What can I do with a Computer Science degree?

Developing an intelligent family law IT system, working directly with primary users

I am a Computer Science graduate leading a project at the University of Brighton and Family Law Partners to develop a rule based decision support system to underpin a novel model of family law provision. This involves identifying areas in which automation can be utilised in their IT systems, and implementing intelligent solutions to make things more efficient.

I started my Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project approximately 9 months ago…

Sam Paul, Knowledge Systems Developer at Family Law Partners and the University of Brighton.

Getting to know the company and their IT requirements first-hand

My first few days in my role as a ‘Knowledge Systems Developer’ working on a project with a company called Family Law Partners (FLP) and the University of Brighton were an exciting whirlwind. On my first day I met the team supporting KTP projects at the university and they gave me a detailed introduction to the KTP programme and patiently answered all my questions. The next day I went to the law firm where I would be spending the next 2 years of my working life. Everyone was very welcoming, friendly and exuberant, not something I expected from a law firm! I soon started working on the project, I liked the way the project was structured – the first task was getting to know the business, and this is just what I did.

Finding my feet was an important first stage. I spoke the various solicitors, took notes on their activities and converted that information into requirements of the project. Based on those requirements, I created flowcharts and design documents which after getting reviewed by my supervisors, I sent out to the rest of the team at FLP. This was very useful because I was able to discuss my design directly with the people who would be the users of my application and not have to depend on second hand information. This also allowed me to understand the subtle nuances of their work and how my application could be customised to suit their individual requirements.

The work so far – prototyping and testing

After getting sign off on my design, I built a prototype of the application. This was a rewarding process for me because I was using a software platform I had never heard of, Mendix – it is low code rapid development platform – and unlike Java and C# it requires little coding to achieve the same level of complexity. I was able to achieve most of the objectives set out during the design phase.

Once it was complete, I demonstrated it to the entire team and invited them to test the application. The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive but more importantly the testers were able to identify feature they would like to see later on and changes in the user interface that would help them use the application more effectively. I have worked in IT projects before joining the KTP programme and in all of those projects there were gaps in communication between the developers and the users because it was a middle man getting the information and interpreting it to others, but in the KTP programme I got the information directly from the source.

Why has KTP offered something different?

I have enjoyed being part of the KTP programme so far. The work is innovative, and I get to work closely with the users, something that does not often happen in the IT field. The free management training courses have been especially useful, I learnt about communication techniques that have enabled me to gather requirements better, I learnt several useful principles such as stakeholder maintenance, marketing and I have been able meet several other KTP Associates who are doing interesting work and I am sure the network of Associates will continue to be very useful to me in the future. Although I am a single IT professional within a team of solicitors I have fantastic support from my colleagues who are all 100% committed to the success of the project.   My supervisor at the university offers ideas, support and feedback on my work, as well as helping me shape to solution to the complex challenges our project poses.

To anyone considering a KTP – I would 100% recommend it!

If you would like to find out more about becoming a KTP Associate, please click here.

If you would like to find out more about Family Law Partners’ experience on the KTP so far, please click here

If you would like to find out more about KTP at the University of Brighton, please click here.

Students compete to develop best communications and branding strategy for local KTP company

Over 60 students on the University of Brighton’s Business with Marketing course are working in simulated ‘marketing agency’ teams to come up with the freshest, most effective and well targeted communications and branding strategy for Hove based company, Class Of Their Own.  Class Of Their Own, who provide out of school care for children in the Sussex area, were recently awarded an Outstanding grade (A) for their Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the university.  Keen to maintain collaboration with the university and build upon the success of the KTP – which was led by Jane Priddis from Brighton Business School (BBS) – Class Of Their Own engaged BBS students to help them develop a new communications and branding strategy.

Tanya Petherick, Class of Their Own Director said: “The KTP resulted in the development of a strategic plan that is the blueprint of our company operations for the next 6 years.  Working with students on this project will bring further fresh ideas and enthusiasm to an important part of the delivery of this plan.  We have been very impressed with the student response so far and are looking forward to seeing their ideas”. 

The competition is the focus of the students’ marketing communications module and will culminate in a series of pitch presentations to Tanya, Sam Thomson (also Director at Class of Their Own) and the former KTP Associate, Andrew Black, who is now the company’s Marketing Manager.

