David Cottam

IT Manager for Research and Education, College of Social Science

Dave Cottam_25cm

What is your role in the University?

I work for IT Services as the IT Manager for Research and Education for the College of Social Science (COSS). My role is to remove IT barriers for research groups, staff and students - this equates to guiding researchers to safely collect, store, share and process research data. This can involve conversations relating to encryption, storage and legislation relating to GDPR. I also act as a conduit into IT Services in relation to Cloud services and software that may need to be used for research that does not fall under the in-house category. I also manage JISC Online Survey tool for UOB and Qualtrics for COSS.

Which BEAR Services are most relevant to your area?

The main BEAR services we use are BEAR DataShare which all PGR students and research staff automatically receive access to and the Research Data Store. High Performance Computing (HPC) is an area that would benefit a number of our staff and PGR students. I would like to see an increase in the uptake of HPC. High-spec desktop computers are not as efficient as HPC so it is important to promote HPC among our community. 

Note from Editor: BEAR DataShare is now retired - see this KB article for alternative options.

How widespread do you think BEAR Services are known in your area and how do you help spread the word?

BEAR Services are promoted in COSS but not as widely used as I would hope. We have a significant need for secure data storage and data sharing facilities. 

I attend a number of departmental Committee meetings with staff and students and promote and encourage the use of BEAR Services. We also do an induction for all new PGR students where they are introduced to a number of facilities that are available. 

How can researchers in your School/College contact you?

I am contactable by email: d.s.cottam@bham.ac.uk or phone 0121 414 7498.

What's an interesting fact about you?

I have an interest in radio communication and both use and teach International Morse Code. -... . .- .-.