Dr Bruce Scharlau

Dr Bruce Scharlau

Senior Lecturer (Scholarship)

Overview
Dr Bruce Scharlau
Dr Bruce Scharlau

Contact Details

Telephone
work +44 (0)1224 272193
Email
Address
The University of Aberdeen Room 225, Meston Building, Old Aberdeen
Web Links

http://homepages.abdn.ac.uk/b.scharlau/pages/


Twitter: http://twitter.com/scharlau

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/brucescharlau 

CityLab Project website: Aberdeen CityLab

Biography

I'm a Senior Lecturer on the 'Scholarship' track in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen, where I'm mainly teaching programming, enterprise computing topics, service design approaches, and entrepreneurship ideas to students. Wherever appropriate I do this in the context of software project development concepts using agile approaches.I also find ways to bring live clients to my student projects so that they gain more experience there too.

Before joining the department in 2001 I was a self-employed developer building Java driven websites. I obtained my MSc in Applied Computing at Dundee University in 2000. I obtained my Ph.D in International Relations from St. Andrews University in 1992. I received my B.A in International Relations and German at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota, USA in 1986.

I'm interested in helping people build better software and look for collaborative opportunities via honours projects and with the Aberdeen Software Factory. I also explore how to bring students from both universities in Aberdeen together to develop projects with Aberdeen City Council as part of the Aberdeen CityLab project. I am also working with Aberdeen City Council to help develop the Aberdeen Data Observatory with Hataichanok Saevanee.

All of this activity is also underpinned by the teaching done on software project management using agile, lean and service design approaches, and which underpin our MSc Information Technlogy degree.

Let's work together

I'm always looking for opportunities to use my skills coaching software development and facilitating events with organisations. I have led a variety of sessions of different lengths for different groups in a variety of powerful approaches to deliver useful results. Please get in touch if you think I might be able to help you or your organisation.

I look to engineer collisions between real world businesses and computing science students at the University of Aberdeen because experience plus theory trumps theory on its own, especially if this can be done in an entrepreneurial manner.

StrategicPlay Lego Serious Play Facilitator

I was trained by StrategicPlay in February 2012 to facilitate Lego Serious Play workshops, and have been doing this regulurly now since then for a variety of organisations ranging from the University of Aberdeen as part of my teaching practice, the University of Edinburgh Student Association, the HEA, Aberdeen City Council and others.

CoCreACT Facilitator

I was trained by StrategicPlay in May 2015 to facilitate CoCreACT workshops, and this had helped me with the facilitation of CodeTheCity events as well as CityLab and and my teaching in general.

Open Space Facilitator

I was trained by Deborah Preuss in open space facilitation in February 2015, and have regularly used this for the unconference part of the Northern Lights conference, an HEA event and elsewhere such as Play4Agile.

Level 3 ILM Coach

I was trained by the University of Aberdeen and University of St Andrews as a Level 3 cacoh as acredited by the ILM. I am now available as a coach for staff as part of the network of coaches at the universities of Aberdeen and St. Andrews.

Senior Fellow HEA

I was accepted as Fellow in the Higher Education Academy in April 2012. I was accepted as a Senior Fellow in the HEA in October 2016.

Research

Research Interests

I'm always looking for opportunities to use my skills coaching software development and facilitating events with organisations. I have led a variety of sessions of different lengths for different groups in a variety of powerful approaches to deliver useful results. Please get in touch if you think I might be able to help you or your organisation.

I seek opportunities to engineer collisions between real world businesses and computing science and other students at the University of Aberdeen, because experience plus theory trumps theory on its own, especially if this can be done in an entrepreneurial manner.

The key areas of my interest are applied software development processes combining agile, lean and service design approaches. This is a people process, and my skills are in finding small steps to make large applications a reality. This is the recurrent theme of my teaching, and the co-corricular work that I do in the community supporting professionals, academics and students.

Collaborations

 I collaborate with a number of groups both within the university, and outside of it as the manager of the Aberdeen Software Factory, which places students with different projects that need software developed. The ASF follows two threads: summer group projects with the MSc IT students using live clients, and students working with live clients on funded projects. This has been a growing process with a number of successful outcomes for students finding employment more quickly, as well as clients happy with the software we developed for them.