The Marketing Communications module leader, Lyvia Royd-Taylor said It’s an exciting project and the students are already cracking on with it. I’ve seen groups of students discussing the Class Of Their Own website in the canteen at lunchtimes!” 

The Knowledge Exchange team at the University of Brighton supports the process of exchanging ideas, expertise and experience (know-how) through partnership, and KTP is one of the mechanisms the university has successfully used to deliver impact and bring expertise into companies.  Contact us at knowledgeexchange@brighton.ac.uk or on 01273 642426 to find out more. You can also find out more on our website www.brighton.ac.uk/knowledgeexchange.

Enjoying employment – how graduate Ruixiao Yu’s KTP project led to a permanent job

KTP Associate Ruixiao Yu was employed by the University of Brighton (who sponsored his visa) as KTP Associate for a project with Eastbourne based company Colony101.  Following project completion, the company decided to employ Ruixiao so sponsored his next visa and employed him on a permanent basis. You can read more about his experience as a KTP Associate, where he worked in partnership with the University of Brighton and Colony101 to deliver a strategic project for the company below:


Associate Profile

Name – Ruixiao Yu

Former KTP Associate for – the University of Brighton and Colony101

Current position – Senior .NET Developer at Cyclr (spin out company of Colony101)

Education – MSc in Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh and BEng in Software Engineering – Hangzhou Dianzi University



Brief description of project

During my project I worked with Eastbourne based software development company, Colony101, who specialise in email marketing software. My project focused on developing an innovative automated data integration software product. We had input from academics in the University of Brighton’s School of Computing, Engineer and Mathematics, who provided expertise in visual programming languages, cloud software architecture and business process modelling. Our product, Cyclr, has been launched through its own start-up company.


Highlights from the project

The personal development budget was fantastic, for example I was able to attend Scrum Master training which allowed me to work as a Scrum Master in the company – facilitating the development of the software on a day to day basis. I also attended several specialised database development, data mining/analytics and machine learning courses. The project work has been really enjoyable. The fun part of programming is that you’re solving challenging problems every day, it feels great!


The best thing about being a KTP Associate

The opportunity for personal development was the most significant benefit I can see for KTP. I was involved in the product development right at the beginning, and went on to design, implement and test the application. Initially I had full responsibility for delivering this with support from my supervisory team, and then after a year another developer joined the team and I was able to act as the Scrum Master, helping to lead the team to develop the system.


Challenges overcome during partnership

There have been some challenges with regards to setting up a start-up company, which has been a really useful learning experience for me and for the team. As a start-up company, we have pressure to compete with big players in the market, and they have more resources to allocate. We also needed to look for funding ourselves, but this has been overcome by bringing in external stakeholders who had experience in starting up businesses.


What I am doing now

I’m now employed by the start-up company Cyclr, as a Senior.NET Developer focussing on further developing the core Cyclr product and implementing new features.


I would recommend a KTP because…

You can bring your academic knowledge directly into a business context, working on a specific objective and deliverable. You will still be involved in academic life through the relationship with the university, but you will use your knowledge and skills in a very practical way. You can be the manager of your project, right from the beginning.


What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership?

KTP is a world-leading programme that helps businesses succeed by connecting them to the UK’s rich academic resources. It’s a partnership between the business seeking expertise, a university or college and a recently qualified graduate – known as an Associate. Each partnership lasts from twelve months to three years.

The graduate carries out a strategic project in your business, with expert university academic guidance. Up to 67 per cent of the project costs are government-funded.

If you apply to KTP and you’re successful, an Associate (supervised by the company and the university) will work in your company and help bring your plans to life.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership can involve refining or designing products, opening new markets, improving business, marketing or manufacturing systems and cutting costs and waste.


Connecting graduates across the UK

University of Brighton KTP Associates Billiejoe Charlton, Tim Gardhouse and Solomon Adebayo recently attended the KTP Associates Conference in Coventry where they met some of the 100+ KTP Associates from across the UK who presented papers and posters on a wide variety of KTP projects.  This annual event was set up by the University of Brighton around 8 years ago, but is now shared by the KTP community so that the event can move around the UK, giving more Associates the opportunity to attend.

