CST Previous Events

CST Events 2019

Master the Mainframe

We are proud to announce the University of Bedfordshire came 3rd in the Master The Mainframe 2019 competition with 38 registrations. This included 13 students who completed Part 1, 2 completed Part 2, and 1 completed part 3.

Two students who were Part 2 and Part 3 finishers are listed in the Hall of Fame 2019 (among the 33 entries) - go to mtm2019.mybluemix.net click on the UK map, then search for Bedfordshire.

Congratulations!

Congratulations to all our students who took part and to Daniel Serbanescu and Radu Popescu for their success in the hall of fame!

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

IBM Blockchain Workshop

Speaker: Matt Lucas, Blockchain Global Engagement at IBM

Wednesday 27 November 2019 10:00am to 5:00pm

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

On Wednesday 27th November the CST School was privileged to once again welcome IBM’s Matt Lucas, Blockchain Global Engagement, to share his in-depth knowledge, and practical experience of Blockchain technology.

If you want to learn about Blockchain then you could not have afforded to miss this event.

IBM’s Matt Lucas, Global Blockchain Engagement held a very successful, well attended all-day theoretical and hands-on workshop. 

Blockchain technical skills are in high demand, with the World Economic Forum predicting that 10% of global GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain related technology by 2025.  It is rare for a technology to have interest from the C-suite to the developer community.  

Matt Lucas from IBM’s blockchain team returned for another year to hold an all-day technical workshop telling you what you need to know.

 Blockchain is a shared, replicated ledger that underpins technology such as Bitcoin.  Blockchain's reach is far wider than cryptocurrency however, as it sets out to provide the foundation for a new generation of transactional applications that establish trust and transparency, while streamlining business processes.

 Are you curious about Blockchain and what it can do?  In this one-day workshop students learned the essentials of blockchain:

  • Blockchain Explained: What blockchain (distributed ledger technology) is and why it is important
  • Blockchain Technologies: Comparing blockchain technologies (ie. Ethereum, Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric)
  • Blockchain Technical Concepts: The technical concepts of blockchain: data structures and algorithms
  • Blockchain Software Engineering: Building your first application and deploying your first network

The workshop targeted students with a technical background since it built on basic computer science concepts and included basic programming in JavaScript, knowledge of which was desirable but not essential.

The workshop focused on the use of distributed ledgers in business scenarios, and thus took into account the various privacy and confidentiality requirements that organisations face, and the various other regulatory frameworks that govern business today.

About the lecturer: Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas is part of IBM’s global blockchain team. His role is to help people understand and apply blockchain technologies and works closely with emerging blockchain fabrics such as Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. He is based in IBM’s development laboratory in Hursley and has worked with IBM for 20 years on a variety of integration middleware technologies. Matt is also an advisor for the British Blockchain Association and an associate lecturer at the University of Oxford.

Feedback from students was very positive: “I found the workshop extremely useful and the speaker really informative.”

“There was a lot of content and lot to take in. It is a growing area of interest for most people and trying to understand the technology can be hard. However, I went away with a really good understanding of the technology and how it can help me.”

“The workshop was very interesting, informative and intellectually stimulating. The time spent was very well invested. I plan to explore it in more detail relevant to job roles availability.”

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

ONI Logo

CST School / BCS Student Chapter - Visit to ONI plc Data Centre, Luton

Date: Tuesday 22 October, 2019
Time: 4:30 to 6:30pm
Location: ONI plc, 16-24 Crawley Green Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 0QX

A group of over 20 CST students were very fortunate to be able to visit the ONI PLC Data Centre on 22nd October 2019. The visit included an introduction to ONI and cloud services, an explanation of the current state of IT cloud services and a visit to the Data Centre.

The students were made to feel very welcome by Mark Collins, CTO and Implementation Services Director and Russell King, Head of CAPS and their team, and, following refreshments they delivered a comprehensive overview of ONI and wide range of data storage options currently available. This was followed by a tour of the impressive data centre.ONI

If you have an opportunity to attend a similar visit in the future, this is one no one should miss!

Many organisations are offloading their IT infrastructure through cloud based managed services. There are many business benefits as well as potential pitfalls.

Established in 1992, ONI plc is a leading provider of IT solutions and services to both public sector and commercial markets. Privately owned, ONI offers a comprehensive range of on-site, cloud and hybrid technology solutions.

ONI expertise spans core network infrastructure, unified communications and collaboration, contact centre solutions, data centre services, connectivity and cyber-security. ONI cloud services are delivered from a Tier 3+ Data Centre, located in the South East of England, and include infrastructure, disaster recovery, UC, collaboration and contact centre solutions as-a-service. Student feedback following the visit was very, very positive.

For example, James Campbell (Year 3 BSc (Hons), Artificial Intelligence and Robotics undergraduate), said on Twitter:

"Mind blowing day at ONI Data Centre in Luton. Thank you #universityofbedfordshire for arranging an exclusive event to find out more how #BigData is stored and managed in facilities like these. ONI struts a Tier 3 data centre infrastructure, a gold standard partnership with #Cisco and collaborations with many other huge names in tech as you may be able to make out from the wall list I am blocking in the picture below! The #Nimbus infrastructure-as-a-service (IAAS) solutions from ONI are great in capability and prove a threat to its competitors. Incredible to see the finest examples of storage and networking hardware set ups which has provided 100% Data Centre Services uptime so far and counting....one hundred percent! I am grateful to have had the full talk and tour experience from CTO @Mark Collins and Head of CaPS @Russell King. In short, I had a good time :)"

This visit was organised by the University’s School of Computer Science and Technology, by the Bedford branch of the BCS, and by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society.

This event has been organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Review - Ransomware – Kill Chain and Defence! – Thursday, 14 November 2019 6.00-8.00pm

  • Speaker: Geraint Williams, CISO, GRC International Group.

On Thursday, 14th November the CST School was privileged to once again welcome Geraint Williams, CISO, GRC International Group, to share his in-depth knowledge, research and practical experience of the phenomenon of Ransomware.

The session was very well attended with enthusiastic students from Years 1 to MSc level as well as external visitors, and there were a large number of questions from the audience as well as during the networking session at the end of the talk.

Ransomware has been a major threat to organisations and individual over the last few years. Infections waned at the end of last year but have risen in the first half of this year with new code innovations and much more targeted approach being deployed.

The LockerGoga ransomware, for example, hit a Norwegian manufacturing company and halted production in several of its plants in March, eventually resulting in over US$ 55 million (£45 million) in financial losses. In addition, the city of Baltimore, Maryland, had incurred US$ 5.3 million (£4.3 million) in recovery costs after its systems were infected with the Robin Hood ransomware in May.

This presentation looked at the phenomenon of ransomware and reviewed the ransomware kill chain detailing the stages a ransomware attack goes through. A review was included of a case study of a blended attack that cumulated in ransomware denotating which involving an agricultural company in the UK. The session finished by going the steps that can help to protect you against attack.

Speaker’s Profile

Geraint Williams is the CISO at GRC International Group. Geraint is a knowledgeable and experienced Information Security consultant with experience including vulnerability testing, digital forensics, secure networking, and wireless security issues.Geraint Williams

Geraint has a strong technical knowledge of security and IT infrastructure including high performance computing. Geraint has a number of certifications in security and digital forensics including CISSP, CISA, CEH and CHFI and is a Qualified Security Assessor for the Payment Card Industry (PCI).

The CST School is once again very grateful to Geraint for so readily giving up his valuable time to share his expertise and passion for all things related to cybersecurity with our Computing students.  Geraint will be back in the New Year to deliver a practical hands-on workshop on Weaponised PDFs.

Arranged by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Review - Cyber Crime Prevention - Cyber Threats, Vulnerabilities and Career Opportunities – 23 October 2019

Speakers:

  • Stephanie Frankish, ERSOU (Eastern Region Special Operations Unit)Regional Organised Crime Unit Logo
  • Sean O’Neil, Cyber Security Consultant for Bedfordshire Police

Cyber-crime is an ever-increasing threat within the UK. Cyber-crime is estimated to be costing the UK economy billions of pounds per year, and the costs to individuals and businesses are often staggering.

There are over £1mllion victims of cyber-crime each day, but GCHQ believes that 80% of cyber-crime is easily preventable. 60% of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over 6 months after a cyber attack.

