Swansea University appoints Director for the new Computational Foundry

Swansea University is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Alan Dix as the first Director for the new Computational Foundry.

The new £31 million world-class Computational Science facility will act as a beacon for research collaborations and will look to attract leading researchers to Wales, placing Swansea at the heart of a thriving regional ecosystem of digital companies and research.

The ‌Computational Foundry ‌is backed by £17m from the European Regional Development Fund and will drive research into computational and mathematical sciences and make Wales a global destination for computational scientists and industrial partners.

Having completed his undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Professor Dix followed a career in computing, specialising in human–computer interaction. Recently, he has been a professor of computing at the University of Birmingham, and before that at Lancaster University. He has also been a researcher at Talis, a technology company that partners with academic institutions, where he focused on how innovative technology can help in teaching and learning. He has also authored books on Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence.

Alan was elected to the ACM SigChi Academy in 2013, a mark of the high esteem the global human-computer interaction research community has of his work. In 2013 Professor Dix also walked the complete periphery of Wales, in part to conduct research into the technological needs of communities, as well as raising money for MHA, The Wallich and Tenovus charities.

Professor Dix comments: “I'm so excited to be joining the Computational Foundry. The Foundry is creating a unique environment where computer science and mathematics meet and academia, industry and community can come together. This would all be amazing enough, however, it also brings me back to my home country of Wales, and I'm looking forward with anticipation to working with the whole team at the Computational Foundry to forge digital transformations in Wales and the world.”

Professor Matt Jones, Head of the College of Science, who led the investment bid for the Computational Foundry added: “The Foundry is a special place at an important time for Wales, the region and the World. Increasingly we see public concerns about the future of big data, AI and the like. The Foundry is here to ensure that human values and needs are at the heart of computational innovations and I can think of no one better now to help us in this mission than Alan.”

Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, comments: “Professor Dix is a highly regarded inter-disciplinary Computer Scientist who also has extensive commercial experience. We are delighted that such a talented and experienced scientist is returning to Wales and are confident he will be an inspiring founding Director of the Computational Foundry. He will lead a greater integration of ideas, initiatives, and collaborations across the University and beyond, including partnerships with industry and businesses.”