Solomon, Billiejoe and Tim at the KTP Associates Conference 2016 in Coventry

Solomon, Billiejoe and Tim at the KTP Associates Conference in May 2016, in Coventry.

Solomon, Billiejoe and Tim at the KTP Associates Conference 2016 in Coventry

The celebrations started on the Wednesday evening with a pre-Conference delegates social then it was an early start on the Thursday for coffees and networking before two Keynote speakers took the stage. Associates heard from Dr Lorna Everall who’s KTP helped create a product for monitoring stress in buildings, bridges and wind turbines and Dr Ignacio Tudela an expert in the automotive, power generation, marine and industrial sectors.

32 poster presenters then took a deep breath for each of their 1-minute elevator pitches to drum up interest and questions for the poster session which followed. The afternoon sessions comprised 22 presentations of Associates papers and the prize giving for Best Papers and Best Posters.

Billiejoe said “the conference was a great opportunity to meet other Associates – I didn’t realise KTPs were so diverse!  I also met someone at the social who works in a similar field to me, so we had loads to talk about. We’ll stay in touch to find out how each other’s projects are going and hopefully meet again at next years Conference in Birmingham.”

Details of the 2017 Conference will be posted on the KTP website as soon as they’re available.

Following the Conference, Tim was asked to be the Keynote speaker at The UK Thermal Energy Storage Workshop in June 2016 presenting on ‘Using a cold thermal store to improve the efficiency of liquid air energy storage’.

Find out more about KTP here or contact the KTP centre at ktp@brighton.ac.uk with any questions.

Join our focus group and be in with a chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher!

Would you like to shape how we recruit for our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) jobs, and find out more about the unique opportunity it offers? Would you be interested winning a £30 Amazon voucher? If so, book your place on one of our KTP Recruitment Focus Groups now by emailing us at KTPJobs@brighton.ac.uk.

Master logo - KTP

We would like to invite you to one of our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Focus Groups which will last up to 2 hours and will look to find out what you think of our approach to recruiting graduates.  In particular we will be looking at KTP adverts and how we advertise our jobs.  There will also be an opportunity to find out more about KTP as a scheme and what we look for in our graduates.

There’s nothing you need to do to prepare, just bring yourself and we’ll do the rest!

There will also be refreshments and cake, and a chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher.

KTP has been placing graduates with innovative companies for over 40 years.  We value people who are passionate, proactive and naturally inquisitive.  The majority of our jobs fall into the science and engineering disciplines, though we have also had recent roles in business and management, and retail.

The Focus Groups will be held on the following dates:

Focus Group 3 – Wednesday 17 February 2016 at 2pm, Hastings Campus.

Focus Group 4 – Wednesday 2 March 2016 at 2pm, Moulsecoomb Campus

If you would like to join us, please contact KTPJobs@brighton.ac.uk confirming which Focus Group you’d like to attend, and we will be in touch nearer the time with more information.

If you’d like to find out more about KTP, you can take a look at our website for videos and case studies.

Many thanks

The KTP Team


University of Brighton graduates – where are they now?

Master logo - KTP

It’s always great to hear about the career paths that graduates took after they left the University of Brighton. As November celebrated National Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Month and well as 40 successful years of the scheme, we’re focusing on how the roles that our alumni have taken in the scheme have helped them to shape their careers and create new opportunities.

The University of Brighton runs one of the largest KTP programmes in the South East and to date have delivered over 250 programmes with over 150 companies.  KTP is a nation-wide government scheme that can provide up to 67% grant funding to enable companies to become more innovative and competitive by working in partnership with a university.  Based on the 2013/14 outcomes report, on average a company undertaking a two-year KTP has a projected increase of over £1 million in annual profits before tax and 86% of the partnerships have plans for future collaboration with the university.

University of Brighton graduate Victoria Keen works as Head of Sustainability at The Guinness Partnership, starting after she graduated with Distinction from a Masters in Sustainability of the Built Environment in 2009.  She had been involved in setting up a KTP with a previous employer so was familiar with the process, as well as the benefits that KTP can offer to companies. A KTP with Guinness and the University of Brighton was quickly set up and on top of her normal job, Victoria also took on the role of Company Supervisor to the KTP Associate, graduate Adam Masters, in a project which developed and embedded an eco-retrofit capability within the Guinness Partnership.