Book cover - 1 million victims a day

“There was nothing I could do, I was powerless and they knew it. We’d only started the business two years ago, there was no way to pull it back” - Matt

The Cyber Choices input will raise awareness of the computer misuse act 1990, with up to date and relevant examples of people who have been convicted under the different sections of this act. Cyber prevent officers, who deliver the Cyber Choices programme, work a lot with the cyber security industry to gain valuable insight into what it takes to be successful in this profession. This will include valuable tips on where to go to practice your skills legally and safely to become the next generation of cyber security professionals ie. pentesters, ethical hackers, web developers, digital forensic examiners etc. This will give a good insight into cyber security career pathways and at the vast number of opportunities available in this field for well-qualified graduates.

Prior to starting her role with Cyber Prevent team from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit in September 2017, Stephanie Frankish studied criminology with sociology and has worked in the police within prevention for the past 5-6 years. Starting with general crime prevention, onto counter terrorism prevent and now into cyber.

One of the roles of the Regional Cyber Crime Prevent team (of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit) is to provide both potential victims and perpetrators with a sound understanding of the Computer Misuse Act and the impact of its infringement. Stephanie explained how an individual can avoid becoming yet another statistic in this list of cybercrimes. What steps can be taken? She also looked at cyber security career pathways and at the vast number of opportunities available in this field for well-qualified graduates.

Stephanie would be happy to speak about their pathways more and to answer any questions you may have on this or around the Cyber Choices messaging.

Sean O’Neil, Cyber Security Consultant for Bedfordshire Police, then led an informative and lively discussion around current threats - giving examples of recent cases that have caused loss to businesses and individuals. Sean has extensive law enforcement experience having served for 30 years in UK Police service. As a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) he is experienced in dealing with critical incidents affecting organisational reputation - including extortion, product contamination, and large-scale frauds. Sean now provides cyber security and anti-fraud advice direct to businesses. The presentation considered how fraudsters prepare to steal your money, and how effective are the banks and Police in coping with the rising number of incidents of cyber-crime. What are the 5 basic steps every business should take to reduce vulnerability to cyber-crime?

Sean has extensive law enforcement experience having served for 30 years in UK Police service. As a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) he is experienced in dealing with critical incidents affecting organisational reputation - including extortion, product contamination, and large-scale frauds. Sean undertook a regional loss prevention, security and investigations manager role for a large ecommerce company heading investigations into organised crime attacks on the company. In this role, he investigated large-scale counterfeit allegations and high end cyber enabled crime such as fraud. Sean now provides cyber security and anti-fraud advice direct to businesses.

The talk was well attended and many questions came from the enthusiastic audience both during and after the presentations. We were pleased to welcome to the session seven Year 12 pupils and their teacher from Freman Upper School and Sixth Form College. It is hoped that this talk will be followed up by a visit by the CST School’s students to Bedfordshire Police’s Cyber Crime Hub’s laboratories at the Kempston HQ to see how actual forensic cases are handled.

Both Stephanie and Sean have provided copies of their comprehensive presentations and an information pack which will be made available to participants and will also uploaded to BREO.

This event was organised by the CST School, the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society in collaboration with the Careers and Employability team.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterTUI Logo

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Programming Workshop – Introducing Design Patterns with Ruby Examples

On Wednesday 16th October the CST School was privileged to welcome Graham Lewis, Senior Software Developer at TUI, Luton, who – at short notice – agreed to give a lecture and hands-on demonstration on Design Patterns with examples from Ruby.

The session was very well attended with enthusiastic students from Years 2 to MSc level.

Graham started by introducing the history and concept of Design Patterns from the early days of architectural design. He explained what they are in the context of software development – and what they are not - and how they should be used. He also talked about the advantages of adopting Design Patterns in software engineering.

The hands-on session comprised examples from the Ruby programming language. Ruby is one of the most popular programming languages making it easier to grasp the idea behind the patterns. The workshop covered the following most commonly used design patterns starting with the most simple – Singleton, Factory, Strategy, Builder and State. Nothing fazes the CST Computing students – even working with a completely new concept and, for most, a new programming language, and even after the scheduled end of the session they wanted more!

Many thanks to Graham for giving up his valuable time to support and motivate the CST students. Many of the students already know Graham who is an enthusiastic veteran of the yearly TUI Hackathons.

Trainer’s Profile

Graham Lewis

Graham is a Senior Software Developer at TUI, Luton. He is a Ruby, Ruby-on-Rails, JavaScript and Java developer with object-oriented analysis and modelling (object and data) skills. His work combines strong business focus with the ability to translate business requirements into pragmatic working code and systems. Graham prefers working in an Agile environment and has a highly developed Agile/Lean perspective. He is a strong team-player with excellent communication skills and a passion and drive to deliver tools and systems to get the job done.

Key Technical Skills

  • Ruby, Sinatra and Ruby-on-Rails
  • Java: Servlets, POJOs and JavaServer Pages (JSP)
  • JavaScript
  • HTML / CSS
  • Agile / Lean methodologies and practices
  • Test Driven Development (TDD) & Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)
  • Web design and standards
  • Version control: Git, CVS and Subversion
  • Databases: Relational & NoSQL - Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB
  • Object-oriented analysis, design and implementation skills
  • Data modelling, design and analysis: relational, dimensional and information architecture REST API design
  • Experience of full project lifecycle and roles
  • Comfortable with a wide variety of deployment, continuous integration and development tools, methodologies and operating systems and experience with DevOps

Arranged by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Friday 4 October 2019

Introductory Games Night BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing Society

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

On Friday 4th October as an introduction to the start of the year’s events and activities for University of Bedfordshire BCS

Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society an Introductory Games Night was organised. The event was well attended by many enthusiastic students from both first and second years.

The idea was that this should be an enjoyable games night where students could come and play games with other like-minded students and meet new people, learn about the BCS and also enter competitions to show their skills.

Students were informed about the Society activities planned for 2019-2020, but they were also asked to give input into things they would like to get involved with. There was a great deal of interest from students to join the Beds Computing Society / University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter.

We held a Fortnight tournament. This consisted of a few different rounds held on a private server for just the students attending.

This was followed up by a final tournament of all the winners of each round going ‘head-to-head’. Congratulations to the winner of the Fortnight tournament - Year 1 BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development student, Szymon Sprawka.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Tuesday 24 September 2019

University of Bedfordshire Freshers’ Fayre - BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing Society

Freshers’ Fayre took place at the Luton Campus on Tuesday 24th September, and the Beds Computing Society / BCS Student Chapter were kept very busy on the Society stall all day with enquiries and signups by new potential members.

We had a lot of different things to display from hacking tools to Arduinos and Raspberry Pi’s. We also had a cryptography challenge. The winner’s prize was an Arduino Starter Kit - with everything they need to get started making small hardware projects.

Freshers Stall

We let students know about activities planned for 2019-2020. Students were told about the weekly student-led learning workshops where they could learn Programming, Arduino’s and Linux as well as a range of other topics. These workshops will be held every Wednesday between 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Workshops will organised and taught by students for students. The idea is that any student can run a workshop or lecture if they feel they have something to offer.

As well as being informed about the Society activities planned for 2019-2020, we asked students for ideas of things they would like to learn and events they would like to attend. There was a great deal of interest from CST and non-CST students for attending events and learning new skills.

Many students signed up as members of the Beds Computing Society / University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter. The BCS Student Chapter had generously supplied boxes of ‘goodies’ – tote bags, wallet card protectors, highlighters and many more handy tools.

The Freshers’ Fayre was a great success and a very good start to 2019.

We would like to thank the BCS Student Chapter for their continual generous support and encouragement.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Wednesday 24th July 2019

Two University of Bedfordshire Computing Year 1 Undergraduates Recognised for their Outstanding Achievements

The outstanding achievements of two Computing Year 1 Undergraduates were recognised at an Award Presentation on Wednesday 24 July. Both student students, Dimitra Krezia (studying BSc Computer Science (Hons)) and Vince Goldman (studying BSc Computer Security and Forensics (with Professional Practice Year) (Hons)) gained an amazing A+ grade for every assignment in the four units studied with an average overall mark of well over 90%.

