Speaker Biographies


Alistair Young



Alistair is Senior Software Engineer with the University of the Highlands and Islands and an Associate Lecturer with The Open University and has been involved with identity management and systems integration for the past ten years, developing automatic account creation systems for SITS/eDirectory/Groupwise/ActiveDirectory integration, as well as being the lead developer on the JISC funded Guanxi Core Middleware project, one of the first forays into Federated Access Management and a precursor of the UK Access Management Federation. The Guanxi Distributed Java Service Provider is in use with commercial suppliers in the UK Federation as well as internally at UHI and Alistair will talk about how to provide a more user friendly SAML/Shibboleth integration strategy for application designers, using the language of Web2.0, with a SAML to JSON gateway.

As a part time mountain guide, Alistair is no stranger to weird and wonderful places and the sometimes odd inhabitants to be found there. Hence his fearlessness in attempting to tame the SAML monster and bring it to a wider Web2.0 audience!<

Andy Swiffin



Andy has been involved in Identity Management for over 15 years, writing a user management directory for his institution even before X500 directories existed. In the early days of the Federation role-out Andy saw that there were likely to be huge benefits in embracing this for his institution and has been an “evangelist” for Federated Access ever since. He formed the McShib Access Management forum in Scotland which has been instrumental in promoting Federated Access throughout the country through a number of very well attended technical meetings.

Through his presentations at a number of conferences and courses Andy always aims to give the recipients something that they can take away that will help them deploy FAM at their own institutions. As a pilot and qualified flying instructor, Andy is never happier than when he doesn’t have both feet firmly on the ground!

Chad La Joie

Chad La Joie is a member of the Shibboleth core development team where he oversees all of the Java-based code (the identity provider, discovery service, OpenSAML libraries, and associated tools).  In addition he works as an independent consultant through his company, Itumi.  His primary work efforts focus on identity management systems and improving the security of distributed systems.

Christian Fernau

Christian Fernau is a systems developer within the Systems Development and Support Team at Oxford University Computing Services. Christian is a security middleware specialist and has led or contributed to technical development relating to X.509, Grid security, SAML/Shibboleth, identity management, and portals. He is currently implementing a groups management service at Oxford University using Internet2's Groups Management Toolkit (Grouper).

David Argles



David has many years of experience spanning a number of fields, including electronic engineering, computing, security, education, and business. He has more recently returned to security as his primary interest.

The team at Southampton is primarily interested in online security, and in particular, security issues relating to eLearning. Strong, but usable, authentication is one aspect of this; also the validity of the results of online examinations taken in remote locations.  Of increasing interest is the concept of putting control over access back into the hands of the user who owns the data.  We are currently running the "eCert" project looking particularly at this issue.

David has been sat in my classic car with my son when it went up in flames, suffered injuries whilst Scottish Country Dancing, seen his tent destroyed in a storm in Brittany, and steered a rudder-less boat to shore (yes, it is possible).  He thinks this ought to have something to do with security, but the link escapes him at the moment...

More information about the e-Cert project can be found here.

David Harrison



David is a Geographer by education and disposition who just fell into computing when he had to learn how to use an Elliott 4130 at UCW Aberystwyth whilst attempting to do research into fluvial geomorphology. There weren't many programmes around at the time so he learnt to programme statistical models in Algol and the Fortran. Before he admitted defeat on his PhD he had become a Lecturer in Physical Geography at Doncaster College of Education. He couldn't get the computing thing out of his brain however and soon took off to Bradford University to do a MSc in Computing. Here he learnt the dark arts of machine code, concurrent programming using Modula-2, and the wonders of operating systems - skills that were to lead to his appointment as Systems Programmer at SGIHE. This led in turn to appointments as Head of IT at UWIC before he leapt all of one mile down the road to become Director of Computing at UWCM. When the College merged with Cardiff, he became responsible for enablement and strategy as an Assistant Director. He stepped down from responsibility for front-line services in 2009 to take on a role developing strategy, futures and engagement. He was also seconded to the JISC as their Senior Advisor on Access Management.

Always involved with outside collaborative activities - PERUG, ACUCHE, PCCC, UCISA, HEWIT, SWMAN, WNL (where he acts as CEO) - he served as Chair of the PCCC-SDG and then UCISA-SDG; he was a member of the JISC sub-committees - JCALT and then JCN and was also elected to be Chair of UCISA from 2007-2009. In the past four years he has spoken at a number of conferences and has become a passionate advocate of both the strategic importance of access and identity management and also the use of social-media in the enterprise. He has blogged and commented often on both. His current role allows him to paint pictures of futures and possibilities, to challenge and provoke, to encourage debate and participation, in other words to hopefully promote education in all its best forms.

