Vice-President of IBM UK Strategy, Steve Wood, will give a lecture ‘How to survive 100 years in the IT industry’ on Wednesday 19 October to celebrate the achievements of the world’s largest computer company in its centenary year.
IBM (International Business Machines) was founded with the amalgamation of three hardware companies in 1911. In his lecture, Steve Wood will trace the development of IBM from its inception to the present day, and show how embracing innovation is one of the key ways the company has survived.
The event is hosted by the University’s Department of Computer Science which has established a long-standing relationship with IBM, now firmly embedded into its research and teaching activities.
"I am delighted to engage with tomorrow's leaders, in my home county, on what 100 years has taught IBM about making the world work better. This event is just one in a valued relationship that IBM enjoys with the University of York. Such vibrant relationships lead us to new discoveries and innovations that help build a smarter planet," said Steve Wood.
Professor John Clark, Head of Research, said: “A truly successful company needs to reinvent itself to lead on a continual basis so that it can stay ahead of the pack. IBM has done so repeatedly, moving from its tabulating machines roots to providing today’s vision of a ‘smarter planet’, and with a history of reinvention and innovation in between.”
Building strong collaborations with businesses such as IBM is central to the Department of Computer Science’s success and has helped to underpin its high quality reputation and boost facilities for students and staff. Another collaborator, Crossrail, currently building the cross-London rail link, has contributed to the costs of one of the new hardware laboratories, which will be vital in supporting the undergraduate Computer Science with Embedded Systems programme.
As well as IBM, other multinationals providing York students with industrial placements include Airbus, Mercedes GP F1 Team and GlaxoSmithKline. Smaller, more local companies, such as Salamander, which specialises in management software, and YorkTest, a medical analysis organisation, also provide student placements and internships.
The Department has also developed bespoke programmes for industry such as the MSc in Gas Turbine Control – a major collaboration with Aero Engine Controls, a joint venture with Rolls-Royce and Goodrich Control Systems Ltd. The MSc was created for their control engineers, to help them explore the new issues raised by the widespread use of computers in applications related to gas turbine control.
Class acts surround themselves with talent
Professor John Clark, Head of Research
The Department carries out research that 'matters', both to academia and further afield. Its Doctoral Training Centre in Large Scale Complex IT Systems, sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), places students directly within organisations to work on bespoke research projects, while offering the equivalent of a taught Masters programme and specialist skills training. Such direct engagement with organisations is rare, but allows the students to identify fundamental problems of clear importance, and to equip themselves with wide-ranging skills to tackle them. The funding means that all home students receive a higher stipend than PhD students, while giving them direct industry experience that also beneﬁts the sponsoring organisation.
The Department has recently moved into new purpose-built accommodation on the lakeside at the new £750 million campus expansion at Heslington East.
The new space includes software and hardware laboratories, teaching spaces, research laboratories as well as embedded space for spin-out companies. Facilities include the interactive Home Laboratory where new domestic technology – particularly that which supports people with disabilities – is trialled in a real-life setting.
Professor Clark observes, “Class acts surround themselves with talent.” The Department of Computer Science believes that an exciting blend of world-class teaching, research and collaborations with industry will ensure that its students provide that talent.
How to survive 100 years in the IT industry
Wednesday 19 October 2011, 6.30pm
Speaker: Steve Wood, Strategy Vice-President, IBM UK
Location: Room RCH/037, Ron Cooke Hub
Predicting our technological future: IBM's global technology outlook
Monday 7 November 2011, 6.45pm
Speaker: Rashik Parmar, Chief Technology Officer of IBM North East Europe
Location: Room RCH/037, Ron Cooke Hub