James West graduated in Physics at the University of Oxford and completed a PhD in particle physics at Imperial College. After a 2-year post doctoral position he joined IBM at its development lab at Hursley near Winchester. In the 1980s he led teams of software developers on IBM’s disk file subsystem products and the CICS transaction processing software restructure, both of which won Queens Awards for Technology. In 1990 he went on assignment to IBM’s Networking Systems HQ in New York, working on IBM’s transaction processing and networking strategies.
Since returning in 1992 he held key senior management roles in software technical strategy, especially for the internet, Java, transaction processing, and messaging middleware, the latter winning the RAEng MacRobert Award in 2004. These projects brought hundreds of millions of dollars of investment by IBM into the UK and earned the company many billions of dollars in revenue.
In 2010, he retired from IBM and took up his current role as Executive Director for SEPnet (South East Physics Network). SEPnet’s key goals are to increase the numbers and quality of students taking physics via its outreach programme and to increase engagement between physics academics and industry via its employer engagement programme.
I have been an amateur Astronomer for over 40 years and an active DSLR astrophotographer for 10 years but still very much at the intermediate level!