Biographical Notes on Internal (BT) Workshop Participants

The following biographical sketches were provided by workshop attendees in 1998 and are included here without modification.

Steve Appleby

Steve Appleby is currently responsible for machine translation and other foreign language work in the Natural Language Group at BT Labs. Recently he gained a PhD for his work on the use of fractals for modelling the spatial distribution of the human population. Prior to this, he worked on the use of mobile agents to provide a robust control mechanism for telecommunication networks. In the past he has also worked on signal processing algorithms and coding systems.

Ben Azvine

Behnam Azvine holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, a MSc and a PhD in Control Systems from Manchester University. His previous work experience include: Research associate and assistant professor (lecturer) in the Dynamics and Control Research group of the Engineering department of Manchester University working on theoretical control, robust stability and smart system design, and Associate professor (senior lecturer) in the Control and Instrumentation research group of Staffordshire University working on smart structures and Control of Robots.

He is currently leading a research team responsible for Soft Computing and Computational Intelligence techniques in the Intelligent Systems Research Group at BT laboratories. He regularly gives presentations in international conferences and workshops on the application of AI in Telecommunications, has more than 20 external publications and currently holds a visiting fellowship at the Department of Engineering Mathematics of Bristol University. He is also one of the chairmen of the European network of excellence for Uncertainty management techniques. His current research interests include the application of Fuzzy Logic, Neural Networks and Evolutionary computing to human-centred computing, intelligent system design, model-based control and adaptive software systems.

Peter Cochrane

Peter Cochrane is a graduate of Trent Polytechnic (now Nottingham Trent University) and Essex University. He is currently a visiting professor to UCL, Essex University and the University of Kent and a Member of the New York Academy of Sciences. He joined BT Laboratories in 1973 and has worked on both analogue and digital switching and transmission studies. From 1988 he managed the Long Lines Division where he was involved in the development of intensity modulated and coherent optical systems, photonic amplifiers and wavelength routed networks. In 1991 he established the Systems Research Division and during 1993 he was promoted to head the Research Department at BT laboratories with 660 staff. He has published widely in all areas of telecommunications studies and is also a regular contributor to the paper and electronic press.

Peter joined a select group of Apple Masters in 1997.

He led a team that received the Queen’s Award for Innovation & Export in 1990; the Martlesham Medal for contributions to fibre optic technology in 1994; the IEE Electronics Division Premium in 1986; Computing and control Premium in 1994 and the IERE Benefactors Prize in 1994; the James Clerk Maxwell Memorial Medal in 1995; IBTE Best Paper Prize and Honorary Doctorates from Essex, and Stafford Universities in 1996.

Peter is married with four children and enjoys a wide variety of activities from DIY, swimming and running, to rugby, music and reading.

Graham Davies

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Jose-Luis Fernandez-Villacanas Martin

Jose-Luis graduated in Physics from Madrid University in 1984. Later, he obtained an MSc and a PhD in Astrophysics for his work on nucleosynthesis of heavy elements in the atmospheres of cool supergiant stars. In 1989 he became a member of staff in the Theoretical Physics Department, Oxford University where he worked on Plasma Physics and radiation transfer in stars. He joined BT’s Systems Research Division in January 1992 to research on artificial life systems. Currently he is a member of the Artificial Life group.

Dave Griffiths

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Paul Kearney

Paul Kearney is a Senior Research Fellow working in the Intelligent Business Systems Research (IBSR) Group at BT Laboratories. He has a BSc in Mathematical Physics (Liverpool University) and PhD in theoretical particle physics (Durham University). He spent nearly 10 years working for British Aerospace (Military Aircraft), firstly in aerodynamics, then progressing through graphics programming and then expert systems to R&D in on-board IKBS (tactical decision aids, etc.). Joining Sharp Laboratories of Europe in 1990, he led a small research group applying agent concepts to personal electronics. He moved to BT in 1997. A particular interest is in how to achieve good, synergistic behaviour in systems of autonomous agents without overly restricting autonomy. His current work in the IBSR group pursues this interest in the context of providing support for business processes in a changing environment.

