28.june - 29.june Glasgow Caledonian University

SICSA Conference

Sustainability, Recovery and Resilience

Sustainability, Resilience and Recovery

Queen Mother Building
About the event

The SICSA PhD Conference 2022 was held at Glasgow Caledonian University on 28 and 29 June 2022, and as the first in-person SICSA Conference in over two years, it was a great success.
The Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) Conference has been an annual event since SICSA began in 2008. It marks a time where PhD students and early-career researchers attending universities all around Scotland get together for a couple of days.
Our opening Keynote Speaker Stephen O'Neill, Head of Digital Economy and Data Driven Business at The Scottish Government, highlighted the leading role of the new Tech Scalars in driving economic recovery.
We capitalized on our COVID experience in sustainable development and delivery of hybrid Teaching and Learning to develop new forward-looking strategy. In skills sessions co-developed with our PhD students we explored ways to support our PhD students during their studies. Our panel session looked at The Journey from Research to Tech Startup Finally, we celebrated the success of our early career researchers and PhD students in sessions devoted to our Saltire Fellows and the award of the best PhD dissertation prize. Prizes were also awarded to the Paper PhD Paper, and best Posters presented by students in each year of their PhD. This was a great opportunity to meet and network with researchers from all the Scottish institutions and catch up with developments across Scotland.

Speakers & Organising Committee

Meet our speakers and organising committee

Stephen O’Neill


Keynote Speaker

Stephen is the Deputy Director of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Division in Scottish Government.

Per Hammer


Keynote Speaker

Per is Vice-President at JPMorgan Chase as well as a Professor in Practice at University of Glasgow.

Stuart Anderson


SICSA Director

Stuart Anderson is a Personal Chair in Dependable Systems in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh

Tim Storer


SICSA Deputy Director

Tim is a Senior Lecturer in Computing based within the School of Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.

Matthew Barr


SICSA Education Director

Matthew is a Lecturer in the Graduate Apprenticeship Programme at the University of Glasgow



SICSA Graduate Academy Director

Andrei is a Reader within the School of Computing Science and Digital Media at Robert Gordon University

Aileen Orr


SICSA Executive Officer

Aileen is the SICSA Executive Officer and is based at the University of Glasgow

Anastasia Fliatoura


SICSA Executive Assistant

Anastasia is the SICSA Executive Assistant and is based at the University of Glasgow

Tiffany Babey


SICSA Event Coordinator

Tiffany is the SICSA Event Coordinator and is based at the University of Glasgow

Jacob Koenig


Conference Academic Chair

Jacob is Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Michael Crabb


Conference Poster / Web Chair

Michael is Computing Learning & Teaching Lead at the University of Dundee.

Joanna Aldhous


PhD Organising Committee

Joanna is a PhD student based at Edinburgh Napier University

Ricky Zhu


PhD Organising Committee

Ricky is a PhD student based at Edinburgh University

Charly Harbord


PhD Organising Committee

Charly is a PhD student based at Abertay University

Uneneibotejit Otokwala


PhD Organising Committee

Uneneibotejit is a PhD student based at Robert Gordon University

Iulia Paun


PhD Organising Committee

Iulia is a PhD student based at the University of Glasgow

Yuhao Sun


PhD Organising Committee

Yuhao is a PhD student based at the University of Edinburgh

Jo Watts


Start-Up Panel Session Speaker

Jo is the Founder and CEO of Edinburgh-based data and AI solutions company Effini.

Stewart Whiting


Start-Up Panel Session Speaker

Stewart Whiting has a PhD in computing science from the University of Glasgow. He is the Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder of Current Health.

Lorenzo Conti


Start-Up Panel Session Speaker

Lorenzi is the Founder & Managing Director of Crover Ltd, as well as an Enterprise Fellow at Royal Academy of Engineering.

Kyle White


Start-Up Panel Session Speaker

Kyle is the CEO at VeryConnect Membership, CRM and Community Software.

Joshua Ibibo


Peer Support Plenary Session Speaker

Joshua is a PhD Student based at Edinburgh Napier University.

Michael McKay


Peer Support Plenary Session Speaker

Michael is a PhD Student based at Glasgow University.

Olivia Foulds


Peer Support Plenary Session Speaker

Olivia is a PhD Student based at Strathclyde University.

Yaxiong Lei


Peer Support Plenary Session Speaker

Yaxiong is a PhD Student based at St Andrews University.

Anjana Wijekoon


ECR Panel Session Speaker

Anjana is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Robert Gordon University.

Mujeeb Ahmed


ECR Panel Session Chair

Mujeeb is a Lecturer in Cyber Security at the University of Strathclyde.

