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Dr Brian Davies, Director of Computing
Dr Brian Davies has been appointed SERC's first full-time Director of Computing. Formerly head of the Computer Systems and Electronics Division at Daresbury, Dr Davies took up his post on 1 October 1984. The appointment was the result of recommendations by the Computer Review Working Party last year. His duties are to run the Council's computing infrastructure and networking activities; to run the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) mainframe service; to advise on the coordination of the provision and replacement of the various Boards' computing resources; to advise Council on computing matters; and to liaise with the Computer Board and other bodies involved in the provision of research computing. Dr Davies's first two major tasks were to get agreement at Board and Council level on what items of the existing portfolio of computing activities should be included in infrastructure and to secure appropriate funding; and secondly to take up another of the Working Party's recommendations, that the RAL mainframes should be run on a direct charging basis - and to propose to Boards and Council how this might be done.
"The general position in SERC computing at the moment is one of considerable change," said Dr Davies recently. "The devolution of some facilities from central funding to funding directly by Boards, together with the introduction of new charging arrangements for the mainframes at RAL, are big enough changes in themselves. Since they also coincide with a period of severe financial restraint in the Council as a whole, it is clear that Boards and their users will be more and more concerned to see that the computing facilities they fund are relevant to their needs and are provided efficiently. The providers of the facilities are well aware of this and I am sure they will respond accordingly."