Victoria said “It was a pleasure to go back to the university that I graduated from in a professional capacity and work with their academics on a strategic project for the Guinness Partnership. We all benefited hugely from the KTP – we look forward to continuing to work with the university on other projects.”

As part of the KTP, the team evaluated the energy performance of the offices and selected six of them for improvements. By retrofitting these offices and implementing behaviour change initiatives the team were able to make savings of approx. £50,000 per year and develop a strategy for the roll out of retrofit across the remaining offices.

Are you a University of Brighton graduate working for a company who could benefit from an injection of knowledge from academics at your former university? To discuss how KTP could help your business develop and grow, please contact Dr Shona Campbell, KTP Manager, at the University of Brighton on 01273 642495 or at s.e.campbell@brighton.ac.uk.

Calling all graduates!

Have you already found the right job for you? Or are you looking for the next step up in your career? 

Either way, we would like your feedback!

Please complete the survey here.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) have been placing graduates with innovative companies for over 40 years.  The University of Brighton has a strong track record in KTP, and we would like to see more University of Brighton graduates applying for our roles – this is a big reason why we are seeking your views.

With a chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher you will help inform our recruitment strategy at the University of Brighton.  We would like to hear your experiences of employment after graduation, what you value in a role, and how you have gone about finding a job after graduation. Your views will make a real difference to how we advertise our vacancies, where we advertise and how we describe our roles.

Please complete the survey here.

Make sure you complete the survey before it closes on Thursday 24 December!

By completing this survey you will be entered into a Prize Draw to win a £30 Amazon voucher.  You will also have the opportunity to participate in a focus group to find out more about KTP.

If you would like further information about KTP before completing the survey, please see our website.

If you would like further information on the survey before completing it, please contact ktpjobs@brighton.ac.uk.

Thank you for your time!

Kind Regards


A KTP Associates experience: Maria Diapouli, Crimtan

Associate Profile

Maria (18)

Name:  Maria Diapouli

Role: KTP Associate for Crimtan 2012-2014

Brief description of project

I was working with Crimtan, a global digital marketing company as part of my KTP project.  Crimtan’s clients include Marks and Spencer, Santander and Sky and provide services including:

  • running advertising campaigns
  • campaign optimisation towards customer KPI
  • audience profiling and segmentation
  • audience targeting/ retargeting and reporting

The project was supported by academics from the University of Brighton’s School of Computing Engineering Mathematics.  My project focussed on developing and implementing innovative data mining and modelling techniques to enhance customer profiling and optimise advert placement and effectiveness.

This included:

Phase 1: I reviewed and analysed the company’s business objectives, customer base, technology, delivery architecture and processes. Data mining and artificial intelligence techniques and methodologies were also analysed in accordance to company’s business objectives and systems architecture and business processes were documented.

Phase 2: I investigated data availability and developed processes for data collection, data cleaning, data validation and preparation. Open-source algorithms were identified, implemented and the best-performing ones were incorporated into business workflows.

Phase 3 I developed innovative approaches to enhancing placement rules by developing models for prediction for user click and conversion rate.  Additional techniques were developed for accelerated tuning models behaviour in order to refine models for achieving peak effectiveness on new campaigns. The impact of these innovations is measured through the development of business impact metrics.

Highlights from the project

I had the opportunity to take part in industry relevant conferences including Thirty-second SGAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the Seventeenth UK Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning, UK KDD BCS 2014 and was also able to participate in technical workshops. Which included Hadoop, Microsoft VBA, Microsoft SQL Server, all of which supported the successful delivery of the project.

A particular project success was the final outcomes of the model implementation. We can normally expect projects in data mining area to indicate that the accuracy of the learned patterns is between 40-60% however this KTP project delivered 90% accuracy of the data mining patterns, which a huge success for the company pushing them ahead of the competition in this area.

The best thing about being a KTP Associate

Through this KTP I have gained invaluable commercial experience, particularly in online advertising. I  had professional training in technical excellence/ state of the art (e.g. Hadoop, Hive, MS SQL, VBA), had business management/leadership exposure and had the chance to be mentored by lead academics and industry experts which I would not otherwise have been able to experience.