Dave Thomson



Dave Thomson has worked in Educational ICT for longer than he is prepared to admit. He has been a secondary science teacher, consultant for NCET forerunner of BECTa and has working in support roles within two local authorities. Dave's focus on technology and such developments as Federated Access Management is more about what this offers to learners and supporting the learning process than the technical solutions themselves. Dave led the Worcestershire implementation of FAM and the development of what he considers to be a 'learning infrastructure' which allows for a range of flexible ways of working. This presentation will focus on the user experience and just what has been achieved to date including the protection of sensitive data through dual factor authentication.

Fiona Culloch

Fiona Culloch manages the JISC-funded WSTIERIA project and is also a member of the SDSS access management expert group, both based at EDINA.  Currently Fiona is spending most of her time on WSTIERIA.  The project is investigating two approaches to the integration of web services with the SAML-based authentication mechanisms used in the UK federation.  The first method is a “façade” structure where access control is completely decoupled from the underlying web service implementation. The second is the use of recently added Shibboleth features that enable n-tier scenarios, where a user is authenticated once but their attributes are made available to multiple web services in a controlled way.

Previously, Fiona developed the architecture used internally by EDINA to transition its many web sites to UK federation access management without requiring multiple Shibboleth deployments. She also helped co-ordinate the various teams involved in implementing federated access management at EDINA, and their successful roll-out in August 2008. Fiona was a contributor to the recent JISC review of OpenID and worked on the TIES I and II projects, which investigated the possible uses of digital certificates in UK HE/FE.  Before working for EDINA, she worked in industry on compiler construction and real-time operating systems.

Geoff Curtis


Geoff Curtis is a highly experienced consultant who has worked broadly across the public sector. He is a founder director of Curtis+Cartwright Consulting Ltd. Specific and relevant experience includes strategy development, programme management, programme and project/service evaluation and assessment,  and business case development for taking forward ICT-enabled business change. He is currently developing the ‘eduID’ business case for the TERENA REFEDS working group and will discuss the likely outcome of this work at FAM 10.

Ian Young

Ian Young has worked in the area of systems software (operating systems, compilers and computer networking) for more than three decades. Since 2004, he has worked with the SDSS group at EDINA, a JISC National Data Centre based at the University of Edinburgh, on the problem of federated identity and federated access management. In that role, he was involved in the establishment of the development SDSS Federation and its production successor, the UK Access Management Federation for Education and Research. He believes that the most successful middleware is both ubiquitous and invisible, and looks forward to federated identity attaining this ideal.

John Paschoud


John Paschoud is the InfoSystems Engineer and Projects Manager at the Library of the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). The Library Projects Team which he heads undertook the original evaluation for the UK JISC of potential new Access Management technologies, recommending that attention should be focussed on the SAML standard and the Shibboleth implementation by Internet2.

The Team subsequently undertook a similar evaluation for SURF in The Netherlands. LSE had the first operational Shibboleth installation outside of North America, and the Library Projects Team has been fully involved in subsequent JISC programmes to develop a new Access Management infrastructure for UK education. John is a member of the UK Federation Technical Advisory Group, and is also involved in liaison on behalf of the UK Higher Education community with national bodies developing Access Management infrastructures in other countries.

He was seconded as a member of the JISC Outreach Team supporting institutions, publishers and technology vendors in their adoption of Federated Access Management, was responsible for part of the JISC-funded Identity Project, developing models for auditing Identity Management practices in HE institutions, has  recently managed the JISC Identity Management Toolkit project and is now working on a BCE and access management project for JISC Collections.

Lisha Chen-Wilson

Lisha Chen-Wilson is Project Manager of the eCert Project, and is based in the Learning Societies Laboratory at the University of Southampton. Her research area is web security and she is currently looking at a framework for a secured e-qualification certificate system for e-Portfolios, having published research papers in the field. She has also worked on a number of other e-Learning and e-Science projects, such MSInvigor8, a psychology research project on the treatment of multiple sclerosis fatigue; and LifeGuide, an application that will allow researchers to easily and flexibly create and modify Internet-delivered interventions, for example.

Lukasz Moren

Lukasz Moren is a Research Assistant in Software Developer role in the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University. Lukasz worked in industry as a JaveEE developer for a Polish insurance company from RSA Group. Before joining Newcastle University, he was employed as IBM Technical Consultant. He was a successful participant of Google Summer of Code 2009 and 2010 contributing to JBoss and Apache Software Foundation projects. His interests include cloud computing, distributed systems, web services, identity management and security and privacy.

Lukasz Moren is currently working with Prof. Aad van Moorsel on the SMART project funded by JISC. The project aims to develop an online data access management system based on the User-Managed Access (UMA) Web protocol, a newly proposed technology that expands OAuth V2.0. He is an active participant of the UMA Work Group that standardises the UMA protocol.

Mark Tysom



Mark Tysom manages the Middleware Operations Group at JANET(UK). The group is currently responsible for the operation and delivery of the JANET Roaming (eduroam) and UK federation services. Before moving to this operational role, Mark worked within the team responsible for rolling out the UK federation at JANET(UK).

