Nicole Harris, 26
Job advertised, THES, January 24 2003
JISC Programme Manager
The Joint Information Systems Committee, based at King's College London, was seeking a programme manager for its semantic grids and atonomic computing programme.
Alan Robiette, programme director, says: "We wanted someone who could get to grips with the world Jisc operates in. It funds IT infrastructure and services for UK universities and colleges. Our work is increasingly international and we have lots of projects.
"Nicole came from working on Jisc projects at another university. She is not a computer science graduate, but her experience more than made up for that."
Harris, an English graduate with an MA in children's literature, started working on Jisc projects from the angle of pedagogy and learning support.
"I'd worked in remedial support, helping undergraduates to bridge the gap between A level and degree work, first at the University of Wales and then at City University. I got more involved in the technical side and discovered a hidden ability to interpret technical jargon."
Many of her projects involve getting students access to powerful computer networks, such as the grid.
"I'd worked on Angel, which looked at student access to online learning resources. We started to create a new learning environment but discovered students liked particular screen interfaces, so we are developing middleware, which sits between the resources and whatever interface students like." Harris does a lot of planning and outreach work.
"My portfolio is expanding. The big push is next year when Jisc starts its middleware programme with the US National Science Foundation."