Throughout the year they have both been an inspiration to their friends and peers. Outside their studies, they have also been very proactive in taking advantage of the many extra-curricular events organised by the BCS Student Chapter, the Beds Computing SU Society and others.

Dimitra Krezia

Dimitra Krezia was rewarded for commitment to her studies with the BCS (The Chartered Institute of IT) Bedford Branch Student Prize which is given every year to the highest performing first year computing student in the University’s School of Computer Science and Technology.

Dimitra’s prize includes automatic membership of the BCS for the remainder of her studies and a £150 cash prize. Her certificate was presented by the Chair of the BCS Bedford Branch Dr Ip-Shing Fan from Cranfield University.

Vince Goldman was awarded the School of Computer Science and Technology Prize which was presented by Dr Paul Sant, Head of School, School of Computer Science and Technology.

Vince Goldman and Paul Sant

Dimitra Krezia had very little experience of Computer Science and programming until she came to the University

“Getting the first place and the BCS award was something unexpected for me, especially if you told me that I'd get it when I first started. I had almost zero experience with coding and computer science in general before joining the University, and I was scared that I would lack compared to other students.”

“The university helped me a lot in overcoming this anxiety by being very supportive towards mature students that have to work and by having a clear curriculum that allowed me to take my first steps into the very vast programming world. The teachers, in combination with the events organised during the year, contributed a lot to my success.”

“It was a very challenging first year, with long hours of study and work but it was also interesting and exciting to learn so much. In the end, I am honoured to receive this prize and see my efforts being rewarded in this way. I am looking forward to new, exciting challenges in my 2nd year.”

When Vince Goldman joined the University in October, 2018 he had only one year’s experience in computing after completing an Access Course.

“When I first arrived at University for the registration I found many interesting activities to attend and I had the opportunity to meet my new classmates. This experience was invaluable as I met people who would form my main group of friends - some of them on my course - some not. This group got larger and more diverse as the year continued. Luckily, this group also wanted to learn as much as I did and we competed in hackathons and took part in most of the other events the University provided for us. I learned much from my peers and these extra-curricular events, and we all had something to offer each other - whether it be softer skills such as motivation and confidence building, or programming and using tools I had never heard of.”

“I hope to continue my success next year.”

Group photo

Left to Right. Daniel Serbanescu (Student), Dr Jon Hitchcock, Dr Paul Sant (Head of School, School of Computer Science and Technology), Radu Popescu (Student), Dr Elias Eze, Dr Tess Crosbie, Professor Jan Domin (Executive Dean of CATS Faculty), Dimitra Krezia, Alexandra Kalogeraki (Student), Vincent Goldman, Vince's Father, Vince's Wife, Karen Chessum (Technical Support Assistant), Dr Marc Conrad, Rob Keane (Technical Services Manager), Vince's Mother, Dr Ip-Shing Fan (Chair BCS Bedford Branch, Cranfield University).

“It is great to see such dedication and hard work, and is great that we can reward it through the kind sponsorship of BCS” said Dr Paul Sant, Head of the School, Computer Science and Technology.

Sue Brandreth, Associate Lecturer at the University as well as committee member and Education Liaison Officer of the Bedford Branch of the BCS, said: “From the start is was obvious that both Dimitra and Vince were determined to do well and make the most of the opportunities that the University provides. They readily took advice from teaching staff about the best approach to learning and have really excelled. They have been model students and an inspiration to both fellow students and teaching staff”.

Wednesday 13 March 2019

Festival of Science

The Cybersecurity Club @ UoB has presented to around 37 pupils from Luton High Schools (Lee Manor, Challney High School for Girls, etc.), two sessions on Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, as part of the University’s Festival of Science and Engineering on 13 March 2019. Presentations were given by the Club members:

  • Node JammerLee
  • Cristian
  • Richard
  • Muhammad

Various Ethical Hacking tools (some pictured here) and topics covering:

  • Physical securityRubber Ducky
  • Wireless network security
  • Computer security
  • Drones
  • Steganography

In addition to Social Engineering, were demonstrated. Pupils were fully engaged and shown great interest in finding out more about Cybersecurity, and Digital Forensics.

Dr Ali Mansour (Club Organiser)

Festival of Science

Festival of Science

Festival of Science

HackSter The Mainframe - Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Cybersecurity Club @ UoB and the School of Computer Science and Technology hosted this master and hack the mainframe one day event on 16th February 2019. The event was sponsored by leading industry partners namely, IBM, RSM Partners, _betasystems, Compuware, and zdevops B.V. Students were introduced to IBM Mainframes, its z/OS operating system, and given a hacking challenge to Capture The Flag (CTF). Awards were presented by the Industry partners’ representatives to the students who successfully captured the flag.

Hackster group

As part of its new initiatives, the School of Computer Science and Technology is working to setup its own Mainframe running IBM’s z/OS for teaching and research.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterTUI Logo

CST Students Invited to Visit TUI UK Headquarters in Luton for a ‘Hack a Ship’ Workshop - Monday, 7 January, 2019

Vince Goldman, Year 1 Undergraduate BSc (Hons) Computer Security and Forensics

Having won a Golden Ticket at the recent successful TUI Hackathon held at the University of Bedfordshire on 9-10th November, 2018, a group of us were invited to have a look round the TUI offices in December. Here we saw the different departments and how a large company is run. During this visit while we were talking to the security department staff they mentioned a seminar about hacking a cruise ship. After showing interest in this the students studying on the Computer Security degree were invited back to attend this seminar. The seminar was for TUI employees but since we had met many TUI staff a lot over the first semester, we fitted right in.

Once we sat down the seminar started, and the speaker was clear and made us feel comfortable - until he showed us what can be done with little knowledge. His firm is a penetration test company and looks for flaws in devices and websites enabling access to networks. He demonstrated this with a Wi-Fi enabled kettle the iKettle. He showed us that it was possible to gain entry to a network through this device. There were other devices he showed us that had similar weaknesses too. Including watches parents buy their children to keep track of them, and it was not long till they had a map of all the devices. A scary thought if ever in the wrong hands!

Th speaker showed us what was potentially possible if he had gained entry to an actual cruise ship, from changing the size or GPS location of the ship, to gaining customers credit card details and in turn access to their onboard accounts and entry to their rooms. His company has not been given permission to do so yet, but I think TUI will eventually have to give his company an opportunity, if only to test how secure they are.

It was a really informative talk and we have now been invited to their next seminar about Phishing, keeping the relationship between the University of Bedfordshire and TUI ongoing.

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School.

Below are the CST Events from previous years!


BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterTUI Logo

CST Students Visit TUI UK Headquarters in Luton

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 2:00 to 4:00pm

TUI opened its doors to welcome Computer Science and Technology (CST) students on Wednesday 12th December 2018. TUI UK and Ireland is the UK’s largest tour operator with key brands including TUI Holidays, First Choice and Crystal Ski Holidays, and they employ a team of 13,300 employees serving over 5.2million UK TUI headquarterscustomers each year - with their UK head-quarters in Luton at Wigmore House.

All prize-winning students from the recent TUI Hackathon (organised as collaboration between the CST School, TUI and the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society) on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 November were invited to join the visit.

A busy afternoon had been scheduled beginning with a short welcome and introduction to TUI talk by Liezel Jeans, IT Risk and Planning Manager, and IT Graduates Darlington Chikanya and Robert Raymond.

This was followed by a tour of the impressive TUI facilities conducted in groups by TUI Graduate team members. It was good to see the enthusiasm of the TUI IT Graduates for their new appointments, and many of the CST students took the opportunity to enquire about opportunities at TUI in their particular field of interest. Students were also encouraged to apply to join the next cohort of TUI Graduate recruits.

TUI headquartersAfter the tour it was back to the lecture room for a discussion about TUI’s IT Graduate Program and the various other career options available to the University’s CST graduates.

The visit was rounded off by an opportunity to network

Thanks to TUI’s Liezel Jeans, Darlington Chikanya and Robert Raymond for their hard workin organising this visit and making it a great success.

As a follow up to this visit three of the CST undergraduates who are specialising in security have been offered the exciting opportunity to take part in a ‘Hack the Ship’ practical seminar to be held at TUI Wigmore House HQs on Monday 7 January and delivered by Mark Harrison an well-known Ethical Hacker practician, speaker and demonstrator.