Elaine Farrow


ECR Panel Session Chair

Elaine is a Senior Research Programmer at University of Edinburgh.

Sofiat Olaosebikan


ECR Panel Session Chair

Sofiat is a Lecturer in Computing Science at University of Glasgow.

Gule Saman


Education Session Speaker

Saman an Assistant Professor in Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at Heriot-Watt University.

Khristin Fabian


Education Session Speaker

Khristin is a Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University.

Hebatallah Shoukry


Education Session Speaker

Hebatallah is an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University.

Peter Donaldson


Education Session Speaker

Peter is a Lecturer in Computing Science and Education at the University of Glasgow.

Balandino Di Donato


Education Session Speaker

Balandino is a Lecturer in Interactive Audio at Edinburgh Napier University.

Debbie Meharg


Education Session Speaker

Debbie is an Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier University.

Emilia Sobolewska


Bricolage for Blended Spaces Session Speaker

Emilia is a Lecturer and Researcher at Edinburgh Napier University.

Callum Egan


Bricolage for Blended Spaces Session Speaker

Callum is a Research Technician at Edinburgh Napier University.

Graham Carter


Intellectual Property Session Speaker

Graham is the Intellectual Property & Spin-out Development Manager at Robert Gordon University.

Robin Huggins


CV Skills Session Speaker

Robin is the Director of Academy and Client Services at MBN Solutions.

Sandy Brownlee


Reverse Viva Session Speaker

Sandy is a Senior Lecturer at University of Stirling.

Jessica Enright


Reverse Viva Session Speaker

Jessica is a Senior Lecturer at University of Glasgow.

Michael O'BOYLE


Reverse Viva Session Speaker

Micheal is a Professor at University of Edinburgh.

Malavika Suresh


Reverse Viva Session Speaker

Malavika is a PhD Student based at Robert Gordon University.

Narinder Kaur


Reverse Viva Session Student Speaker

Narinder is a PhD student based at the University of Glasgow.

Jude Haris


Reverse Viva Session Student Speaker

Jude is a PhD student based at the University of Glasgow.

Stefano Sarti


Reverse Viva Session Student Speaker

Stefano is a PhD student based at the University of Stirling.


Vast number of different speeches
and activities

12:00 - 12:30
Registration with Lunch / Posters
12:30 - 12:40
Welcome and Keynote Introduction

Professor Stuart Anderson, Director of SICSA

12:40 - 13:40
Keynote Talk

Stephen O'Neill, Head of Digital Economy and Data Driven Business at The Scottish Government

Join us for the launch of the SICSA Education Learning & Teaching Network, which will connect colleagues involved in teaching Computing Science across Scotland’s universities. If you’re interested in developing your teaching practice, networking with other CS educators, or developing collaborative scholarship ideas, please do come along. We’ll also hear from participants in our new Learning & Teaching Scholars Programme, which aims to develop and support early-to-mid career CS academics with a focus on education. Lecturers, University Teachers, Teaching Fellows, and Tutors are all welcome.

14:45 - 15:00
Coffee Break

Doing a PhD can be lonely at times, but COVID and its underlying repercussions have intensified the isolation and uncertainty experienced by PhD students. The SICSA Universities provide support through counselling, mentoring, and other mental health services. However, these services are still in heavy demand and access and provision are often disrupted by COVID. The SICSA Peer Support Network (SPSN) is a group of PhD students who completed a mental health awareness course and they provide additional support from within the PhD community. In this plenary session, the SPSN Volunteers will present an overview of the network, focusing on what it does, how to access it, and how we can all contribute to and look after our mental health.

PhD Workshop - Intellectual Property Rights Considerations

The session is devoted to looking into the issues related to Intellectual Property (IP) Rights. The session will cover general information on IP rights but will also consider procedural aspects for how IP from your research work may be identified, protected and commercialised. The session will look at:

  • the different types of IP and their purpose;
  • procedures for obtaining and controlling IP rights;
  • who might own the IP in your research;
  • university policies and procedures for protecting and commercialising IP;

The development of skills addressed in the session fits into the following sections of the Vitae RDF:

  • C1: Professional Conduct
  • C2: Research Management
  • C3: Finance, funding, Resources.

PhD Workshop: Getting the Job You Want After Finishing Your PhD

Continuing in academia or looking for a job in the industry requires an up-to-date CV as well as skills on how to succeed in interviews and applications. In this workshop we will look at 3 different aspects of further employability: Resume Construction, Interview Techniques, and Networking skills

This workshop is led by Robin Huggins, Director of MBN Academy. Rob draws upon 20 years’ experience as an expert Data Talent practitioner, including delivering The Data Lab’s MSc. Placement Programme for the last few years, therefore having the right skillset to explain these aspects from a recruitment side.