Paul Marrow

Paul Marrow received a BA in Pure and Applied Biology from Oxford University in 1989, and a DPhil in mathematical biology from York University in 1992. Subsequently he carried out research into evolutionary dynamics, coevolutionary theory, and the evolution of reproductive strategies, at Leiden and Cambridge Universities. He joined the Artificial Life Group at BT Laboratories in April 1997. His current research involves evolutionary modelling of telecommunications problems. In particular, he is interested in using evolutionary biology to improve evolutionary computational systems, and in applications of evolutionary game theory.

Graeme Maxwell

Graeme Maxwell is currently group leader of the Technology Research group. The group interests include micromachining techniques, semiconductor devices, silica waveguide devices and advanced packaging techniques. He graduated from Strathclyde University in 1985 with a degree in Applied Physics, and went on to do a PhD at Glasgow University in Fabrication of Silica Waveguides using Flame Hydrolysis. He has worked at BT since 1989 on the design and fabrication of optical waveguide devices. He has also spent some time looking at mobile communication systems concerned with techniques for integrating broadband wireless LANS with GSM systems.

Greg Mulhauser

Drawing on algorithmic information theory, cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary biology and related fields, Greg Mulhauser searches for fundamental principles of organisation with which Nature has given her creations complex cognition and even consciousness. His book Mind Out of Matter offers the first attempt to ground a philosophically robust theory of mind with the formal framework of algorithmic information theory. Mulhauser received a BA (Summa Cum Laude) in Philosophy and Mathematics from Willamette University and, under a British Marshall Scholarship, a PhD in Philosophy of Mind from the University of Edinburgh. He has previously worked at the University of Glasgow and the Pentagon but started with British Telecom in early 1997. In 1998, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. Greg is 28 and lives with his fiancée in Suffolk, England.

Sverrir Olafsson

Sverrir Olafsson received an MSc in mathematical physics from the University in T¸bingen in 1978 and a PhD in elementary particle physics from the University of Karlsruhe in 1983. From 1976 to 1983 he was a tutor and a research assistant in theoretical physics. Between 1984 and 1989 he was lecturer and research fellow in mathematics at the University of London (Kings College), UMIST Manchester and the University of Southampton. He worked in the fields of super strings, non-linear and integrable systems and super Lie algebras.

He joined BT Laboratories in Martlesham Heath in 1989 and initially worked on the application of dynamic neural networks to speech recognition. Since March 1991, in the Systems Research Division at BT Laboratories, he has been working on the application of self-organisation and evolutionary principles to the modelling of networks and services. Presently he leads a team investigating the application of stochastic complexity and self organised criticality to the analysis of data and communication networks.

He has written over seventy papers on subjects ranging from group theory and elementary particles to game theory, stochastic modelling and the economics of networks. For the last 15 years he has been the science correspondent to Iceland’s largest newspaper, Morgunbladid. He is married with two daughters. Hobbies include writing popular scientific articles, woodwork, swimming and spending the remaining hours in the day with my daughters and wife.

Simon Phoenix

After completing his PhD at Imperial College, Simon joined BT in 1989 and initially worked on the applications of quantum mechanics to telecommunications. In 1990 he initiated BT’s long-term research programme in quantum cryptography which led to the world’s first demonstration of this technique in optical fibre. Since 1995 he has been a member of BT’s Security Research team leading research on the application of Trusted Third Party techniques. He is part of a small advisory team defining BT’s market opportunities in certification services and e-commerce. His research interests are focused in the investigation of advanced cryptographic negotiation protocols to enable new forms of electronic business.

Simon is the author of over 40 research papers and is a regular public speaker on security topics as diverse as quantum cryptography and practical key escrow and has been visiting lecturer and external examiner for several universities.

Simon lives in Hollesley, on the Suffolk coast with his partner, Alison and his two children Anna and Cailin. He is a keen amateur songwriter and musician playing in a couple of local folk bands. However, it has been his experience that it is much easier to publish papers on fundamental quantum mechanics than it is to publish any of his songs !

