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Colin Knight

Colin Knight learned the value of failsafe technology early in his career, developing algorithms for the release of munitions from RAF “V Bombers”. This focus on non-stop reliability has remained his priority through a wide-ranging career spanning financial trading in the City post Big Bang, the revolution in mobile communications, predictive modelling of networks and risk management. Colin has worked extensively across Europe, Asia Pacific and the US, including a spell in Moscow during the height of the Cold War. Given his time again, he says he would favour roles at US-based companies because they are more innovative, entrepreneurial and financially rewarding.

Colin is a past Master of the Information Technologists Livery Company. But his proudest achievement has been his charitable activities deploying IT to improve the lives of sick and disabled children and their families. Work must be fun, he insists — you will never get a successful team with unhappy members.

Nicholas (Nic) Birtles

Nic Birtles left university after a boring year for more exciting work in the emerging IT industry.  He programmed a LEO machine; successor to the first business computer.  Like many who led the growth of the 20th century industry, he soon moved into sales and thence senior management with some of the iconic names of the early industry, including Burroughs in Canada and then ComShare, selling its computer power over telephone lines.

He was headhunted by Ingres, the innovative relational database competitor to Oracle.  He was in Silicon Valley for the dotcom boom and bust.  Since 2002, Nic has held a portfolio of non-executive roles with growth companies, most recently fundraising for an innovative aircraft design from Aeralis.  Nic is a Past Master of the City of London IT Livery Company (WCIT) , where he actively supports their charitable initiatives.