Cloud Security Myths and Considerations

We are pleased to welcome Rob Clark to speak to the next branch meeting on  Monday 10th December. The talk will be at Aberystwyth University in room MP-0.11 (Physics A) in the Physical Sciences Building (Map)
Cloud Security Myths and Considerations
Cloud computing has the potential to allow developers to move faster, to focus on adding value rather than infrastructure challenges. Why then do we see so many cloud compromises and why is it that regulated markets such as finance and healthcare have held back from taking advantage of cloud services? In this presentation I’ll address security best practice in the cloud and how cloud systems can make your projects more secure.

Robert Clark is an graduate of the Computer Science Department at Aberystwyth University. He is Chief Technology Officer for IBM Cloud Security and a passionate open source advocate.

The talk will start at 6pm and there will be drinks and light refreshments in the foyer of the building from 5.30pm.
The talk is free and open to everyone.

Reserve your free ticket

To help with our planning, reserve your free place

Bots, burnout and blame: How to use IT to build better organisations

We are pleased to welcome Matthew Bellringer to our meeting on Thursday 22nd November to talk about “Bots, burnout and blame: How to use IT to build better organisations”. This will be at 18.00 in MP-0.11 (Physics A) in the Physical Sciences Building at Aberystwyth University.

There will be light refreshments from 5.30 in the foyer of the Physical Sciences building. There are steps from the foyer to the room, but there is also wheelchair lift access available. A map for the location is available.

Get your free ticket

The event is free and open to everyone. We do ask that you reserve your place by getting a free ticket for the event at Eventbrite.


In our working lives we have tools that would seem magical to employees a hundred years ago. Our hand-held devices connect us immediately to most of the combined knowledge of humanity. Our working conditions have improved immeasurably. So why are levels of anxiety and depression so high? Poor workplaces cause their staff to feel this way. This leads to poor decision-making and organisational failure.

We will consider key personal and organisational factors which give rise to workplace stress, and what can be done about them. We’ll look at how to build organisations that deliver high performance which is not the result of over-work. We’ll look at the way AI and machine learning help build the kind of places people really want to work. This talk will help you both as an employee and a manager to create an environment which allows for greater wellbeing and higher performance.

There will be a talk followed by a discussion.


Matthew Bellringer is founder of Meaningbit LTD, a startup which helps organisations and their people grow and innovate together. He has recently left his role as Head of Platform Development at the University of Sussex to concentrate on the startup full-time. He has worked in IT for over fifteen years, largely in education and the third sector.


High Speed Automated Inspection of Railway Track

We are pleased to welcome Iain King to our meeting on Monday 19th November to talk about “High Speed Automated Inspection of Railway”. This will be at 18.00 in MP-0.11 (Physics A) in the Physical Sciences Building at Aberystwyth University.

There will be light refreshments from 5.30 in the foyer of the Physical Sciences building. There are steps from the foyer to the room, but there is also wheelchair lift access available.  A map for the location is available.

Get your free ticket

The event is free and open to everyone. We do ask that you reserve your place by getting a free ticket for the event at Eventbrite.


Network Rail collects asset related data using a fleet of infrastructure measurement trains. The data is fundamental to the safety and asset management of the railway, underpinning Network Rail’s approach to efficient and effective safety and asset management. The fleet uses complex measurement technology (e.g. lasers, ultrasonic probes, ground penetrating radar and HD cameras) integrated with accurate positioning systems to collect asset related data to tight measurement tolerances. Network Rail’s asset base includes approximately 2,500 stations, 22,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and tunnels and 26,000 switches and crossings.

The Infrastructure Measurement fleet comprises 13 trains formed of 64 carriages. It covers 550,000 data mile every year. There are currently 18 different types of condition measurements (data streams) which generate up to 1.3 petabytes of data each four weeks. Depending on the measurement being taken, the trains can travel at up to 100 miles per hour whilst measuring. The data is collected, analyzed and distributed to local maintenance managers. The analysis is used to plan appropriate maintenance.

The presentation will describe both the technologies and how they are used to improve the safety, reliability and cost of the railway.

Iain will also mention Network Rail’s commitment to Open Data and the HackTrain.


Iain has worked in IT in the rail industry for over thirty years in a variety of business-facing roles.  He is currently a Senior Business Analyst working on a Digital Railway initiative – the deployment of a rail traffic management system covering south Wales.  Iain has a very wide understanding of the stakeholders, business drivers and business processes in the rail industry in the UK and overseas and of the IT systems which support them.  This experience covers train planning, train operations, rail infrastructure maintenance and business applications.  Iain has the knack of explaining complex topics in terms that can be readily understood.  He has a positive approach to innovation in business management, systems engineering and technology.  Iain is a member of the BCS and an affiliate member of the Institution of Railway Operators.

