Join us to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day on Tuesday 11th October

This year Edinburgh Napier University is inviting female school students and their teachers along to an event to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths on Ada Lovelace Day, 11th October 2016, at our Craiglockhart Campus.

Forensics Workshop
Forensics Workshop

There is a choice of hands-on workshops from 4pm, followed by refreshments and culminating in Professor Caroline Wilkinson’s public lecture at 6pm. The event is suitable for students in S1 to S3. Choose between a forensics workshop and a physical computing workshop.

Workshop 1: Finger prints, a forensics investigation

The workshop will be a crime scene and the girls will be using fingerprint and forensics investigation to identify who committed the crime.

This workshop, hosted by SmartSTEMs, introduces some of the techniques used in forensics science.

Workshop 2: Hands on with Arduino

Arduino Workshop

In this workshop we will introduce you to the basics of Arduino, input and output. You will learn to program flashing lights and control them with various devices. Where you take it from there is up to you.

From small beginnings great things grow. Why not join with the thousands of enthusiasts, hobbyists, students and professionals who are using Arduino to develop computing solutions for an unimaginable range of applications. This is the same technology you can use to make interactive wearable electronics, robotics, security systems, LED lighting controls and remote device control using mobile phones. Arduino is fun and cheap and you can use it to do whatever you want.


Public Lecture: Professor Caroline Wilkinson

Director of the Face Lab at Liverpool John Moores University

You may have come across Caroline’s forensic anthropology work – depicting faces of the dead for identification purposes. You have probably seen at least one of the faces (models) that Caroline has created of historical figures, such as Richard III, Mary Queen of Scots, or J.S. Bach. You may have seen Caroline on TV in Meet the Ancestors or History Cold Case.

Caroline will talk about her unique career, combining science, art, forensics, computing, and anatomy. Following the aims and traditions of Ada Lovelace Day, Caroline will also provide insights and inspiration into the vital roles of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM).

Get involved

Teachers: if students from your school would like to come to the workshops, please email Debbie Meharg:

If you just want to come to the (free) public lecture, please register here:

Caroline Wilkinson
Caroline Wilkinson

More about Caroline Wilkinson’s Ada Lovelace Day seminar from Prof Hazel Hall.

Last year, our Ada Lovelace day lecture was given by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

Steven – from a summer placement to a graduate job offer


Q. Hi Steven – can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m studying the BSc Business Information Systems degree in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. I’m actually a mature student – I started studying Chemistry at another university but I didn’t like the course and left. I then worked with SKY for a while, first in customer services and then eventually I was able to get involved in some interesting cross-team project work, which I really enjoyed. I decided that if I wanted to get a permanent graduate position doing that kind of work I’d need to get a relevant degree, and that’s what led me to the BSc Business Information Systems.

Q. Where were you on summer placement?

I’ve just finished a ten-week placement with RBS.

This is the second placement I’ve done during the Business Information Systems degree. The first was a year-long placement between second and third year – I was able to gain course credit for that one, as well as having a great experience and getting paid! The summer placement at RBS between third and fourth year gave me even more experience  – and was also very well paid!

Q. How did you find your summer placement?

We’ve got a placement office on-campus, and Maureen Ronaldson sends emails out to students about summer placement opportunities and can usually answer any questions or give advice before applying. So, the first I heard about the RBS placement was through an email from Maureen. I had already decided to look for a summer placement so it was a case of the right message coming through at the right time.

There was an online application form, and then I had a telephone interview. Finally, I was asked to go along to an assessment centre (which was quite interesting) and then I got the job.

Q. Tell us about the role

My placement was on RBS’ Business Technology programme, and my position was Operational Analyst in the Technology Solutions Centre. This centre controls the main technical infrastructure for the bank, the mainframes and distributed servers that support all of the banking operations. It was my job to help monitor these systems.

The role was actually very varied. There was day-to-day monitoring of how the systems are being used in the business – who is accessing the systems, when, and how data files that are of high importance to the bank are being used. I also helped analyse and present data, taking raw numbers and turning them into infographics to explain how our systems are performing. I had to write a process document to help manage a process change, and that meant doing a lot of internal networking to get information from all the people who would be involved in the change, that was a good experience. And because I’m interested in security, I was able to get involved in some of that side of things.

Q. How will the experience help you once you’ve graduated?

Immensely – at the end of the summer placement I was offered a place on the RBS graduate scheme, without having to go through any further interviews or assessment centres!

RBS, like a lot of other big employers, are able to use the summer placement as an ‘extended audition’, and on the last day all of the interns find out whether they are being offered a position after they graduate. Many do – and I’m very pleased to say that I am one of them. I had a great time at RBS during the summer and I’m really looking forward to joining the graduate scheme once I finish my degree.

Q. How do you feel about the future?

Very optimistic and excited. Before summer, I had been a bit anxious about my final year at university, knowing that I’d have a lot of work to complete for my degree while also feeling the pressure to apply for graduate jobs – which can take a lot of time and effort. Now that I’ve secured my graduate job, I feel that I can concentrate on my studies without feeling anxious about what’s coming next.

Q. Sum up your placement in three words!

Best. Decision. Ever.

Keeping up to date with SAP

Large organisations need advanced software to help manage their operations, and the market leader in this field is SAP, a suite of software applications that can help businesses manage raw materials, and organise production, marketing and sales (and much more!) – all from a single point. SAP software is used across many sectors – from car manufacturing and aerospace through to healthcare and even by media companies and supermarket chains.

This week I’ve been at the 21st SAP Academic Conference in Potsdam, Germany – what a beautiful city. The event has allowed me to get up-to-speed with the latest developments from SAP, particularly SAP HANA, developed to help businesses better analyse and use the massive amounts of data they produce. Making the most of ‘Big Data’ – from detailed sales figures all the way to customer Tweets – is a huge priority for businesses.

We make sure our students understand some of the main techniques involved by exploring the data analysis and data exploration capabilities of SAP. Being part of the SAP University Alliance guarantees that we get access to SAP software and valuable case study material, enabling us to help students develop skills and knowledge that are in demand from employers.

Debbie Meharg, Lecturer, Information Systems Subject Group