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society in collaboration with the University’s Careers and Employability department.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Weaponised PDFs - Lecture and Short Demo

On Thursday 29 November 2018 between 6.30 and 8.30pm we were pleased once again to welcome Geraint Williams, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at GRC International Group to talk on Weaponised PDFs to a crowded lecture room at the University.

Geraint is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced Information Security consultant with experience including vulnerability testing, digital forensics, secure networking, and wireless security issues, and regularly holds lectures and demonstrations at the University for the benefit of both students and external visitors.

The emotive title was a deliberate attention grabber, and the talk addressed the issues that we all face at work, home and study - attackers sending malicious documents designed to infect our machines. The focus of the talk was how the ubiquitous PDF format has been high-jacked and turned into a weapon that can defeat AV and turn our machines into zombies controlled by evil nefarious masterminds hiding in cyberspace.

The objective of the talk was to educate the curious amongst us as to how the PDF file can be used as a weapon, how that use can be detected and how to protect against a malicious PDF. For the penetration tester, the talk discussed how important it is to understand file formats and capabilities if you want to conduct advanced testing. For those studying forensics, Geraint explained how reverse engineering and knowledge of file formats can help detect how an attacker got into a network, and how forensic investigations can be an interesting and rewarding career - especially with GDPR requiring prompt breech investigation.

The talk was well attended by a wide profile of delegates – both students and external visitors – and Geraint faced many questions from the enthusiastic audience both during and following the talk.

There are plans for a follow-up full day hands-on, practical workshop in January on weaponised PDFs. More details will be available shortly.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the talked and I look forward to the practical session.” Muhammad Ibrahim, MSc Computer Security and Forensics

“Indeed, a very informative session, as well as an excellent turnout. I am looking forward to the workshop in January.” Michael Bourne, MSc Computer Security and Forensics

“Many thanks for organising a very informative and entertaining seminar!”

About the Speaker:

Geraint Williams“I have previously taught Information Security, Ethical Hacking and Digital forensics at the University of Bedfordshire and since then have been a Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Assessor and consultant and have worked with breached companies along with household names to ensure they meet the minimum security requirement to protect cardholder data.. I have also worked as an Ethical Hacker and Information security consultant but now the Chief Information Security Officer for GRC International Group.

I am passionate about continued learning and being an evangelist for information security. My interests include electronics as well as computing and been known to turn Arduino and Raspberry Pi’s into hacking tools.”

Geraint has a very strong technical knowledge of security and IT infrastructure including high performance computing. Geraint has a number of certifications in security and digital forensics including CISSP, CISA, CEH and CHFI.

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire’s CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterSparta Global - Technology Skills Powerhouse

Programming Workshop with Sparta Global

Wednesday 21 November 2018 1:00 to 5:00pm

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society in collaboration with the University’s Careers and Employability department.

"Coding your future: Turn your ideas in products.”

Following the success of a Rapid Application Development Workshop (using Node.js) earlier this year, staff from Sparta Global’s Training and Technology departments returned to hold a second Programming Workshop at the University of Bedfordshire in November, 2018During this four hour workshop students were shown how to combine some of the most modern tools and techniques to create industry-relevant web applications. The session required no prior knowledge of programming and served as a realistic introduction to experience what it's like to code for a living. Attendees built their own simple websites using web technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript) as well as having an opportunity to tinker on their own with the support of a professional software developer. Students also learned about version control using Git and GitHub, and were introduced to Bash and to the text editor Sublime Text

Sparta Global (www.spartaglobal.com) is one the UK’s TOP 10 graduate employers. They are on the lookout for suitable graduates who they will turn into technology consultants through a fun and rigorous technology training programme based in London, Leeds or Birmingham. Even a graduate with NO programming experience can apply for Sparta Global’s graduate programme, and become a technology consultant through their unique training academies – with guaranteed employment with companies like 4, EasyJet, the Ministry of Justice, 3, The Discovery Channel and The WB television Network.

The workshop was well attended with between 30 and 40 students, and feedback from the workshop was overwhelming. It is hoped that there will be many more Sparta Global programming workshops at the University of Bedfordshire.

Workshop

Feedback from students was very positive:

  • "The workshop was mind-blowing, and everyone was excited about building a website. We liked it and we want this to happen again.”
  • “Excellent workshop and it’s highly recommended again"
It was simply awesome. I like to attend these type of events.
  • "I learned how to create a website and learnt about other tools. I am glad I came.”
  • “I am studying project management and I was interested in knowing what programming actually is – great for complete beginners.”
Very helpful, interesting and fun. Would retake! Thanks! Ollie J.
  • “It was splendid”
  • “Great atmosphere, very useful, innovative, and for me well-structured”
  • “It was very interactive, the lecturer was very good. The instructions were clear and he was very lively. Very well presented.”
  • “Was a great, well planned event with a lot of useful information”
  • “It was an excellent experience and useful for creating a website. It was perfect”
  • “Encouraging, something for everyone”

This workshop was organised by the University’s Careers and Employability Service and by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

IBM Blockchain Workshop

Monday 12 November 2018 10:00am to 5:00pm

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

BlockchainIf you wanted to learn about Blockchain then you could not have afforded to miss this event.

IBM’s Matt Lucas, Global Blockchain Engagement held a very successful, well attended all-day theoretical and hands-on workshop.

Blockchain is a shared, replicated ledger that underpins technology such as Bitcoin. Blockchain's reach is far wider than cryptocurrency however, as it sets out to provide the foundation for a new generation of transactional applications that establish trust and transparency, while streamlining business processes.

It is a rare technology that has interest from the C-suite to the developer community. Blockchain technical skills are in high demand, with the World Economic Forum predicting that 10% of global GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain related technology by 2025.

Blockchain Lecture

In this one-day course and practical workshop students learned the essentials of blockchain:

  • Blockchain Explained: What blockchain (distributed ledger technology) is and why it is important
  • Blockchain Technologies: Comparing blockchain technologies (ie. Ethereum, Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric)
  • Blockchain Technical Concepts: The technical concepts of blockchain: data structures and algorithms
  • Blockchain Software Engineering: Building your first application and deploying your first network

The course was targeted at students with a technical background because it built on basic computer science concepts and included basic programming in JavaScript, knowledge of was desirable but not essential.

The course focused on the use of distributed ledgers in business scenarios, and thus took into account the various privacy and confidentiality requirements that organisations face, and the various other regulatory frameworks that govern business today.

About the Lecturer:

Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas is part of IBM’s global blockchain team. His role is to help clients understand and apply blockchain technologies and works closely with emerging blockchain fabrics such as Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum as well as blockchain tools such as Hyperledger Composer. He is based in IBM’s development laboratory in Hursley and has worked with IBM for 20 years on a variety of integration middleware technologies. Most recently he spent several years working on IBM Integration Bus in the product architecture and offering management disciplines.

Feedback from students was very positive:

"I found the workshop extremely useful and the speaker really informative".

There was a lot of content and lot to take in. It is a growing area of interest for most people and trying to understand the technology can be hard, however I went away with a really good understanding of the technology and how it can help me. Sayera Islam, Data Analyst, Higher Apprenticeship.

“The workshop was very interesting, informative and intellectually stimulating for me, the time spent was very well invested. I plan to explore it in more detail relevant to job roles availability.” Michael Bourne, MSc Computer.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterTUI logo

TUI – University of Bedfordshire Hackathon 3.0

Third Joint TUI / School of Computer Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter Hackathon, Friday, 9 – Saturday, 10 November 2018

General Overview

The University’s A Block was once again buzzing with student activity a couple of weekend’s ago due to the programming Hackathon organised as a joint collaboration between the University’s School of Computer Science and Technology, TUI, Luton and the University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter,. TUI UK & Ireland is the UK’s largest tour operator with key brands including TUI Holidays, First Choice and Crystal Ski Holidays, and they employ a team of 13,300 employees serving over 5.2million UK customers each year - with their UK head-quarters in Luton. This Hackathon was the third Hackathon in a series of joint collaborative activities between TUI and the University.

The event was also generously supported by The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS).