AGM and Surveillance event

On Wednesday 24th October, the BCS Mid-Wales AGM for 2017-2018 will be held at Aberystwyth University. The meeting will start at 6.20pm.  Immediately following the AGM there will be a session with a series of short talks about Surveillance from all angles.

The meeting is free and open to everyone.

AGM Details
The AGM notice, agenda and copies of previous minutes have been circulated by email to members of BCS Mid-Wales.

Surveillance from all angles

The Surveillance from all angles event is a series of four short talks:

  • “Who hath not seen thee?” Literature and Mass Surveillance – Richard Marggraf Turley
  • Wearable surveillance and personal tracking – Otar Akanyeti
  • Video surveillance in the AI age – Hannah Dee
  • What Cambridge Analytica did – Roger Boyle
The Surveillance part of the evening starts around 18.30 and runs until around 19.30. There will be time for questions. We expect the event to end at 20.00.
The event is free to attend, but we do ask that you book your place to help us plan the refreshments. Please visit our Eventbrite page to book your free ticket.

Location and Accessibility
The meeting will take place in the Physical Sciences building – see the location on Open Street Map.

The meeting room is MP-0.15, also known as Physics Main. Information about the room is available.  The room is on the ground floor and has ramp access. Access to the room from the foyer is via accessible lifts in the building.

Refreshments and Drinks
There will be light refreshments available from 6pm in the foyer of the Physical Sciences building.

Show and Tell – April 2018

The next BCS Mid-Wales event is Show and Tell. This is on Friday 20th April from 6pm. It will take place at Aberystwyth University in the Physical Sciences building in room MP-0.15 (Physics Main). See the location on Open Street Map.

The format is similar to those that we have run before. We will start soon after 6pm and then have a break about 7pm for some pizza and drink.

For this session, we have invited final year students from the Computer Science department to talk about their Major Projects. We have also invited a few staff to talk about some things they are working on. If you are a 3rd year student who wants to offer a talk, please contact Nick Dimonaco ( who is organising the list of speakers and those who want to show their projects.

To register for the event, please visit

The event is free and open to everyone. If you have any questions about the event, please contact Nick.

Bletchley Park, Hitler’s secret messages and the birth of Colossus

Frontal view of the reconstructed Colossus at The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park.jpg
By TedColesOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

We are pleased to welcome Phil Hayes to talk about how Bletchley Park were able to read Hitler’s secret messages, and the birth of the first electronic computer. Phil is the Chief Engineer engaged in the Colossus rebuild, from the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley.

Alongside Enigma came Lorenz, a more important cipher whose breaking was arguably of much greater value to the Allies. How this was done represented mathematics and engineering just as pioneering and influential as the cracking of Enigma and making of Turing’s Bombes, and resulted in Colossus, which is argued by many to be the world’s first electronic computer.

The talk is on Tuesday, 6th March at 6.15pm. This will be held at Aberystwyth University.

The meeting will be in MP-0.15 (Physics Main) in the Physical Sciences building, see Open Street Map for the location.

Booking your place

To book your free ticket for this event, please visit the Eventbrite page at:

About Phil Hayes

Phil studied electronics at Brighton in the early 70’s, then worked in several large electronics companies and organisations until he moved into data communications in the early 90’s. He finished his working career as a Network Security Architect for one of the major clearing banks in the city.  As a volunteer, Phil joined the Colossus Rebuild Project in 2000, and then in 2011 after the death of Tony Sale (Director of the Colossus Rebuild Project), he was approached by the National Museum of Computing to take on the full-time roll of Chief Colossus Engineer.

By UnknownThis file is from the collections of The National Archives (United Kingdom), catalogued under document record FO850/234. For high quality reproductions of any item from The National Archives collection please contact the image library.

This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.
English | français | italiano | македонски | +/−, Public Domain, Link

Bioinformatics and Computational biology: 500 years of exciting problems?

We are pleased to welcome Dr Amanda Clare and Nick Dimonaco to talk at the next BCS Mid-Wales event. Amanda and Nick will be talking about ‘Bioinformatics and Computational biology: 500 years of exciting problems?’.

The talk is at 6.15pm on Monday 29th January, 2018.  This is in MP-0.10 (Physics B) in the Physical Sciences building at Aberystwyth University. Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm in the Physics Foyer.

The event is free and open to everyone. Please register on Eventbrite for your free ticket.


