Steering Committee

The Steering Committee reviews and evaluates CDT activities to ensure that it is addressing and achieving its strategic aims.

The Steering Committee consists of the following individuals as well as all members of the Executive Management Committee.

Jim Ashe - Director of Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, School of Informatics

Jim Ashe first graduated in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow. His post graduate education was sponsored by The General Electric Company and he spent 5 years as Principal Research Engineer at the GEC-Marconi Research Centre. His research interests included: High power, High performance VLSI Structures and Devices, Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits and Electronic Interconnection and Packaging.

He then joined Cambridge based Anamartic (A Tandem Computer and Fujitsu Company) working on fault tolerant WSI (Wafer Scale Integration) devices. Jim was one of the first employees of Xaar PLC and was heavily involved in IP Licensing and fundamental in developing Xaar’s microfabrication facility on the Cambridge Science Park. He helped found Intense Photonics (a spin out based on IP in the field of Quantum Well Intermixing – owned by The University of Glasgow) where he led the commercial activities. Intense Photonics raised over £56M in private venture funding. Prior to joining the School of Informatics, he led the commercial activities in IP Licensing at the commercialisation company of DSTL (Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratories).

Prof Alex Lascarides - Chair in Semantics, School of Informatics and Deputy Director of Informatics Graduate School

Alex Lascarides is Professor of Semantics in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. She received her PhD in Cognitive Science from the University of Edinburgh, and after several postdoc positions at Edinburgh, Cambridge and Stanford, she took up a lectureship in the School of Informatics at Edinburgh. Professor Lascarides’ main research interests focus on modelling human communication, particularly on how the meaning of an utterance interacts with the interpreter’s expectations that the speaker will organise discourse so as to highlight meaningful relationships among successive contributions. She has spent the last 20 years developing formally precise models of discourse meaning, commonsense reasoning and agent behaviour so as to model this interaction. She also more recently has focussed on developing a computational model of non-verbal communication, particularly spontaneous and improvised hand gestures that occur in face to face conversation. Professor Lascarides has co-authored two books and many journal and conference papers, has been PI on several grants funded by the UK research councils, Scottish Enterprise, the EU and ERC, was Chair of the European Association for Computational Linguistics from 2007–2009, and has given many invited talks at conferences and seminars in Europe and the States.

Rhys Perry - Portfolio Manager for Information & Communication Technologies at EPSRC and EPSRC CDT Contact for the CDT in Pervasive Parallelism


Rhys Perry is a portfolio manager within EPSRC’s Information & Communication Technologies team. He is responsible for the New and Emerging Areas cross-ICT priority, and contact for ICT Fellowships and manages the following research areas:

  • Programming Languages & Compilers
  • Theoretical Computer Science

Rhys is the ESPRC contact for the CDT PPar.

Dr Charles Sutton - Deputy Director of the CDT in Data Science and Reader in the School of Informatics

Charles Sutton is a Reader in Machine Learning in the School of Informatics. His research interests span a broad range of applications of probabilistic methods for machine learning, including software engineering, natural language processing, computer security, queueing theory, and sustainable energy. He obtained his PhD in computer science in 2008 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, working with Andrew McCallum. From 2007-2009, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, under the supervision of Michael I Jordan. He is deputy director of the new EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Science.

Justs Zarins - CDT PPar Student Representative

Justs Zarins completed an undergraduate degree in Computational Physics and a postgraduate Masters degree in High Performance Computing at the University of Edinburgh. He is now studying within the CDT in Pervasive Parallelism. His research interests include exascale applications and algorithms, co-design and miniapps, and MCMC Bayesian phylogenetic inference. As the student representative on the Steering Committee, he will provide a student perspective on the issues, and will feedback Steering Committee decisions and progress to his fellow CDT students.