This was a great opportunity for future graduates to get advice from Industry experts, meet TUI’s current IT Graduates, and develop their skills.

TUI Hackaton 2018 Between 50 and 60 CST Computing students attended the weekend event - including Foundation students, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and MSc students and were supported by CST staff as well as TUI staff – including the impressive IT Graduate team and others from TUI’s software development team – all actively providing support to the students during the weekend. In all, an action packed weekend was planned with various talks and workshops.

Fuelled by pizza, chicken and chips, coffee and drinks, most of the students stayed for both days and many kept programming over Friday night! An impressive array of solutions to the scenarios were developed – and students at all levels felt appropriately challenged and admitted to really enjoying the experience. As a bonus, the TUI team also identified individuals as potential TUI IT Graduate Scheme recruits.

The real live scenarios were developed by the TUI team and they focused on some key areas of the holiday Resort Experience which could be enhanced by technology. In other words - based around the kinds of services and products that TUI - its in-resort suppliers and partners - supply to its customers while they are actually on holiday.

TUI’s mission is to make it easy for customers to experience life’s best moments and a big part of making this happen is developing new ways to improve their customer’s digital experience.

The finale included the difficult task of judging the impressive solutions, followed by presentations to the seven categories of award winners.

The OVERALL WINNERS were Bartosz Jaglarz and Zbigniew Urban [Foxtrot group].

The SECOND PLACE award went to Blazej Golinski and Boguslaw Smolarczyk . [Full Stack group]

The THIRD PLACE award went to Eduardas Slutas, Michael Bourne, Arnoldas Jurkus and Adam Takacs [Wood Division group]

The SPECIAL MENTION award went to Vincent Goldman Popescu Radu Tomasz Wyczesany, Dimitra Krezia, Robert Ells, Igor Gawlik, Daniel Innes, Graham Winchester, Anthony Bassey, Bartosz Bratus, Alexandra Kalogeraki and Nomikou Varvara [Supernatural + YYYY + Calcium (Mega team)]

TUI Hackathon

On Saturday, we were delighted to welcome Dr Ip-Shing Fan, from Cranfield University. Dr Fan is the Chair of the BCS Bedford branch. Both the BCS Student Chapter and the BCS Bedford branch have generously and enthusiastically supported this event, and all visitors were really pleased to see the enthusiasm and talent demonstrated by all participants.

Sue Brandreth, who arranged the Hackathon on behalf of the CST School said “The Hackathon was a great success with students being given the benefit of meeting and being coached by member of TUI’s software development team, tackling real live scenarios, and being appropriately challenged whatever their level of knowledge and expertise. I consider this venture more of a fun learning experience than a competition.

It is hoped that following this successful venture TUI and the CST School will continue to collaborate on many projects to the benefit of the students.

The TUI IT Graduate Scheme provides a 2 year development programme with rotation across four different roles within IT including Portfolio Management, IT Security, Service Delivery, and Software Engineering. The role supports many aspects of the business operations – TUI’s retail stores and websites, aircraft, cruise ships and overseas operations - and provides a solid foundation in the core elements of IT.

Students, CST and TUI staff tweeted about the event under the hashtag

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterEvidence Talks Logo

Cyber security, jobs and skills- have you got what is needed?

Thursday 1 November 2018 6:30pm to 8:00pm Guest Speaker: Elizabeth Sheldon, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Evidence Talks Ltd.

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

Elisabeth SheldonThis excellent, well-attended talk focused on the Cybersecurity Industry in the UK and why it should be considered as a career worth pursuing. The speaker looked at the current stare of the industry in the UK and considered where it is going, and the breadth of jobs available. She also considered who should select this as their career choice and what skills are needed to succeed.’

Evidence Talks is one of the UK’s leading authorities on forensic computing, servicing clients in the military, law enforcement, intelligence, corporate and legal communities across the world.

At the forefront of technical innovation in digital forensics and intelligence gathering, Evidence Talks has developed several unique proprietary products at its Milton Keynes Research and Development facility, including the two award-winning technologies, SPEKTOR Forensic Intelligence and Remote Forensics.

We are very grateful to Elizabeth for, once again, giving up her valuable time to talk to University of Bedfordshire students.

Evidence talk

About the Speaker:

Elizabeth joined ETL in 2002 with responsibility for financial and business strategy, and has now overall responsibility for business leadership and strategy. Elizabeth is currently vetted to UK SC government clearance.

  • Director and Council member of A|D|S Aerospace, Defence and Security industry of the UK
  • Executive Committee Member of the Covert Technical Supplier Forum
  • Director of the CIC and charity Works for Us
  • Past Committee member of F3 - First Forensic Forum of the UK
  • Member of the working group The Cow Shed – looking to create a Startup Community in MK
The talk was very interesting and informative. Michael Bourne, MSc Computer Security and Forensics, University of Bedfordshire

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterABB Logo

Visit to ABB Robotics, Wednesday 31 October 2018

General Overview

By: Jack Bartlett, Student, BSc (Hons) Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Yr 2

On the 31st October 2018, in collaboration with the School of Computer Science and Technology, seven lucky students had the opportunity to visit the ABB Robotics centre in Milton Keynes to spend a day of introductory training. The students comprised a mixture of undergraduates from Years 1 to Years 3.

ABB are a well-known industry technology leader for power grid systems, electrification products, industrial automation, and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport and infrastructure globally. It was a day that many of us will not forget, since ABB were very generous to put aside a full day for teaching us the fundamentals of how the robots work and how to control and program them. The day was meticulously planned and organised from morning to afternoon and for the entire time we were accompanied by our training instructor, Simon.

The day was organised as follows:

  • A full tour of the building with all of the robots currently in testing
  • A comprehensive overview of robot systems
  • A full debriefing of all of the safety systems of the robots
  • A lesson in jogging the robots
  • A hands-on lesson on programming the robots
  • A guided lesson on how to program the robots. In addition, we were shown how to program the robots offline using ABB’s specialist software RobotStudio.
The trip to ABB is something I will not forget any time soon. Never have I been so close to these machines and to be allowed to operate them was an experience not many get for free. Jack Bartlett, Student, BSc (Hons) Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Yr 2

Simon was very patient and accommodating to us as he showed us around. He seemed more than happy to answer any questions we had. We learned about all of the use cases for these robots in industry today. Tasks like wielding, picking and placing, precision fitting could tracing could be fully automated with specialist tools, custom fitted for each of their customers.

It was really the most outstanding experience of my entire University course life. One of the most exciting parts was all students done their own program and the Industrial Gigantic Robot had applied them on our own program. The instructor, Simon Turner, was very knowledgeable with more than 20 years' experience and worked very hard during the day to give us a memorable experience. Israt Jahan, Student, BSc (Hons) Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Yr 2

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

CST School and BCS Student Chapter - Visit to ONI PLC Data Centre, Luton.Wednesday 31 October, 2018, 4:00 to 6:15pm

ONI Logo

A small group of CST students were fortunate to be able to visit the ONI PLC Data Centre on 31st October. The visit included an introduction to ONI and cloud services, an explanation of the current state of IT cloud services and a visit to the Data Centre. Student feedback from the visit was very positive.

Many organisations are offloading their IT infrastructure through cloud based managed services. There are many business benefits as well as potential pitfalls.

Established in 1992, ONI plc is a leading provider of IT solutions and services to both public sector and commercial markets. Privately owned, ONI offers a comprehensive range of on-site, cloud and hybrid technology solutions.

ONI expertise spans core network infrastructure, unified communications and collaboration, contact centre solutions, data centre services, connectivity and cyber-security. ONI cloud services are delivered from a Tier 3+ Data Centre, located in the South East of England, and include infrastructure, disaster recovery, UC, collaboration and contact centre solutions as-a-service.

It is hoped that this will be the start of ONI PLC and the School of Computer Science working more closely together in the future.

