Dr Stuart Charters

SIGNAL Director

Stuart has been part of the SIGNAL ecosystem since Steven Joyce announced the ICT Grad School initiative in 2015. As convener of the Academic Working Group, Stuart was perfectly placed to step into the role of director, steering the good ship SIGNAL through its first year of being. Stuart moved from the UK to New Zealand in 2006 to lecture at Lincoln University in the Applied Computing Group. Before taking up SIGNAL, Stuart was Head of Department, Department of Informatics and Enabling Technologies. Stuart has research interests in Evidence Based Software Engineering, eResearch and Precision Agriculture technologies.


Kylie Jackson

Operations and Engagement Coordinator (Dunedin)

Kylie Jackson started at the SIGNAL Dunedin studio in May, and comes with a focus on industry engagement and results for local business and SIGNAL students. Having most recently worked with media company Allied Press as a Sales Manager, and with experience managing a Private Training Establishment, Kylie is utilising and expanding her existing industry networks, to assist students and businesses looking to future-proof themselves with SIGNAL's professional development programmes. "Tech roles exist today in nearly every sector imaginable. SIGNAL's visionary approach, combining the best tech training and development resources in the South Island with industry-focused, real-world learning, is definitely the way of the future. I love the opportunity to work with local industry to boost their current tech staff capabilities, and to find meaningful and rewarding industry placements for our Shift students. These things really set SIGNAL's offerings apart."

Fiona Scott

Operations and Engagement Coordinator (Christchurch)

Fiona has been involved in education in Christchurch with eight years as a secondary school teacher and then three years working in outreach at Lincoln University. Now she moves into the graduate area.  Fiona has long had a fascination with IT education and its potential for future learning for students and educators. In her role in operations and engagement at the Christchurch office, Fiona is enjoying the opportunity to work in the Innovation Precinct and be a part of establishing a new and exciting venture with IT professionals, students, academics and other keen people!

Lenore Wright

Admin and Events Assistant (Christchurch)

Lenore is a Kiwi professional who blends academic training in Commerce & Business Administration with hands-on experience in a variety of industries in Government and Private sectors in New Zealand and internationally. Lenore has previously worked for Dell Computers in the large corporate account sales division in Sydney, and as an Executive Assistant to the Director of IT Infrastructure at Queensland Health. Lenore is excited to be given the opportunity to be involved with SIGNAL where their goal to empower graduates through their professional development programmes. Growing New Zealand’s IT sector means a robust and growing economy, which underpins a healthy and happy society. Let’s do this!

Professor Michael Albert

Shift, Programme Director (Dunedin)

Prof Michael Albert heads up the Department of Computer Science at the University of Otago. He’s part of the SIGNAL eco system too, having been involved from the get go and is excited to have the first cohort of Shift underway. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1981 with a double degree in Pure and Applied Mathematics, and from Oxford in 1984 with a D.Phil, as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario. His research is largely in the area of discrete mathematics, with a particular emphasis on computer-assisted projects (sometimes called "experimental mathematics").

Dr Claudia Ott

Shift co-ordinator (Dunedin)

Claudia is wrangling SIGNAL’s first cohort of Shift, and that’s a job she’s happy to take on with such a varied group of students who are keen to make the transition to an IT career. Claudia worked as a freelance software developer for a range of companies in Germany before she doing a PhD on Computer Science Education in 2011.  Claudia comes to Shift after two years working as a vision systems engineer for Scott Technology Ltd. in Dunedin. She also lectures at the University of Otago Computer Science department.

Dr Patricia Anthony

Shift Co-ordinator (Christchurch)

Patricia is part of the Christchurch Shift team, which will be kicking off in early July this year. Knowing just how tight things are in the IT sector, she is looking forward being part of the solution, bringing new IT professionals to the fore, and quickly. Patricia is a senior lecturer in Software and Information Technology at Lincoln University. Prior to that, she was attached to University Malaysia Sabah. Patricia teaches subjects related to software development and she particularly enjoys coding in C# and Java.

Professor Sam Mann

Xtend/Accelerate Programme Director

Sam is a man with a mission, as the leading force behind Otago Polytechnic’s Capable NZ – a school specialising in professional practice and work-based learning. So Sam is ideally placed to lead SIGNAL’s in-work, at-work, for-work offerings – Accelerate and Xtend. Sam has a background in both IT and Land Management. He has taught computing since 1994 and began at Otago Polytechnic in 1997. Sam was Head of Department for five years and has published over 150 conference and journal papers in the fields of augmented experiences, sustainability and computer education.

Professor Tim Bell

Educate Programme Director

Tim is the man behind SIGNAL’s super popular Educate offering. Our first Educate cohort kicks off with a workshop in Christchurch in April, with 25 teachers signed up already. Tim is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at the University of Canterbury. His main research interest is computer science education, and he has been actively involved in curriculum design. His "Computer Science Unplugged'' project for students of all ages is widely used internationally, and its books and videos have been translated into about 20 languages. Legendary!

Distinguished Professor Niki Davis

Educate Programme Director

SIGNAL is extremely fortunate to have Niki on our Educate team. Niki is the University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor of e-Learning and Director of the College of Education, Health and Human Development e-Learning Lab. She is recognised internationally as a leading expert in information and communication technologies in teacher education. Sought by UNESCO, national agencies, companies, scholarly societies and institutions for her expertise; she has over 200 publications including books and scholarly papers. Niki’s area of research includes e-Learning, Innovation and change with digital technologies, Initial Teacher Education and Computer Science Education.

Dr Steven Mills

Shift (Dunedin)

Steven is part of SIGNAL’s core team in Dunedin. As a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Otago, and with previous experience working in commercial research and development roles at the Geospatial Research Centre in Christchurch and Dunedin-based software company Areograph Ltd, Steven is well placed to help ease our Shift Students into the IT world. Dr Mills' research interests are in image processing and computer vision, and in particular making 3D models of the world from images. Steven is currently exploring applications such as the survey of pā sites with archaeologists and modeling power lines with Line Smarts, a Dunedin-based start-up.

Dr Stefanie Zollman

Shift (Dunedin)

Stefanie has plenty of real world experience under her belt after two and a half years as senior developer at Animation Research Limited and postdoctoral research roles in the emerging field of Augmented Reality at Graz University of Technology in Austria, collaborating with various industrial partners such as Siemens, Qualcomm, and Hilti. And before this she worked as a researcher at Daimler AG! All of which has contributed to her interest in the potential of introducing emerging technologies to professional end-users. She contributed to the development of Augmented Reality, Mobile Interface and Projector-based Interfaces and is an active member of the research community in these fields.

Amitrajit Sarkar

Shift (Christchurch)

Amitrajit Sarkar is a faculty member of Department of Computing at Ara Institute of Canterbury and an affiliated research associate at University of Canterbury. Amitrajit is a full member (MIITP) and Certified Technologist (CTech) of Institute of Information Technology Professionals New Zealand. He has published widely in Software engineering and Management Information Systems.
When not at work, Amitrajit enjoy reading, watching sports, travelling and being a dad. 

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