Mark Shackleton

Mark Shackleton currently works in the Future Technologies group at BT investigating evolutionary computation algorithms and new computational architectures based on biological processing. The main thrust of this work is to develop evolutionary systems which exhibit open-ended evolution in contrast with current systems which scale very poorly.

Previously Mark has worked on developing algorithms for computer vision and image understanding, including face recognition. Some of this work was carried out during secondment to the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. Prior to this he worked on visual systems for a company producing flight simulators to commercial and military markets. Mark gained an Honours degree in Computer Science from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 1986.

Alan Steventon

Alan Steventon is Head of the Systems Research Unit at BT Laboratories. This is a team of about 70 people with research groups on Artificial Life, AI (agents, constraint technology, soft computing), agents-based business systems, natural language, knowledge management, business modelling and complexity. His BSc, MSc and PhD are in physics, specialising in electronic device physics. He spent 20 years in optoelectronics research, including establishing a successful factory, now owned by HP. Two years ago he moved to bring a fresh approach to complex systems. His strategy of searching for radical solutions, pushing for large advances and exploiting those advances within the company is already having impact. He is driven by the need to get software productivity levels from 5% pa to 50% pa, to get networked computer/telecom systems to have intuitive and hi-fidelity multimodal interfaces with humans and to bringing a science and engineering approach to complex adaptive systems. He believes in a multisciplinary approach, and that mother nature has already solved most of these problems for us, if we were only intelligent enough to learn from her.

Richard Tateson

Richard Tateson completed a BA in the Biochemistry Department of Cambridge University in 1993 and moved across the road to the Zoology Department to work towards a PhD in developmental biology. The PhD research centered on the development of the peripheral nervous system in the fruitfly, Drosophila, in particular the mechanisms by which individual cells communicate with each other to self-organise the desired adult pattern of cell types.

In April 1997 he joined the Artificial Life group at BT Labs and has spent his time adapting ideas from developmental biology, such as self-organisation and progressive elaboration of complexity, to the purposes of the group, such as dynamic problem solving and evolvable software.

He is married with two children and, in the unlikely event of free time, he likes to swim, cycle or have a nice sit down.

Rod Webb

Dr Rod Webb graduated from Imperial College as an electrical engineer and joined BT to do research on optical systems in a variety of communication and information processing applications. He has been involved in several neural network projects in which electronic elements were interconnected by optical techniques in order to demonstrate the potential for high-speed, highly interconnected neural hardware. He is now developing a purely electronic neural test-bed in collaboration with Korea Telecom based on their URAN chip. Its purpose will be to find optimum configurations for telecommunications switches, networks, etc. and offer a speed advantage over software in these computationally intensive problems. This work is intended to lead to the development of self-learning hardware for more complex network control and robotic applications. Rod is also an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and tutors one of their artificial intelligence courses.

Chris Winter

Chris graduated in Biochemistry from Oxford University in 1980 and gained a doctorate in Solid State Physics from Lancaster University in 1982. After postdoctoral research on the fabrication of nanometre-wide wires in thin films, he was awarded a prestigious 1851 Research Fellowship to look at methods of building a Molecular Computer. He joined the BT Laboratories at Martlesham Heath in 1985. In the 1980’s he worked on non-linear optical materials and devices. In 1992 he moved to BT’s innovative Systems Research Division where he helped develop self-organising and evolutionary software for network management, inspired by biological analogies. He subsequently led a team working on intelligent agents for use in mobile phone networks. In 1996 he was asked to set up an Artificial Life group to look at radical ways to tackle complexity, improve software productivity and increase the intelligence of the network. This career mixture of biochemistry, physics and software underpins the group’s research and make-up. Its goal is to combine the three subjects to make one of the great goals of man: a self-aware, intelligent machine. He is currently a Visiting Industrial Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University.

Wayne Wobcke

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This article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser on .

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