Professor Nicholas Caldwell

Associate Dean of Research and Knowledge Exchange & Professor of Information Systems Engineering

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School of Technology, Business and Arts
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Professor Nicholas Caldwell is Professor of Information Systems Engineering at the University of Suffolk. He is also currently Associate Dean (Research and Knowledge Exchange) for the School of Technology, Business and Arts.

Nicholas has been involved in undergraduate teaching for more than two decades. At Cambridge, he supervised undergraduate computer science and engineering students on courses including algorithms, artificial intelligence, computer architecture, computer hardware, databases, natural language processing, networks, operating systems, programming languages, and software engineering. At the University of Suffolk, he has taught modules on software engineering, AI/data science, distributed systems (cloud computing), and research skills, as well as supervising final-year projects. He is an active PhD supervisor.

Nicolas is actively involved in research, collaborating with academics in the UK, Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia. His research interests are artificial intelligence, engineering change management, engineering design, information systems,  knowledge management, process modelling (design and business), and scanning electron microscopy. He is a PhD supervisor for both the University of Cambridge in engineering design and for the University of Suffolk with current students involved in research on artificial intelligence, cyber security, data analytics, human-computer interaction, and software engineering. He is always happy to consider applications for postgraduate research (PhD) in any of these areas.

Nicholas is heavily involved in the Digital Futures Institute at the University of Suffolk, and the leader of the Technological Enablers and Social Media theme for the Global Knowledge Research Network consortium. He was Suffolk's Principal Investigator for the InnovateUK-funded "100CC" project (consortium led by Cisco). This work assisted the SME partners in improving their software and hardware solutions aimed at combating the social isolation and lack of digital skills of elderly and vulnerable people. Consequently, both Bronze Software Labs and GDS Digital were able to deploy their products to support a number of local government authorities in assisting vulnerable citizens in accessing essential services during the current pandemic.

He was Suffolk’s Principal Investigator on the Smarter Suffolk: A Live Lab consortium project, which was part of a national initiative of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport’s (ADEPT) SMART Places Live Lab, funded by the Department of Transport. The aim was to undertake a variety of scientifically rigorous trials utilising Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and through analysis of the resulting rich and large datasets of environmental, traffic and other conditions, determine the validity of the business cases and inform strategic adoption across the UK.  In addition, he is heavily involved in business engagement and enterprise activities, providing consultancy for regional SMEs, and was “knowledge base” for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership in conjunction with Coderus, and one with Matrixx.

From 1998 to 2013, Nicholas was a Research Associate at the Department of Engineering within the University of Cambridge, undertaking research in multiple areas with a diverse set of research groups.

His initial research was a continuation of his work in applied artificial intelligence and microscopy, jointly with Dr David Holburn and Bernie Breton, with funding from LEO Electron Microscopy (now Carl Zeiss Microscopy) and the Isaac Newton Trust. From 1998 to 2000, he also worked with the Engineering Design Centre to develop web-based tools, such as WebCADET, a decision support and knowledge management system) to support design research. In this, he was assisting Professor Paul Rodgers (formerly of the Engineering Design Centre, now Professor of Design at Lancaster University) and Dr Avon Huxor (then at the University of Middlesex).

From January 2006 to June 2013, Nicholas was an active member of the Engineering Design Centre at the University of Cambridge. He worked on the EPSRC Grand Challenge Knowledge & Information Management Through-Life (KIM) project, with a key result being the development of a set of principles for through-life management of engineering information, and the software implementation of Design Structure Matrices for the Cambridge Advanced Modeller platform. He was heavily involved in the design and development of the first Inclusive Design Toolkit website. In change management research, Nicholas was part of the NECTISE consortium with BAE Systems, designing and implementing the Change Prediction Method algorithms and visualisations in the Cambridge Advanced Modeller platform. In a joint project with BP and MIT, he conducted research to benchmark existing BP change management policies, providing a set of recommendations for adoption across multiple business units, and analysed historical change data to identify effective indicators for predicting project success and failure. In the EU Framework Programme 7 project, CRESCENDO, led by Airbus, his work focused on applying change prediction techniques to workflows and modelling those design processes within the context of a simulation factory of federated tools and models for next-generation aircraft design. His final piece of research at Cambridge was to develop a set of healthcare readiness levels for assessing the maturity of innovations in healthcare.

Nicholas holds a BA in Computer Science and a PhD in Engineering, both from the University of Cambridge. His doctoral thesis was entitled "Knowledge-Based Engineering for the Scanning Electron Microscope".

His publications can be found via ORCID

Nicholas is a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Chartered Engineer, and a Chartered IT Professional.