Mark Williams



Mark is part of JISC Collections, working with publishers and institutions involved with the UK Access Management Federation. Previous homes have included the JISC, Intute and the RDN. Before that he had over 10 years of teaching experience including further education.

Michael White

Michael White is an eLearning Developer from the University of Stirling. He graduated from Stirling in 1990 with a degree in Computing Science, and after brief spells as a research student and a Tree Surgeon, became a part-time lecturer in Computing Science at the University. He has been working in the eLearning field since 1997 holding various posts around the Institution before taking up his current position in the University's Centre for eLearning Development when it was created in 2003. As well as his eLearning related work, Michael is also involved with, or managing, a number of projects and services loosely related to increasing and improving access to electronic resources, including implementing and managing the University's Shibboleth Identity Provider and Institutional Repository services. Michael is currently seconded to the University's Research Information System project.

Michael Fraser

Michael Fraser is Head of the Infrastructure Systems and Services Group at Oxford University Computing Services. Amongst the services for which he has responsibility is the access management 'stack' provided by OUCS to enable authentication and authorisation for both central and local department or college applications. Michael has directed a number of access management projects, from DCOCE (digital certificates) to SPIE (Shibboleth and portals), and more recently internal projects at Oxford University relating to a core user directory and and groups management.

Further information is available from here.

Nicole Harris



Nicole Harris is currently working as the Access Management Focus for the UK, based in JISC Advance. Nicole was responsible for the implementation and roll-out of federated access management within the UK educational community. Previously, Nicole worked for JISC for over seven years, and has managed a series of programmes of work in the fields of e-research, e-infrastructure, e-learning and open source developments. Nicole works closely with international partners such as Internet2 and TERENA on developments in access and identity management, and is a regular speaker on these topics at international conferences. Contrary to popular myth, she does not own a pony.

Prof. Peter J Thewlis



Peter Thewlis is an IT and Communications Consultant and a Director of P J Thewlis Associates Ltd.  He has been the technical consultant to the East Midlands Broadband Consortium (embc) since its inception in 2000. Since founding the company in1997 he has also provided consultancy services to a number of other Regional Broadband Consortia, LAs and commercial organisations

With their Current supplier Synetrix embc have developed the use of Shibboleth both for internal and external single sign on to content and services
Previously Peter was Dean of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor at DeMontfort University.

Rod Widdowson

Rod Widdowson is a member of the SDSS access management expert group, based at EDINA. Rod has been a Shibboleth developer for over 5 years during which time he has concentrated on the usability issues particularly those associated with IdP discovery in large scale federations.  He is currently working on technology to allow SPs to easily deploy their own Discovery Mechanisms.  Rod's other main interest is ease of management:  the
technologies which will make Shibboleth easier to deploy and have a lower cost of ownership.

Roland Rosner



From 1979 to 1983, Roland Rosner was the first Head of the Joint Network Team - the forerunner of UKERNA and JANET(UK).  Then after 5 years at the University of London Computer Centre, he returned to UCL, his alma mater, where he established the Education & Information Support Division, embracing IT, Library, Management Information and Media Services, together with education and professional development.  Among many initiatives were internal biennial conferences on innovations in teaching and learning, the largest campus-based high performance computing system in  the UK and the foundation of the NHS-HE forum.  Since 2008, he has undertaken several consultancies in the Higher Education and health sectors and he chairs the Policy Board of the UK Access Management Federation for Education and Research.

In his opening remarks at FAM10, he will mention the role of the Federation’s Policy Board, key aspects of the Federation’s strategy and what he believes will be hot topics for the Federation over the next couple of years.

Ross MacIntyre

Ross MacIntyre is a Service Manager within Mimas, the UK National Data Centre at the University< of Manchester and looks after the ‘Web of Knowledge Service for UK Education’, ‘UK PubMed Central’, ‘Zetoc’ and the new JISC Journal Usage Statistics Portal. He has been involved in many Digital Library-related research activities, including: Dublin Core and OpenURL standards development, the implementation of federated access for Mimas’ range of services and the PIRUS2 project. He is a member of the UKSG Main Committee and the Technical Advisory Groups for COUNTER and the UK federation.

Dr Rhys Smith

Middleware Consultant at JANET(UK) and Engineering Consultant: Identity & Access Manager at Cardiff University, has a background in computer security and several years of experience of Identity Management and Federated Access Management. Rhys is a part of the middleware development team at JANET(UK) (operators of the UK federation), leads the team that manages Cardiff University's FAM infrastructure and is a member of the internal Identity Management team. He has recently been a part of the JISC funded Identity Toolkit project, and is currently leading the JISC funded RAPTOR project which is building usage statistic analysis tools for Shibboleth/EZproxy.

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