This visit was organised by the University’s School of Computer Science and Technology, by the Bedford branch of the BCS, and by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterTUI Logo

Talk by TUI Representatives - Learn about TUI, the opportunities that could be available to you, and the forthcoming TUI Hackathon

This talk was arranged by the Beds Computing SU Society / BCS Student Chapter in collaboration with the University’s Careers and Employability department

TUI is a large international company with its UK headquarters in Luton where much of its software development / software engineering takes place - with the main focus on IT, Analytics and Finance. TUI is keen to offer a range of opportunities to Computing and Business undergraduates and postgraduates.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 24th October the CST School was delighted, yet again, to welcome a small team of TUI staff to talk to students about TUI, the career opportunities that TUI could offer students and about the forthcoming TUI Hackathon 3.0. After an introduction to TUI, students learned how they could start their career in Technology and Travel by joining the TUI Graduate Scheme. Amiy Chatley, who is responsible for the Analytics Graduate Scheme Manager at TUI, also talked about the use of data analytics in the company.

TUI Talk

This was followed by talks from Darlington Chikanya and Robert Raymond both of whom are successful University of Bedfordshire Computing graduates who have now joined TUI’s Graduate Program. They are also veterans of the legendary TUI Hackathon which is now entering its third iteration. Robert and Darlington are both helping to organise Hackathon 3.0 for TUI. Robert and Darlington were also joined by a third IT Graduate, Ellie Burns. Robert, Darlington and Ellie all talked very positively about their experiences of being part of the TUI Graduate Scheme. The talk was well attended and there was a lot of interest and questions from the participants.

Following the success of a Hackathons organised in collaboration with TUI in February, 2017, and again in November, 2017 we are organising TUI Hackathon 3.0. This will take place on Friday evening and Saturday of 9/10 November and is aimed at all CST School Year 1, 2 and 3 undergraduates, MSc students (and anyone else studying at the University). It will be more than just another Hackathon but rather a fun learning experience. TUI’s software developers have developed the travel-related scenarios and will be present to advice and guide participants.

TUI will also be on the lookout for promising undergraduates to join their TUI Graduate Scheme!

Find out more Hackathon details (and download the scenarios) and take the opportunity to register at the TUI Hackathon 3.0 Web portal at: tui-bedfordshire-hackathon.com

Introductory Games Night BCS Student Chapter and Beds Computing Society

Wednesday 10 October 2018 5:00pm to 9:00pm

This event was organised by the University of Bedfordshire CST School together with the BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU SocietyGames Night

On Wednesday 10th  October as an introduction to the start of the year’s events and activities for University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society an Introductory Games Night was organised. The event was well attended by many enthusiastic students.

The idea waGame Night 2s that this should be a relaxing games night where students could come and play games with their friends, learn about the BCS and also enter the competitions.

Students were informed about the Society activities planned for 2018-2019, and new ideas were sought. There was a great deal of interest and many students signed up as members of the Beds Computing Society / University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter.

Two tournaments took place during the evening. The first was FIFA on PlayStations with contestants playing in groups of two. The second was Call of Duty (Advanced Warfare) on Xbox One.

The event was a great success and a very good start to the BCS Student Chapter activities for 2018-2019.

We would like to thank the BCS Student Chapter for their generous support in providing funds for snacks and drinks, and for the tournament prizes.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Cyber Crime Prevention - Cyber Threats, Vulnerabilities and Career Opportunities – Presentation and Workshop - Wednesday 10 October 2018

Eastern Region Special Operations Unit

This event was led by three speakers from the Regional Police force: - Stephanie Frankish and Andy Baldwin from the Cyber Prevent Team for the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, and Sean O’Neil, Cyber Security Consultant for Bedfordshire Police for Bedfordshire Police. The common thread of their talks was that cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes impact the lives of many people.

Students heard descriptions of examples of the harm done, not only to the victims of the crimes but also to the perpetrators. There was plenty of advice on how to avoid being involved on either side, and on the opportunities that there are to work in the fight against cybercrime.

Cyber-crime is an ever-increasing threat within the UK. Cyber-crime is estimated to be costing the UK economy billions of pounds per year, and the costs to individuals and businesses are often staggering.

There are over 1mllion victims of cyber-crime each day, but GCHQ believes that 80% of cyber-crime is easily preventable.

60% of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over 6 months after a cyber attack

“There was nothing I could do, I was powerless and they knew it. We’d only started the business two years ago, there was no way to pull it back” – Matt

The question is can you be the next digital defender of this country and protect the population from the next WannaCry or similar?

One of the roles of the Regional Cyber Crime Prevent team (of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit) is to provide both potential victims and perpetrators with a sound understanding of the Computer Misuse Act and the impact of its infringement. Stephanie Frankish and Andy Baldwin from Cyber Prevent explained how an individual can avoid becoming yet another statistic in this list of cybercrimes. What steps can be taken? They also looked at cyber security career pathways and at the vast number of opportunities available in this field for well-qualified graduates. They also gave valuable tips on where to go to practice your skills legally and safely to become the next generation of cyber security professionals ie. pentesters / ethical hackers etc.,

Cyber crime infographic

Sean O’Neil, Cyber Security Consultant for Bedfordshire Police, then led an informative and lively discussion around current threats - giving examples of recent cases that have caused loss to businesses and individuals. Sean has extensive law enforcement experience having served for 30 years in UK Police service. As a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) he is experienced in dealing with critical incidents affecting organisational reputation - including extortion, product contamination, and large-scale frauds. Sean now provides cyber security and anti-fraud advice direct to businesses. The presentation considered how fraudsters prepare to steal your money, and how effective are the banks and Police in coping with the rising number of incidents of cyber-crime. What are the 5 basic steps every business should take to reduce vulnerability to cyber-crime?

The talk was well attended and many questions came from the enthusiastic audience both during and after the presentations. As the workshop progressed, students asked many questions and the conversations with the speakers continued for some time after the formal end of the event.

This talk was arranged by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

Contact details for the Cyber Prevent team: cyberprevent@ersou.pnn.police.uk

University of Bedfordshire Freshers’ Fayre BCS Student Chapter and Beds Computing Society

Monday 24th September 11:00am to 3:00pm

Freshers’ Fayre took place at the Luton Campus on Monday 24th September, and the Beds Computing Society / BCS Student Chapter were kept very busy on the Society stall all day with enquiries and signups by new potential members.

TFresher Farye Dalekhere was an atmosphere of fun and excitement enhanced by the added attraction of the guest visitor - the School’s resident Robot.

Planned activities for 2018-2019 were displayed and the team also demonstrated previous programming, robotics and Arduino projects. Students were told about the weekly programming, robotics, Arduino workshops held every Wednesday between 1:00 and 5:00pm which are run by students for students.

As well as being informed about the Society activities planned for 2018-2019, new ideas were sought. There was a great deal of interest and many students signed up as members of the Beds Computing Society / University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter.

Freshers Fayer GroupThe BCS Student Chapter had generously supplied boxes of ‘goodies’ - pen, screen cleaner, key rings, etc.

The Freshers’ Fayre was a great success and a very good start to 2018-2019.

We would like to thank the BCS Student Chapter for their continual generous support and encouragement.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Justyna Kurczaba - Bedfordshire Computing Student Awarded Industry Prize

Justyna Kurczaba receiving prize

A computing student from the University of Bedfordshire has been rewarded for commitment to her studies with the BCS (The Chartered Institute of IT) Bedford Branch Student Prize which is given every year to the highest performing first year computing student in the University’s School of Computer Science and Technology.

Justyna Kurczaba, 26, had no experience of computing until she came to the University, but in her first year she excelled in her studies to become the highest performing student in her cohort achieving the highest possible grades for all subjects.

“Prior to starting my journey at university, I didn’t have any experience in computing. Therefore I am overwhelmed with the progress I have been able to make during the recent months of my education,” said Justyna, who is from Poland but currently lives in Luton.

“I was challenged to go out of my comfort zone as I had to seek assistance from tutors which was a bit daunting for me. However, I was approached with patience and understanding, which encouraged me to further develop my skills.”

As well as the guidance from her tutors, Justyna’s credited the opportunity for independent study for her success, saying: “Lectures and practical sessions were held three times a week, but I was able to find an abundance of supporting materials in the library which were more than sufficient while learning on my own.”

Justyna’s prize includes automatic membership of the BCS for the remainder of her studies and a £150 cash prize. Her certificate was presented by the Chair of the BCS Bedford Branch Dr Ip-Shing Fan from Cranfield University.