I am a trustee for CodeTheCity along with with Steven Milne, Ian Watt, and Andrew Sage. Together we run regular civic, co-design hack events across Scotland. CodeTheCity was also the first ODI Node in Scotland.

As part of CodeTheCity I am involved in developing the Data SIG (Special Interest Group) of The Alliance, which will help bring public sector, private sector, and third sector groups together to develop Aberdeen as a Smart City.

Research Grants

 Since the 2010-2011 academic year I have regularly received two or three grants each year from Scottish Funding Councils Innovation Voucher scheme which fund the Aberdeen Software Factory for its paid work with external clients, and enables its other activities. This has made the transition to paid employment upon graduation easier for those students who have participated, and enabled one student to move from a low paid, non-computing part-time job, to a regular part-time job as a software developer with a local engineering firm.

Learning and Teaching Enhancement Programme October 2011. £1000 Experiential Learning. The aim of the initiative was to develop a process to enable student groups and local business to co-create a design thinking solution to a business model problem using experiential creative problem solving techniques using StrategicPlay processes with Lego Serious Play.

The TEMPUS Incoming project from 2012-2016 with European partners helped Serbian universities establish multidisciplinary programmes in computing departments and was worth EURO 55644

Higher Education Academy 2014 £700 to organise a student-led software houses workshop bringing together information from different practitioners to see how we might learn from each other in order to have more students take part.

Knowledge Technology Partnership (KTP) grant of £133,000 from May 2014 to May 2016 with Do Coyle in Education and Ian Heywood in Business working with Aberdeen City Council to develop a data observatory for better insights in the young person's services. This successful project post has agreed to be funded for a further five years by ACC.

I led the HEA Strategic Enhancement Programme on Employability from September 2014 to May 2015 at the UoA which sought to embed student processes into employability practices here. The £3000 grant was funded with money from COPS, CAD and CASS.

EU Erasmus Plus project of EURO 46000 from 2015 to 2019 with European and Serbian partner universities to establish the legislation and implementation of short-cycle and part-time degrees at Serbian universities. These are no legally possible at the moment, and this project will see their establishment.

Knowledge Technology Partnership project of £91,000 with David Green in Geosciences and Ian Heywood in Business in collaboration with the ANM Group to explore new ways of integrating digital assets into their work.

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

Teaches a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses dealing with software development and entrepreneurship. Many of these deal with group work using service design approaches as well as agile and lean development approaches. Where possible all of this happens in a work-related-learing environment using problem based learning approaches.

Undergraduate:

Postgraduate:

CityLab!: Where the City is the Classroom

I co-founded CityLab (PD3002 and PD3502) as a joint venture between the Univerity of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen City Council. This inter-institutional and multi-disciplinary project brings students from both instintitons together each term to prototype sustainable projects aimed at improving life in the city. Successful prototypes are then carried forward either by the city council, or its other partners. 

University of Aberdeen students take part via PD3002, or PD3502 as level three elective, and several students have carried forward working with the Transformation unit of Aberdeen City Council, whcih looks after CityLab, and helped support subsequent cohorts of students on the course.

The first cohort of students developed a project carried forward by CFine to reduce food waste in the city. This eventually evolved into the 'Tuk In' crowdfunding project launched in spring 2017.

Aberdeem City Council fund CityLab with time and money because it helps them to develop its services and partnerships in more creative means and has support at all levels.

We use the #citylababz hashtag for social media posts on CityLab.

Presentations

Aberdeen CityLab! Where the City is the Classroom, QAA Enhancement Theme Conference, June 2016.

Create a CityLab! to Build a Better City Through Your Students, QAA Enhancement Theme Conference, June 2016.

Create a CityLab to Build a Better City Through Your Students discussion, Gearing Up at the University of Edinburgh, March 2017

Aberdeen CityLab! Where the City is the Classroom, Moving On, Moving Up, Annual Academic Development Symposium, University of Aberdeen, April 2017.

