John obtained a M.A. in mathematics and philosophy from the University of Cambridge in 1963, and became first a Research Associate, and later Principal Investigator in the Cambridge Language Research Unit where he researched into mechanical translation. In 1968 he joined Rolls-Royce as instructor in the computing department and became responsible for designing all the training courses for both the company's programmers and its computer operators. From 1971 to 1974 he taught computing at Newcastle Polytechnic (now the University of Northumbria), where he became a Senior Lecturer and was responsible for setting up a computer-assisted learning system in that institution.
From 1974 to 1980 he was employed in the Computing Laboratory of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne developing the University's campus network. In 1980 he left the University to become one of a small group that set up an independent R & D company, where I became Technical Director of a company of 120 employees, with overall technical responsibility for software research in both information technology and telecommunications.
In 1986 he returned to the Computing Laboratory as a Principal Research Associate, initially carrying out research in computer security funded by the UK Ministry of Defence, and later in information technology and organisational change, funded by European and UK government sources. His current research interests are in the design of information systems that cross organisational boundaries and therefore have to embody differing concepts of responsibility, trust, ethical codes and cultural norms, and more abstractly in developing a new approach to systems thinking that can provide a sound philosophical basis for such design.
He is a founder member of two IFIP Working Groups: 11.3 (Security and Databases), of which he has been chairman, and 2.9 (Requirements Engineering). he has published over seventy technical papers and reports, and is a member of a number of editorial boards of academic journals, and a Fellow of the British Computer Society. In August 1996 he was appointed Professor of Information Management at the University of Newcastle.
A list of publications by John Dobson is available.
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