Professor Colin Pattinson
About Professor Colin Pattinson
Colin's initial research work, including his PhD from the University of Leeds, involved studying the performance of computer network software. This developed into a long-standing involvement in research into network management systems, including some of the earliest studies of the performance and efficiency of the network management systems themselves. During this period, he played a major role in the development of MSc courses, and built a network management training simulator, which allowed trainee network managers to experience the situations likely to be faced by network managers in a controlled environment.
This interest and experience in monitoring, measuring and managing systems is now being applied to the area of sustainable (or 'green') computing. There are two broad areas under this heading: 1) the exploration of the sustainability, efficiency and environmentally acceptable manufacture, operation and disposal of IT systems; 2) the use of IT systems to allow other aspects of human activity to be carried out in a less environmentally damaging way. The first area includes the efficiency of individual hardware and software units and of the combinations of these units into data centres and networks. The second includes the development and use of IT to manage other systems in a manner which minimises their overall environmental impact.
Colin led the development of Leeds Beckett's MSc in Green Computing, which has been recognised as one of the pioneers of such courses in the UK and internationally.
He teaches on a number of modules in that course, and also supervises Doctoral, Masters and Undergraduate projects in sustainable IT and network performance.
Colin's current research explores both these aspects. He has recently completed a project measuring the performance of thin and thick client technologies for JISC, and is completing two other JISC-funded projects, one measuring data centre efficiency, the other using room occupancy data to control the heating and other environmental controls within a building. His ongoing research work includes studying the impact of power saving on a network management system and the exploration of power use across a cloud computing platform.
His research work has led to involvement in a number of national and international activities: he is a committee member of the Green IT Specialist Group of BCS - the Chartered Institute for IT; and is actively involved in projects which are developing teaching and learning material in green IT including two EU-funded projects.