Making a global impact

Newcastle University leads the field in many areas of digital, thanks to actively participating in the region’s thriving tech ecosystem

These are exciting times for Newcastle University’s School of Computing. A World Top 100 ranking*, leading the National Innovation Centre for Data, status as a Governmental Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research, a National Teaching Fellowship, two Doctoral Training Centres, a landmark innovative building, and an invitation to join the prestigious Alan Turing Institute all point to the University’s role as a pillar of the IT economy.

But Professor John Fitzgerald, head of the School of Computing, acknowledges the university would not be successful on its own. He says: “The work of many people in science, engineering and computing – not just at the university but across the region – is a cornerstone of our international success.”

“Our students and staff are key, of course, but our work alongside global corporations, SMEs, citizen scientists, and community groups assures the breadth, depth and impact of our research.”

The university’s collaborative approach is vindicated by work on middleware, system dependability, asynchronous circuits and medicine discovery all being judged as world leading.+

We’re very proud of our work from the early days of computing science. In fact, our earliest programs 60 years ago were written for industry. Our long-standing expertise and collaborations mean we are strongly placed to continue exploring and innovating. As well as emerging disciplines such as cloud computing, cyber-physical systems and synthetic biology, we’re exploring new applications such as fin-tech, agriculture, medicine, and sustainability.

The School of Computing recently moved in to the £58m Urban Sciences Building on the Science Central site adjacent to the National Innovation Centre for Data. As well as being a new home for the School, the building is a full scale, “living lab” of digitally enabled urban innovation, underpinning research into sustainable cities. Digital technology is embedded in specialist facilities including the Siemens-sponsored Smart Grid Laboratory and the National Green Infrastructure Facility. The building also hosts, and is an integral part of, the Urban Observatory, the largest set of publicly available real time urban data in the UK.

The challenge for Newcastle University is how to sustain and build on recent achievements. Leading the creation of the National Innovation Centre for Data alongside the continued growth of the region’s IT economy bode well for more success on an international stage.

* Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018
+ Research Excellence Framework 2014