Posted on October 24, 2018 by staff

Top tech figure to join university Computer Science team


Leading British technologist Dr Sue Black is joining the Computer Science Department at University of Durham as a Professor in Computer Science and Technology Evangelist.

The computer scientist and social entrepreneur will help inspire a new generation of computer scientists through her new role.

Black, who is a considerable force in the tech industry, has been recruited as a Professor in Computer Science and Technology Evangelist. The role will combine her research interests with the opportunity to inspire and motivate others in the field.

Black’s academic career had an unconventional start, leaving school at 16 and becoming a single mum of three by the age of 25. She has since achieved a PhD and an impressive research career, as well as becoming a champion for women in computing.

Her enterprise BCSWomen was the UK’s first online network for women in tech and has been supporting hundreds of women in tech for over 20 years. Her second organisation, #techmums, is a social enterprise which empowers mums and their families through technology.

In recognition of her work she was included in BusinessCloud’s 101 Female Founders in Tech list last year.

“I am passionate about the ability of tech to improve the lives of all, but particularly for women,” she said.

“Durham’s Computer Science Department is going from strength-to-strength, and there is a real vision for achieving a fully diverse, gender-balanced student body, where all are given the opportunity and the support needed to thrive.

“I hope to be able to help the university achieve this vision, and to inspire women to pursue exciting opportunities in the sector.”

The university’s deputy vice chancellor and provost Professor Antony Long, commented: “Through her determination, enthusiasm, and optimism Sue has not only forged a remarkable research career, but has inspired and continues to inspire many others to see the value of tech to change and improve lives.

“We welcome all the incredibly talented academics that have come on board this year, and continue to seek to recruit candidates who show exceptional ability.”

Black was crucial in the work to save WWII code-breaking site Bletchley Park, and has also been open about her battles with mental health.

As the university expands, a large number of new faces have been appointed across all departments, bringing in diverse, international research and teaching talent.

The Computer Science Department is also benefitting from a new state-of-the-art department building planned for the 2020/21 academic year.