Challenges overcome during partnership

In the beginning, this KTP seemed to be challenging due to the nature of the company – the large volumes of data, and its specialisation in terms of low level complexity (e.g. raw cookies, xml data, csv files, etc.). However, both my company and academic supervisors helped me to overcome the challenges: The academic supervisors have provided their expertise in the Data Mining research area and the company supervisors have delivered descriptions regarding their data processing and optimisation systems. With the support of my supervisors the project has followed a successful path and has delivered insightful results to the company.

What I am doing now

My current job as a Research Officer in Data Mining Project Management at the University of Brighton has a similar feel to the KTP in terms of tasks, roles and responsibilities. In particular my everyday duties are related to:

  • project management
  • demonstration of analytics knowledge and implementation of heterogeneous databases and Big data
  • competence in programming on data analysis tools
  • research on various data mining algorithms and techniques

Definitely I would recommend a KTP since it is a very well structured program that offers huge support on the KTP Associate. The whole experience is invaluable.

Top tips for maintaining a successful and rewarding KTP partnership

From the Associate perspective:

  • Be responsive to any changes to the project plan
  • Always consider the final company’s objectives
  • Consider your personal development as early as in the process as possible
  • Enjoy the KTP Residential Course modules and keep in touch with other Associates

A KTP Associates experience: Richard Allin, The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation


My Project

My KTP project was a primarily a marketing project for a long established charity that wanted to engage with new audiences. The Blond McIndoe Research Foundation is a burns research charity that was founded in the name of a pioneering burns Surgeon, Sir Archibald McIndoe.  The charity needed to replace its outdated website, create new marketing material and develop the marketing skills of its in-house fundraising team.

I had the opportunity to be involved with every part of creating and executing a marketing plan, producing briefs, recruiting and managing service providers and developing content and publicity materials. One of the highlights was organising a full days photoshoot in an active operating theatre where I had to get the  idea signed off with hospital management, find a photographer, match up availability and then on the day act as photographers mate and take calls for the burns surgeon whilst he was in the middle of operations.  I can’t imagine having this type of opportunity in any other graduate role.

After the KTP project finished I quickly started a new role as a marketing executive for an online retailer in the automotive sector.  This role had many similarities with the KTP project in terms of the very wide scope of activities I was required to undertake and the number of changes I implemented. As with the KTP project, this role also required me to be very self-sufficient and think creatively to achieve results with fairly small resources available.

A highlight of this role was myself acting as the photographer/camera man for a day filming on the Solent where the company was tuning an 80mph powerboat and involved me hanging on and filming in the engine bay whilst work was being carried out and up in the cockpit on the high speed runs.

After 2 years with them I left on their highest turnover month in their history and moved to a role of Sales and Marketing Manager at etyres who are a national online mobile tyre fitting company. I now sit on the Senior Management Team and developing the marketing strategy for the company and managing their marketing team. I feel that my experience on the KTP project prepared me well for my career and I had the opportunity to lead a project and to make decisions and changes that I might not have otherwise had.

The Challenges

The biggest challenges in the role were implementing changes in a small organisation with fairly minimal resources. Despite being brought in to implement change the charity was at times  a bit resistant  because some changes required substantial input from them in areas they had either never invested in or had previously tried but not seen effective results.  To overcome them I demonstrated how the changes would work whilst minimising risks and highlighting examples of other organisations where these changes had been very successful. I built up trust with my colleagues throughout the life of the KTP project which made it easier for big decisions and changes to be made.

 The Benefits

The KTP training budget was exceptionally useful to me in developing my online marketing knowledge which was fairly basic at the start of the project. The understanding that I developed from this heavily influenced the success of the Blond McIndoe website and since then has been something I have built on  which is still highly relevant in my career.  I found the support and advice from my academic supervisors invaluable.

In summary…

Throughout the KTP, there were some big challenges to work through and it was a great learning experience. Although at times it was a steep learning curve,  my career would not have progressed as quickly as it has without those 2 years as a KTP Associate. I would highly recommend the KTP scheme to any graduates looking to take the next step in their career.