I am incredibly grateful to be presented with an opportunity to study at the University where I met inspiring people who contributed to my growth. Justyna Kurczaba

“It is great to see such dedication and hard work, and is great that we can reward it through the kind sponsorship of BCS” said Dr. Paul Sant, Head of the School of Computer Science and Technology.

Sue Brandreth, Associate Lecturer and Research Fellow at the University as well as committee member of Bedford Branch of the BCS, said: “From the start is was obvious that Justyna was determined to do well and make the most of the opportunities that the University provides. She readily took advice from teaching staff about the best approach to learning and has really excelled. She has been a model student and an inspiration to both fellow students and teaching staff and it has been a privilege to work with her”.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student ChapterLeonardo Airborne  and Space Systems

Visit to Leonardo’s Luton Offices - Thursday 24 May, 2018 – University of Bedfordshire’s CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

Leonardo opened its doors to welcome Computer Science and Technology (CST) students on Thursday 24th May, 2018.

A small group of CST School students were invited to visit Leonardo's Luton site for a talk and guided tour to see behind the doors of a major Aerospace, Defence and Security company.

A busy afternoon had been scheduled starting with welcome and introductory talks and overview of the company. There was a discussion about the wide range of employment and work experience opportunities available to Computing and Engineering undergraduates and graduates – including placements (including software/computing and firmware), and the Graduate and Apprenticeships Programs. Many of the CST students took the opportunity to enquire about opportunities at Leonardo in their particular field of interest. Students were also encouraged to apply to join the next cohort of Leonardo Graduate recruits.

This was followed by a tour of the network of Labs – including impressive anechoic chambers.

We were back in the lecture room after the tour for a question and answer session and an opportunity to network.

We would like to thank Leonardo’s Alex Pohl and her colleagues for their hard work in organising this visit and making it a great success. All who took part in the visit really enjoyed the experience, learned a great deal and found it all very inspiring.

Leonardo is a global high-tech player focused on four activity sectors: Helicopters, Aeronautics, Electronics, Defence and Security Systems and Space. With headquarters in Italy and over 47,000 employees, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the UK, the U.S. and Poland, and an important network of strategic partnerships worldwide.

Leonardo designs and creates products, systems, services and integrated solutions both for the defence sector and for public and private customers of the civil sector, covering airborne and terrestrial, naval and maritime, space and cyberspace.

Work undertaken at Leonardo's Luton Offices focuses on Airborne and Space Systems.

"Our Airborne and Space Systems provide the sensors and electronic systems that sit under the skin of the world’s most advanced aircraft, effectively acting as their brains, senses and nervous systems. Protecting pilots, alerting air crews to threats and providing crucial intelligence back to observers on the ground, the technology we offer can make the difference between life and death for our customers."

This visit was organised by the CST School's Beds Computing Society / BCS Student Chapter.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Cyber Crime Prevention Cyber Threats Vulnerabilities and Career Opportunities - Wednesday 7th February 2018

Cyber-crime is an ever-increasing threat within the UK. Cyber-crime is estimated to be costing the UK economy billions of pounds per year, and the costs to individuals and businesses are often staggering.

There are over £1mllion victims of cyber-crime each day, but GCHQ believes that 80% of cyber-crime is easily preventable.

One of the roles of the Regional Cyber Crime Prevent team (of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit) is to provide both potential victims and perpetrators with a sound understanding of the Computer Misuse Act and the impact of its infringement. Stephanie Frankish and Andy Baldwin from Cyber Prevent explained how an individual can avoid becoming yet another statistic in this list of cybercrimes. What steps can be taken? They also looked at cyber security career pathways and at the vast number of opportunities available in this field for well-qualified graduates.

What is cyber crime? Presentation

Sean O’Neil, Cyber Security Consultant for Bedfordshire Police, then led an informative and lively discussion around current threats - giving examples of recent cases that have caused loss to businesses and individuals. Sean has extensive law enforcement experience having served for 30 years in UK Police service. As a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) he is experienced in dealing with critical incidents affecting organisational reputation - including extortion, product contamination, and large-scale frauds. Sean now provides cyber security and anti-fraud advice direct to businesses. The presentation considered how fraudsters prepare to steal your money, and how effective are the banks and Police in coping with the rising number of incidents of cyber-crime. What are the 5 basic steps every business should take to reduce vulnerability to cyber-crime?

The talk was well attended and many questions came from the enthusiastic audience both during and after the presentations. It is hoped that this talk can be followed up by a visit by the CST School’s students to Bedfordshire Police’s Cyber Crime Hub’s laboratories at the Kempston HQ to see how actual forensic cases are handled.

This talk was arranged by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Programming Workshop - Learn Rapid Application Development from Scratch with Sparta Global

Wednesday 24th January 2018 – University of Bedfordshire’s Careers and Employability Service and the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter and Beds Computing SU Society

“Coding your future: Turn your ideas in products, faster.”

Sparta Global www.spartaglobal.com is one the UK’s TOP 10 graduate employers. They provide a full range of IT and Business Services as a refreshing alternative to offshore outsourced and Contractor IT models by providing Blue-chip partners with a cost effective and flexible alternative to deliver digital products.

Sparta Global’s Graduate programme aims to turn suitable graduates into technology consultants through a fun and rigorous technology training programme based in London, Leeds or Birmingham. Even a graduate with NO programming experience can apply for Sparta Global’s Graduate programme, and, potentially, become a technology consultant through their unique training academies. There is then a possibility of employment with companies like 4, EasyJet, the Ministry of Justice, the Law Society, 3, the Discovery Channel, Clarks and Warner Brothers.

On Wednesday 24 January staff from Sparta Global’s Training and Technology departments held a very successful Rapid Application Development workshop at the University of Bedfordshire. This was an exciting opportunity for the University’s students since it was the first time that Sparta Global had held this kind of practical workshop at a UK University.

Sparta Global Logo

The three-hour workshop attracted a diverse profile of students not only from the Computing School but from other disciplines as well. Despite the wide range of programming experience the excellent trainer, Stephen, managed to keep everyone fully engaged.

Through practical tasks students were shown how to combine some of the most modern tools and techniques to create powerful web applications in a fraction of the time. The focus was on open source technologies and rapid product development principles that help build in a day what could take others months. Most importantly students learned how to create something of value and to avoid “over-engineering”.

NodeJS/Express, HTML, CSS and Bootstrap were used to build a fully working application from scratch and it was clear why these languages and tools are useful for rapid prototyping and, thus, for reducing the time taken to market. This was a very commercially-relevant exercise, providing insights into real industry scenarios.

Feedback from the workshop was overwhelming and it is hoped that this will be the first of many more Sparta Global programming workshops at the University of Bedfordshire.

““Excellent event with good content covered and wonderful practical session. Motivated to learn more code.”

“The workshop was excellent and very effective. The teacher, Stephen, was really hard working all through the session. I believe all of the students completed the development on the spot - some without any coding knowledge. It was a pleasure to be there.”

This workshop was organised by the University’s Careers and Employability Service and by the CST School’s BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing SU Society.


BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter /Beds Computing SU Society Penetration Testing Competition / Boot Camp 2 – Saturday 16 December, 2017

Following the success of the Pentesting Boot Camp on Saturday 2th December, a further full-day event was organised by CST School’s BCS Chapter in collaboration with Dr Ali Mansour, Senior Lecturer in Computing and Information Systems.

Penetration testing competition

Students with varying levels knowledge of penetration testing skills were invited to attend a Pentesting Competition on Saturday 16 December 2017 to perform pentesting against a piece of software based on web sockets that the School had been given access to for collaborative work. It had been rumoured the software was unbreakable!

The event involved working in teams with the intention that the team that breaks or identifies the largest amount of vulnerabilities would be the competition winner.

This was very much a hands-on event but started with a general overview of the software and guidance. The importance of initial; information gathering and on paper assessment of the software was emphasised. Throughout the day, sharing of skills and knowledge was evident with the aim of enhancing the learning experience of all.

The day ended with a discussion of the findings and an announcement of the winners. From the number of prizes handed out and the number of photos taken, it looked like everyone was a prize winner.….And the overall student feedback? When is the next Pentesting event?

