Lavington, Simon

Computer history researcher

Simon Lavington M.Sc., Ph.D., FIEE, FBCS, C.Eng is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Essex - Department of Computing and Electronic Systems. He currently lives in Sproughton, Suffolk.

He graduated in Electrical Engineering from Manchester University in 1962. After obtaining a Ph.D. for automatic speech recognition using the Atlas computer, he became a member of Tom Kilburn’s MU5 high-performance design team. The computers built at Manchester in the 1960s and 70s achieved several world firsts. From 1986 he was a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Essex, specialising in Systems Architectures. His research interests focussed on the hardware and software for parallel information processing. One of his projects at Essex, the Intelligent File Store (IFS), attracted over £1 million in research grants and was awarded a British Computer Society Silver Medal for Technical Achievement. The IFS project was completed in 1996, after which he worked on parallel techniques for Knowledge Discovery in Databases ('data mining') and interactive video over congested IP networks. He retired in July 2002.

He now pursues research into computer history, a hobby. He is particularly interested in early British computers built during the period 1945 – 1970. He has published history of computing books.