Jeremy Martin (DPhil Computer Science)

I was lucky enough to study part time at Buckingham in the nineties, ten years after studying for my first degree which was Mathematics at Cambridge. I was working as a programmer in the Oxford University Computing Services at the time and had a young family. I had a desire to become more deeply immersed in Computer Science and hoped to open some interesting future career opportunities. My sister, Clare, was lecturing at Buckingham and she introduced me to my two eventual doctoral supervisors: Ian East, a former astrophysicist who had converted to Computer Science research and Sabah Jassim, a mathematician who is very well known to generations of Buckingham alumni, and who still works as Professor in the School of Computing.

The experience of studying for a doctorate was one of the highlights of my life so far. Sabah and Ian were both fantastic supervisors who reignited my passion for mathematics and computing and guided me in the scientific method. I worked on a knotty problem called deadlock, which is where a collection of communicating systems cannot agree on what to do next and the whole system hangs. The work turned out to be very theoretical and my background in Maths was very useful. The end result was a set of design patterns and an automated proof tool for avoiding deadlock. Off the back of this work I made many good contacts around the world and attended conferences in a variety of interesting places, including Las Vegas!

After completing my doctorate, I was transferred from the Oxford University Computing Services to the academic department of Computation. I was working for the Oxford Supercomputing Centre, running one of the most powerful computer systems in the world, collaborating with multidisciplinary scientists, and lecturing in Parallel Scientific Computing. This was a fascinating phase of my career and I learned a great deal.

I subsequently moved to a spin-out company called Oxagen, which was short for Oxford Applied Genetics, where I was in charge of Software Development and built up a talented scientific programming team. Since then I have worked in Pharmaceuticals at GSK and now I work at Lloyd’s of London Insurance Market as Head of Delivery Advisory and Assurance. I am also an honorary research fellow at Buckingham and it is great to visit and experience the great enthusiasm and energy that is always in evidence.