The University of Bedfordshire’s BCS Student Chapter are grateful for the continual support and encouragement provided by the Student Chapter team at BCS headquarters. We would also like to thank Dr Ali Mansour without whose support this event would not have been possible.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

University of Bedfordshire BCS Student Chapter /Beds Computing SU Society Pentesting Boot Camp – Saturday 2 December, 2017

The CST School’s BCS Chapter organised a full day Pentesting Boot Camp on Saturday 2nd December and this proved another very popular and successful event. The boot camp was led by Sarith Chandra from the BCS Young Professionals Information Security Group (YPISG) -with students who attended starting off with a wide range of levels knowledge of penetration testing and the associated tools. However, there was something to challenge everyone!

The event was aimed at both students with a general interest in learning something new and at those where the idea of penetration testing applications and infrastructure and learning the techniques for breaking into systems as a white hat hacker seems to be an ideal career?

This one-day overview of penetration testing, started with an introduction to developing a career in penetration testing, and then reviewed the methodologies involved and the tools used by professional ethical hackers. The event had hands-on sessions with both theory and labs. The tools and techniques covered included reconnaissance and enumeration, vulnerability management and web applications. Time at the end was given to ‘free for all’ laboratory exercises.

The positive feedback from the students was overwhelming and we are all hoping that Sarith will return for a further more advanced boot camp later in 2018. "An excellent primer on penetration testing. A great mix of tutorials and practicals in a seamless and enjoyable demonstration, delivered by a knowledgeable and friendly presenter!" “Everything was useful as I had no knowledge of pentesting and it was great to understand the basics”. “It was a very good session. A challenge would be awesome.”

“Excellent presenter/tutor provided a good mix of lectures and practical’s. Clearly well-planned and a cohesive, comprehensive overview of pentesting. Let’s have more from this same presenter – he is pretty awesome.”

The University of Bedfordshire’s BCS Student Chapter are grateful for the continual support and encouragement provided by the Student Chapter team at BCS head quarters in Swindon, and the local Bedford branch of the BCS

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

FAST LANE Programming Workshop - Beds Computing Society - BCS Student Chapter

Tomasz Koszkul, was the guest speaker at another successful Beds Computing Society event on Wednesday 13th December. Tomasz is a software developer based in Manchester UK. He currently works as a programmer for bet365, Manchester.

Tomasz is passionate about programming, and learning new technologies and developing better ways of doing things. He is proficient in a wide range of programming languages and technologies - Java, C#. C++, JavaScript, HTML 5, CSS3 and the Bootstrap, AngularJS and jQuery frameworks.

He is also passionate about sharing his experience and knowledge with University of Bedfordshire students, and this was evident in this workshop.

Programmig Workshop group

The first half of the workshop consisted of a discussion on how to use programming for problem solving. Students took part in practical programming in the second half using technologies such as JavaScript frameworks, Java, C# and other programming languages.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

BCS Student Chapter / Beds Computing Society – Talk by Jay Taylerson, Genesis Global “Making a Career as a Software Developer”, Wednesday 22 November 2017

The guest speaker at this talk was James (Jay) Taylerson, Senior consultant and Head of Product Development at Genesis Global genesis.global a software vendor for the financial services industry. James is now a regular guest lecturer at the University if Bedfordshire and regularly talks to CST students about the opportunities for careers in software development. He is also a member of the University’s Industry Advisory Committee. Jay has over 10 years’ experience working in Finance IT and specialises in the design and development of Java solutions.

This was a fantastic opportunity to hear Jay sharing his experiences working as a software developer and consultant in the financial industry. He is also very enthusiastic about encouraging students to consider gaining work experience in a placement year, and talked about the advantages of this and how to approach finding a placement. Genesis Global are currently offering opportunities to students in this area.

This was a fantastic opportunity to meet and question someone who has made a career in software development - and is clearly passionate about what he does......

Jay has kindly agreed to return in March 2018 to talk to Year 1 Computing students.

IEEE MSSP 2017

The University of Bedfordshire hosted MMSP 2017: IEEE 19th International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing in October 2017.

Photonic: group of three people

Project Partners

The School of Computer Science and Technology is working with aXenic Ltd on a New Photonic Architectures using GaAs Modulators.

For more details please see www.natep.org.uk/project-onboard-equipment

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Things are looking good for the CST Students' Computing Society

Lukasz with Computing Staff

Things are looking good for the CST’s Student Computing Society (also known as the BCS Student Chapter) for 2017-2018. At the recent BCS Bedford Branch Prize presentation for the Best Performing Year 1 Computing Student, students who are forming the new committee to run the Computing Society in the next academic year were also present.

Included in the photo are Michael Alawaye (who will head the committee) and two other committee members - Faisal Hoque and Fortune Nweke-Maraizu. Plans are already being made for exciting activities from October onwards. Congratulations to Lukasz Migacz who was awarded the prize for Best Performing Computing Year 1 Student on12 July 2017.

If you would like to learn more about the Computing Society / BCS Student Chapter please contact Michael at michael.alawaye@study.beds.ac.uk

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

Beds Computing Society / BCS Student Chapter - My First Year Since Graduating in IT Security – Talk by Scott Dewson, Nomura Investment Bank.

Over 50 Computing students and staff braved the cold weather for a 9.00am talk by Scott Dewson of Nomura Investment Bank on Tuesday, 9th January,

Nomura is an Asia-headquartered global investment bank with an integrated network spanning over 30 countries. Based in Tokyo and with regional headquarters in Hong Kong, London, and New York, Nomura employs more than 28,000 people worldwide to facilitate East-West market flows.

Scott graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in 2016 having successfully completed the BSc in Computer Security and Forensics. He then joined Nomura in September 2016 on their EMEA Graduate Scheme in IT Security. Scott had previously worked with Nomura on short term placements and had a foundational understanding in both pre- and post-incident responses in a financial institution.

During his time at University, Scott assisted Bedfordshire Police with a Cyber investigation in partnership with a small business that had been compromised. In November 2016, Scott successfully completed the SANS SEC504 course in Hacker Tools, Techniques, Exploits and Incident Handling. Scott also serves on the CST School’s Industry Liaison Committee (IAC).

Scott gave an illuminating and motivating talk on his experiences in his first year at Nomura. He also discussed the importance of gaining work experience and highlighted some of the opportunities Nomura offers to undergraduates to gain an understanding of working in industry – including their 1-year placement scheme. He talked about his time so far on Nomura’ EMA 2-year Graduate Scheme – the benefits, working in a team, the importance of meeting deadlines, the work life and social aspects, training opportunities, the hours – and the money! The Graduate Scheme offers opportunities in any of Nomura’s three wholesale businesses: Global Markets, Investment Banking and Corporate Infrastructure (ie. Compliance, Finance, Operations, Risk and Technology).

Scott’s current projects include monitoring change request queues for EMEA, assisting with the response to threat intelligence incidents, assisting SOC during regional escalations, incident response and he is also part of the EMEA Data Loss Prevention Team. Looking to the future, Scott is intending to further expand his knowledge and skills on both the Incident Response and the Red Team fronts and hopes that these can be put to good use within Nomura.

There was a great deal of interest in this talk and Scott was inundated with questions at the end!

This talk was organised by the CST’s Beds Computing Society / BCS Student Chapter together with the Fundamentals of Computer Studies unit staff.

BCS - University of Bedfordshire Student Chapter

BCS Prize Winner

A Computer Games Development undergraduate has beaten over 250 fellow students to a national computing gong.

BCS Prize Winner - happy group

Open to first-year students in the University of Bedfordshire's School of Computer Science and Technology, Matthew Kaye (pictured) was awarded the British Computer Society (BCS) Prize for achieving the best grades out of an eligible 268 students.

Accrediting a number of Bedfordshire's Computer Science and Technology courses, BCS is the Chartered Institute for IT, looking after the interests of individuals worldwide in the computing profession.

"I was absolutely delighted when I was told the news, and quite surprised," said Matthew, who collected a £150 cheque and free BCS membership for his efforts.

"I have been at the University of Bedfordshire for less than a year so to win such an award already is amazing, and has given me a lot of confidence for the remaining two years of my Degree."

Rob Manton, Senior Lecturer in Computing and Information Systems at Bedfordshire, added: "Matthew has an excellent attitude – not just in completing his work, but embracing all of the extra-curricular opportunities that are available, as shown by the team's recent game jam success. They all did the University proud."

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