CityLab Student Visions with Interdisciplinary & Inter-institutional Cooperation, 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference, June 2017

Associated Work

Following a presentation at the University of Edinburgh's 'Gearing Up' event in March 2017, we were asked to help their MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme develop the introduction to their summer school sessions, which would follow a similar format as CityLab. This will run from 30-31 May, 2017 and include a number of the students from different cohorts helping deliver the materials.

Aberdeen Software Factory: Live Client Experience for Students

Since 2009 students can take part either on specific paid projects with clients, or as part of CS5942 as students on the MSc IT degree. In both cases students gain valuable experience working with live clients to develop software, which needs to be used as aoon as possible.

Clients have ranged from work for departmental collaborations with external clients, to other academics in the university, as well as numerous clients across Scotland. These include start ups such as Float, and Equibuddy when they were being prototyped. 

Both type of students gain from their Software Factory experience. The paid students learn to deliver work regularly to clients as part of a team of two while refining what they've learned in the classroom. The summer project students, who work with live clients learn to work as a software development team, which they've not done before. In both cases this work prepares them for their post-university career. 

Further Info

External Responsibilities

Since February 2017 I am responsible for session evaluation at the ITiCSE 2017 conference (Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education) in Bologna, Italy. This is the start of preparation for the likely hosting of ITiCSE in Aberdeen in July 2019 or July 2020.

Since April 2017 I am a committee member for Play4Agile 2018 organisation team, which takes place each February in Rueckersbach, Germany.

I co-organise with Tom Jones the montly Techmeetup Aberdeen as featured in Wired' Infographic the monthly meetup of tech oriented developers, entrepreneurs, small business folks and academics (both staff and students).

I co-organise the Aberdeen leg of the Global Service Jam with Steven Milne an annual weekend service design event each February/March. We have done this every year since 2013, but since the 2017 session coincided with Play4Agile, we weren't able to host one in Aberdeen this year.

I co-organise with Ian IstedDonna Connelly and Steven Milne the annual Northern Lightsone-day tech conference in Aberdeen, which provides a one-day enthusiasm booster shot for geeks of all creeds that inspires us to better ourselves and our communities.

I am also the external examiner for the MSc degrees in computing science at the University of Portsmouth. My appointment runs from September 2015 to January 2020.

Admin Responsibilities

Chair of the University of Aberdeen Positive Outcomes Task Force, September 2015 to present, which means I also sit on the University Teaching and Learning Committee.

Athena Swan Co-Chair for Natural and Computing Science September 2015 to present

Erasmus/Go Abroad Co-ordinator for Computing Science September 2015 to present

Industrial Liaison Co-ordinator for Computing Science September 2015 to present

Programme Tutor, MSc/PgDp Software Project Management, September 2008 to present

PURE Activities

List generated from PURE system:

Asking over Telling: Using Humble Enquiry to Build Trust and do Great Work

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Organiser), 9 Aug 2017, Agile2017

Activity: Conference contribution › Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Create a CityLab to Build a Better City Through Your Students

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Invited speaker), 9 Jun 2016, QAA Enhancement Theme Conference

Activity: Conference contribution › Participation in conference

Humble Enquiry Workshop at Lean Agile Scotland

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Organiser), 7 Oct 2016, Lean Agile Scotland

Activity: Conference contribution › Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Aberdeen Software Factory

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Organiser), 2009 → …

Activity: Public engagement, outreach, knowledge exchange › Industrial engagement

Global Service Jam: the Aberdeen Service Jam

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Organiser), Feb 2012 → …

Activity: Public engagement, outreach, knowledge exchange › Industrial engagement

The Northern Lights Conference

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Organiser), Nov 2011 → …

Activity: Public engagement, outreach, knowledge exchange › Industrial engagement

New approaches to business and management students’ experiential development for the workplace

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Participant), 2 Apr 2014

Activity: Conference contribution › Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Developing Student-Run Software Houses

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Organiser), 12 Mar 2014

Activity: Conference contribution › Participation in workshop, seminar, course

TechMeetup Aberdeen

Bruce Allen Scharlau (Organiser), Aug 2009 → …

Activity: Public engagement, outreach, knowledge exchange › Industrial engagement

Publications

Publications 

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