Dr Simon Lock

Simon is i-DAT’s Technical Producer and has also been a lecture in Digital Arts and Technology at Plymouth since the beginning of the 2010/11 academic year. Prior to this, he held a full-time Lecturing post in the Computing Department at the University of Lancaster, working in the areas of Software Engineering and Human-Computer interaction. As part of his administration duties, he performed the role of first year tutor and was responsible for the coordination of modules, management of staff, quality assurance processes and monitoring of students for the first year undergraduate degree scheme (approximate annual intake: 140 students).

Qualifications and Professional Development

CAP:Certificate in Academic Practice (CAP) programme at Lancaster University, 2007

PhD:PhD in Computer Science “A Hybrid Approach to Requirement Level Impact Analysis”, Lancaster University, 1997-2000

BSc:BSc Hons in Computer Science with Software Engineering (first class), Lancaster University, 1994-1997


Simon was awarded a PhD in Computer Science in 2000 after three and a half years of study. Since completing his PhD he has been involved in various research activities ranging from large, collaborative funded project, through to smaller individual studies. In August 2008 he saw the successfully completion of a European funded Framework 6 project, on which he had managed all Lancaster involvement. The project involved six partners from across Europe and focused on the production of an application framework and development tools for mobile secure P2P systems. Over the two and a half years of the project he managed a number of work packages and supervised the work of 5 research associates.

SImon has experience of submission of funding bids to a wide variety of bodies including Technology Strategy Board, Leverhulme trust, Arts Council, EPSRC, Wellcome Trust (SCIART), Fact (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). Successful bids have received funding from Lancaster University [£10k], the Technology Strategy Board (via BigDog) [£20k], as well as EPSRC for a collaborative 3 year project with a number of universities across the UK [Plymouth share £14k].

Other independent and unfunded research work has focused on the evaluation of interactive technologies for use in installation work, the creation of a structured approach for assessing user experience and the development of models for understanding installations and performances in highly social spaces (see publications list for more details).

In recognition of his research work and industrial background, Simon has been appointed to the editorial board of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media. He was also the chair for Interactive Experiences and member of programme committee for the British Computer Society’s HCI 2007 conference.

External Engagement

Simon is currently a director of BigDog interactive and involved in management and development of the majority of the industrial projects undertaken. Originally begun as a not-for-profit collective in 2002, BigDog became a limited company in 2005 since when it has successfully developed projects and products with a range of corporate clients. These have including Nokia (via Weiden and Kennedy), Liverpool Capital of Culture, Welfare State International, Urbis (Manchester), University of Leeds, Technology Strategy Board, Queen Mary (University of London). Simon played a key role in BigDog interactive recently becoming a preferred supplier to the Science Museum (London).

As part of his creative practice, Simon has exhibited work in a variety of formal and informal contexts, including Old Broadcasting House (Leeds), Urbis (Manchester), Lanternhouse (Ulverston), Sage (Gateshead), Gatecrasher (Leeds), St George’s Hall (Liverpool), Brewery Arts Centre (Kendal), Folly Gallery (Lancaster), Contemporary Urban Centre (Liverpool), Nuffield Theatre (Lancaster), Grand Theatre (Lancaster), Dome (Morecambe), Camelot (Doncaster), amongst others.

Teaching and Learning

Simon has 6 years experience teaching on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including an introduction to programming with Processing, Object Oriented programming with Java, Graphical User Interface development, Systems Engineering, Masters module in Dependability, as well as courses on generic and software-specific project management. He has also given invited guest lectures at Bretton Hall (now part of Leeds University), Doncaster College and Kinetica arts fair London.

Simon has employed various initiatives and innovations in order to improve his teaching work. These include the use of virtual learning environments (VLE’s) on all taught courses, use of a departmental bulletin board system to provide asynchronous support for student learning, intensive week long “block-taught” master’s modules, in-lecture anonymous tweeting, modules with podcast-only delivery mode, experiments with Bluetooth voting in lectures. As part of the continued development of his teaching skills, Simon has also successfully completed the Certificate in Academic Practice (CAP) programme at Lancaster University.