2.1 Directors at NUMAC, Newcastle and Durham

posted Aug 20, 2013, 12:51 PM by David Lee   [ updated Jun 16, 2014, 1:39 PM by Jeff Ogden ]
The information about directors at NUMAC needs to be more subtle, because NUMAC was a bridging entity across three institutions that were themselves independent: University of Newcastle upon Tyne (NCL), University of Durham (DUR) and Newcastle Polytechnic (NPY).

I don't guarantee that the details below are absolutely correct:  Tony Young should be able to give much better accuracy about the Durham end of things (and probably also be able to provide details about NCL and NUMAC).

Each institution had its own organisation.  Newcastle had its Computing Laboratory (joint service and academic Comp.Sci.).  Durham had separate groups (Computer Unit for service; Computing Department academic) but under the joint leadership of John Hawgood.  Soon after that, probably 1980, the two groups at Durham split into two departments.  John Hawgood went to the academic side, and the late John Lindley was appointed to head the service-oriented Computer Unit.

At this point I switch to focus just on Durham Computer Unit.  Our line of succession is accurately given in the caption to Jeff Ogden's photo:


The relevant extracts from that for MTS would be:

John Hawgood (1968-1980)
John Lindley (1981-1994)

Those dates feel about right.

Tony Young was Deputy Director during (I think) all of that period.

During the 1980s, Durham gradually gained its own independence, starting with a NUMAC upgrade (note: still joint NUMAC)  granting us our own IBM 4341, and Newcastle a something or other: it might have been their first Amdahl.  Despite the growing independence, the ties still remained strong.  (Indeed, way into the late 1990s, long after both MTS had gone and the NUMAC organisation had been formally dissolved, we still compared notes and co-operated on various things (in my case, email configs and user registration procedures).)

Along the way, the Computer Unit changed name several times.  Sorry, I don't have dates for those.

-- David Lee
-- Durham Computer Unit (and its variously named successors) 1979-2009.

From http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/ewan-page-26703 :

Ewan Page, 120 x 120 cm oil on canvas by Paul Brason (1990) in the University of Reading Art Collection