the Polish Bomba’.

The talk will be on Monday 24th February 2020, in the Physical Sciences building at Aberystwyth University (see map). Room to be confirmed.

The talk will start at 6.15pm. There will be drinks and light refreshments outside in the foyer of the Physical Sciences building from 5.30pm.

This event is free and open to everyone.


To book your free ticket, please go to Eventbrite.


In the mid-to-late 1930s, Polish mathematicians created a number of methodologies to decrypt messages sent using the 3-rotor Enigma.

Diagram of the Polish Bomba.
Image used under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. Source: Commons Wikipedia.

This talk will:

  • Explain the considerable variety of known Enigma machines. Enigma is not just A Machine; it’s an entire family!
  • Provide an introduction to cryptography starting at the Caesar Cipher and ending on focussing on the operation of one particular common Enigma machine variant.
  • Discuss some of the Polish methodologies for cracking that machine, and finally focus on the Bomba created by three Polish mathematicians in the late 1930s, which was a device which took advantage of the message protocols used at that time, and for which the speaker has developed a working model using a mixture of ancient and modern techniques. A basic prototype will be described, and the subsequent working model will be demonstrated and explained in some detail. Some extensions to its original functionality will also be discussed.

Speaker Biography

Jerry’s day job used to be to write software, in areas such as retail systems, cryptography and internationalisation, for a global computing company. Since his retirement, he now volunteers at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), which is situated within the Bletchley Park Campus. There, he talks to visitors about, inter alia, Tunny, Colossus, and the Museum’s slide rule collection. He also volunteers at the Instytut Józefa Piłsudskiego, where he gives the occasional talk on matters cryptological, such as Enigma and early Polish systems for breaking it.

Jerry is not rich enough to be a full-time cryptocollector, but is interested in crypto simulation techniques which allow virtual acquisition of crypto hardware without needing to find the space to store it. Jerry’s house is definitely not big enough for a Colossus!

Building the Ethical Hacking Capability

We are pleased to welcome Mark Jones from the DVLA to talk about work on building a Ethical Hacking Team. This will be on Monday 25th November 2019, starting at 6pm. It will be held in the room MP-0.11 in the Physical Sciences building (see map for location). There will be light refreshments available from 5.30pm in the foyer of the Physical Sciences building.

This event is open to everyone. It is free to attend.


The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department for Transport. We hold and maintain over 48 million driver records, over 40 million vehicle records and collect around £6 billion a year in vehicle excise duty (VED).

In September 2015, DVLA’s IT outsourcing contract finished and the services were brought in-house.

This presentation briefly describes the DVLA transformation and focusses on the creation of an in-house Ethical Hacking Team, the issues we faced during its implementation and the cultural changes required for its success.


Mark Jones has worked for the DVLA since 1989, moving into the IT area in 1998. Since then he has taken on positions as the Head of Software Engineering and Head of Business IT and most recently, formed the DVLA Ethical Hacking Team in 2017. He also created and runs the DVLA STEM Programme promoting IT Learning across Schools and Colleges in Wales to children and young adults aged between 7 and 19.