Computer Science News
Award for John Andrews
The Papin Prizes – which recognise the skills, talent and experience of technicians in higher education, across the UK and Ireland – were awarded at the national Higher Education Technicians Summit 2017 (HETS 2017) at the University of Warwick.
Nominees were selected from a broad range of universities, showcasing technical staff who have demonstrated excellence in their field, in categories such as ‘outreach’, ‘research’, ‘teaching’, and ‘lifetime achievement’. The lifetime achievement winner this year was John Andrews from the UCL Department of Computer Science.
John started as a first year undergraduate student in the Department in 1982/83, graduated in 1985 and began working in the Department a few weeks later - so John has devoted about 35 years to service in Computer Science. John's appointment was initially in the Systems Group, later he worked for Prof. Peter Kirstein on the early "UK-US Internet" service project. John comments:
"It was an honour to receive the Lifetime Achievement award from the Higher Education Technicians Summit. However, nothing is done alone and I have been very lucky to have worked with, and for, very good people over the years, and fortunate to have been in UCL CS during the years when we operated the first "Internet" gateway in the country, providing a UK-US email relay service for other Universities as well as several UK and US Government agencies. We originally set up the ".uk" namespace and ran the server that provided this function globally for many years, and then later on behalf of Nominet until they took over the management and operation of the domain. We had the first "cisco" router device in Europe and this is now in the Science Museum. We have run servers for the European Weather Centre to aid transfer of large data sets, and we used to operate a dedicated link through UCL for NASA to collaborate with Oxford and Rutherford Labs for higher data transfer capacity."
A colleague commented "Over many years John has been at the forefront of many of the technologies that we take for granted, but the single thing which marks him apart is his stubbornness, his refusal to fold under pressure, or to compromise for the sake of an easy life. He will answer an email request at 3 in the morning, work through the weekend, bank holiday and even through the College closure periods. He is not shy to crawl under desks, and spend long hours inside the datacentre. Few, if any, people realise just how much work he does, and they see him as an affable, approachable character having a Friday evening drink, little realising that he will continue to work for many hours after everyone else has gone home. The Department is indebted to John for his tenacity and continual efforts to delivery excellent service. We salute you John."