Education Workshop: Post-Pandemic Computing Science Education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to re-think how we deliver our teaching and assessment. And, while the circumstances that required us to adapt our practice were far from ideal, some of the resulting innovations in our methods have had a positive impact. In this session, we'll hear from colleagues about the new approaches to delivering CS education that have emerged during the pandemic and are here to stay, even as we recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Build Your Own: Bricolage for Blended Spaces

This workshop aims to advocate the benefits of methodological bricolage, where the researcher tailors tasks, tools, and approaches to understand the subject at hand. We will explore the creative process of reimagining the research frameworks, using the theory and practice of Blended Spaces. The workshop will specifically benefit those researchers, dealing with non-standard topics, where the current methodological frameworks are either insufficient or nonexistent.

Early Career Research Panel Session

You’re somewhere along the way on the long journey to earning your PhD and graduation still seems a long way off, but now is the perfect time to start planning for what happens next. This session will look at options for PhD graduates who are intending to continue into early career research roles. A wide variety of career steps exist, including going straight into an academic role, an independent research fellowship, a research associate working on a specific project, knowledge transfer, the emerging research software engineering. In this panel session you will hear the perspectives of early career researchers who have followed these different paths and the impact it has had on their careers.

16:45 - 17:00
Close of Day 1

Professor Stuart Anderson, Director of SICSA

Check In to Accommodation
18:15 - 19:30
Careers Fair

Merchants House

19:30 - 22:00
Conference Dinner

Merchants House

09:00 - 09:30
Registration and Coffee / Posters
09:30 - 09:40

Prof Stuart Anderson

09:40 - 11:30
The Journey from Research to Tech Start-Up

Much of the focus for research students after they graduate is on securing their first postdoctoral or academic positions. However, an increasing number of postgraduates are following an alternative career path: turning the skills and knowledge they acquire during their research training, as well as their own innovative thinking to the creation of new start-up businesses. During this panel session you will learn the experiences of a diverse set of innovative and successful start-up founders and explore their journeys from academia into entrepreneurialism. Talks followed by a Panel Session. Chaired by Dr Tim Storer

11:30 - 12:15
Poster Session
12:15 - 12:45
12:45 - 14:00
Reverse Viva

In this workshop, an established academic has their own PhD thesis “examined” by current students. The goal of this is to give students a chance to be exposed to the kind of questions and answers they will face in their own vivas. We are planning to have multiple parallel sessions, each covering one of the SICSA research themes.

14:00 - 14:30
Best Paper and Posters Awards


14:30 - 15:30
Keynote Talk

Per Hammer, Vice-President at JPMorgan Chase and Professor in Practice at University of Glasgow.

15:30 - 16:00
Best Dissertation Talks and Awards


Closing & Thank You

Professor Stuart Anderson, Director of SICSA

Register for SICSA Conference 2022!

Register Now

PhD Thesis Competition

Sponsored by:


The SICSA Graduate Academy is an integral part of SICSA. The breadth and depth of research carried out by graduate researchers across Scotland is stunning indeed. To recognise and celebrate the very best of this research, we are excited to announce the SICSA PhD Award for Best Dissertation in Scotland.

Selected from PhD dissertations awarded in the past year (2021/2022), the award is intended to recognise and honour outstanding research and exposition.

The submissions showcase the best exemplars of graduate research across Scotland, with entries from Scottish institutions. The submissions are reviewed by a selection committee consisting of senior researchers in Computer Science and Informatics and chaired by the SICSA Graduate Academy Director.

The Best PhD Dissertation Award this year is proudly sponsored by Arista. A prize of £2,000 will be awarded to the winning dissertation.

Poster Session

Sponsored by:

The Data Lab

Submissions for the Poster session are now open. Please visit the Call for Papers for more information.

PhD students are invited to submit a 2-page abstract about their research area (please note that references are not part of the 2-page limit). This abstract can either be about their entire PhD programme or a highlight from one particular study. All students that submit to this will have their submission peer-reviewed and should present a poster of their work at the main SICSA PhD Conference.

Research abstracts will be peer reviewed according to the following criteria and reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the points:

  • Problem and motivation
  • Background and Related Work
  • Approach and Uniqueness
  • Results and Contribution

Top reviewed papers from 1st, 2nd, and final year will have their posters judged at the conference itself. Participants will be informed by judges before they are being judged. Review criteria for poster presentations will consist of:

  • Oral Presentation
  • Visual Presentation
  • Research Methods
  • Significance of Contribution

The Poster session this year is sponsored by The Data Lab. Prizes of £250 in vouchers will be given to all first placed winners in each category. Participants to the conference will also get the opportunity to select a People's winner.