Famous computer scientist Donald Knuth has discussed his concerns that computer science in the future will be “pretty much working on refinements of well-explored things”, whereas “Biology easily has 500 years of exciting problems to work on”. We’ll describe some of the exciting problems that computer science enables us to explore and that we’re working on here.


Dr Amanda Clare is a Senior Lecturer at Aberystwyth University who applies computer science to analyse and manage biological data. Amanda enjoys writing code, inspecting data, automating biology and creating databases. She is a member of the BCS and a fellow of the HEA.

Nicholas Dimonaco is a PhD student at Aberystwyth University in the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences. He completed his undergraduate study in Computer Science at Aberystwyth with a focus on Computational Biology. His PhD focus is in the identification of biologically important genetic material from metagenomic samples. Metagenomics is the study of all microorganisms from a complex environment such as ocean floors or an animal’s gut. He is currently working on identifying genes from these environments. He is also a member of the BCS Mid-Wales committee.

Building Brains

We are pleased to support an event at Aberystwyth University. Computer pioneer Prof Steve Furber is speaking at Aberystwyth University on Friday October 27th at 4pm. Prof Furber is famous for work on the BBC Micro and for his co-design of the transformational ARM microprocessor.

The talk is about “Building a Brain” and details can be found on the Aberystwyth University website.

The event is free and it is open to the public.

For further details, please contact Neil Taylor at the University.

Melin Homes – Our Agile Working Journey

We are pleased to invite Sharon Crockett and Dave Evans from the PROMS-G group to talk to BCS Mid-Wales on 7th November. The talk starts at 6.15pm and it is held in MP-0.11 (Physics A) in the Physical Sciences building at Aberystwyth University.

Sharon and Dave are from Melin Homes, which are proud winners of the Workplace Transformation Project of the Year award at the 2016 UK IT Industry Awards.

The event is free and open to all.


Melin Homes is a Housing Association based in South Wales, employing just 245 staff and operating with limited resources. Melin have always had a very strong culture with a highly motivated staff team and 2 years ago they embarked on an ambitious journey to encourage their staff and Board to work smarter and become more agile and efficient. They are now in a position where all their staff, whether an office assistant or a gas engineer, are able to conduct their day to day duties completely remotely from anywhere they wish via the implementation of new technologies and working practices. Their dynamic vision has enabled them to drastically improve the services provided to their residents and partners whilst reducing costs, improving the working environment, reducing their impact upon the natural environment and delivering greater job satisfaction and empowerment for all their staff. And this is only the beginning……

About the speakers

Sharon is Assistant Director Business Consultancy and Dave is Technology Manager at Melin and both have been with Melin since it’s creation in 2007. Sharon manages all support services at Melin and has project managed the transformational change throughout their agile working journey. Dave has provided the technical support to make this happen and Dave’s team continue to support their staff in utilising and developing the technology they require. Together, Sharon & Dave have provided a united front to carefully manage the culture change in the organisation and continue to drive the technological advancements for the future.

Development and use of fit-for-purpose computer simulation as a laboratory tool

Fiona Polcak

We are pleased to invite Prof Fiona Polack to talk to BCS Mid-Wales on December 4th. This will be at Aberystwyth University at 6.15pm. This is in MP-0.11 (Physics A) in the Physical Sciences building. Map showing location. There will be drinks and sandwiches before the event from 5.45 in the Physics Foyer.

The event is free and open to everyone.

We have been asking people to sign-up for a free ticket on Eventbrite. The eventbrite registration is now closed, but there is still space to come along. Just turn up on the day.


Laboratory research in biological sciences has traditionally been limited to what can be observed or deduced from observed behaviour. Computer simulation, and particularly agent-based simulation, can mimic the known or hypothesised behaviour of biological systems, and can be used to support and develop theories about the behaviour that causes observed features and behaviours. For a decade, a team at the York Computational Immunology Lab (YCIL) has been developing simulations with laboratory researchers, and developing the reputation of computational models in immune-systems research. The work builds on the CoSMoS project, an EPSRC-funded multi-site project exploring fit-for-purpose modelling and simulation. This talk explores some of the challenges and the achievements of the YCIL team, with reference to simulations or simulation designs for projects including peyer’s patch development, EAE, prostate cancer and BPH.


Fiona Polack has recently been appointed as Chair of Software Engineering at Keele University. Previously, at University of York, she has worked in formal and diagrammatic aspects of software modelling and specification. More recently, also at York, she has supervised significant research in model driven engineering. She has developed argumentation as a software engineering technique for capturing the rationale for engineering decisions. Fiona is an interdisciplinary researcher, working with biologists, electrical engineers, social scientists, physicists and many others.