Submission deadline for research abstracts was Friday 27th May and reviews will be sent to authors on Friday 17th June.

Presenting Your Paper at the Conference

All submissions will be invited to present their work at the SICSA PhD Conference as a research poster. You have the full freedom to design your posters as no templates will be provided.

Posters must be printed on A0 size paper these must be Portrait only and NOT laminated. Landscape posters will not be accepted/exhibited. Each poster will be assigned a specific space in the exhibition hall that will be announced prior to the event. Attendees are responsible for printing their own posters and there are no facilities at the conference to print additional poster material.

Best Paper

Sponsored by:


It is well known that during doctoral studies, PhD students are encouraged and expected to write and submit papers to different academic venues. While this can be rewarding if the papers are accepted for publication, we acknowledge that it can sometimes also be a challenging and tedious process. To this end, we are organising a new competition, as part of the SICSA PhD Conference, where we would like to provide a platform for the students to showcase their work and get well-deserved recognition for the hard work that goes into writing and publishing papers. This competition also offers students the opportunity to present their research and get feedback from industry leading experts.

PhD students are invited to submit a paper that has already been published or accepted for publication, between 1st May 2021 and 1st June 2022, in a top tier venue as part of the best paper competition.

To be eligible to participate in the competition you must:

  • be the first/main author of the paper;
  • have a paper that has been published/accepted for publication (i.e. in the public domain) in a conference/journal/venue ranked A* (~7% acceptance rate), A (~15% acceptance rate), or B (~30% acceptance rate);
  • provide the name and acceptance rate of the venue where the paper has been published/accepted for publication;
  • respond to a short questionnaire outlining
    • why is the paper significant?
    • why are you proud of this paper?
    • what are some of the limitations of the paper?
    • how can the paper be improved?

Please note that if you are unsure about how a venue is ranked, you can check this using the Core page/portal.

As part of the best paper call, we welcome submissions in the form of long (~8-10 and above pages) and short (~4-6 pages) papers. If a paper has been submitted to a workshop, then the latter has to be co-located with an A*/A venue.

The winner of the best paper competition will receive a prize of £250 in vouchers sponsored by Arista Networks, as well as an invitation to present the paper and get feedback from a panel of industry experts within Arista. If you would like to participate in this competition, please identify the best paper that you wrote so far and which has already been published or accepted for publication, and prepare the responses for the questionnaire outlined above no later than Tuesday, 14th June 2022. For any questions or enquiries, please reach out to iulia.paun@glasgow.ac.uk.


The SICSA Conference 2022 program of talks, workshops and events will take place at Glasgow Caledonian University. The campus in the heart of Glasgow, adjacent to Glasgow bus station and a short walk from Glasgow Queen St. and Central railway stations and the Subway.

Conference Dinner

And, on the evening of Day 1 of the conference (June 28th) there will be a careers fair and dinner at the historic Merchant's House in Glasgow's George Square.

SICSA Education

Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship Programme

Early to mid-career colleagues involved in teaching Computing Science and related subjects at SICSA member institutions are invited to apply for the SICSA Education Learning & Teaching Scholars programme.

The Scholars programme is designed to develop and support early-to-mid career CS academics with a focus on education. Successful applicants will take part in a series of online and in-person activities to develop their scholarship, culminating in the presentation of an idea that can be taken forward into a publication. Please see below for an indicative schedule.

The programme will also include an online workshop on Learning & Teaching leadership, delivered by an experienced external partner. In addition, Scholars will be assigned a mentor, with whom they will meet a minimum of twice over the course of the programme. At the end of the programme, Scholars will be invited to write about their experience for the SICSA Education blog.

Applications from academics on Learning & Teaching contracts are particularly welcome. If you’re not sure if this is right for you, or if you have any questions about the programme, please contact our Director of Education, Dr Matthew Barr: Matthew.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk.

Apply here: https://forms.office.com/r/EmwS8vVnNC

28 March 2022 Applications open
22 April 2022 Applications close
29 April 2022 Scholars announced
Week Beginning 9 May 2022 Speed networking event (online)
20 May 2022 Mentors assigned
28/29 June 2022 Network launch at SICSA Conference, including scholar introductions
September 2022 L&T Leadership Workshop (online)
Week beginning 2 December 2022 Final poster presentations (online/in-person TBC)
January/February 2023 Scholar blog posts published